Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I grew up near Wellsboro, a small town in north-central Pennsylvania. It’s about four hours from Philly, Pittsburg, and NYC and a few miles from the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. If you’re not from the area and know the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, I’ll be super impressed.
I’ve moved around a bit since and now live in southern Colorado with my husband and 22-pound housecat. We all spend as much time as we can in New Mexico. When I’m not writing (or thinking I should be writing), I love cooking, reading, and dabbling in crafts. My current craft loves are embroidery and papercutting. Neither requires a lot of supplies, and they’re fun and inexpensive to experiment with. I’ve also been taking blacksmithing lessons because wouldn’t it be cool to command steel! Unfortunately, blacksmithing is nowhere near as easy as it appears on YouTube videos. Even if I give up, I figure I’ll put a strong blacksmith character in a future book (or all future books!)
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
The Santa Fe Café Mysteries are culinary cozies. They combine the two genres I can’t resist at bookstores and libraries: cookbooks and mysteries. I’ve long loved cozies for their fun themes—cooking, crafts, DYI—and for their every-woman heroines who solve crimes and would also make great friends in real life.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Teletransportation! I love to travel but dread flying and long drives. How wonderful would it be to click your heels or magic ruby slippers and go anywhere? I’d visit my relatives without a three-flight haul, drop by Iceland and Scotland like I’ve always wanted, and show up in Santa Fe all the time for important culinary “research.”
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
I can usually force myself to write even if I’m not inspired. But then the problem can be slogging off in a wrong direction. In that case, I’ll try to re-outline or imagine the worst possibility for my character. I’ll also try to skip ahead a day or two in the story if my characters and I get bogged down.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
First revisions can be painful. I’ll chop paragraphs, multiple chapters, even entire beginnings of books. When the word count plummets, it’s a terrible feeling that days, weeks, or months have been wasted. But if the story comes out better, the next revision is a lot more fun and worth the pain.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Oh, I’m so glad you asked. Meatballs! I’m always telling my husband (who likes grilling) that meatballs are the perfect dinner-guest food. They’re practically foolproof if you bake them or, better yet, braise them in their sauce. They’re comforting and you can fancy them up with different spices and serve them with pasta, polenta, couscous…practically anything! I could go on and on about meatballs. For vegetarians, I’d serve another favorite dish: spinach and mushroom lasagna.
6. What is your typical day like? When working on a first draft, I write almost every day, usually in the morning. I’ll try to resist doing anything fun or even non-fun (the tempting laundry or gym) until I meet my word-count or scene goal for the day.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why? Mmm…all of those can be difficult. I’m going to pick emotions. As a writer, you know if you’re building up a character’s hope and happiness so you can devastate her later. I feel bad for nice characters, anticipating what’s coming.
8. How likely are the people you meet going to end up in your next book? Ha! Truly, not very likely. I do keep a notebook of distinctive traits and things I can’t believe people actually say and do, but I’ve never tried to replicate anyone real in fiction.
However, if you ask my mother, she’ll swear she’s the visiting mother in Feliz Navidead. No, no. I merely incorporated a few traits my mom happens to share with lots of Southwest visitors, like concern for dehydration and fear that all those outdoor Christmas candles in paper bags will set the entire region on fire.
9. Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses. Rita Lafitte is a forty-something, recently divorced mother to a teenage daughter. She’s not a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but she loves her new hometown as well as her job as a chef at Tres Amigas Café. Rita’s biggest strength is her dedication to her friends and family. In all the books, she steps up when she thinks someone she loves might be in danger.
Weaknesses: like me, Rita can’t resist cheesy chile rellenos and other New Mexican culinary delicacies. She also has a weakness for a certain hunky, Stetson-wearing lawyer, Jake Strong.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
Feliz Navidead, book three of the Santa Fe Café Mysteries, came out a few weeks ago (Oct. 25). It’s Christmas in Santa Fe, and Rita hopes the twinkling lights and tasty holiday treats will charm her visiting Midwest mom. She’s also planning fun activities, such as watching her teenage daughter, Celia, perform in an outdoor Christmas play. What she doesn’t plan for is murder.
When Rita discovers a dead actor during the premier performance, she vows to keep clear of the case. Sleuthing would outrage her mom. Besides, there’s already a prime suspect, caught red-handed in his bloodied Santa suit. However, when the accused Santa’s wife begs for assistance—and points out that Celia and other performers could be in danger—Rita can’t say no. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.
Be sure to come back to learn more about Ann Myers and her book, FELIZ NAVIDEAD on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Links to Ann’s website, blog, books, etc.
Feliz Navidead: http://amzn.to/2g4nBQt
Please stop by and say hi or catch up on book news on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMyers.writer/
I also have some recipes and photos at http://www.annmyersbooks.com/
And you can find my books at
Or order from your favorite local bookstore. A shout-out to some of my favorite indie booksellers: From My Shelf Books and Gifts (http://www.wellsborobookstore.com/, Wellsboro), Hooked on Books (http://hookedonbooksco.com/, Colorado Springs), Garcia Street Books (http://garciastreetbooks.com/, Santa Fe), and Tattered Cover (http://www.tatteredcover.com/, Denver).
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Ann is giving away a copy of one of her books (Bread of the Dead, Cinco de Mayhem, or Feliz Navidead, winner’s choice) to one lucky reader who comments on her Author Peek Interview or Killer Book Bench blogs. Good luck!
Thanks, Ann, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!