Tea with Jenny Kales
Today I’d like to welcome Jenny Kales, author of the Callie’s Kitchen Cozy Mystery Series including the latest installment Secrets & Pies. Secrets & Pies is a face-paced mystery with life-like characters that feel more like friends and a beautiful setting that makes you feel like you can jump right through the pages to visit.
Thanks for stopping by Jenny!
When did you first discover your love of mystery?
I loved to read from a young age and one of my early favorites was The Bobbsey Twins. I also loved reading Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew. To be honest, I still enjoy a good Nancy Drew novel and I collect the vintage books along with my youngest daughter.
When did you decide to write your first book and what made you go for it?
I love reading cozy mysteries and in 2013, I decided to try and write one. I felt strongly about my premise and my main character, and it just grew from there!
Are there any special rituals you have or places you go that inspire your writing?
When I am in the middle of writing a novel, I go to the Quiet Room at my local library. It is very inspirational to be surrounded by books. The library is beautiful stone building and the Quiet Room has a fireplace that is always lit in the cold weather. This is a pretty perfect place to work on a cozy mystery – it has all the atmosphere I need!
Where do your plot ideas come from?
I will start to think about what is important to my main character and what issues she may be facing. Then I think about the time of year in Crystal Bay, Wisconsin, the setting for my novels, what the townspeople might be up to and what is currently motivating the main characters of the series. The plot usually jumps out at me from that.
Who is your favorite detective character (book, tv, or movie) and why?
Miss Fisher, without a doubt! I’m a little obsessed with her. Maybe because I love the 1920s and we share the same haircut, lol.
Who is your favorite mystery author and why?
I will pick one favorite who sadly, recently passed away: Ruth Rendell/aka Barbara Vine. Her books are suspense as well as traditional mystery and detective stories (Chief Inspector Wexford), and her ability to evoke realistic scenes and complex, alive, unique characters is truly astounding.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Enjoy what you are writing, because your passion will come through and readers will enjoy it. If you don’t like what you’re writing, nobody else will either.
What would we find in your mug first thing in the morning? Tea? Coffee? Something else?
Coffee: the bolder, the better.
Where do you like to spend time with a good book?
I have an old but comfortable chaise in the living room and it’s the perfect reading spot. My dog enjoys sitting there with me.
If you were given an entirely free day, no responsibility or tasks, what would you spend the day doing?
Probably reading and then visiting this antique mall in town. It’s huge — tons of booths and so much to look at. I find it very relaxing, and looking at all of that old stuff makes me feel creative.
Any guilty pleasures?
Dark chocolate and watching the Real Housewives of New York City.
Tell us about an item on your bucket list.
I would love to visit some of the towns in England where they film Midsomer Murders. The scenery and villages on that show are amazingly picturesque!
Jenny Kales is the author of The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series, featuring Greek-American Calliope Costas, feisty food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes. The third book in the series, SECRETS AND PIES, was recently released.
Jenny is an avid reader, cook and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.
You can learn more about Jenny and follow her here:
Amazon, for Secrets & Pies
Web site: www.jennykales.wordpress.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jennykalesmysteryauthor/