Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Paint the Town Dead with Nancy Haddock

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!

Blue Gourd
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


Nancy K said...

The computer ate my comment, I guess. Donnell and GLIAS, thank you so much for having me today! It's always a pleasure!

I'm back from the dentist and ready to play. If one of the squalls we're having knocks out the power or Internet, I'll be back asap!

Have a fabulous day!


Leslie Ann Sartor said...

Hi Donnell, thanks for hosting Nancy. This series is such a hoot. I love Old Lady Gilroy and worry about her! One book a year just simply isn't enough. I sew, do paper arts, used to be a jeweler, and now do a lot of digital art. I wonder if writers aren't all creative in some other way? What do you think?

Nancy K said...

Leslie Ann, I agree completely! I've yet to meet a writer who doesn't have at least one other creative outlet. More often, multiple outlets, just as you have had in the past and have now!

Thanks for your compliments on the series. It is a hoot to write, and I'm tickled you enjoy the characters!


Laura Frye said...

I do cross stitch, which I love. Lately I've taken up coloring, which I find relaxes me quite a bit. No seniors in my life right now. Mom passed away last month, but I see a lot of her in Aunt Sherry. She was independent and always wanted to do things on her own. Reading about the Silver Six makes me smile.

Nancy K said...

Laura, hi! My deepest sympathy on your mom's death. My mom left on my birthday a few summers ago. I know time heals, and we do have our treasured memories. Blessings!

I'm tickled you can see your mom in Aunt Sherry, and that the Silver Six make you smile. Knowing that is a gift!

I used to get cross-eyed when I tried cross-stitch. Of course, I did the same on needlepoint now and then. I love it that coloring relaxes you. Do you have an "adult" coloring book? Favorite subjects to color?

Take care of you!


Donnell Ann Bell said...

Leslie, I admire creative types outside of writing. One person beads, another paints. I've dabbled and find that writing is definitely my overall creative gift -- that and bowling, but I don't think bowling is creative, do you? :)

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Nancy, so glad I got to interview you! What an education - I never knew about gourd!

Nancy K said...

I'm laughing, Donnell! I didn't either until I met the Chairman of the Gourd at on of our local farmer's markets, and later featured them in a book! I did SO much research. Of course, some of it was by attending art and craft fairs, and that's always fun! Hope you're having a wonderful day!


Laura Frye said...

I do have a few "adult" coloring books. Most of them are shapes and the "zen" type. While Mom was in hospice a friend of mine sent me several books and a large pack of colored pencils. It really helped to calm my nerves.

Sherry does remind me of Mom. I'm really looking forward to their new adventure.

Laura Frye said...

My uncle painted gourds. He always came up with something new. I wish I had something that he'd done.

Skyewriter said...

I'm really looking forward to this new installment in the series. Loved the first one. As to your questions. I've done so many crafts over the years - most of the things and a few more. Today I mostly sew. When my daughter was a gymnast (from age 6-21) I made all her practice leotards - she didn't like the ones that gave her a wedgie so I had to fiddle with the pattern until it didn't When she started at the private club and the cost of her training escalated and I was a new widow, I ended up saying yes to the head coach to make leotards for their pro shop. After Lori graduated I thought I'd never make another leotard. Karma is a funny thing - Lori now has 3 daughters, two already competing and the youngest just starting out. And I'm making leotards again.

bn100 said...

don't do any
bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Nancy K said...

Rolling on the floor, Skye Taylor! I love it that you're making leotards for another generation of your girls! Thanks for your kind words about my series. YOU write some amazing books, too! Check out Skye's novels, ladies!

Nancy K said...

Thanks for saying hi!

Tami Bates said...

Looks great story¡¡ i used to do ceramic, making the nnick knacks for my home (then had first child with add ,) kinda ended that, .. crotcheting ... had the 2nd kid .gave up on crafts,,,, my late gtanny & great aunt , they was wild and had thee best expressions

Nancy K said...

Hi, Tami! It's great to see you, and thanks for stopping by!

I borrowed a lot of words and sayings from my parent's generation, and my grandparent's, too. So much fun to revisit those!

Maybe when the children are grown and gone, you'll get back to crafting!


Nancy K said...

Laura, what a thoughtful friend you have! Coloring is a great way to be creative and reduce stress. I'm happy it helps you. And the zen patterns must add to the peace!

Nancy K said...

Laura, I think the computer ate my response to this note. :)

Since your coloring now, perhaps you'll give gourd painting a try. Who knows what you'll come up with!

Nancy K said...

Donnell, the way I used to bowl was creative. Or was that the way I scored? :) NO matter what you do, you're one of the most amazing people I know!

Patty Kovach said...

HI, Nancy I loved the first book in this series and am so glad that the second book will be out soon! I have a 91 year old Auntie who is the only person I know that will say what she feels! She always tells me that she is OLD and she can do or say whatever she wants! HA! By the way, she LOVES to read, and I let her read all the books I get first, and then she gives them back to me to read. Just a couple weeks ago, unfortunatley, she fell, broke her foot and the doctor thinks she MAY have had a mini stroke. She is now in rehab and I brought her some books to read and she was thrilled! Please keep this sSilver Six series going, I love it, and so did my Auntie when she read the first book! Thanks, Patty pc1977@zoominternet.net

Anonymous said...

great book cover