Evil in Carnations, that is. The eighth book in The Flower Shop Mystery series came out last Tuesday, but I forgot to mention it in my last blog. Call me STRESSED OUT! I have another book due March 1st and I have a long way to go before it’s done. But getting back to THIS book, here’s an interview I did with a reporter from Jane Ammeson with the NWI Times that probably does a better job of explaining the story than my weary brain could do at this moment.
Q. Tell us about your latest book, Evil In Carnation.
A. This is the eighth book in the Flower Shop Mystery series and, wow, sometimes I'm still astounded that the series has done so well and is continually finding new fans. Anyway, in this book, Abby Knight, my feisty, fearless, law-school flunk out turned florist, is concerned about her best friend/roommate Nikki, who is depressed after a break-up with her boyfriend.
Since Abby's relationship with hot hunk Marco heated up in the last book, SHOOTS TO KILL, she feels Nikki's love life needs a boost, so she gets her to try a speed dating service. Only problem is that Nikki won't go unless Abby attends, too, with hilarious results. Unfortunately, Nikki falls for a guy that is at the bottom of Abby's list, and against Abby's advice, goes on a date with him.
When he turns up dead the next morning, all signs point to Nikki being the killer. Naturally, since Abby got Nikki into the predicament, she decides it's up to her to get her out and find the real killer.
It's a zany, scary, fast-paced mystery, exactly the kind of books I like to read. (I highly recommend it.)
Q. You’ve written eight books in this series already, as you go along do you like your characters more or less? And do they start doing things that surprise even you?
A: I love my characters. Since their creation in 2003, I've gotten to know each one of them in depth, to the point that they've become part of my family. Actually, at family gatherings, we talk about them as though they're real. ("Wouldn't Grace have a quote for that? There's a car Marco would love." "Is our waitress Lottie, or what?" It's hilarious.
And the characters still find ways to surprise me. Sometimes I'm not sure how to work a scene ahead of time, so I'll start the characters talking to each other and let them come up with the answer. My favorite way to bring something surprising into the story is to start with "The bell over the door jingled and in walked---?"
I like to be surprised as much as the reader, so that keeps it fun for me. I'm working on the ninth book in the series right now. As long as readers clamor for more, I'm happy to provide them. I'll miss the gang at Bloomers when it ends. I hope that’s a long way off.