October 29, 2016

Jenny Kales - Cozy Mystery Author Spotlight and Interview

I am going to be hosting a number of cozy mystery authors on my blog for the next two months. If you have not had the pleasure of enjoying a cozy mystery I encourage you to do so. The cozy mystery industry as a whole is in danger of being lost as the publishers are ending a number of series. Please note that not all series I will be sharing are in danger. There are many that will be continuting on as normal. I just wanted to do my part to make everyone aware of this genre as a whole. 

Today I will be showcasing Jenny Kales

About this author:
Jenny Kales is the author of ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK, the first in The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series. Her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie’s Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes.

A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.

Keep up with author news for Jenny Kales by following her on social media: Facebook (Jenny Kales Mystery Author), Twitter @Jenny_Kales, Instagram (jennykales_author) and Goodreads. Visit her website at https://jennykales.wordpress.com/

Where to follow this author:

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing?
I wanted to write as soon as I could read. I wanted to be able to give people that wonderful feeling of escaping into a good book that captures the imagination. When I read "Harriet the Spy" for the first time, I decided that being a writer is about the best thing you can be.

2. What do you do to help you get over writer's block?

I start writing down chapter outlines or working out plot points. That seems to do the trick. Also, I will read over what I've written the day before -- that seems to give me a good jumping off point.

3. Do you have scheduled writing time or a certain amount of words you write each day?

I try to write every day for at least 2 hours. I also write at least one day of the weekend,.If I miss a day, I make up for it by "double-booking" on another day. This is especially important when I'm trying to complete a project.

4. How did you choose this genre to write?
I love reading all mysteries, but cozy mysteries really captured my imagination. I like the fact that they take you into an idyllic setting that you'd want to visit, with fun, quirky people -- but that there is a dark side when a murder takes place. I like that dichotomy. I also like how cozy mysteries will help restore a sense of justice and order -- something that doesn't always happen in the "real world." It's a good escape, and solving the mystery makes you use your brain. Can you tell I love this genre?

5. Where do you get your ideas for your books?

My "Callie's Kitchen" series is inspired by my frequent visits to the Geneva Lakes area of Wisconsin. It's a nice getaway spot and tourist destination with great shops and restaurants and scenery -- so I thought, why not write a cozy mystery set there? Calliope Costas and her family, are inspired by the many people I've met by marrying into a Greek-American family.

6. When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love to read! I also love British TV (especially the mysteries) and cooking shows. I enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling with my family and I love to bake and cook -- of course, Greek foods are a family favorite.

7. What one piece of advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?
Only you can write with your unique voice. Keep improving your craft. Edit mercilessly but love your story and believe in it -- or readers won't!

8. Who is your favorite author or book that you would like to recommend to your readers?
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. An oldie, but a goodie. If you've never read it, you're missing out! It's also influenced so much suspense and mystery writing.

9. If you could meet any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why?
Colin Firth. Because...Mr. Darcy!

10. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you like to visit?

I'd love to visit Scotland because I love Outlander . I'd like to visit Greece with my family -- my husband has been there many times and speaks fluent Greek.

11. Five interesting facts about yourself
I'm tall-- 6 feet!
I once was a semi-finalist in the Chicago Tribune Christmas Cookie competition using a variation on a cookie recipe from a 1950s Greek church cookbook.
The first (and so far, only) time I visited Paris was on my honeymoon.
One of my freelance essays appeared on The TODAY Show Parents site. That was pretty exciting.
I'm finishing up the second book in the Callie's Kitchen mystery series -- it comes out in November!

What did I learn about this author:
Jenny uses Geneva Lakes, Wisconsin as the inspiration of the setting for her books. She also enjoys watching British mystery tv show. Like me she would love to visit Scotland because of her love of The Outlander. What are some things you learned?

Stay tuned for the next author!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks -- it was wonderful to get to do this interview with you!