Hey, Get Lost in a Story Readers, I’m popping in to say hey, and to interview National Bestselling Author Nancy Haddock whose second book in her Silver Six Crafting Series will soon hit bookstores and cyberspace. Poor Nancy and her character Nixy only thought they had they hands full during Basket Case. Looks like that scenario has turned into juggling. Please welcome back Nancy Haddock to Get Lost in a Story!
Leslee Stanton Nix—aka “Nixy”—thought moving to small-town Lilyvale, Arkansas, would be about as thrilling as watching paint dry. But keeping up with her retired Aunt Sherry and her housemates—collectively known as the Silver Six—has proven to be as exciting as it is exasperating.
To kick off the grand opening of their craft shop, the Handcraft Emporium, Nixy and the Silver Six invite Doralee Gordon to teach a gourd painting class. Nixy isn’t happy when Doralee’s ex crashes the class with his new fiancée, but things really get messy when the bride-to-be later turns up dead.
Now it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to use their melons to find the killer—before someone else gets painted out of the picture...
Please welcome the wonderful Nancy Haddock!
DONNELL: Hey, Nancy, first welcome back, and I just have to ask, what the heck is gourd painting?
NANCY: First, thank you for having me, Donnell! It’s always great to be with GLIAS, never mind hanging out with one of my favorite people!
Now to your question. The gourd family includes fruits such as pumpkins, melons, and squashes. Hard-shell gourds, used for practical items such as bowls and vases, come from a different family. When gourds are properly dried, artists can paint, etch, burn, and otherwise decorated them. You can paint gourds pretty much the same way you’d paint wood using acrylic or oil paints. The gourd can be all one color, or the paint can be layered. Or an artist can start with a solid color and then decorate with additional designs – graphics, flowers, whatever. I have a half dozen very small gourds I need to clean and then paint. Soon as I get time!
|Painted Gourds at Art Fair|
DONNELL: Now, I know you and your husband are originally from Tulsa, and now live in Florida, so why on earth did you set your story in Arkansas?
NANCY: Grins, Donnell! My dad and his family were originally from the Fort Smith, Arkansas area, and he, his sister, and his parents ended up in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, a small town southwest of Tulsa. I don’t remember the story of why or when they moved, but I remember visiting family and friends in AR when I was young. My folks also had a neighbor and friend who grew up in Magnolia, Arkansas. She is a gracious lady with such a pretty accent, I decided to model my fictional town after Magnolia.
Besides, every time I tried to move the story to Florida, the characters completely rebelled.
|Etched and Polished Gourd|
DONNELL: You have six elderly characters who decide to live together, while Nixy tries to rein them all in. I’m always astonished that someone outside of the group gets murdered and not someone within. I’m going to put you on the spot – Out of all of these characters, which one is your favorite, and is there one you’d like to smack?
NANCY: LOL, Donnell! I’ve seen a few cozy authors kill off a character “close” to the prime protagonist, but it doesn’t happen often. Plus, in a small town setting, it gets dicey to kill residents right and left.
Seriously, I’ve never had the urge to smack these characters. They all entertain me, although my favorite among the Silver Six is probably Fred. He came to me so clearly, and yet he continually says things that surprise me and make me laugh. My tie for favorite isn’t a Silver Sixer. She’s the next door neighbor, “Old Lady Gilroy.” I thought Bernice Gilroy would be more or less a walk-on, but she quickly established her place in the books. She’s as feisty as Fred, but an enigma to the main character, Nixy. I have a blast writing the visits between these two!
DONNELL: Tell us about Nixy and the hunky detective Eric Shoar. Does Eric have any competition in his future? Will he leave Nixy heartbroken?
NANCY: Being that Lilyvale is a small town without a plethora of eligible men in Nixy’s age range, Eric doesn’t have competition other than Nixy’s riding herd on the Silver Six and managing the Handcraft Emporium. Eric will definitely not leave her heartbroken, and their relationship will strengthen even more in the third book. He’s an upstanding, small-town guy, and a good cop. And hey, he remembers Nixy’s favorite Dairy Queen drinks, and he dotes on her pets! Definitely a keeper!
DONNELL: This is a craft-based series, and you provide recipes for your readers. Are you crafty, and if so, what is your favorite craft. Considering that I am the world’s worst cook, what recipe would you like me to try?
NANCY: I have been crafty in my past, but don’t indulge nearly as much as I used to. I’ve crocheted, needlepointed, arranged artificial flowers, made wreaths large and small. I’ve even painted, mostly with acrylics, although my creations are primitive at best. It’s freeing to sweep brush strokes on canvas board and know if I turn out a horror, I can always paint over it. :)
As for recipes, I gave up cooking a long while back. Hubby is the cook and baker in the family now. That said, I have made the chicken artichoke casserole recipe that appeared in Basket Case. It’s a process, but it isn’t difficult. The recipe for pear bread is in Paint the Town Dead. I haven’t made that yet, but it seems easy enough. I don’t recommend tackling the fried okra recipe unless you (1) adore fried okra and can’t get it anywhere else, or (2) you love cooking and don’t mind cleaning up the frying mess. Honest, aren’t I?
DONNELL: You absolutely are! When you’re not pounding away at the keyboard where will we find you?
NANCY: Sometimes you’ll find me tending my container plants. I’ve put plants in the ground, but most of them have gone nuts. A case in point is my hibiscus. That sucker is ten feet tall, minimum. So container gardening – with weeds also contained – is more my speed.
I used to walk the beach at least a few times a week, but haven’t done that in a while. Since the beach is only a three-minute walk away, and I moved here for the beach, not walking it is a crime. I want to get back to that.
Otherwise, I’m reading, reading, reading!
DONNELL: This is your second series. Your first was a humorous vampire series. Now you’re dealing with senior citizens. Do vampires ever try to slip into the plot? How do you keep them at bay;)
NANCY: I have no trouble keeping vampires out of the Silver Six, but ghosts want to sneak in now and again. I alluded to Nixy “seeing” her spunky ancestress in an upper story window once, but she has her hands full with the Six. She doesn’t need a ghost complicating life. (Although it would be fun to see what Fred would say about a ghost!)
I am working on a senior vampire story that might be a scream, and on several others featuring ghosts.
NANCY, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Time to ask readers a question, and here please let me know if you’d like to do a book give away.
I’m giving away signed copies of both Basket Case and Paint the Town Dead to one commenter. US only, please.
Readers, here are two questions for you: You can answer either or both! Inquiring minds want to know!
First, what art or craft do you love doing? Have you been at it long?
Second, I know of a lot of seniors who’ve long stopped worrying about what others think. They may be perfectly polite about it, but they aren’t shy about saying and doing what they want. Do you have a senior in your life who keeps you guessing, and/ or who keeps you in stitches?
About Nancy Haddock: the award-winning and national bestselling author of the Silver Six Crafting Mysteries. Basket Case debuted in 2015, and the second book in the series, Paint the Town Dead, is a Sept. 2016 release. Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places and people for her books. Learn more about her and her books at www.nancyhaddock.com