I'm pleased to welcome Vikki Walton to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Vikki writes the Backyard Farming Mystery Series. Fungi Foul Plays is the seventh book in the series and was released earlier this month.
Kathy: In Fungi Foul Play Hope runs a mushroom workshop. I find mushrooms fascinating, even though I don’t enjoy eating them. Did you know a lot about mushrooms before writing this book? What most interests you about them?
VW: I have been interested in mushrooms, especially when I learned that the mushroom we see is only the “fruit”. Mycelium is the actual main fungi and is extremely beneficial and necessary to our world. I enjoy eating them as well. I have grown oysters and the standard white button mushroom.
Kathy: This book is the seventh in the Backyard Farming series. Have you ever had a farm, or a big garden? What are some of your favorite things to plant?
VW: I love gardening and have had a suburban homestead with chickens, bees, and lots of various gardens. Raised bed, in ground, vertical, etc. I’m also a certified permaculture designer, so my favorite things to plant are perennials. I often plant items that return year after year, such as asparagus, strawberries, herbs, etc.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
VW: As a girl, I loved Nancy Drew. As I grew up, my attention shifted to the Queen of mystery, Agatha Christie. I love trying to figure out “who-dun-it.” I usually know before it’s revealed, but when I don’t figure it out, that makes it even more satisfying.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
VW: Yes. I’ve written some nonfiction, but also write women’s historical fiction under a pen name. I will also be branching out into some Later in Life Romance.
Kathy: Kathy: Tell us about your series.
VW: Light-hearted, clean, cozy mysteries that makes you want to meet the characters and visit the town.
I currently have three series.
The Backyard Farming series is set in the fictional town of Carolan Springs, Colorado.
The Taylor Texas series is set in the Texas Hill Country with a pie-baking, horse-riding sleuth.
I also have a series with 60-year-old global pet-sitting amateur sleuth.
In a short story I did with all the characters, I also introduced a new character that I have in the works for their own series.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
VW: While I like them all equally, I’ll go with Anne as she was my first book character along with funny Kandi who makes me chuckle.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
VW: My inspiration when I started writing was my backyard farm. Since then, I’ve started doing travel as a global house and pet sitter. When things shut down for a few years, I put that series on the back burner for a bit. My Texas series came about when the character of Christie “arrived” in Book 2, Cordial Killing.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
VW: I wrote my first book when my daughter had to take part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It was a big part of her English grade, so I said I’d always wanted to write a mystery, so I’d do it alongside her. I finished the book but didn’t publish for over a year as I worked on edits and learning to publish. I love having various streams of income—I wrote a nonfiction book on that—so I put it out and then I was hooked.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
VW: Oh, that’s a hard one. Definitely Agatha Christie, though she was extremely shy, so didn’t enjoy talking a lot. I think of Dorothy Sayers, as I feel we might have some things in common and I enjoy her books. Too many authors living for me to want to have dinner with, so I’ll stick with those two.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
VW: I tend to read what I write, though sometimes I’ll read something different. Just finished Herbs and Homicide by Carly Winter and deciding on another mystery or a switch to historical fiction.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
VW: I live in Colorado, so I love getting out on the trails hiking. Travel is another thing I like to do, which is why I started house-sitting some years ago. I get to stay in homes, cuddle up with pets, and get to explore new places like a resident versus a tourist. I love gardens and architecture and history, so I usually gravitate to those things when I travel.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
VW: I primarily eat whole-food plant-based, so the top items I always have on hand are oatmeal, various berries, greens, brown rice, and potatoes.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
VW: Yes. I’ll keep writing until I can’t write any more. I have a book I need to write for my Taylor Texas series—Death Wakes A Snake, and I’ll be writing another historical women’s fiction this summer.
Kathy: What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
VW: Seeing characters appear out of thin air and having stories pop into my head. I actually have so many ideas for stories, I could never finish them all. I love hearing from readers that my books made them laugh, or cry, or touched their hearts in some way. For my nonfiction, I love hearing that I’ve inspired them to do something in their life.
The author is generously offering a digital copy to one reader who comments on this blog post. Simply respond with your e-mail address (so I can contact you should you win), the digital format you need, and what you think about mushrooms! Do this no later than 11:59pm Eastern on Friday, June 2, 2023 for a chance at this giveaway.
Fungi Foul Play: A Small Town Colorado Cozy Mystery (Backyard Farming Series) by Vikki Walton
About Fungi Foul Play
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series
Setting – Colorado
Morewellson, Ltd. (May 7, 2023)
Paperback: 260 pages
Can Anne help her friend from being charged as a murder suspect?
Newlywed Anne is dismayed at the idea of closing the Inn and tensions run high as Hope leads a mushroom workshop. When fingers point toward Hope for causing a death, Anne must help her friend before she loses everything. Was the death a tragic accident or is someone out to destroy Hope? Or is there an even more sinister plot at hand?
Fungi Foul Play is Book Seven in the Backyard Farming series. Each book can be read as a standalone. However, if you enjoy getting to know the quirky characters who live in the town, here are the books in the series. Chicken Culprit Cordial Killing Honey Homicide Christmas Capers Potager Plot Duck Disaster Fungi Foul Play
About Vikki Walton
Vikki Walton writes sassy sleuths and clever clues. Her mysteries are clean so no blushes. She has three cozy series: one set in a fictional town in Colorado, one set in a real town in Texas, and one that takes place at various places around the globe. When not out hiking the beautiful Colorado trails, you can find her pursuing her passions of gardening, traveling, and of course, reading great cozies!
Purchase Links https://books2read.com/FungiFoulPlay7aff