Amy Korman is a former senior editor and staff writer for Philadelphia Magazine, and author of Frommer’s Philadelphia and the Amish Country. She has written for Town & Country, House Beautiful, Men’s Health, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and their basset hound. Killer WASPs is her first novel. Killer Getaway, the second book in the Killer WASPs series, was just released on March 10th, 2015.
Q: Can you tell us what the book is about? And for our non-U.S. readers, what is a WASP?
A: Killer Getaway sees the Killer WASPs characters head south to Magnolia Beach, Florida. The book is a mystery, and a fun escape to a warm, sunny town that’s hiding a few criminals among the palm trees and chic restaurants.
Kristin Clark, who runs a small (and not-too-successful!) antiques store outside Philly, and her basset hound, Waffles, are ready to escape the doldrums of winter to bask in the warm Florida sun and dine at her friends’ new restaurant, Vicino. But when a rival restaurant undergoes an HGTV makeover and attempts to steal Vicino’s spotlight and its patrons, the town is abuzz with gossip, and Kristin and her friends—Bootsie, a nosy reporter; Holly, a chicken nugget heiress; and Sophie, the soon-to-be ex-wife of a mobster—have parties to attend.
Everything is going swimmingly in the glitz and glamour of Magnolia Beach until a bad batch of clams threatens to shut down Vicino and their vacation for good. When it becomes clear that the clams may be more than an innocent mishap, the gang must unravel the mystery before there are deadly consequences.
WASP is a term coined by a writer named Digby Baltzell and signifies an old-school, usually East-Coast American who plays a lot of golf, drives an old car, drinks vodka tonics, and is probably an Anglophile! It’s more of a state of mind than an actual type of person in 2015, but the WASPs I interviewed over the years as a journalist generally had a great sense of humor about their preppy roots.
Q: What does Kristin Clark do for a living? Or does she have the means to sleuth full-time?
A: Kristin runs a small antique store outside of Philly, where she barely makes ends meet. She’s not a great businesswoman, but she loves the antique business. She sleuths in her spare time, and is usually dragged along by her energetic friends Bootsie and Sophie. Her other friends are lucky enough to have the means to go on great trips such as the one in Killer Getaway, so Kristin is able to go as well!
Q: What inspired you to write the Killer WASPs mysteries?
A: I’m such a fan of Agatha Christie-style “village” mysteries, and Kristin and her friends all have known each other and their neighbors since they were in high school together, which is a modern take on a village mystery. In Killer Getaway, they adopt a new small town (one with palm trees and margaritas), but the same principle applies—everyone knows each other, and has their own motives and agendas…which might make them try to shut down Vicino, murder restaurant manager Jessica, and run down Kristin’s friends with a “Death Chevy.”
Q: What kind of research did you do for this book?
A: I’ve read Agatha Christie, Carl Hiassen, Sue Grafton and other favorite authors for years, so I like to think anything we read influences us, and I wrote for magazines for many years, which is a great way to learn to meet deadlines and tell chapter length stories. There isn’t a real Magnolia Beach, Florida, but if there was, I wish I could have done research there for a few weeks!
Q: Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser?”
A: I like an outline! It’s always good to have a map, even if you wander off a bit.
Q: Is there one character with whom you particularly identify?
A: Kristin loves Basset hounds, is something of a klutz, and isn’t a great cook, but she’s optimistic and always thinks that her antique store might suddenly start doing a great business. I can identify with a lot of her characteristics, especially the Basset hound obsession, since I share that 100 percent.
Q: Why do we love basset hounds so? Can you explain this?
A: It’s got to be the droopy ears and soulful eyes! Plus, now that I’ve lived with our Basset hound Murphy for 8 years, I can honestly say he’s never in a bad mood, is super loyal, and is always up for a road trip, a walk, or a party. He’ll watch chick flicks with me and doesn’t mind being dressed up in reindeer antlers at the holidays. Plus, I’ve never met anyone who loves food as much as a Basset!
Q: Where can readers find you?
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win one of three print copies of Killer Getaway!