Kathy: Mallory Shepard is a professional wedding planner. Have you ever used a professional wedding planner?
SB: I have not used a professional wedding planner. This is both a blessing and a curse! It’s advantageous because I can dream up plot points and ideas without being constrained. But it does make for later research, when I circle back to make sure a wedding planner would handle certain details and scenarios the way I describe them in my books.
Kathy: In GOWN WITH THE WIND Mallory has to plan a GONE WITH THE WIND themed wedding. Are you a fan of the book or movie?
SB: I read the book as a teenager and recall being awed. I appreciate the movie for its cinematic richness. I was also interested to revisit the book and film in light of critiques regarding their historical accuracy and portrayal of the Civil War Era South. In the end, I do appreciate the book and movie for its representations of strong women.
Kathy: If you had to plan a themed wedding, either for you or someone else, what theme would you most like to use?
SB: I would love to plan a winter holiday-themed wedding. I’m a sucker for parties that take place in December, with all of the lights, greenery, and built-in good cheer of the season. Hm… maybe that’s why my own wedding was in December!
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
SB: I was living in Los Angeles after I graduated college, and I dearly missed Baltimore, where I’d lived just before. I wanted to revisit the city, if only by going there vicariously through fiction. I read Laura Lippman’s BALTIMORE BLUES. Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series might not quite be considered a cozy series, but it could be categorized as traditional mystery. It was a wonderful book, I was hooked, and from that point on, I read as many mysteries as I could get my hands on! I loved the quirky characters, small town details, and themes I found in cozies.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
SB: Not yet.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
SB: My series features Mallory Shepard, a wedding planner and bed and breakfast purveyor by day, and an occasional amateur sleuth off the clock. I’ve set the series in Port Quincy, Pennsylvania, and love to explore themes involving families and friends and relationships.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
SB: I love writing both sisters in the series, Mallory and Rachel. It’s fun to play up their differences, but also circle back to the fierce loyalty they have for each other. Mallory keeps Rachel grounded, and Rachel helps Mallory dream big and step outside her comfort zone.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
SB: I think a lot about setting and place. I always go back to my upbringing in Western Pennsylvania, and the towns I lived and worked in there. I think about current events in the region, and what makes the place unique. I try to instill that in my series.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
SB: I always wanted to write a novel and get it published. At certain points in my life I pushed that goal off to the side, but I am so thrilled to be writing books that other people get to read!
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
SB: Beverly Cleary, E.M. Forster, Agatha Christie, and J.K. Rowling.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
SB: Jennifer Worth’s CALL THE MIDWIFE.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
SB: I love to cook! We’re a food allergy household, so I am always trying out new dishes we can cook from scratch with the foods we can safely eat.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
SB: Blue corn chips, banana peppers, dark roast coffee, and clementines.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
SB: I recently finished the next book in the series, MARRY CHRISTMAS MURDER. It will be out in late September, 2019. It was fun to finish a holiday book just as the holidays were gearing up!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
SB: My favorite thing is spending time with my characters. I love crafting stories around what I think they would do, what they would want, and how they are developing. I like to see them grow and change, just like real people.
Gown with the Wind (A Wedding Planner Mystery) by Stephanie Blackmoore
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .
Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.
But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .
About the Author
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below.
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