Today on The Eclectic Bookshelf I have author Kari Lee Townsend visiting. Kari is the author of Tempest in the Tea Leaves, which is the first book in her A Fortune Teller Mystery series. Thank you for stopping by to say HI! :)
Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters. You can find out more about her on her website www.karileetownsend.com and also on the group mystery blog she cohosts, called Mysteries and Margaritas, at www.
1. What were you doing when the idea for Tempest in the Tea Leaves came to you?
I actually knew I wanted to write for Berkley, so I purposely scoured their site and came up with something just for them. I love light fun paranormal, so I looked at what was already there, and then tried to come up with something that "wasn't." Fortune telling has always fascinated me, and I thought it would be really cool to focus each book on a different fortune-telling tool.
2. Of all the genre's out there why mystery? Is there something about the genre that specifically drew you to it?
I love Janet Evanovich books, especially the Stephanie Plum series. So I started thinking that my books already had romance in them, and some form of mystery anyways, so why not a cozy mystery series. And I love the idea of fun quirky characters that we get to revisit over and over. My heroine gets to be the ongoing star, and not just revisit the town in someone else's story. I love that. And with cozies, you get a great mystery to solve without all the gore. All the nasty stuff happens off screen :-) Romance, mystery, humor...it doesn't get much better than that.
3. There is a lot of humor and action in Tempest in the Tea Leaves, do you think it's harder to write the humor or the action? Why?
Writing humor isn't really hard, it's just tricky. You're either funny or you're not. I realize there will be people who don't get my humor, and I'm okay with that. But trying to write in a way that's not you will show through in a negative way, like you're trying too hard. Just be yourself and go for what "you" think is funny. Chances are someone else will, too. As far as action goes, I love fast-paced stories filled with action and adventure. I do a lot of brainstorming because coming up with fresh new ideas for investigating isn't easy. I don't want it to seem like Sunny is doing the same thing over and over. So if any of you have some great ideas, send them my way :-)
4. Are your main characters Sunny and Mitch based on anyone in real life?
Sunny doesn't look like me, but she acts a lot like me. I have fun writing her, and it makes it easier for me to say...gee, what would I do in a situation like that. As far as Mitch goes, he is a total fantasy! I just love big, strong, brooding alpha males who are wounded and need help but would never in a million years admit it. It makes you want to reach out and give him a hug...among other things :-)
5. If Tempest in the Tea Leaves was turned into a movie tomorrow, who would you want to see play Sunny and Mitch?
Oooh, great question. I've never really thought about it, and there are so many great actors out there. I would have to say someone like Colin Farrell for Mitch and maybe Sienna Miller for Sunny, but heck, I wouldn't say no to anyone. For any author, seeing her work on the big screen would be amazing! I can't wait to see Stephanie Plum when it comes out.
6. What is the last "AWESOME SAUCE" book you read by another author?
Wow, there are so many great cozy books out there. I love to read them as much as I love to write them. One of my favorites is Annette Blair. I love her Vintage Magic Mysteries! I also love authors like Donna Andrews, Peggy Webb, Tamar Myers and Avery Aames.
7. If you could have a 1 hour conversation with any famous person living or dead who would it be and why?
Hands down Janet Evanovich. I truly do love her writing, and would really like to see who she is as a person. To have 18 amazing books in her series is awe inspiring. And now to think of them becoming movies is so exciting. I want to pick her brain!
8. I saw on your webpage that you like Mexican and Italian food. Do you have a favorite dish or recipe that you REALLY LOVE?
I'm really simple. Tacos and Spaghetti :-) I have a great recipe for homemade sauce and meatballs to die for! That with a glass of red wine and some garlic bread is total heaven. And tacos with ALL the fixings and loads of sour cream are just delicious. Sigh...okay, back to the diet, darnit!
9. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would that place be and why?
I've been to Hawaii, Alaska, and the Carribean. I still want to go to Italy and Greece. But I would have to say Ireland is one place I HAVE to go to! The rolling green hills, the castles, the Irish pubs....they are all just so mysterious and romantic and fun! Someday I will make it there :-)
10. What is one book that is on your reading "bucket" list?
Five People You Meet In Heaven. I keep saying I'm going to read it, but I never seem to have the chance. I will get around to reading it someday. I've heard so many wonderful things about it. There are just so many good books and so little time. Most of the time I'm reading for research. I don't get to read for pleasure nearly enough these days.
Thanks so much for having me. It's been fun. To find out more about me and all my books, go to http://www.karileetownsend.com/ and my group mystery blog http://www.mysteriesandmargaritas.blogspot.com/ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/karileetownsend and like my Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/karileetownsendAUTHOR