Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. Here is the story behind her latest Tea Shop Mystery, Broken Bone China.
It’s all about competition
“I want my readers to know that I care about them immensely and will always try to give them a rip-roaring story. I know their reading time is limited so I don’t fool around with tons of build-up and description. I drop them right into the story – with a murder in chapter one – and hope they stay for the ride!”
Laura also said this interest in her readers is why she mainly focuses on her book’s entertainment value. “These days, books no longer just compete with other books, they are jostling for share of mind with social media, cable and streaming TV, the Internet, casinos, shopping malls, professional sports, movies, etc. That’s why I try to make my mysteries laugh-out-loud funny and over-the-top exciting. I truly believe from the bottom of my adrenaline-charged heart that even a cozy mystery needs to deliver constant blips of pulse-pounding excitement to its reader. Have you ever heard of a thrillzy? Well, I coined that particular term and it perfectly describes the kind of books that I write – cozy mysteries that have the breakneck pace of a thriller. I mean, it’s fabulous to include knitting and tea drinking and crafts in a mystery – in fact, many of those past-times are my stock in trade. But I also love to flip the script and add a ginormous helping of car chases, fires, explosions, ghostly specters, romance, and crazy BFF capers.”
Attack of the drones
“I was watching an amazing hot-air balloon rally last summer and suddenly thought, ;What if a rogue drone flew in there and attacked one of the balloons?’ This so delighted me that I turned it into the kickoff chapter for Broken Bone China, my brand new Tea Shop Mystery.”
While coming up with plot lines while watching something fun like a hot-air balloon rally sounds like a lot of fun, Laura wants her readers to understand she views writing as a very serious business. “This is not a side gig that I do when the muse strikes me. I work at this all day, every day, often six days a week. Also, before I commit to a storyline, I analyze different plots, characters, and themes, trying to figure out what I think will most capture a reader’s fancy and be current and relevant. I try to be mindful and respectful of my readers’ time!”
“The most enjoyable thing I’ve ever done was visit a tea plantation in Japan’s Shizuoka (Kingdom of Green Tea) region. This is an area close to Mount Fuji (gorgeous!) so the volcanic soil is perfect for tea growing. There are also ryokans (guest houses), sake breweries, and spas where you can soak in a bath of hot tea!
“The craziest thing I’ve done in the guise of research was take part in Mardi Gras in New Orleans. My husband had good friends who were members of the Rex krewe so we had an instant ‘in.’ On Fat Tuesday we donned elaborate costumes and actually marched in one of the parades, enjoyed a fancy champagne brunch, tossed beads from a balcony in the French Quarter, then changed into black tie to attend the ultra-fancy Rex Ball that evening. It was a whirlwind of a day!”
Find out more about the author at laurachilds.com,a Rafflecopter giveaway