I'd like to welcome Libby Klein to the blog today. Libby writes the Poppy McAllister Mystery series. Midnight Snacks are Murder is the second book in the series and was released July 31, 2018.
Kathy: In Midnight Snacks are Murder Aunt Ginny is sleepwalking. Were you ever a sleepwalker? Or do you know someone who sleepwalks?
LK: The answer to both is yes. When I was little, I was on a sleepover, and the next morning they told me that I’d been wandering around the house in the middle of the night trying to get out the front door, muttering that I had to go home. I don’t remember any of it. Who knows how many other times I’d done it? When my daughter was very little she was a sleepwalker. She would come down the stairs looking drugged up and spouting nonsense. It was horror movie level terrifying! It can also be very dangerous. I had a friend in high school who would sleepwalk regularly. One night he yelled SHAZAAM! And threw himself down a flight of stairs. I’m sorry, but that’s just hilarious.
Kathy: Poppy McAllister has a gluten-free baking business. What's the most challenging things about a gluten-free diet?
LK: Eating out is hard. Especially eating out with other people. No one wants to be the guy who can’t go to two dozen different places because they don’t have a gluten free menu. I hate seeing my friends jump through hoops to find a safe restaurant for me when I know they really want to go to the fancy new “Gluten Palooza” in town. Then there is always the risk that the waitstaff is wrong about your order being gluten free, or there will be cross contamination in the kitchen. And inevitably, there will be something on the menu that sounds amazing that doesn’t come gluten free and once again I’ll be stuck with a salad – hold the croutons.
Kathy: You include recipes in your books. Do you enjoy cooking? What's your favorite dish to make?
LK: I like to cook, but I love to bake. I have a couple of recipes that I make all the time, gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies, but I really like trying new things and making up recipes. One of my very favorites is in Midnight Snacks Are Murder. There is a recipe for Gluten Free Honey Maple Pecan Shortbread that will knock your socks off! It’s so good I make it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
LK: Cozies have all the elements I love in a good book. A little humor, a little romance, a quirky cast of characters, and of course – a mystery to solve. I love a series so when one book ends you don’t have to say goodbye because another one is coming to pick up where you left off. And of course, I love that they’re able to tell a good story without having to use a lot of sex, profanity and violence to do it.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
LK: Not yet, but one day I’d like to write some Chick-Lit and Christian Fiction.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
The Poppy McAllister Mysteries are about a plus sized widow in her early forties who gets suckered by her best friend into attending their 25th reunion in Cape May, or as she calls it, Beach Hell. At the reunion, she faces off against the bullies who made their lives miserable all through high school. One of the bullies ends up dead, then the other bully arrests Poppy for the murder. Through a twist of bad luck, Poppy ends up staying in Cape May to re-build her life and start over with her Aunt Ginny, who might be certifiably crazy, and her black smoke Persian, Sir Figaro Newton, who is certifiably naughty.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
LK: My favorite character is Aunt Ginny. She’s based on my grandmother and she’s so much fun to write. Aunt Ginny always knows just what to say and do… then does the opposite. She keeps me laughing the whole time I’m writing. And of course, I love Figaro. He’s based on my real life cat and his naughtiness is not made up.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
LK: I wanted to write something that encourages women to accept themselves for who they are no matter what may be their past, their age or their size. Your past choices don’t have to define you. You can make decisions today to change your life.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
LK: I wanted the tens of dollars that come rolling in when you’re a published author. Then I can retire to a ramshackle cabin in the woods and take up my dream of panhandling for loose change... I think I wanted the acceptance that what I had written was good enough to be published.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
LK: Tina Fey, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
LK: Jude Deveraux’s As You Wish.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
LK: I love baking, cats, coffee – thank God for commas, right? I watch way too much TV. I love to travel!
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
LK: Coconut oil, Almond flour, Homemade Vanilla, and Bacon.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
LK: The Poppy McAllister mysteries will have at least five books. The next in the series is Restaurant Weeks Are Murder, coming out March 2019.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
LK: I love getting fan mail, and hearing from people who loved my books and say they meant a lot to them.
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