Kathy: In PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN MURDER we meet Jolie Tucker, co-owner of the restaurant Cast Iron Creations. Have you ever wanted to work in the food industry?
JR: I worked in fast food during my college years. I love to cook, and my husband and I watch the Food Network all the time. We have entertained the idea of opening a restaurant or pizzeria someday, but we’ll see.
Kathy: Do you enjoy cooking? What style is your favorite?
JR: I love to experiment with recipes and try new things. Cooking with cast iron skillets is my favorite thing to do. I feel like the food always comes out so much better. I’ve never had any meat come out better than when I cook it in the cast iron skillet.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite recipe or thing you like to cook or bake?
JR: I love baking my Grandma Evelyn’s pineapple upside down cake in the 70-year-old cast iron skillet she gave me (she has only ever made that cake in that skillet).
Kathy: Jolie Tucker's family has secret recipes. Does your family, or anyone in it, have a secret recipe.
JR: The pineapple upside down cake is a secret recipe. I gave the basic recipe in the back of the book, but there is a note there that I embedded the secret in book one if anyone can find it.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
JR: I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. I used to love the choose your own adventure books. I’m not sure you could call them cozy mysteries, but I remember I used to read one ending then I’d take guesses at what the other endings were…that was kind of like a mystery to me. I loved them because they were like puzzles to solve. As I got older, I found mystery to be my favorite genre. I’d have to say that Madelyn Alt, Heather Blake, Amanda Flower, etc. drew me into cozies because I wanted to live in those places and know everyone.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
JR: I do nonfiction educational writing too. I have an idea for a children’s book series based off my cats. I have an outline for a young adult book called THE CULTURAL MISHAPS OF SAVANNAH LIGHTHEAD. Lastly, I have sketched out an idea for a psychological thriller as well. I tend to slowly plug away at these other projects, but I find myself spending the majority of my time working on the cozy series.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
JR: The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series will have fourteen books in the series. Two themes will continue to develop throughout the series: one is how family and close friends spark both love and hate relationship, and the other will deal with urban sprawl. There will be a stand-off at some point between the people in the village and the people in the city, and the characters will need to find ways to work through their problems/issues with each other and find a compromise. I think this is a big issue in our society today. There needs to be more tolerance and more stepping back to find solutions to problems instead of causing more problems. So, I am enjoying researching these topics to add to the series.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
JR: I would have to say Villanelle from the book CODENAME VILLANELLE by Luke Jennings. The book is amazing; the character is beyond words! The TV series is a must watch as well.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
JR: My family was the inspiration for my series. Also, I was a high school teacher for close to 20 years. My students are inspirations as well.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
JR: I’ve wanted to write since I was a little kid. Having the time to do so finally was a no-brainer for me.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
JR: Hunter S. Thompson, Plato, Emily Dickinson, and Flannery O’ Connor.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
JR: Jane Cleland’s MASTERING SUSPENSE, STRUCTURE, AND PLOT and Janet Evanovich’s LOOK ALIVE TWENTY-FIVE.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
JR: I do kickboxing, pilates, yoga, and free weights to help release stress and to get up from sitting so much to write. I love to research, read, write, and I sketch with charcoal and paint with acrylics. My husband and I have eight cats all that live inside with us, so I would call that a hobby too!
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
JR: Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Chocolate icing, and tortillas.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
JR: I have 13 other books in The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. I have two other cozy series planned out that will have five books each in them. One is Gemma’s Bohemian Jewelry Series, and the other is Peggy’s Purse Boutique Series.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
JR: I love stories. Stories are my life. I love to listen to songs, watch well-written TV programs, watch well-written movies, read books, create art, play video games—all of these things create a story. Every story has a theme, and many themes are universal. Stories are entertainment, but stories are life. Being able to publish a book and create a story world that others can connect and relate to is a wonderful experience that I am proud to do. I have spent my life watching, reading, listening to other peoples’ stories and connecting with them. Now, I get to give back.
Pineapple Upside Down Murder (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series) by Jodi Rath
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
MYS ED llc (November 23, 2018)
Print Length: 130 pages
Introducing Jolie Tucker, an introverted yet passionate restaurant co-owner of Cast Iron Creations, who, at her best friend Ava’s request, steps out of her comfort zone which leads her into the shade of a killer in the small, cozy village of Leavensport, Ohio. The victim is the villages beloved Ellie Siler who runs the village sweet spot, Chocolate Capers. Jolie finds her grandma Opal is a prime suspect and goes on a search for answers only to find out that her families secret recipes may not belong to the Tucker family at all. Jolie’s job, family, and livelihood are all on the line. The answers are assuredly lethal.
About the Author
Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her seven cats.
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