**Author Peek** Interview with Margaret Mizushima
HUNTING HOUR, A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
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.
Hello, everyone! And thank you for hosting me on your blog, Karen. I’m Margaret Mizushima, author of the Timber Creek K-9 mysteries, a series set in my home state of Colorado. I’m married to a veterinarian, and I balance writing with assisting him with his clinic and our Angus cattle herd. I haven’t had much time for hobbies lately, but I love to read and to hike in the mountains whenever I have a chance.
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
I write mysteries. I’ve always loved to read crime fiction, and I’m addicted to watching true crime documentaries on TV, so it seemed like a good fit. I wanted to work in a veterinarian as a character, so I created Cole Walker, DVM, a vet who has a rural clinic outside the fictional town of Timber Creek. He needed a crime-solving counterpart, so I added Deputy Mattie Cobb and her German shepherd K-9 partner, Robo. Together they solve crimes that affect their peaceful mountain community while a love interest sparks between Mattie and Cole; she’s already head over heels about her partner Robo.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
I would love to be able to fly. Have you ever had those dreams where you fly? I often dream that I’m teaching people how to fly; I tell them to lean forward, spread their arms, and we all take off. So simple! Those are the best dreams ever!
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
Yes, I get stuck occasionally—wish I didn’t, but I do! I usually get up from the keyboard and walk around the house for awhile. Or I visit about the next few plot points with my husband or a writing friend, and we brainstorm together. Things almost always come clear soon.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
One of the hardest parts of writing for me is slogging through the middle section of the first draft. I usually know the beginning and end of each book, but the middle is often a challenge.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Since we raise cattle, we have our own grass fed, Angus beef in the freezer. So if you were a meat-eater, I’d grill a steak for you with baked sweet potato fries and a salad. If you were vegetarian or vegan, I’d ask my husband to cook Asian food for us.
6. What is your typical day like?
After a simple breakfast of a green smoothie or gluten free toast, I head upstairs to my home office with a cup of herbal tea. I light a candle and write for three to four hours. In the afternoon, when I’m brain dead, I work on my bookkeeping duties for our business.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
My editor pointed out that I sometimes skimp on Deputy Mattie Cobb’s emotional component whenever I write scenes where she and Robo are tracking someone. I think it’s easy for me to write Cole Walker’s emotions, because most of his are related to animal care and taking care of his kids. I know those experiences intimately. But I have to stretch when I write Mattie’s scenes, so they often demand the most revision.
8. How likely are the people you meet going to end up in your next book?
Not very likely. I might borrow traits from real people here and there to create a character, but I don’t put the people themselves in my stories.
9. Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
My primary protagonist is Mattie Cobb. She brings a lot of baggage from her past that has made her a loner who is slow to trust. This becomes a double-edged sword for her, giving her one of her biggest strengths which is also a weakness. She is independent and spunky, but her distrust gets in the way of her forming relationships and working with partners. Teaming up with her K-9 partner becomes her mission in life.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
Book three in the series, Hunting Hour, releases August 8, 2017. When the story opens, Mattie has withdrawn from Cole and his kids to work on issues from her past; but when she and Robo find a junior high student dead behind the high school, everything changes. As the investigation heats up, another child goes missing, and this time it’s one of Cole’s daughters. Matti and Robo lead the entire community in the hunt for the girl, hoping to catch a kidnapper before it’s too late.
Be sure to come back to learn more about Margaret’s novel, HUNTING HOUR, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Links to Margaret’s website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Margaret, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!