Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine their Friday Spotlight on mystery author, Krista Davis!
Thank you so much for the interview, Krista! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
This may be the hardest question of all! ; )
I write three mystery series. Color Me Murder will be the first book in the Pen & Ink mystery series. The protagonist runs a bookstore by day and draws adult coloring books by night. To make it all the more fun, you can color the covers of the book!
My longest running series is the Domestic Diva Mysteries. After a one year hiatus, the eleventh book, The Diva Cooks Up a Storm will be out in May. But don’t think you have to be a diva or a fancy cook to enjoy these books about a group of friends in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
If dogs and cats are your thing, you might enjoy my Paws & Claws Mysteries featuring Trixie the Jack Russell with a nose for trouble (or more precisely—dead people) and Twinkletoes, the long-haired calico cat. The animals don’t speak in my books, but they do know how to follow the scent of murder.
What kind of research goes into writing your books? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
I think most people would be surprised by how much research goes into each of my books. It’s not always apparent. Sometimes a subject can be covered by one sentence, but in order to get that sentence right, I have to learn about the subject in detail.
In Color Me Murder, there’s a scene where an author informs an audience that if their homes were built before a certain year, they probably had a dead person in their houses. And then she goes on to explain the origin of the words “undertaker” and “funeral home.” I have to admit that I had wondered why we call mortuaries “funeral homes.” I won’t spoil the scene by telling you! It was information that I stumbled upon and found so fascinating that I had to include it in the book. In the acknowledgements, you’ll see my thanks to the gentleman whose research enlightened me. He was very excited that I planned to use his information.
My favorite research was for The Diva Haunts the House. I live not too far from an old abandoned sanatorium that is now a haunted house at Halloween. My dad, who had passed away, worked there once, so I was interested in going to the allegedly haunted building. A friend was kind enough to go with me. Despite the creepy dilapidated condition, huge moldings and elegant stairs remain, which gave us a clue that it was once a very lovely building. I snapped pictures as we went on our tour. When we left, I asked my friend if she had seen any ghosts. She hadn’t. She had only appreciated what was once a beautiful building. Alas, I didn’t see any ghosts, either.
The following year as I prepared blogs for the book, I pulled up the photos and went through them one by one. To my complete shock, the picture I had taken in my father’s department had a misty little cloud hanging in the air. There’s nothing in that room anymore except for a wall-mounted cabinet. The door of the cabinet had swung open and the mist was in front of it, so I knew it wasn’t a blotch on the wall. We may have encountered a ghost after all!
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
The Domestic Divas will be back in May! I’m so excited to be writing about Sophie and her friends again. I’m crossing my fingers that my readers will like the book.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Silence, please. I get so immersed in the book that I have actually missed putting out the trash to be picked up because it was Sunday in the book and I was convinced that it was Sunday in real life. Voices on the TV or elsewhere distract me. I don’t think I’d be good at writing in a café because I would people watch instead of writing.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
Since I write the Paws & Claws mysteries in which Trixie the Jack Russell terrier finds bodies, my furry companions are a very big help. They’re often rascally, and like to give me ideas for books. My own Jack Russell, Buttercup, was the inspiration for Trixie. Twinkletoes, the cat in the Paws & Claws books, is based on my long-haired calico, Little Miss Sunshine. I also have a large black lab mix, Baron. The most recent member of the family is Twinkie, a tabby with peach patches. Readers of Color Me Murder will recognize her as the cat named Peaches.
Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?
I cannot even think without my mug of hot English Breakfast tea with a little sugar and milk. Even in the summer. I often find myself noshing on a little something. If I’m being very good, it’s Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Crispbread. When I’m indulging myself (because characters and plots don’t always do what I’d like) then I reach for Ritter Sport milk chocolate with coconut (which is surprisingly difficult to find!).
Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?
If you’re writing mysteries, Sisters in Crime, and especially their Guppy Chapter, are wonderful. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the Guppies are always happy to help. Many of your favorite authors have been members of the Guppies.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Many bookstores carry my books. You should definitely check with ABSW. If they don’t have the book you want, they can probably order it for you. If you’re shipping internationally, try Book Depository.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
LOL! There’s nothing creepy about keeping up with an author.
My website is always a good place to start. http://www.KristaDavis.com
Transferring everything to a new computer sent my website into a tizzy recently. If it looks weird, I promise that we’re working on it and trying to figure out what went wrong.
I’m available on all kinds of social media, too.
I can also be found on the following blogs.
Thank you so much, Krista, for the great interview! Did this interview whet your mouth for a little mystery? We’ve got Krista’s books in stock for you to check out!