I'm happy to welcome Amy Lillard to the blog today. Amy writes the Amish Mystery series. Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper is the first book in the series.
Kathy: Your new series is set inside an Amish community. Why do you think outsiders are so interested in the Amish? And why set your series amongst them?
AL: Our world moves so fast these days. I feel most people appreciate the slower pace of the Amish world. It’s somehow comforting to know that someone out there has not let the world take them over and push them to an impossible speed. Most of us would like to slow down a bit, but we simply don’t know how. The Amish show us it can be done.
Kathy: Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper deals with the murder of an Amish dog breeder. Breeding can be quite controversial. How did you decide upon this topic for your mystery?
AL: Unfortunately, it can be a touchy subject which did play a factor in my deciding to use it. I have many Amish friends and one is a dog breeder. I have been to his home and his barn is nicer than a lot of houses. The dogs live in there with the horses that he breeds as well. It’s the furthest thing from a puppy mill that you could imagine. I wanted to show this side. Yes, there are some Amish puppy mills, there are also plenty that aren’t. Just like in the “English” world.
Kathy: Amish women are known for their baking. Is Kathryn “Kappy” King a baker as well as a seamstress? Are you?
AL: Kappy is a little bit of an odd duck. She bakes because she likes the food she’s cooking. But since she lives alone, it’s not like she has to bake for a big family. Me? I love to bake and cook. But I’m on a diet ninety percent of the time so I don’t bake as much as my heart wants to.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
AL: I love the light-hearted suspense. There is too much drama and tragedy in the world. Cozies allow me to make an unfortunate situation and give it a lighter voice. I love the flippancy and silliness that can come with a cozy.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
AL: I do. I also write Amish romance and contemporary romances as well. And I’ve been known to pen a historical romance from time to time.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
AL: I would describe it as Amish Shirley and ex-Amish Laverne solving crimes in their fictional community of Blue Sky Pennsylvania, nestled in beautiful Kishacoquillas Valley. Though most would say it’s a light-hearted cozy mystery series where unlikely characters team up to solve crimes and keep their community safe.
Kappy is my first mystery series. I do have two other Amish series that are romances and a couple of mysteries that belong in a compilation series.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
AL: I love them all for very different reasons. But if I have to choose, then Edie. Edie doesn’t want to be a part of the Amish world, but she doesn’t fit in with the English. She wears garish clothes because she was never taught how to dress English. She’s a little bored being back in Blue Sky, but she has a big heart and knows that she has to remain there for her brother, Jimmy. Deep down I think she wants to return, but she doesn’t know how. Essentially she is trapped between both worlds, yet a part of neither.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
AL: The Valley itself was my inspiration. I went there last year and fell in love. The Valley is gorgeous, like a postcard. And interesting since there are three different types of Amish there—Renno, Nebraska, and Byler. Each drives a different color buggy! I can’t say I’ve ever been to an Amish community quite like the one in Kish Valley.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
AL: Wow! Good question. I don’t know. It was and always has been the end result of writing for me. Stories are great, but sharing them is the most fun of all.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
AL: Stephen King, JK Rowling, Harper Lee, and William Shakespeare. That should be interesting. LOL
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
AL: I am currently reading First Star I see Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. I usually have two books going at once—one on my Kindle and one from Audible. If I’m reading paper another one gets tossed in the mix. I can only do this if I’m reading two (or three) very different stories so I don’t get them confused.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
AL: I do a lot of what my mother calls ‘piddling.’ LOL She’s a great piddler too. I like to craft, scrapbook, work in my house, refinish furniture, and whatever else strikes my fancy. When I’m not piddling, my family loves to watch movies together and we are big Kansas City Chiefs fans.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
AL: Minced garlic, stewed tomatoes, coffee, and self-rising flour
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
AL: Right now I’m working on book three in the Kappy King series. My Amish romance series set in my home state of Mississippi starts in February. (Yes, there are Amish in Mississippi). I have another book in that series to write, then who knows where I’ll go from there.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
AL: I’m one of those authors who believes that stories already exist and authors merely write them down. For me it’s fun to discover who these characters are and the stories they want me to share. It’s definitely an adventure, every day.
Kappy King and the Puppy Kaper (An Amish Mystery) by Amy Lillard
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Setting - Pennsylvania
Zebra (December 26, 2017)
An Imprint of Kensington Books Paperback: 352 pages
Content to be unmarried and plain-spoken, Kathryn “Kappy” King is an odd-woman-out in the Amish community of Blue Sky, Pennsylvania. But she’s skilled at making the special kapps local women need to cover their hair. And she might be the only one who can unearth the danger hiding in this peaceful valley . . .
When Kappy's neighbor, Ruth Peachey, turns up dead in her yard, everyone in Blue Sky believes it’s a tragic accident. Until the Englisch police find the gentle dog breeder was deliberately struck down—and arrest her mentally-challenged son, Jimmy, for the crime . . .
Jimmy’s sister, Edie, returns to Blue Sky clear his name, yet no one will speak to a shunned former Amish woman, much less give her information. Determined to help, Kappy starts digging for the truth among her seemingly-innocent neighbors. But suddenly a series of suspicious “accidents” threatens Edie and the Peachey farm—property Edie is determined to protect for her brother’s future.
Now, as danger looms large in the small community, Kappy must bait a trap for a killer snapping hard at her heels. And Edie must decide whether to make a home once more in the town she thought she’d left behind . . .
Amy Lillard is the award-winning author of more than twenty novels, including the Wells Landing series, The Quilting Circle novels, the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries and the Kappy King Mysteries. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives with her husband and son in Oklahoma. Please visit her online at www.AmyWritesRomance.com.Author Links: