An Interview with Laura Childs—and a Giveaway!

Laura ChildsLaura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and a recent recipient of the Romantic Times Book Review’s Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Gossamer Ghost, 12th in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, was released this month.

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I’m delighted to welcome Laura Childs today

to share a few thoughts with us.

cncbooks: Do you carry on conversations with Carmela while you’re working on the story?

Ms. Childs: I do, but in a rather strange way.  When I’m writing a scene, I’m able to visualize my gang of characters as if I’m watching a stage play.  I can see exactly what they’re doing and hear what they’re saying.  My job is to try and get it all down as fast as I can!

cncbooks: How much of you is in your character Carmela?

Ms. Childs: The entrepreneur side is there for sure.  Like Carmela, I was just thirty when I launched my marketing firm, did pro bono ads, and started doing fund raising for nonprofits.  Carmela’s a dear girl, but far more snoopier than I am.

cncbooks: What is the last book you read purely for pleasure?

Ms. Childs: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

cncbooks: If you could spend a weekend with one fictional character not your own, who would it be and why?

Ms. Childs: I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Lucas Davenport, the main character in John Sandford’s Prey series.  Besides being a hunky detective, Lucas could probably teach me some good investigative tricks.  Oh, and Lucas drives a Porsche.

cncbooks: Who did you pretend to be as a kid?

Ms. Childs: I was obsessed with ghosts and monsters and invented countless playground games about them.  Needless to say, I always grabbed the primo role as head monster.

cncbooks: How difficult is it to keep up with the rigors of three series?

Ms. Childs: Not so difficult.  When I ran my marketing firm, my staff and I often balanced twenty or thirty major projects (TV, radio, etc.) all at once.  You just have to be focused and organized.  Writing novels is not a wild, creative ride or a calling from on high.  It’s a business and you have to give it the same parameters.

cncbooks: What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?

Ms. Childs: An anonymous amateur reviewer called one of my books boring. That comment is clearly the mildest thing anyone has ever accused me of in my entire career. 

cncbooks: What has been the best compliment?

Ms. Childs: I’ve received many emails from women who praised my books as being very soothing and helpful in getting them through really tough situations like back surgery, chemotherapy, and loss of a spouse.  Those are the comments that bring tears to my eyes.

cncbooks: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently in your writing career?

Ms. Childs: Buy more real estate.  A lot more.

cncbooks: Is there one author (mystery or otherwise) who has really influenced your writing career?

Ms. Childs: I started out wanting to write like Stephen King, but never mastered his knack for the creepy.  But his book, Stephen King on Writing, really helped me get a handle on dynamic openings, plot twists, and internal architecture.

cncbooks: What is your favorite scene in GOSSAMER GHOST and why?

Ms. Childs: It would have to be the big finale on the speeding Ghost Train.  It’s a bucket full of suspense, craziness, and final justice.

cncbooks: What’s next for you?

Ms. Childs: I’m so glad you asked because I’m working on two books right now.  The first is PARCHMENT & LACE, which is the next book in the Scrapbook Mystery series.  And the other book is FINDERS CREEPERS, a hard-edged thriller series that I will write under the name of Gerry Schmitt.

cncbooks: Thank you for being here today and letting us get to know you just a little bit better. I confess I would never have guessed you’d have such an affinity for Stephen King (although I fully understand and agree) and—WOW—a 4th series! I can’t wait to read both PARCHMENT & LACE and FINDERS CREEPERS 😉

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You have two chances to enter the drawing
for a hardcover copy of Gossamer Ghost by
Laura Childs. Leave a comment on the review
of Gossamer Ghost posted on October 8th and
then again on today’s post. Two winning names
will be drawn on Sunday evening, October 12th.
Open to residents of the US.