Hi book friends!
I’m absolutely thrilled to have my writer sister in the trenches and prolific cozy mystery author, Kate Lansing, visit the blog today!
We first got to know each other way back in 2019 through the #2020debuts group and quickly bonded over our love of running, kitties, and the fantastic adaptation of His Dark Materials. 🥰 In fact, she’s been here book chatting before! Scroll for our very first interview where we discuss Book 1 of her fabulous Colorado Wine Mystery series, Killer Chardonnay. 🔪🍷
Fast forward to 2023, and Kate is about to release BOOK 4 in the series! 🔥😮 Mark your calendars, it’s out March 7th. I was fortunate to read an ARC and loved it. And not because I’m biased and never want this series to end. 😉
Enjoy discovering more about this wonderful book and author! And if you want your chance to win a copy, check out Kate on Instagram @kmlansing for the details!
AK: Tell us about your latest book!
KL: Till Death Do Us Port is the fourth book in my Colorado Wine Mystery series. It follows the main character, Parker Valentine, as she provides libations at her cousin’s wedding reception, only to find herself contending with a murder investigation. There’s wedding mayhem, a mother-daughter detective duo, feline ring bearer, wine puns galore, and so much more. It was really great fun to write!
AK: What inspired you to write it?
KL: My editor was the one who initially floated the idea of this installment centering around a wedding. At first, I was a little nervous I wouldn’t be able to do the theme justice since my own wedding wasn’t exactly traditional…my husband and I had been planning a trip to Italy and, after a spontaneous proposal, decided to make it our honeymoon, despite our departure date being a mere three months away. We married in a courthouse and threw a champagne brunch reception the next day to celebrate with family and friends. After ruminating, though, I realized maybe I could make it work; that maybe I did have something to say. Plus, the potential for humor and conflict was too juicy to pass up.
AK: Four books into the series, how has your relationship with Parker changed? Do you feel like you know her better? Are there things about her that still surprise you? Perhaps frustrate you?
KL: Parker’s voice comes to me so naturally now and after spending years writing her character, it’s easier for me to figure out how she would react in different situations. That being said, we’ve both grown so much since the start of the series, it’s been interesting coming up with new personal and professional challenges for her to overcome next. And, oh yes, Parker continues to surprise me! She has this ability to speak her mind and pursue justice that I can’t help but admire.
AK: I’ve always thought your books would be perfect for the screen. Play casting director and create your dream team!
KL: Thank you!! What a fun question. Let me just hop over to my Pinterest board…okay, for Parker, I imagine someone like Anna Kendrick, for Reid, Chris Pine (possibly the best Chris?), for Eli, Jon Hamm or the actor who plays Detective Inspector Jack Robinson from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, and for Sage, Emma Stone.
AK: Reading your books always makes me hungry and very thirsty! Where does the inspiration come from for the recipes and pairings we find at the end of your books?
KL: Food scenes are some of my favorite to write so I’m happy to hear that! I love cooking and trying new recipes and getting to include some in my books is a real treat. Usually the story and season it takes place in help guide the dishes. For Till Death Do Us Port, I knew I wanted to include an appetizer like canapés that are often seen at weddings, which led me to roasted red pepper and goat cheese bruschetta. And given the title, I also knew one of the pairings had to include port, hence the affogato-style dessert. Taste-testing the recipes is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. ;-)
AK: Does writing a series get easier or more challenging the further you go?
KL: Is it cheating to say both?! In ways it gets easier since I know the core characters and setting, but at the same time, there’s always added pressure to make sure the story feels fresh for readers, to include different mystery tropes and continue growing the characters and their relationships in compelling ways.
AK: How do you feel publishing has changed since the pandemic?
KL: The publishing industry has always tended to be on the slow side, but I think that’s even more true now with burnout and supply chain issues. At the same time, it feels like people are reading more than ever (BookTok is proof!), which I take to be a positive sign.
AK: What’s your favourite piece of advice for aspiring writers?
KL: That there’s no rush. When I was first bit by the publishing bug and dreamed of seeing my books on the shelves of bookstores, I remember feeling an urgency, like I wanted it to happen NOW. But truly, there’s no rush. In fact, the extra time can be an asset. There are fabulous grants and contests specifically for unpublished writers, and before you’re under contract, take advantage of the freedom to explore different genres and hone your voice and style.
AK: What’s next for you?!
KL: I just turned in a proposal for Book 5 of my Colorado Wine Mystery series and, while I wait to hear back on that, am brainstorming a shiny new idea for a YA mystery.
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