I'm pleased to welcome Carol Pouliot to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Carol pens the Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series.
Kathy: The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series brings a detective from 1934 together with a woman from the present day. Have you ever dreamed about traveling through time yourself?
CP: Yes. I’m fascinated by ancient Egypt and have read all of Pauline Gedge’s books. It would be amazing to visit during the time of the pharaohs, when the Pyramids were being built, and when Hatshepsut’s temple was constructed. Hatshepsut is one of my heroes.
Kathy: What made you choose the 1930s as your era? If you were to travel through time yourself would you pick this time period or sometime else?
CP: I am drawn to the Golden Age of Travel. I picture myself packing trunks, suitcases, and hatboxes and boarding a sleek ocean liner or train. The 1930s would be my first choice if I were to travel into the past. I’d want to be in Europe and take the Simplon Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul.
Kathy: If you were to meet someone from another time period in your house, would you prefer to introduce him to your world or visit his?
CP: I’d want to visit his. That’s why I chose to have Olivia make increased visits into Steven’s time. In books 2 and 3 in the series, Threshold of Deceit and Death Rang the Bell, Olivia spends a lot of time in 1934. I’m sure from Steven’s point of view, he’d rather spend more time in the future, but his murder investigations keep him pretty much in his own time.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
CP: Like so many of us, I read all the Nancy Drew books when I was a kid. Later on, I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s mysteries and proceeded to read all of those. As a reader, I enjoy solving the puzzle, looking for clues, and trying to figure out not only who but also why the crime was committed. Now, as a writer, I like the challenge of creating the plot and sprinkling the story with real clues−and red herrings!
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
CP: I wrote two memoir-type pieces for Victoria magazine. When I sat down to write the first one, a real sense of satisfaction washed over me. I knew I had to spend the rest of my life writing. I’ve recently been convinced to write a blog on my updated website that launches soon. I’ve been enjoying that a lot. It allows me to be creative in a different way. I plan to post one each month. They’ll deal with a variety of topics−New Beginnings, Beer, Writers’ Conferences, Rituals, Art, and Cars−are some of the posts that I’m writing.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
CP: My series is The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries. Steven Blackwell, a Depression-era cop, comes face to face with Olivia Watson, a 21st-century journalist, when time folds over in the house they share−80 years apart. They begin a friendship, learn to travel to each other’s time, and eventually Olivia helps Steven uncover the killer, becoming his “partner in crime.”
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
CP: Naturally, I love Steven and Olivia. But, if I had to pick a supporting character it would be Jimmy Bou (short for Bourgogne, pronounced boo.) He’s a young patrolman, extremely enthusiastic about his work. He idolizes Steven, who is his mentor. Jimmy’s awkward but extremely good at his job. He’s loveable, like a puppy, and very funny.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
CP: Yes. When I was teaching I sometimes took a different route to school in the morning. I’d pass a tall brick house, situated alone on a hill surrounded by an extensive lawn. I began to imagine that some kind of otherworldly phenomenon could easily happen there. In that particular isolated location, anything would be believable. I ended up pairing this with my idea of using Einstein’s theory that all time happens simultaneously and time can fold over. When the idea hit me, all of a sudden I could see Steven’s and Olivia’s entire story−all the way to the end of the series.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
CP: I wanted to share my stories.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
CP: Ooh! This is an interesting question. I’m not sure if my choices would make for good dinner guests but here goes: Agatha Christie, Honoré de Balzac, Henrik Ibsen, and Martha Grimes.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
CP: I just finished all 8 books in Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series and I loved them! A while ago, I was in a used bookstore and came upon three novels by E. Phillips Oppenheim, who was a bestselling British mystery and thriller writer at the beginning of the 20th century. He wrote over 150 novels and is considered to be one of the inventors of the thriller. I’m reading his political thriller The Spy Paramount, which takes place in Europe in 1934.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
CP: Travel is my passion, especially overseas. I still want to go to Tibet and I’d love to visit the Arctic Circle before it’s gone. I like playing cards and board games. I enjoy visiting art and history museums.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
CP: Fresh tomatoes (on the counter, of course), lettuce (artisan or spring mix), natural chunky peanut butter, rye bread.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
CP: At this point, I envision 7 books in the Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries. If the series takes off and readers want more, I can do that.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
CP: Talking with people who love my books and meeting other authors. Actually, that’s tied with the creative process. I love coming up with the plots and watching the story unfold!
Carol Pouliot holds a BA in French and Spanish and an MA in French. She has taught French, Spanish, German, and English. She also owned and operated a translating agency for 20 years in Upstate New York. Carol’s work has appeared in Victoria magazine. She is the author of The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series, which includes Doorway to Murder (Book #1) and Threshold of Deceit (Book #2). She is a proud member of Sisters in Crime. To learn more about Carol and The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery series, visit www.carolpouliot.com.
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