Catherine Bruns lives in Upstate New York, which luckily for me is local, with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, and an assortment of cats and dogs. She holds a B.A. and dual major in English and Performing Arts and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She writes both the Cookies & Chance and the Cindy York Mysteries for Gemma Halliday Publishing. I have had the pleasure of reading Killer Transaction which is the first book in her Cindy York Mystery Series and both books in her Cookies and Chance Mystery Series, Tastes Like Murder and Baked To Death.
Catherine and I met at a local Panera's and over coffee we had a delightful and amusing conversation. After reading her books I was somewhat in awe of meeting this very imaginative and creative author. But that feeling didnt last long at all. Catherine and I clicked from the first moment.
Here is what we talked about.....
How long does it take to write a book ?
It depends. Sometimes it's 6-7 weeks for me. This is in addition to my full time job. I like to write in marathon spurts. Sometimes the edits and polishing take me even longer than the book itself.
Do you have a writing schedule ?
Like I said I have a full time job so writing takes place after dinner every night and on the weekends. The best time for me is about midnight when everyone in the house is asleep. I'm the most productive then.
How do you develop your plots and characters ?
Sometimes I take characteristics from people I know. As for the plots, there are general guidelines to cozy mysteries that I follow but my publisher is great about letting us think outside the box, so to speak.
Do you read ? If so, what kinds of books do you read ?
I love to read but with deadlines and such I haven't had as much time as I'd like for it lately. I tend to read a lot of books within the genre I write. I do like the occasional romance once in a while too.
Do you have a favorite author ?
Laura Ingalls Wilder was my favorite when growing up. I loved the Little House books. Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton are my favorites now. I was fortunate to meet Sue once and chatted with Janet through email once.
What book are you reading now ?
Over Christmas break I read Rosie Genova's " A Dish Best Served Cold". I absolutely love her Italian Kitchen Mystery series and highly recommend them. I'm going on vacation in a couple of weeks and have several books on my kindle that I'm dying to dive into.
What inspires you ?
Readers inspire me. Knowing that someone has enjoyed my book....It's just the BEST feeling in the world.
Does you family read your books ?
No. My husband is very supportive but hes not a reader. My kids are more inclined to read books like the Harry Potter series and that's fine with me.
When and why did you begin writing ?
I wrote my first book when I was 8. It was a plagiaristic version of Cinderella. Writing is something that I've always felt I was meant to do.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider your mentor ?
That's tough. Sue Grafton gave me some excellent writing advice once so I'll go with her.
What was the hardest part of writing this book ? ( Baked to Death )
I think the hardest part, at least for me, is the "whodunit" and why. Readers enjoy trying to solve the mystery along with the protagonist, and I want them to enjoy the process as much as possible.
What was your favorite chapter ( or part) to write and why ?
In Baked to Death I really enjoyed writing about the reality baking competition. If you've ever watched Cupcake Wars, you will see some similarities, but mine was definitely of the more wacky type. Lol.
What question do you wish someone would ask you about your books that nobody has ?
What am I working on now ? I just finished writing my 2nd Cindy York Mystery, Priced to Kill, and am starting my 3rd Cookies & Chance Mystery, Burned to a Crisp. That will hopefully be out this summer. I'm also working on a third series as well.
And as always an interview wouldn't be complete without some questions from the readers.....
Mary Jane Hopper asked : When did you know that you wanted to be a writer ?
That was actually covered but when I was 8 and wrote my first book, Lazy Sisters, a plagiaristic version of Cinderella.
Kim Russell asked : Do you already have the story in your head before you write it, or do you start with an idea and work from there ?
Always have to have the ending set, who the murderer is and how it ends.
Emilie Davis asked : What finally made you sit down and start writing ?
If I didn't do it now, I figured it would never happen.
Dianne Nickel Casey asked : How do you develop the story lines and characters, or do they sort of develop themselves as the story progresses ?
For me, they tend to develop more as I write them. I never know what direction my mind is going to take me in.
And lastly, Vickie wants to know more about your pets. What kind of dogs do you have ?
We have 2 cats, they are both shelter rescue cats. They are named Hugs and Kisses but for some reason we tend to call Hugs Spike.
We also have 2 dogs. Grady / Grampie G is a 13 year old Chihuahua and we have a Husky named after the Green Bay Packers Field, Lambeau.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/
**********And the winner of Baked To Death, the 2nd book in the Cookies and Chance Mystery Series is KIM RUSSELL !!! **********
( Kim let me know which you prefer, an autographed print copy of the book or an ebook version. Email me you preference please )
Interviewed by Missi S.