I'm pleased to welcome back Lynn Cahoon to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Lynn starts a new series with ONE POISON PIE, her first Kitchen Witch Mystery which was released last month.
Kathy: ONE POISON PIE introduces readers to Mia Malone, a kitchen witch. Cooking is magic, but Kitchen Witches are able to make food even more special. Is the witchcraft found in your new series traditionally based or a product of your imagination?
LC: The kitchen witch traditionally is a doll that wards off evil spirits and brings good luck along with protecting your kitchen. The myth started in northern Europe and you can find them available to purchase online. I took that myth and started thinking about the village witch. The woman who had the herb garden that healed people in medieval days. Think a good version of the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Mia and her grandmother’s magic is focused on their healing powers, either with food or magic. I love the idea that there are people out there trying to keep the world from letting evil overtake it. And that being nice isn’t a trait that has been left behind in the past.
As I write the books, I’m finding out more and more about where Mia’s family magic came from. Mostly this is the story the books are telling me, not things that I’ve went looking for. I’m sure, my subconscious is working with magical stories I’ve read or watched in the past. Mixing it together into our my version of what a modern kitchen (or village) witch would be like.
Kathy: Mia moves back to her grandmother's hometown of Magic Springs, Idaho. What makes Idaho the perfect setting for your story?
LC: Idaho is amazing. Which I should stop telling people because they are already dealing with an influx of people moving there. I love the fact you can be in the desert, then by a mountain stream within two hours, maybe three. Magic Springs is set in the (real life) Sawtooth Mountains which is one of the prettiest places on earth. In the books, the Sawtooth’s are called the Magics. The area makes my heart soar and my soul calm. And there’s lots of places to hide a body.
Kathy: Mia starts a new gourmet dinner delivery business. Would you ever take advantage of such a business?
LC: I would! I’ve always wanted to have food delivered to my house. I live in a small town so I have the option of pizza or sandwiches for delivery. Neither of which are on a low carb diet approved food list. I haven’t tried the food in a box systems because I really don’t like frozen meals so I’ve been hesitant to something new. And, my husband is very choosy on what he likes.
Kathy: I'm happy to see that you add recipes to the book. How do you choose the recipes you want to include?
LC: I include recipes that are either from my childhood and reworked for today or recipes I love. I always make a recipe before I include it to remind myself how to make it work the best for an everyday kitchen chef. You can make some amazing food in your own kitchen with just a little work and preparation.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
LC: As I started planning the story, I knew I wanted to write a paranormal. Every idea I suggested to my husband who is my plotting brainstorming partner, especially on long road trips, he shot down. And he’d list off a movie that had that particular type of paranormal creature. I didn’t want to write shapeshifting ferrets, so I went back to research the lore of witches to find my cozy loving kitchen witch.
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
LC: I’m a gardener (panster.) I start with an idea, maybe a new business (like opening of Mia’s Morsels) and then I try to figure out what the community is like and who the villain is going to be, even if he isn’t the murder victim, which has happened. I have a very sparce outline that keeps me focused on days of the week during the story as well as places. Then I add in the three arcs and what should be happening including the cozy mystery ‘rules’. I list out the number of chapters I’ll have (based on book length) and what should be in the chapter. Like there better be a dead body by chapter 3.
Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?
LC: Actually, the nice thing about being an author is the only thing I’m required to do is write the book and do the editing. However, because I want sales, I market my book. Being an author is running a business. I don’t think T-Mobile would make many sales if they only did word of mouth marketing.
So I’d change ‘required’ to ‘get’ to do marketing. 😊 It makes a difference if you think marketing is a drudge or a pleasure. I enjoy spreading the word about my books, especially when I get to meet real people who either love my books or haven’t read one, so they need an introduction. Now that I’m home more, I miss that. I’m getting used to seeing my face and my voice on video. It’s a different medium for marketing, and it’s been taking some getting used to. 😊
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
LC: Of course! Here’s my current schedule for 2021.
2021 started with KILLER COMFORT FOOD A Farm to Fork mystery releasing January 5th.
ONE POISON PIE released January 26th.
PICTURE PERFECT FRAME, a Tourist Trap mystery, releases March 16th
MURDER 101, a Kitchen Witch novella, releases April 27th
A PUMPKIN SPICE KILLING, a Farm to Fork novella releases July 6th.
TWO WICKED DESSERTS, the second Kitchen Witch mystery releases July 27th
And HAVE A HOLLY, HAUNTED HOLIDAY, a Farm to Fork novella, releases in November.
ONE POISON PIE is a complex mystery seared with the ties of friendship and family. I look forward to reading more about Mia, her food, and the rest of her magickal world.
One Poison Pie (Kitchen Witch Mysteries) by Lynn Cahoon
About One Poison Pie
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
In the first in New York Times bestselling author Lynn Cahoon’s Kitchen Witch series, Mia Malone is starting over in Magic Springs, Idaho—where murder is on the menu . . .
What’s a kitchen witch to do when her almost-fiancé leaves her suddenly single and unemployed? For Mia Malone, the answer’s simple: move to her grandmother’s quirky Idaho hometown, where magic is an open secret and witches and warlocks are (mostly) welcome. With a new gourmet dinner delivery business—and a touch of magic in her recipes—Mia’s hopes are high. Even when her ex’s little sister, Christina, arrives looking for a place to stay, Mia takes it in stride.
But her first catering job takes a distasteful turn when her client’s body is found, stabbed and stuffed under the head table. Mia’s shocked to learn that she’s a suspect—and even more so when she realizes she’s next on a killer’s list. With Christina, along with Mia’s meddling grandma, in the mix, she’ll have to find out which of the town’s eccentric residents has an appetite for murder…before this fresh start comes to a sticky end. . . .
About Lynn Cahoon
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. She also pens the Cat Latimer series, the Farm to Fork series, and the Kitchen Witch series. Small town setting, big time fun with a bit of murder to keep it interesting. Romance novels are published under the pen name, Lynn Collins. She lives in a small river town like Mark Twain with her husband and three fur kids..
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- Website – http://lynncahoon.com/