TQ: Welcome back to The Qwillery!
Casey: Always fun to be here. Thanks for inviting me!
TQ: Writing quirks! What are some of yours?
Casey: Quirks? Do I have any? Well, I set a clock for 45 minutes when I write. Then I get a 15-minute break after each writing session. Not sure that qualifies as a quirk. I'd like to say I have to drink champagne when I write, or I can only write when I'm wearing my purple caftan, but it's just not true. For me, writing is a business. It's work. I might not take myself very seriously, but I treat my writing like any other job.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers?
Casey: Too many to list! But some favorite include Alan Bradley ("Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie"), Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody mysteries), Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Dunnett. The world is full of fabulous, talented writers who tell such good stories. The only pity is that there aren't more hours in the day for reading.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Casey: Plotter. Most definitely. I generally spend 2-6 weeks plotting before I begin writing.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Casey: You mean aside from every day and every sentence and every word? One of the hardest things for me is that now that I'm writing series (I started my career writing historical romance), I've always got to wonder how much to tell readers about the stories that came before the one I'm working on. Too much, and I'll bore them (and keep them from buying those earlier books). Too little and they're lost. It's a tricky tightrope to walk.
TQ: Wild Wild Death is your eighth Pepper Martin Mystery. What inspired you to write mysteries with paranormal/supernatural elements?
Casey: I started out with the idea of a cemetery tour guide as the heroine in the series, the ghosts just naturally followed. In fact, the first time "Don of the Dead" (book #1 in the series) was reviewed as paranormal mystery, I was honestly surprised. I just figured ghosts and cemeteries went together naturally!
TQ: Do you base your paranormal/supernatural elements on existing lore, make things up or both?
Casey: A little of each. I do believe in ghosts, and I'm sure in the real ghostly universe there are "rules," but sometimes, a writer needs to bend rules or just plain make them up to accommodate a plot. For instance in book #4 in the series ("Night of the Loving Dead"), I had a ghost steal Pepper's body and Pepper become a ghost for a while. But she still needed to investigate and darn, in book #1, I'd already said that ghosts couldn't touch things. That's why they needed people to do it for them. What's a writer to do? I simply invented a rule: ghosts can touch things after they're dead, until the first full moon after their deaths. It worked in book #4 and I was able to use that rule again in book #9 ("Supernatural Born Killers"). I also made up a new rule in that book about how ghosts can be dispatched so that they can never come back again. Such fun!
TQ: What sorts of research have you done for the Pepper Martin Mysteries? What is the oddest bit of information that you’ve come across in your research?
Casey: I love research. So I do a lot of it. Probably more than I need to. I've had great fun researching Cleveland history (that's where the books are set). So much so that I now volunteer at the County Archives where all the historical documents for the county are kept. Oddest information? Hmmm . . . I'm not sure I picked up any odd information there, but I was able to accompany a professional ghost hunting group on an investigation in a cemetery. It was the day after Halloween. There was a full moon. It was so much freakin' fun!
TQ: Tell us about the upcoming Supernatural Born Killers (Pepper Martin 9) that is not in the book description.
Casey: Well, here's a bit of trivia: Superman was created in Cleveland. And since as I mentioned before, I love research and Cleveland history, I was able to play with that fact in "Supernatural Born Killers." Readers who've followed Pepper's adventures know she's always been looking for a man of steel. This time, I think she's found him!
TQ: In the the series so far who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Casey: Pepper is the easiest, simply because her voice is so distinct. It's always easy for me to slip into her head. Hardest character is probably Quinn, Pepper's on again/off again boyfriend. He's a cop and pretty tight-lipped. He doesn't reveal much about himself, and that's made him pretty tough to get to know.
TQ: Which character in the Pepper Martin Mysteries has surprised you the most?
Casey: Pepper. Always. She started out pretty shallow and slowly, she's grown up. In "Supernatural Born Killers" she does some pretty amazing things, and one thing in particular that she doesn't take any credit for. The old Pepper never would have done that. She's growing up!
TQ: What's next?
Casey: Lots of things coming up. "Supernatural Born Killers" comes out on September 4. On December 31, the third book in my Button Box mystery series (I write this as Kylie Logan) comes out, and in June of next year, I've got a new series premiering that will be called the League of Literary Ladies. That one's a mystery series, too. I'm currently working on book #1 of another new series. Lots to do.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Casey: Thank you. Always fun to visit.
Pepper Martin Mysteries
Wild Wild DeathA Pepper Martin Mystery 8
Berkley (Prime Crime), January 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Her job has been cut, she's low on cash, and her detective sometime- boyfriend refuses to even talk about her ability to see the dead and solve their murders. So Pepper is most certainly down for a vacation to get her spirits up. But when her cute scientist friend Dan is kidnapped, Pepper soon stumbles upon another deadly mystery that brings her to New Mexico. And she's after a clever murderer-one whose idea of Boot Hill has nothing to do with Jimmy Choo.
A Hard Day's FrightA Pepper Martin Mystery 7
Berkley (Prime Crime), April 5, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
What happened to a teenager named Lucy one night in 1966 after a Beatles concert? She rushed the stage, kissed Paul, started home with her friends, and was never seen again-until cemetery guide and unintentional PI to the dead Pepper Martin sees her as a ghost. Lucy's spirit can't rest in peace until her body is found and buried. But how will Pepper track down a missing corpse after forty-five years?
Pepper Martin Mysteries 1 through 6
And coming in September 2012:
Supernatural Born KillersA Pepper Martin Mystery 9
Berkley (Prime Crime), September 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
As Garden View Cemetery's new community relations manager, Pepper is feeling overwhelmed with planning the annual party to attract new sponsors, especially when a murdered ghost starts leaving puddles all over the place. The dead man is her skeptical ex-boyfriend Quinn's former partner Jack Haggarty and he isn't going away until Pepper figures out the real reason behind his murder. Now, Pepper has to convince Quinn he's the real deal and investigate Jack's death, before someone else meets a unfortunate end in a watery grave.
The Button Box Mysteries as Kylie Logan
Casey blogs on Wednesdays at:
There is a giveaway of Wild Wild Death (A Pepper Martin Mystery 8) with this interview. You can also enter to win the Grand Prize by using the Rafflecopter. The comment you leave to enter to win Wild Wild Death may also be used to enter to win the Grand Prize. Both Giveaways are open internationally.
To Enter to Win a Copy of Wild Wild Death
What: One commenter will win a copy of Wild Wild Death (A Pepper Martin Mystery 8) by Casey Daniels. The novel is generously provided by Penguin.
How: Leave a comment.
Please remember - if you don't leave a comment your entry will not be counted. You must also leave a way to contact you. Entries without contact information will not be counted.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Saturday, August 4, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
To Enter to Win the Grand Prize
How: Fill out the Rafflecopter
Terms and Conditions:
1) There will be one winner of the Grand Prize.
2) The Grand Prize is separate from any giveaway associated with individual author visits during Paranormal Cozy Mystery Month.
3) You must leave a way to contact you with your comment. If you do not leave a way to contact you, your entry will not be counted.
4) The Grand Prize Giveaway is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address.
5) Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
6) Giveaway Terms and Condition are subject to change at any time.
a Rafflecopter giveaway