Ever wonder about the behind-the-scenes stories of the book publishing industry? Well, wonder no more, because each month we’re featuring an interview with a well-known book blogger, editor, or agent. For February, we’re thrilled to once again welcome Lisa K, from the popular blog, Lisa Ks Book Reviews!
Welcome back, Lisa! Tell us, why are cozies your favorite genre–what do you love most about them?
First, may I say I’m happy to be back. I have the greatest respect for all the Chicks authors.
Cozies are my favorite genre because they saved my reading. I was heavy into thriller/suspense novels such as those by authors like Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansen, and those similar. They often contain dark subject matter. I found myself no longer reading. I didn’t know just how long it had been until my older sister thrust a cozy into my hands and informed me that she was worried about me. It seems I hadn’t read a book for over a year which is very unlike me. I devoured that cozy—Jenn McKinlay’s second Cupcake Bakery Mystery—like a starving woman. That was just over five years ago and there has been no looking back for me. I love that even though cozies 99.9% of the time deal in murder, they are light, fun reading. Clever and entertaining, and very character-driven. A genre that readers from teens to seniors can read.
Is there anything that’s surprised you (pleasantly or unpleasantly) in a book or author?
Pleasantly, just how kind and open cozy authors are with their readers. We can tell that we really mean something to all of you. And the welcome I received when I was just starting my blog was overwhelming. It still surprises me to this day that authors thank me for having them on my blog. What? I’m the one that should be and always will be thanking you for being on my blog and supporting me the way you all have. The cozy community as a whole, the readers, bloggers, and authors, it’s a wonderful, loving family.
Unpleasantly, the more recent trend toward “edgier” cozies. I honestly don’t believe those words go together when describing a cozy. No offense to any cozy author because I admire each and every one, but the increasing use of profanity, even simple words like h*ll or d*mn. They just seem out of place to the genre. I thought I was just being sensitive to it, but many readers who read my reviews and follow my blog have told me they feel the same way. I started a book recently that had a rather graphic sex scene in it. The protagonist walked in on her husband and his assistant in the middle of “the deed.” This wasn’t back story for the protagonist. It was happening right there on the page. I closed the book and didn’t finish it. Also, the topic of rape is showing up. Again, if I even see the word on the page, I close the book and don’t pick it back up. I mentioned above that cozies are for all ages. More often than not, they still are, but it’s sad to feel the need to vet them now. [Ducking the rocks being thrown at my head.]
What’s your guilty reading (or watching) pleasure?
I don’t have a guilty reading pleasure. I’m proud to say I read cozies to anyone who wants to know. I also love reading cookbooks. I may never cook a thing out of one of them, but I love them. I’ve even dedicated a day on my blog for cookbook reviews.
As for guilty watching, it would be “some” reality TV. I’m selective about the ones I do watch. I’m a sucker for Say Yes to The Dress. I love all the beautiful gowns. And I never miss Live PD.
If you could have dinner with one character from a cozy mystery novel, who would it be and why?
Wow. That’s a hard one! I’d have to go with a ghost, Eric Gamlyn from the Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries by J. J. Cook, aka Joyce and Jim Lavene. Eric can’t eat, but he’s a great cook. I would love to sit on his deck overlooking the mountains and just listen to him talk all night. I’m honestly wiping away tears as I write this because with the passing of the Lavenes, may they forever rest in peace, there will be no more Eric. If you were to ask me what the most profound thing is that has happened to me since I’ve started reading cozies, it is without a doubt the passing of that incredible couple. I was blessed to have had the chance to meet them once. And deeply saddened that it was only once.
Who is your “white whale”—the author you’d love to connect with, but haven’t been able to—and why that person?
I’m not sure I have one. As I mentioned, cozy authors are so warm and welcoming. Hmmm . . . there is Virginia Lowell who wrote the Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries. When I started reading cozies, her series was one of the first few I was drawn too. I think there may have been only one or two more written by the time I had started my blog. While I have read interviews with her, I never seemed to be able to find out much about her or be able to get in contact with her. And as wonderful as her series was, I haven’t seen anything new from her. I miss her voice in cozy writing.
Thank you so much to Ellen Byron, Becky Clark, Marla Copper, Vicki Fee, Kellye Garrett, Leslie Karst, Cynthia Kuhn, Lisa Q. Matthews, and Kathleen Valenti for inviting me back. It’s been an honor.
Please read more about Lisa below and say hello in the comments.
Lisa A. Kelley of Lisa Ks Book Reviews is a passionate cozy mystery reader, reviewer and blogger who is extremely active in the online and virtual cozy communities and groups. She’s a trusted friend, sister, and tireless promoter of cozy mysteries and cookbooks. She oversees many Facebook groups, and actively contributes to online events and promotions.
Lisa has a love for books, helping authors and readers, baking (especially cupcakes!), and animals. Lisa and her trusty pup companion, a beautiful bundle of joy named Emmy, blog about books over at Lisa Ks Book Reviews.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/lisaksbookreview/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LisaKsBkReviews @LisaKsBkReviews