Guest Chick Interview: Daisy Bateman

Hey, there! It’s me, Chick Emeritus Marla Cooper, popping in to say hi and to introduce you to a fabulous debut author with a deliciously funny new cozy mystery series. Daisy Bateman and I were in a writing group together when I lived in the Bay Area, and I had the pleasure of reading this book in real time as it was being written. Kirkus called it, “A pleasing debut for a complicated sleuth in this up-to-date take on the cozy mystery.” I call it, “Daisy’s awesome book that’s funny and delightful and yay go buy it now!”

750823612.jpgMarla: Your series is set in an artisan market in San Elmo Bay on the Sonoma coast in Northern California — one of my favorite places in the world, by the way. Is San Elmo Bay based on a real town? 

Daisy: Yes, sort of. The basic idea and location are based on Bodega Bay, where my family has been going since I was little. San Elmo is a slightly bigger town, though, because Bodega Bay is just a little too small to host a regularly occurring series of murders.

Not to be confused with the town of Bodega.

Right, that’s a separate, even smaller town slightly inland. It’s where the church and schoolhouse from the movie The Birds are located, which is part of what’s confusing to people. Stupid Hitchcock ruins everything.

When I first met you, you were writing a book about giant land squids, and I thought, this is a girl I want to get to know! What ever happened to the squids? Maybe you could do a crossover where giant squids invade San Elmo Bay and Claudia has to stop them.

The squids are still out there, waiting for their chance. I can’t even remember why I thought it would be a good idea to write a book about giant underground squid, but it’s a decision I stand by. As for Claudia, I don’t know if she’d be able to take on the squid on her own, but maybe if she teamed up with the rest of her friends from the marketplace they could stop them. The good thing is, land squid can’t swim. (Obviously.)

What was the first piece of fiction you ever wrote? 

The first fiction I’m aware of having written was when I was seven years old and my little brother had just been born. It was for a school assignment and it was about a princess who had been living in the castle with her parents the king and queen, until they found another baby and they stopped loving her, so she had to go and live in the woods with the “gentle forest creatures” (this is apparently a direct quote). I have no recollection of this work, but apparently it made quite an impact on my mother, when the teacher showed it to her.

Speaking of gentle forest creatures, I think we need to take a pause so you can tell us about your new PUPPY!

image2Puppy! I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without talking about him. His name is Zaphod (as in Beeblebrox), he’s a six-month-old labradoodle, and he’s on a mission to chew the whole world into tiny pieces, starting with our living room and working out. He hasn’t met you yet, but he loves you. Other things he loves: marrow bones, peanut butter (dog-safe), the cat (unrequited), paper napkins, anything he can pick up off the sidewalk, and water in any form. We got him right as the lockdown was beginning and I’m a little concerned about what’s going to happen when he realizes that us being around all day, every day, isn’t how life is always going to be. Pray for my shoes.

[Editor’s note: Daisy does have great shoes, and now I’m worried.] Okay, back to serious writerly talk. Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? (I’d also like to point out that autocorrect preferred for me to ask you if you’re a plotter or a panther.) 

I think my working style could be best described as “chaotic neutral.” Which is to say, I try to write outlines, but I do them very badly, then I make things up as I go along, then I delete a LOT. I wouldn’t recommend this as a technique.

I do not consider myself a panther. More of a capybara, if I’m being honest.

I imagine it was fun exploring artisan markets looking for places one might find a dead body. What was your favorite thing you did in the name of research? 

Probably the best “research” I did was to go to the California Artisan Cheese Festival and sign up for everything that looked fun. I did a class on cheese tasting, and one on the qualities of different milks (cow, goat, sheep), and toured cheesemakers and other artisan food producers. It was a great way to see how the kinds of businesses I’m writing about are run, while also eating cheese and meeting baby goats. (I think we’re in agreement on the subject of baby goats.)

We are in total agreement. In retrospect, I should have demanded you write us a post about baby goats using lots of gifs. (Tuck that away for next time!) Okay, last question, and this is super serious: Do people ever confuse you with Daisy Bateman from the North Melbourne Football Club?

Not so far, but I do wonder if some of her fans are confused about how she came to write a murder mystery. I just hope she has a sense of humor about it, because she could definitely kick my ass.

Indeed. Thanks for stopping by, Daisy. I’m pretty sure you’re the first capybara cheese lover we’ve had on the blog! 

Readers, say hi to Daisy and Zaphod in the comments below, and while you’re at it, tell us your favorite cheese! 


* * *
About the Book – Murder Goes to Market

If you had asked computer programmer Claudia Simcoe what she expected to come of her leaving San Francisco for the California coast to open a farm-to-table marketplace, “assembles a mismatched team to investigate a murder” would not have been her first guess.

Lori Roth is one of the tenants of the market, or she had been until Claudia learned that the hands making her “hand-dyed” textiles belong to overseas factory workers. Claudia terminates Lori’s lease, but her hopes that this will be the last she sees of her problem tenant are dashed when she arrives at the marketplace the next morning to find Lori dead, hit over the head with a jar of pickles and strangled with a cheese wire.

The police chief thinks Claudia looks like an easy pick to be the killer, and he closes the marketplace to put the pressure on her. So, Claudia has no choice but to solve the mystery herself. Relying on the tech skills from her previous life and some help from her quirky new friends, Claudia races to save her business and herself before the killer adds her to the region’s local, artisanal murders.imgres

* * *
About the Author
Daisy Bateman is a mystery lover, cheese enthusiast, and world-renowned expert in Why You Should Buy That. In what passes for normal life, she works in biotech. She lives in Alameda, California, with her husband and a cat, only one of whom wears a tuxedo on a regular basis, and a puppy on a mission to chew the whole world into tiny pieces. Her first book, Murder Goes to Market, was released as an ebook in June 2020, and is coming in paperback in September, from Seventh Street Books.

33 thoughts on “Guest Chick Interview: Daisy Bateman

  1. This book sounds great, and who wouldn’t want to live with some gentle forest creatures? Sometimes they’re much more preferable to siblings. (And nice to hear from Marla!)

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hi, Marla! Thanks! It’s nice to be heard from. 😄 And I would definitely prefer gentle forest creatures to my siblings right about now! 😆

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Daisy, I love artisan markets and finding new tasty treats to enjoy! And I have your book loaded on my Kindle app to enjoy reading.

    My fave cheese is OKA cheese. It is a semi-firm cheese made in Quebec, and often used to make raclette. It was originally made by Trappist monks in the 19th century. Although it is now made in a modern facility, the cheese is still aged in the monastery’s cellars. It is the #2 cheese sold in Canada, after cheddar.

    MARLA: So nice to see you here. We still need to get together one day to share that bottle of zinfandel!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Hope you enjoy the book! And I’ll have to check out that cheese. My husband is Canadian, so we get back there pretty often. (Not this year, sadly. We were even supposed to go to a wedding in Ottawa in October, but that’s obviously off the table.)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Maybe the baby goats could gang up together and do battle with the giant land squid! And if it took place in Bodega, the crows could flock together into a murder and join in the fun!

    Congrats on the new series, Daisy–it sound wonderful! And yes, I am a bit biased, as I ADORE cheese–all cheese, but most especially artisanal, aged, soft, creamy cheese.

    And hi Marla–I miss having you in the Bay Area!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. What fun, Daisy! I love the concept (how I longed to escape high tech and live on the coast!) and the gumption Claudia displays from square one. Can’t wait to have a copy in my hands, and of course I’ll pass it along to my sister, another escapee from high tech.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. This book was already on my radar, but now I must get it and read it ASAP. Why? I grew up in Sonoma County and drove by that church in Bodega on my way to Bodega Bay many many times over the years.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mark, hubs and I like to check out movie locales when we travel. We toured Bodega and he took a pictures of me in front of the schoolhouse, holding my hands up like I was being attacked by birds! I am a goof.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Thanks, Marla, for this great interview!

    Congrats on your book, Daisy! I’ve been seeing it pop up everywhere.

    I love the pic of your cute labradoodle. Also, let it be known that capybaras are super interesting in real life–I got the chance to feed one once. (As for the land squids idea, that would make for an intriguing book someday.)

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What a fun interview, you two! Congrats on the book, Daisy — it sounds marvelous! And, Marla, love it when you hang out at the coop — and when you bring a fab author pal with you!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. A new series! Baby goats! PUPPY! Fabulous funny interview! Cheeeeeeeeese! This post has everything!!

    Thanks so much for visiting and sharing the hilarity. Now all I want to do is read your new book, eat cheese and talk about land squids.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sorry I’m late to the party, Daisy! It’s so nice to meet you and we all enjoyed your visit to Chicks–what a great interview! Your book sounds amazing and can’t wait to read it. (I would also LOVE to read your squid book.) I like soft, creamy cheeses that aren’t too strong-tasting. In fact, if they happened to be ingredients incorporated into some kind of dessert, I would not complain. Please drop by again soon–you too, Marla!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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