Friday, May 2, 2014
SCHMOOZING WITH ERIKA CHASE
1.Who has influenced you the most in your writing career?
There is no single “most”. I owe it all to a long line of people starting with my Grade 8 English teacher, all the wonderful and creative authors I’ve read over the years, to Capital Crime Writers for stimulating workshops and programs, and to my writing group, The Ladies’ Killing Circle. Their critiquing, although not always gentle, has been invaluable in the process of becoming a published author.
2.What are you working on now?
The fifth book in the Ashton Corners Book Club Mysteries, still untitled (eep!). Book number four comes out in Aug. 2014. I am also starting a new series (planning is taking place in my head) which I’ll start in Sept. when #5 goes to the publisher. I’m pleased to announce that the Culinary Capers series will be written by Linda Wiken!
3.In what ways is your main protagonist like you? If at all?
She loves reading mysteries. That’s about it! Oh, yes…there’s the almond butter thing too, another passion we share. Along with Siamese cats and chocolate. I guess there’s quite a bit after all. She is younger though. I won’t say by how much!
4.Are you character driven or plot driven?
Definitely character driven. I start with the characters and their names and out of the choosing of such things as careers and family, a plot works its way into the midst.
5.Are you a pantser or a plotter?
I used to by a pantser, in my pre-published years and we all see how far that got me! My editor at Berkley Prime Crime wants a synopsis for each book and I’ve found that was the key to organizing my thoughts and working through the story. Of course, the end result is never completely according to the synopsis, in fact, I’m usually adding twists and turns along the way. Or maybe even an entire new highway. It’s a good starting place, though.
6.What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
An enjoyable story. I hope they’ll feel it was a worthy read and that they didn’t guess whodunit too soon.
7.Where do you see yourself as a writer in 10 years?
I really have no idea. I want to be writing…something. Perhaps that series set in my home province of B.C. that keeps trying to snag my attention. Whatever, I hope the ten years will be ones of enjoyment and satisfaction.
8.What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
Like Lou Allin who appeared on Mystery Maven a few weeks ago, I wanted to be a police officer. Sometimes it’s good not to get what you think you want!
9.What do you like to read for pleasure?
I read everything. Mysteries of all types although usually lighter ones, mainstream novels especially those set overseas, magazines, travel guides.
Murder is nothing novel for this book club and who can resist a new author in town, stolen books and a body count that’s rising!