“Okay, who needs to die?”

What genre do you write? 
I write mysteries that don’t have explicit sex or violence, so technically they’re in the “cozy mystery” category, although that might be a little misleading. I think that because of the success of series like “The Cat Who…” and the Hannah Swensen mysteries, sometimes people expect cozies to have cats and recipes. My main characters tend to be indifferent housekeepers and terrible cooks who can barely care for a pet. In Sinful Science, the main character, Fortune Redding, sort of inherits a cat, so I suppose that fulfills the cat requirement.
How did you come to write cozies?
As Toni Morrison advised, I write what I’d like to read—PG-rated mysteries with humor, especially in an academic setting. I enjoy Dorothy Sayers, Amanda Cross, Sarah Caudwell, and Joanne Dobson, for example. And speaking of writing what you like to read, I was already a fan of Jana DeLeon’s Miss Fortune series when I discovered that Amazon’s Kindle Worlds was offering the opportunity to write in the Miss Fortune universe. I jumped right in and wrote Sinful Science, and had a lot of fun with it! [2018 update: Kindle Worlds is no more, but the Miss Fortune novellas live on under Jana DeLeon’s own publishing imprint!]
Who is your favorite character to write about?
In the Miss Fortune universe, I love Gertie and Ida Belle, two retired ladies who are not quite what they seem. Their bickering is a lot of fun.
Who inspires your books? 
For my murder mysteries, what usually happens is that I get home, sit down at my computer, open up my word processor, and ask myself, “Okay, who needs to die?” 
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I teach at a public university, read murder mysteries, and hang out with my family.
 
If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?
Assuming there was an electrical outlet, I’d say 1) My Keurig machine, 2) A supply of coffee, and 3) cream for the coffee.
Originally published at Community Bookstop