**Author Peek** Interview with Rhonda Blackhurst
FINDING ABBY, Whispering Pines Mysteries
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 on a lake in northcentral Minnesota, but have lived in Colorado for 22 years, long enough to be considered a native. But part of my heart will always stay in Minnesota with the lakes and forests. I work as a Restitution Advocate at a District Attorney’s Office by day and squeeze in writing time in the evenings and on the weekends. I love to walk and hike—anything in nature, really, as long as it doesn’t include spiders or snakes—read, spend time with my grandbabies, and enjoy our cabin in Estes Park.
1. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
My first book, The Inheritance, is a stand-alone contemporary women’s fiction. My other four books (Shear Madness, Shear Deception, Shear Malice, and Finding Abby) are mysteries, three of them cozies. Having grown up watching Murder She Wrote, and wanting to be Jessica Fletcher, it was only natural that I would love to write cozy mysteries. They’re engaging, light, and usually have a happy ending.
2. What’s your favorite beverage?
Seltzer water with a splash of cranberry or orange juice. Boring, I know, but oh, so good. A&W 10 is the runner up.
3. If you had to listen to one song over and over again for a whole day, what would it be?
I have two songs I would listen to. I can’t choose between them. One is The House that Built Me by Miranda Lambert. The house I grew up in was like my best friend. My parents sold that house long after I’d moved out, but it was still like losing my best friend. The second is Watercolor Ponies by Wayne Watson. That sucker gets me every time, reminding me how fast time flies.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
My least favorite isn’t the writing part but is still part of the writing process. Waiting to get the manuscript back from the editor. When it finally appears in my inbox, I make sure I’m in a good place–mentally, take a slow, deep breath, and then click on the file.
5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
As long as I had Internet access, I would live in a cabin in the woods. I used to love the TV Show Gentle Ben and dreamed of living out in the wilderness. However, since I’m not a fan of eating meat, that could be a problem. Maybe a cabin on the lake. There’s something about the sound of waves or flowing streams that spark my muse.
6. Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?
Yes, I love to read. I was once asked if I had to choose between reading and writing, which would it be? I couldn’t choose. That’s like having to choose between two of your children. I love to read cozy mysteries (of course), mysteries, and thrillers. Not horror though. Unless it’s Stephen King. And then I’m choosy.
7. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
My ideas come from everywhere and nowhere. I know that sounds contradictory, but it’s true. I’ll see something or read about something in the news and think, “What if that would happen in Birch Haven, MN?” (Birch Haven is the fictional town in which my cozy series is set.) And from there my imagination takes off. Also, when I’m walking or running I carry a mini digital recorder because that’s when I get a lot of ideas, and I know I won’t remember them when I get home.
8. Tell me about your ideal reader.
My ideal reader depends, shifting with whichever book I’m writing.
9. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Time travel! I would love to meet my ancestors and the great people who made our world what it is today.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
I’m trying my hand at non-fiction with a book titled Transform Your Life by Finding Peace Through Gratitude. My hope is to have it published in time for Thanksgiving. And during Camp NaNo in July, I began the fourth book in my Melanie Hogan cozy mystery series, Shear Murder. I’m shooting for the first part of 2018 for publication.
Be sure to come back to learn more about Rhonda’s novel, FINDING ABBY, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Links to Rhonda’s website, blog, books, etc.
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Rhonda will give away a copy of FINDING ABBY to one lucky reader who comments on her **Author Peek** or Karen’s Killer Book Bench blogs. Thanks, Rhonda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!