Tell us about your self?
I'm the person who usually helps elderly people find what they're looking for in the grocery store and pharmacy. I'd rather wrap a Christmas present than decorate the tree, prefer a salad to chocolate cake, and love English crime stories and the Doc Marten series.
I love to iron clothes and paint walls (it's therapeutic), hate putting away the silverware when I empty the dishwasher, and love to stay up late into the night. I rarely turn on my cellphone, love having my drawers and cupboards organized, and have a daily chat with my 94 year-old mother every day at precisely 9 o'clock (when we talk about her youth, politics, and either football or basketball). I'm a transplanted New Englander who loves being a Midwesterner. I've taught writing at the University of Wisconsin, linedanced on a weekly basis for twenty years, and am a little concerned about what I'm going to do with my husband when he retires this year. Ehhhh! I started my writing career penning historical romances, but I find that killing off characters in a mystery novel is much more rewarding, and to be perfectly honest, seems to garner more respect from the reading public. Go figure!
How did you come up with this series?
Back in 1999, after I'd suffered a 10 year dry spell with my writing, a friend's mother asked me to be her traveling companion on a bank-sponsored trip to Lucerne, Switzerland. The bank was located in Ames, Iowa, and the guests would all be senior citizens who were members of the bank's travel club. Since I adore seniors, I signed up.
The bank sent an escort along to troubleshoot for us should we run into problems, but there was little the escort could do to rectify the problems we ran into. Our hotel rooms were spartan beyond imagination. The food was terrible and all the same color. The weather was miserable -- rain, fog, wind. But the tour guests were the nicest people in the world... and the most punctual. I played poker with the guys in the hotel lobby (for matchsticks), cruised past naked people on a spa beach, and bought drinks for my new friends in an exquisite hillside chateau, nearly dying from cardiac arrest when I found out what mixed drinks cost in Switzerland.
When I got back home, I realized my trip had presented me with the perfect setup for a mystery series: young travel escort chaperones group of Iowa senior citizens around the world. Nothing ever goes right, and someone always ends up dead. The rest, as they say, is history.
What are you working on next?
I'm presently working on the French misadventure, entitled Fleur de Lies. The gang has signed up for a Seine River cruise that travels from Normany to Paris, and along for the ride are a contingent of funeral directors, and four women whose lives revolve around the world of cosmetics, one of whom is Emily's transgender ex-husband, Jackie. Add some World War II intrigue to the mix, a visit to Monet's gardens, and non-stop onboard activities, and we'll have ourselves a book!
Do you have a favorite author ?
I LOVE Erik Larson and Bill Bryson. They write non-fiction, but Erik keeps me intrigued with fascinating historical tales, and Bill just makes me laugh.
What character in any book would you like to spend the day with and why?
I'd love to spend the day with Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy for purely selfish reasons: I'd love to convince him to change my twenty-four year-old Oldsmobile into either a Mini-cooper or a Smart car. If he's not that kind of wizard, then at least I'd get to spend some quality time with a few hobbits and dwarfs. How cool would that be?
Passport to Peril Mystery #7-- DUTCH ME DEADLY, February 2012
Passport to Peril Mystery #8 -- BONNIE OF EVIDENCE, February 2013
Midnight Ink Books
So everyone have you read this series~ Leave a comment for Maddy, I'm sure she would love to hear from you!