I'm pleased to welcome Kris Bock to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Kris write the Accidental Detective Mystery series. Something Shady at Sunshine Haven is the first book in the series and was released last month.
Kathy: In Something Shady at Sunshine Haven we meet Kate Tessler, an injured war correspondent forced to return home. Have you ever had to return home as an adult?
KB: Not like Kate does! I spent summers back home when I was in college, and that created challenges in establishing a new relationship with my parents as an adult. It might be easier if you’d been apart for thirty years, but I think many people fall back into the parent-child relationship during visits, which isn’t always healthy. It takes work and respect to establish new patterns between two equal adults.
Kathy: Kate's mom is on an Alzheimer's unit. Do you have personal experience with this illness?
KB: My grandmother had Alzheimer’s. There’s a lot of it in my husband’s family as well, although not (yet) in the people I spend time with. I know people who are afraid of that as they grow older. It can sometimes be hard to tell if an older person is getting dementia, has trouble hearing, has the normal poor memory many of us have, or simply wasn’t paying attention.
Kathy: This book is described as a cozy, but it certainly has themes conducive to a thriller. Why make it a cozy and how do you keep it there?
KB: At the most basic level, a cozy has an amateur detective rather than a police officer or private investigator, and cozies avoid swearing, sex on the page, and gory violence. Many cozies also feature crafts or cooking in the plot and might include recipes or craft instructions. Mine doesn’t have anything like that. Kate is a journalist, which is an investigator in one sense, and Kate thinks about becoming a private investigator later in the series, so maybe it’s more of a traditional mystery. But it’s not like there are really strict definitions for these things. I think readers of cozies would enjoy the series.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
KB: I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, starting in childhood. I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories in high school. I’ve even been a ghostwriter on some very well-known children’s mystery series. I shy away from cozy series that are very cutesy, but on the other hand, I don’t like too much explicit violence or gore. Series featuring main characters who are police officers, FBI agents etc. tend to be darker and more depressing. I want to feel good when I finish the book! Cozy mysteries give you the intrigue of a puzzle, the fun of interesting characters, and a guaranteed satisfying ending.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
KB: I write fiction and nonfiction of all types for children and adults. As Kris Bock, I also write romantic suspense, often involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. I write sweet romance, such as my Furrever Friends series, which features the employees and customers at a cat café. (Learn more at my website or visit my Amazon US page or Amazon UK page. For other countries click here.)
In addition, I write for young people under the name Chris Eboch. I do a lot of educational publishing and have also published middle grade novels (for ages 9 to 12).
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
KB: In the humorous Accidental Detective series, a witty journalist solves mysteries in Arizona and tackles the challenges of turning fifty.
Book 1 is Something Shady at Sunshine Haven: When patients are dying at an Alzheimer's unit, a former war correspondent must use her journalism skills to uncover the killer and save her mother. Kate has followed the most dangerous news stories around the world, but can she survive going home?
Future books follow Kate and her quirky gang of sidekicks as they tackle new problems in the greater Phoenix area. Because Kate is a journalist, people bring her problems, so she doesn’t have to accidentally stumble over dead bodies all the time.
Something Shady at Sunshine Haven made Barnes & Noble's list of Handpicked Favorites You'll Love! Jane Porter on BookBub said, “I couldn't put it down. I loved reading a story where the heroine is so fascinating, as fascinating to me as the mystery. This promises to be an exciting series and I can't wait for the next!"
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
KB: Kate is the most like me, and since I’m writing in first person, I feel close to her. But I also adore her gentle father, her sister Jen, who is trying hard to focus her intense drive somewhere new now that her kids are older, and their father’s coffee group. I loved bringing these older characters to life, with their desire to help and their humor. I want the audience to laugh with them, not at them. Too often older characters are presented as jokes or pests.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
KB: Kate was inspired by my own experiences. Okay, the part about turning fifty, not traveling the world as a war correspondent. I traveled a lot when younger, but not to war zones. But as I faced 50, I wanted to create a mystery lead dealing with some of the same issues: aging parents, concerns about financing retirement someday, and a body that doesn’t recover like it once did. I gave Kate the background as a war correspondent because I wanted her to be adventurous and fearless.
I didn’t necessarily intend to write humor, but early readers said they laughed a lot. That comes from how Kate sees the world, which is how I see the world. Laughter helps with the pain.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
KB: I’ve been a professional writer in one way or another for over twenty years. For this series, I landed with a great small publisher, Tule, which is really supportive and excited about the series. Four books are in the pipeline with two more under contract.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
KB: Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers were both members of Detection Club, formed in 1930 by a group of British mystery writers. They'd be interesting. Maybe add Arthur Conan Doyle, who could grouse about the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, and PG Wodehouse, who wrote so many entertaining humorous novels.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
KB: I’ve been rereading lately, possibly because my mind is too tired to process completely new info. Most recently I’ve been rereading some books by KJ Charles (historical mystery, paranormal and romance) and the Magic in Manhattan series by Allie Therin.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
KB: I enjoy hiking with friends, and my husband and I try to do archery once or twice a week. We have ferrets, which are a fun pet. Most of my free time is spent reading though.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
KB: Chocolate, tea, taco fixings, and popcorn or similar salty snacks.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
KB: I’m writing a five-book sweet romance about cowboys who become billionaires when they win a huge lottery. The first book, which has a Christmas theme, will launch in the fall. The Accidental Detective series will have at least six books and hopefully more. I also have another mystery, set in Hollywood, but I haven’t found a publisher for it yet.
To hear about future releases, sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material, plus Lions and Love at the Cat Café, a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café, and “22 recipes from the cat café.”
I’m also writing a series with my brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find book 1 at Amazon US or All E-book retailers.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
KB: I get to work from home, in my small town, setting my own schedule, and I get to learn so many wildly different interesting things through my book research. Ostrich farming, the effects of strangulation, and laws about keeping big cats in America! How hackers can copy your fingerprints, license plate tracking, and small-town corruption cases! Like many writers, I just have to hope that if the FBI checks my browser history, they realize I’m a writer.
Something Shady at Sunshine Haven (The Accidental Detective) by Kris Bock
About Something Shady at Sunshine Haven
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Arizona
Tule Publishing (April 7, 2022)
Paperback : 324 pages
She’s pursued the most dangerous news stories around the world. But can she survive going home?
Injured in a bombing, war correspondent Kate Tessler returns to her hometown in Arizona to recover. For the first time in her life, she's starting to feel her age of nearly fifty despite living like a teenager again: staying in her childhood bedroom with only a cat for company, trying to understand why her sister resents her so much, and running into people who still refer to her as Kitty. The hardest part? Seeing her once-sharp and witty mother stuck in an Alzheimer's unit.
When an old friend asks her to investigate suspicious deaths at the nursing home, Kate limps into action. Is a self-appointed "Angel of Mercy" killing patients to end their suffering? Are family members hastening their inheritance? Is an employee extorting money and removing the witnesses? Kate uses her journalism skills to track clues, but the puzzle pieces simply won’t fit.
If Kate can't uncover the truth quickly, her mother could be next on the killer's list.
About Kris Bock
Kris Bock writes novels of mystery, suspense, and romance, many with outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Get a free Accidental Detective short story and bonus material when you sign up for her newsletter. You’ll also get a free 30-page sweet romance set in the world of the Furrever Friends cat café and a printable copy of the recipes mentioned in the cat café novels
Kris is also writing a series with her brother, scriptwriter Douglas J Eboch, who wrote the original screenplay for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. Follow the crazy antics of Melanie, Jake, and their friends a decade before the events of the movie. Sign up for our romantic comedy newsletter and get Felony Melanie Destroys the Moonshiner’s Cabin. Or find the books on Amazon US or All E-book retailers
Amazon US Author page or Amazon UK page.
Purchase Links - Tule Publishing Amazon Kindle - Amazon Kindle UK B&N Nook Apple Books Kobo Google Play
Thanks, Kathy! Great to be here.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for stopping by!Delete
What a wonderful interview Kathy! I'm excited to read this first book in Kris' series.ReplyDelete