Thursday, December 30, 2010

Krista Davis

The "Get to Know You" interviews have been such fun. We hope readers are enjoying the different answers from our guest authors.

Today, it's time to get lost with Agatha award nominee Krista Davis, who writes the Berkley Prime Crime Domestic Diva Mystery Series.
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Donnell: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?

Krista: I wouldn't categorize Humphrey as a hero - maybe he will be someday! He had an overwhelming crush on my protagonist, Sophie Winston, when they were in grade school. She barely noticed him. In THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, Sophie's mother invites him to Thanksgiving dinner as a surprise. Humphrey means well, but he's socially inept. All he wants is to find someone to love, but he's always looking for love in the wrong places. I never meant for him to become a regular, but his awkwardness became endearing, and he grew on Sophie and me.

Donnell: What is your favorite cheese?

Krista: Fromage Affinois Poivre. It's rich and creamy with a zing of peppercorn. I don't dare indulge too often!

Donnell: Tea or coffee?

Krista: Definitely tea! My favorite is Newman's Own Organic Black tea, hot, with skim milk and sugar. In the summer, I take it straight -- iced, plain, no sugar or lemon, though I do like to make iced tea out of two bags of black tea and one bag of raspberry tea for a little fruity flavor.

Donnell: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Krista: Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, and I'm having my annual party with house guests for the weekend, so the fridge is full. New Year's Eve dinner will be fondue, so there's Gruyere and beef, mushrooms, and red peppers. We're in the south, which means we'll be eating black-eyed peas in a vinaigrette, spinach, and ham on New Year's Day for luck. I had a Christmas cookie recipe contest in December and froze lots of cookies so I could serve them on New Year's weekend, including the fabulous Quadruple Chocolate Chip cookies. I'm always experimenting with recipes for my books and trying them out on my poor friends, so there's also a cheesecake that I'm planning to flambé.

When I don't have guests, the fridge is usually stocked with more mundane things, like lots of celery (my big snack food), black olives, sweet potatoes (for my dogs), Asian pears, and chicken.

Donnell: Is Elvis really dead?

Krista: He'll never be dead.

Donnell: What does it mean to love someone?

Krista: Accepting them just the way they are. Dogs do it the best. They don't judge or try to change us. They love us no matter what.

Donnell: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Krista: I walk away from the computer and undertake some neglected household project. That usually lifts the fog, and I'm able to work through my problem. Of course, there's a down side because I leave a mess behind when I run back to the computer in the middle of cleaning a closet or working in the garden.

Donnell: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Krista: I'm not sure this is a quirk, but I was surprised to learn it about myself. I *have* to know who the murderer is and exactly how and why he/she committed the murder before I start writing. I run away shrieking at the thought of outlining, but I have to know about my killer before I can start.

Donnell: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

Krista: I was certain I would be brave and learn from critical reviews. Unfortunately, while I so appreciate the lovely things reviewers say (and there have been some wonderful reviews), it's the harsh words that ring in my head over and over again. One complaint in particular stuck with me, and before I knew it, I was changing characters and plots to overcome that criticism, even though I didn't agree with it. I mentioned it to my editor (a very wise woman), who asked, "Are you writing your books for that one person?" Her question hit home. Of course I wasn't writing for one person, and certainly not that one! I adopted a line from Sara Lee -- everybody doesn't like something. It's so true. I don't like all books. It would be unreasonable to expect everyone to like my books. However, now that I know how easily I'm influenced, I have become cautious about reading negative reviews.

Donnell: What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing/researching a book?

Krista: As you might imagine, mystery authors research ways to murder people. So there I was, innocently researching arsenic, when I found a study analyzing the amount of arsenic found in grocery store chicken. Turns out we allow chicken farmers to add arsenic to chicken feed! Who knew?

Donnell: What’s the first thing you do when you finish a book?

Krista: Clean house. Ugh.

Donnell: Dog person or cat person?

Krista: Both! I'm a total pushover for anything with fur. I could easily become the little old lady with a houseful of rescued cats and dogs.

Donnell: Which is your favorite language other than your native language?

Krista: French is so melodious, how could I not love it? I'm big on German, though. Many of my relatives live in Germany, and I've spent wonderful vacations there.

Donnell: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?

Krista: I would love to see Egypt in the 1930s and 40s, when Agatha Christie traveled there. Such fascinating and adventurous people toured on steamers, like in DEATH ON THE NILE. How exotic!

Donnell: How much money does it take to be happy?

Krista: More than I have! LOL! I think money makes life easier and makes us feel more secure, but I don't think it necessarily leads to happiness. Plenty of people with modest amounts of money are happier than the incredibly wealthy.

Donnell: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?

Krista: Dog and cat rescue. I suppose that's not a profession, but if there were no other considerations, that's what I would love to do.

Krista Davis writes the Domestic Diva Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. Her first book, THE DIVA RUNS OUT OF THYME, was nominated for an Agatha award. Her most recent release is the fourth book in the series, THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE. Krista now lives in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, but her mysteries are set in quaint, historical Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia.

Learn more about Krista's books by visiting her website http://kristadavis.com/ or pay a visit to Mystery Lover's Kitchen, where mystery writers cook up crime . . . and recipes! http://mysteryloverskitchen.com/

Also, one lucky commenter today will receive The Diva Cooks a Goose!

KRISTA'S QUESTION FOR READERS: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PROTAGONIST IN THE DOMESTIC DIVA SERIES?

Thanks for joining us, Krista. Join us tomorrow, Friday, December 31st as the Get Lost Crew's own Angi Morgan explains "How to Claim 2011 as our Own."


23 comments:

  1. Welcome to GLIAS, Krista !
    Your stories sound adorable. Love the dog pics! I'm a dog person through-and-through.

    Do you have a question you'd like the readers to answer?

    ~~Angi

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  2. These books look wonderful. I think cozy mystery covers are just the best. I actually place them cover out on my (very crowded) bookshelves just to enjoy the pictures.

    I woke up on the edge of the bed this morning because our bird dog had abandoned his place at the end of the bed and was sprawled in the middle. Do your dogs hog the bed? :)

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  3. Hi Angi! Thanks for inviting me. I would love to hear about readers' favorite protagonists. Who do you love to read about and why? Because you relate to her? Because she's so different? Because she gets into mischief?

    ~ Krista

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  4. Gillian, I'm so lucky to have Teresa Fasolino as a cover artist. Not only is she talented, but she has such an elegant style.

    LOL about your dog. Clever fellow! The one who hogs the bed the most is my Jack Russell. She *must* be near me at all times, no matter how uncomfortable or tight the squeeze. When I write, she's on the bed directly behind my chair. I'm lucky she's not *in* the chair with me!

    ~ Krista

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  5. My current favorite protagonist is Richard K Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs. He's definitely more of an anti-hero and probably is not someone I'd want to know in real life. I'm still trying to figure our why I'm so drawn to these novels, but I am a huge fan! (The writing is superb and the character is both human and superhuman at the same time - sort of a bad guy with a tender heart.)

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  6. Hi Krista! Thanks so much for coming by GLIAS today!

    I'm thinking, with the food in your fridge, I'm coming to YOUR house for NYE :)

    I totally agree with you on wanting to see Egypt of the 30's. I'm sure we've romantacized it a bit, but I still think it would be fascinating!!!

    Have a lovely New Year :)

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  7. Confession time, Krista, I have not yet read your wonderful series, and since I've invited you here I have to disqualify myself from the drawing. However, I plan to go out and by The Diva Cooks a Goose today. I so agree with your editor. She sounds like a very wise woman!

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  8. I've read all the Diva books and love them. Sophie is one of my favorite protagonists. She's comfortable to be around, says things I'd like to be able to think of in the heat of the moment, plus she's always cooking tasty, tempting treats.

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  9. Krista, I have a question about cooking vs. writing. Do you spend more time at the keyboard or in the kitchen?

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  10. There is something wonderful about whisking the culinary arts into any genre of story. Romance, crime, suspense, you name it. This sumer I read Chocolat by Joanne Harris and the character of Vianne Rocher has stuck with me for months now. She is such a great spirit and her confections are magic!

    And I love the name Humphrey! But then I love heroes with unusual names!

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  11. Welcome Krista! I agree with Gillian, your covers are so elegant. Hm, now I'm craving a good cozy mystery. Luckily I know exactly which one to get!

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  12. Great interview! I especially love the idea of going to Egypt in the 1930's.

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  13. Hi Krista,

    My favorite protagonist in your series is Sophie. She cares for all her friends and family and if she sees an injustice towards them, she'll fight to prove their innocence.

    Please exclude me from the drawing as I've read and have all your books.

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  14. Sarahlynn, I find it fascinating that your favorite protagonist is someone you wouldn't want to know! Maybe it's the fun of entering a dangerous or forbidden place? Seeing life from a perspective that's completely different? Very interesting!

    ~ Krista

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  15. Hi Heather and Maureen! Heather, come on over and party with us (you too, Maureen!)!

    Looks like the three of us can venture back in time to Agatha's Egypt together. I can hear the haunting music playing now!

    ~ Krista

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  16. Too bad about being disqualified from the drawing, Donnell! LOL!

    I spend more time writing than I do in the kitchen. Really! However, some things take a lot of time to work out. Making Red Velvet Cupcakes without red dye turned out to be a *huge* challenge. Much more difficult than I expected. I filled freezers with dozens of cupcakes until I figured out the key.

    ~ Krista

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  17. Janet, you're too kind. I would hope that Sophie is the kind of person most people would like as a neighbor or a friend.

    ~ Krista

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  18. Gjillian, it's fun "breaking" writing rules about characters sitting around and eating! I think it's part of the coziness, though, to hang out with friends over good food -- and a drink once in a while, too!

    ~ Krista

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  19. Thank you, Simone! I'll let Teresa know how much you like her covers. Just today Mason Canyon blogged about new books and mentioned that The Diva Cooks A Goose is a standalone as well as the fourth in the series. I thought it was very nice of her to point out that you don't have to read all the other books first to understand what's going on in The Diva Cooks A Goose. I hope you enjoy it!

    ~ Krista

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  20. Hi Dru! You're very sweet to say that about Sophie. I think you're right, though. It seems like she's fighting for someone in every book.

    ~ Krista

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  21. Favorites? Smart and sassy, but not bitchy!
    LOL

    ~~Angi

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  22. Angi, I agree with you. Sassy is always fun!

    ~ Krista

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  23. GLIAS members, I thought you might chuckle to know that one of my guests saw the Facebook announcement and got a big kick out of reading what's in the fridge for the weekend! LOL!

    ~ Krista

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