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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Author Guest Post - Laura Childs

Welcome Ms. Laura Childs to our blog today.  Laura Childs is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Pekoe Most Poison is her just-released Tea Shop Mystery. 

In Laura’s previous life she was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Watch Out, I’m Watching You!

That’s right, I’m the little blond lady who’s scrunched in the corner of the coffee shop. I’m watching you carefully and jotting notes. I see what you’re wearing – I like that paisley scarf, by the way – and I’m scrutinizing the way you sip your coffee and nibble your scone.

No, I don’t work for the CIA, FBI, or IRS. I’m an author who writes three different mystery series and I get ideas for my characters by watching all the fascinating real-life characters around me. From the folks who cross my path at the driver’s license bureau to the ones who are picking through bins of organic oranges at the grocery store or kicking tires at the local garage.

You all fascinate me and give me such wonderful ideas because you’re all real, highly individual, and (this is a good thing) a little bit quirky. You see, creating literary characters is a tricky thing for an author. You want them to be loved, reviled, understood, amusing, or even feared. But characters also need to be larger than life. They need to transcend the pages, worm their way into your hearts and memories, and stick like a proverbial burr. That way you’ll look forward to reading my next book.

The interesting thing is that we all tend to respond well to characters who are a little bit like us – that are relatable. We want a book that tells a rollicking new story, but we also want that story to reflect some of who we are and what we’ve experienced in life.

In a mystery, questions drive the plot and narrative. In Pekoe Most Poison the reader will want to know – who are these crazy waiters and why are they wearing rat heads? Who put deadly poison in the tea? Who stashed a box of X-Terminate Rat Poison in the kitchen cupboard? The same elements that draw us into a story are the same things that propel characters and story lines. Most important of all, we

are as anxious to solve the murder mystery as Theodosia, the main character in Pekoe Most Poison.

So next time someone watches you surreptitiously, please don’t worry. You might end up the perfect character in someone’s best-selling novel!

All my very best,

Laura Childs

Find out more at

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Thank you Ms. Childs for that post.  

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ceblain said...

I enjoyed your take on watching and scrutinizing people, but if someone were to be observing me like that, I am sure that I will feel very worried that they had something sinister on their mind. I am not normally a person who is worried, but when people stare it gives me chills. My husband tells me to wave at the person that is staring at me, but I have never had the courage to do that. :)
Love your books Laura and hoping to get time to read every single one of them. It is challenging to read with double cataracts and another eye problem, but I do it, just much slower and with a magnifier etc. Books on CD are the best way now, but many cozies are not yet available that way, unfortunately and if they are they are so pricey that you have to pick and choose for sure.

Thanks for making my evening reading so interesting.

Cynthia B.

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