Tell us about yourself.
I’m Kathy Aarons, author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime. I live in San Diego with my husband and, now that our two daughters are in college, we’re new empty nesters. Good time for my first book to come out!
I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and moved to New York City to build a career in public relations. Fast forward several years through getting married and becoming a stay at home mom – one of those crazy moms who becomes PTA president and gets involved in everything my girls were into. Fast forward again to when my youngest started preschool and I started writing as a hobby (anything to avoid housework!) and then even more years to when I got serious about trying to get published.
How did Death is like a Box of Chocolates come about? I love the title by the way.
Thanks! I think the title is perfect and I’m so glad that my editor liked it. I couldn’t resist the idea of a chocolate shop and bookstore combination and wrote a proposal that my amazing agent sold to Berkley. I had one year to write the book, which was quite a challenge for me. It was very fun to learn about chocolate making (especially sampling chocolates!) and also how to run a successful chocolate shop and bookstore.
Can you give us a sneak peek on what you are working on now?
Right now I’m editing the second book in the series – Truffled to Death – which involves the theft of Maya antiquities. And I’m also writing the yet-to-be-named third book, which involves catfishing – pretending to be someone else online to pursue deceptive romances or worse.
Who or what inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always been good at writing but never thought of writing fiction as a career until I met published authors at Romance Writers of America – San Diego meetings and realized that they were normal people like me! RWASD is an amazingly supportive group of writers who work hard to help other writers along the path to publication.
What do you love most about writing?
I absolutely love that moment when you find the words to put on the page exactly what you envision in your head.
Do you have a favorite author?
I have so many! Of course Janet Evanovich, J.K. Rowling, Maggie Stiefvater, and John Green. Also Marisa de los Santos, Michael Chabon, Harley Jane Kozak, Michael Connelly and Hank Phillippi Ryan. I have too many favorite cozy authors to list here but I’ll try: Daryl Wood Gerber, Krista Davis, Jenn McKinlay, Victoria Hamilton, Meg London, Sheila Connolly, and my newly found fav, Terrie Farley Moran. I know I’m missing a few!
What 5 books are in your TBR pile?
Only 5? It’s huge right now! Blond Faith by Jayne Ormerod; Pampered to Death by Laura Levine; Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay; Murder in the Mystery Suite by Ellery Adams; and The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly.
If you could throw a holiday dinner party and invite five authors living or dead who would they be, what holiday would it be and what would be on the menu?
This is the most fun question I’ve ever seen!
I’m going to go eclectic with my authors.
First, I’d choose John Green – so I could convince him to speak at a high school writers’ conference I volunteer with. (Check out CCA Writers Conference on Facebook – it’s the only free high school writing conference in the country!) And also because I’d be a hero to my girls who have followed him since he started on YouTube years ago.
And second, I’d choose Maureen Johnson, who’s hilarious on Twitter and on various YA panels I’ve seen.
Third would be J. K. Rowling. I’d love to learn how she planned the whole Harry Potter series.
Fourth would be Harley Jane Kozak, author of Dating Dead Men and more, who is the kindest person I’ve ever met and extremely funny to boot!
And rounding out the dinner party would be Michael Chabon whose writing is brilliant – he’d have to be brilliant in person.
I would choose New Year’s Day – everyone is recovering from their parties and looking forward to the new year.
I’m not the best cook, but my husband is! He’d bbq steak and sauté salmon, and I’d make strawberry spinach salad and roast potatoes, broccoli and Brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. And I’d serve Dallmann’s Chocolates (www.dallmannconfections.com) for dessert – especially their Fleur de Sel Caramels.
Death is Like a Box of Chocolates
Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for…
Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.
As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…
FIRST IN A NEW SERIES
Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!
Kathy Aarons is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime.
Research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.
After growing up in rural Pennsylvania and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy built a career in public relations in New York City. She now lives in San Diego with her husband and two daughters where she wakes up far too early, and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.
You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.