I’m delighted to welcome back S.A. Kazlo who has a new release in her Samantha Davies mystery series. Her series features an unforgettable dachshund sidekick and reflects her strong interest in the craft of rug hooking. Below are her responses to my interview questions, followed by her bio and buy links.
First off, congratulations on the release of A WEDDING GONE TO THE DOGS, the third book in your Samantha Davies mystery series. Can you tell our readers a bit about the novel and the series?
Samanth’s best friend/ cousin, Candie, after having been engaged eleven times, is finally getting married to the man of her dreams. There is a hitch, though. Candie’s very first fiancé, with whom she had remained friends, is found murdered in her home. In order to make Candie’s dream of marrying Mr. Right, Sam and her dachshund, Porkchop, jump in to help find the murderer so Candie can walk down the aisle and not spend her honeymoon in Wings Falls poky.
What drew you to writing cozy mysteries?
I’m an avid reader of the genre and was especially drawn to the craft themed ones. I enjoy a craft, hooking, rug hooking that is. I’d never read a cozy centered around that craft and I thought—I want to give writing one a try. The rest is history.
In writing a series, each book has a character arc, and of course, the overall series has an arc. How does Samantha change during A WEDDING GONE TO THE DOGS, and how has she changed since the first book in your series?
Sam was married for twenty-five years before divorcing her husband. She had thought they were in a loving and committed relationship, but discovered he was doing the bump-fuzzies with the secretary of the funeral business they co-own together. Since then, she was reluctant to enter into another committed relationship. That is until she meets Detective Hank Johnson. By the end of A WEDDING GONE TO THE DOGS, she is ready to share her heart again.
I know that you began writing seriously after a long teaching career. What steps did you take to hone your craft as a novelist?
First, I’ve taken a number of classes to improve my writing skills. I’ve also joined Sisters in Crime that through their subgroups offers invaluable advice. Also, I belong to a critique group; it has made me grow as a writer in every way.
What’s a typical writing day like for you?
Typically, I go to the gym at six in the morning. Come home have breakfast. About nine I grab some dark chocolate and a granola bar then sit down at my desk and write until 10:30 when my four-year-old grandson comes over for me to babysit. I try to do this five days a week. I know it’s not the mega hours some writers spend at their computer, but it’s what I can fit into my day.
What have you found is the most difficult part about writing your novels? The aspect that comes more easily to you?
The most difficult aspect is the marketing of my books. I never know what’s going to work the best to get sales. The easiest is the writing of the book. I think most writers have this problem.
How do you go about doing any necessary research for your novels?
I’m lucky to have an in-house resource. My hubby was a Pennsylvania State Trooper for 26 years. I often pick his brain about cases he worked on.
Contemporary authors often talk about the necessity of doing the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing and promoting their own work. How much time do you devote to the promotional aspects of being a mystery writer?
Like I said above the marketing is the hardest. I’d say I spend a few hours a week, mostly at night, so as not to take away from my writing time, on my marketing.
What’s next for you writing-wise?
Right now, I’m working on book 4 of the series. Working title—A DOGGONE TASTE OF DEATH. Sam and Porkchop stumble upon a dead person at the town’s annual Taste of Wings Falls.
Anything else you’d like to add, or wish I’d asked that I didn’t?
I believe we’ve covered it. I want to thank you for this opportunity to share my series with you and your audience.
BIO FOR SA KAZLO
Syrl, a retired teacher, lives in upstate New York with her husband and two very lively dachshunds. Kibbles and Death is the first book in her Samantha Davies Mystery series, followed by A DOGGONE DEATH and A WEDDING GONE TO THE DOGS, featuring Samantha Davies and her loveable dachshund, Porkchop. When not writing she is busy hooking, rug hooking that is, reading and enjoying her family. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Mavens of Mayhem.