Giveaway is at the bottom of the page.
Victoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels. Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others. She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014. She is on tour, for her new book FREEZER I’LL SHOOT, with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. I’m thrilled she is here today, welcome Victoria.
You’re a prolific writer. Multiple series, multiple genres, how long does it take you to write a first draft of a book like FREEZER I’LL SHOOT and then with all that follows that, how long before the reader gets to see it?
Ideally I have four months from start to finish, with the first draft taking two of those months, at least and usually a little more. We are timing due dates about one year before the publication date, so if I turn in a book November 1st, it’s probably for November of the next year.
To do what you do, you must be an incredibly organized person. Would I be correct in assuming you must be a plotter not a pantster?
Hah! You would think that, wouldn’t you? Here’s how it goes… I start out determined to be organized, and my plan is generally to take the synopsis that I used to sell the book, and flesh it out into a chapter by chapter outline. Except… planning is boring and writing is fun. So without even intending to, I jump ahead to write, and end up in the thick of it. I torture myself through the whole thing and beat myself up for not following the plan, but I get there after a lot of hair pulling and moaning and waking up at three in the morning certain I’m going to fail this time. But eventually I do get there. Next book I’m going to plan properly, I swear it.
You write under three different names – that I am aware of – ever get confused who you are, say at a book signing?
Well, I don’t do book signings at this point, so it’s never a problem!
How many books are you ahead and what is the next book we can expect to see from you?
After Freezer I’ll Shoot, my current release, Book 3 of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, there is a bit of a gap. In June of next year Tempest in a Teapot, Book 1 of the Teapot Collector Mysteries, comes out. Then in July, Muffin But Murder, Book 2 of the Merry Muffin Mysteries is released, then in November, No Mallets Intended, Book 4 the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, will be published!
Which is more fun to write, a romance or a mystery?
That’s tough… romance was where I started, but mystery was always where I intended to go, so I guess I’ll have to say mystery. I love everything about it. And… I can always add a little romance into the mystery! Of course, I often did add a little mystery into my romances, so there you go.
What do you like to do to balance the demands writing places on you?
I find TV relaxing because I don’t have to think about it (!!). I enjoy sitcoms, and love historical dramas like Downton Abbey and a new one, Reign. But I really enjoy crafts, too; jewelry making, cross stitch, crocheting. And friends and karaoke! I like to sing. My favorite time of year is coming and it combines everything I adore… Christmas specials and movies on TV, Christmas songs to sing, crafts to do… love it!
I happen to collect vintage kitchen items. Are you into that? Is that how you got the idea for the theme of this series?
Absolutely! What do you collect? I love to hear about other people’s collections. I don’t have a lot of room, so it’s kind of a revolving door collection… I buy stuff and get rid of stuff. I collect vintage kitchen, Friendly Village china, bowls, teacups… too much stuff for my small place!
Do you have your own Hoppy? And is that his picture on your website?
I wish I did! I would love to have a small dog. But no, that is a stock photo. Hoppy (at least his temperament and behavior) is based on a friend’s neighbor’s Morkie (Maltese-Yorkie cross). His name is Wicket and he is adorable!
Now three things that have nothing to do with writing or your book:
- What is your favorite food? Oooh… spaghetti. Or cake. Or brownies.
- What is your favorite TV show? I love Mike & Molly, and still enjoy Survivor.
- What is your favorite music? Favorite all time is old Motown, but I also like new music by Bruno Mars, Duffy and Adele.
Thank you so much for being here today Victoria, and good luck with the tour and your new book. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?
I would like to thank everyone, all the readers out there. This has been a wonderful journey to mystery publication, a dream of mine since I was twelve, and the response from readers has been stupendous. Especially wonderful have been some of the letters I’ve received telling me how my books have affected folks. I love hearing from readers!
And thank you, Kate, and the fabulous cozy mystery reading community of bloggers and reviewers! You make our jobs as writers so much fun and connect us so happily with reader… it is appreciated.
Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once an actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.
One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence—before someone else gets picked off…
All the ingredients for a great cozy. A smartly written mystery and I’m pretty sure you won’t guess the killer. A bit of romance. Though my feeling boyfriend Daniel may find himself replaced by police officer Zach at some point – just a guess. Very well drawn characters, though not all are who you think they are. I learned something new – about ice storage in the days before refrigeration – which I always enjoy, even when I am reading for entertainment. And a vintage recipe at the end for something called a sandwich loaf which I am planning to try out. This is the third book in the series and I will be looking forward to seeing this series continue for a long time. ♥♥♥♥½
November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review, Giveaway
November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview
November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review
November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway
November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway
November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview
November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review, Giveaway
November 11 – A Date with a Book – Review, Giveaway
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review, Giveaway
November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway
November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review, Giveaway
For a chance to win one of two autographed copies of Freezer I’ll Shoot or a ‘Cozy Up To A Mystery’ book tote and pen 1) leave a comment below AND then 2) click HERE. Good Luck.