Today I want to share with you the book Gnarly New Year by Anna Celeste Burke. I am happy to say that I am in the Blog Tour by Great Escapes! ;)
This is the second book of the Corsario Cove mystery from Anna Celeste Burke.
The honeymoon’s not over yet! Kim and Brien’s excellent adventure at the swanky Sanctuary Resort Spa continues when an unwelcome visitor drops in on New Year’s Eve. An elusive marine GPS device found and lost again, unleashes another wave of murder and mayhem in Corsario Cove! What is it about that thing? Stooges, Krugerrands, twitchy detectives, and monks—oh my! Will it be a Gnarly New Year for Kim and Brien?
I was lucky to do an interview to the author, can you believe it!!?
Take a look...
First of all, I want to ask a few personal questions...
When did you start writing?
Let me start by saying thanks so much for the chance to visit your lovely blog and for helping to get the word out about my new Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery Series.
I began to write because I had to do it. I wrote and published nonfiction for years as a faculty member and researcher. When they say publish or perish, they mean it.
I turned to writing fiction in reaction to feeling closed in by all the rules that go with scientific writing. I mean you can’t just make stuff up. Even sticking to the facts you have to hem and haw a lot—put in all sorts of limits and conditions on the conclusions you’ve reached about a subject you study. It’s good discipline, but sometimes you just have to break out and color outside the lines.
It wasn’t until I retired that I finally had the time to indulge my interest in fiction. The mystery genre chose me since at the core of a research problem is a mystery of some kind. Life is full of them. In fact, many of the same mysteries that intrigued me in my research on social and behavioral health problems like crime, poverty, injustice, mental illness and addiction, pop up in my fiction.
Which are your routines to focus on your writing; music, coffee...
Coffee is a must have! I start by grinding beans that are roasted by a group of monks out in the wilds of Wyoming. The whole kitchen smells like a coffee shop while I wait for the coffee to brew in a French Press. After coffee and breakfast, I do a bit of reading and morning meditation. It’s a pretty simple routine, but revs me up and settles me down all at the same time. After that, I’m ready to go. I try to write until lunch. Sometimes other writing-related tasks get in the way, but I try to delay editing or marketing tasks until after lunch. I’m usually on Twitter and Facebook while I watch TV. Somewhere in there, I try to read other writers’ books.
Did you create your characters based on "real" people or just fiction?
My characters are little Frankenstein’s monsters but in a good way. Bits and pieces of them come from various characters [and I do mean characters] I’ve met over the years. Surfer dudes were part of my middle school life in San Diego when all of the 10-12-year-old boys were smitten by the California surfing lifestyle once the Beach Boys hit the airwaves. Those surf anthems play in my head when I sit down to write about Kim Brien’s most excellent adventures in Corsario Cove.
There’s a little of Lisbeth Salander in Kim’s character—especially when we first meet her in another series. She’s rescued from a very nasty man when Jessica Huntington runs into Kim while trying to find out who killed an old high school chum. Kim’s tattoo isn’t a dragon, but Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. That’s meant to convey an aspect of Kim’s character—her openness to good and beautiful things in life, despite an early life spent on the streets and in the clutches of a despicable Hollywood music mogul. I think it’s that part of her that falls for Brien. Kim finds the handsome hunk attractive on the outside. But more important, is a kind of innocence about him that she finds fascinating. Perhaps, a way to reclaim some of what she lost in her childhood and adolescence.
Which is your favourite book so far?
The one I’m working on at the moment—right now, that’s book four in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series, A DEAD MOTHER.
Now, I have to say I enjoyed the books, here are some questions I would like to ask...
Have you ever fantasised of being kidnapped by a pirate?
Haha! I love this question…I’d love to hear your answer, too. As a kid, I was fascinated by seafaring adventures. Growing up in San Diego, as I did, the mariner’s life was as integral to my surroundings as the culture of the Spanish Missions, or the influence of the border towns with Mexico. In San Diego’s Old Town, I visited a shop sort of like Nonesuch Nautical that Kim visits. What I remember most is the exotic smell of wood, spices, too, and the sea. May that also sparked my interest in exploration. For a time, I thought about studying oceanography. I had incredible, real-life adventures exploring tide pools, sea caves, and other places like those I describe in Corsario Cove. No spelunking, though, and no bats or rats. Well, no rats, but more than a few bats.
Did you ever dream of finding a lost treasure?
Oh, I love the idea of finding undiscovered treasure. That’s what made me want to be a scientist. It’s the best part of being a writer. Every story is about digging up a new treasure—you never know what you’re going to find when you open a new book. That’s true even when you use the same little monsters to tell your next story in a series!
The first book was centred in Christmas Eve, the second in New Year's, there will be another one in Easter?
Yes, Epic Easter is coming next. There are some threads dangling from their previous adventures that these two love birds will not be able to resist pursuing. When Brother Bartholomew asks for their help—how could they possible refuse him?
In the beginning Brian was getting me nervous, but now I love him! Where did you get the idea of his "errors"?
He and Kim both make me nervous. They’re the most impulsive characters in any of the books I write. Jessica Huntington takes risks, too, but she’s a little more likely to call for backup than these two. When they head toward danger, I get a little of the feeling I used to get watching Saturday Matinees featuring spooky movies where you just want to tell the characters not to go down in the basement, a dark room, or the woods! What would be the fun in that?
Brien’s problems using the wrong words or misquoting an adage are central to his character. He’s a guy whose brain is wired in an odd way. It’s not that he’s dumb, he just processes information in an unusual way. His love of the surf life makes his vocabulary more curious, yet. What I find most endearing about Brien is how hard he tries—he wants to impress people—especially his new bride. That often gets him in trouble because he goes for a two-dollar word when he could say what he has to say so much more simply. You just have to love a guy who tries that hard.
How did you get the idea of basing the plot in an island?
The idea for the Corsario Cove series came about while sitting at dinner with friends at a beachside restaurant up on a small slope overlooking this perfect little cove. I left that night with surf music playing in my head and a story about Kim and Brien forming in my head. An unlikely couple—on their honeymoon overlooking a gorgeous cove. They’re living it up in a high-end resort with a bigger, swankier version of that little cove as their playground. Romantic, huh? Then a dead guy nearly falls on them from six stories up. And, oh yeah, the dead guy’s wearing a Santa suit. “Are you telling me we’ve got a dead Santa on our hands?” A dead Santa and a whole lot more!
And the last one...
Can we expect a new Kim and Brian adventures?
Kim and Brien will be back in Epic Easter. I haven't written it yet, but I have a basic idea of what’s going to be involved in that next adventure in Corsario Cove. The surf music is going and I hear Brien saying, “It’s going to be epic, Kim!”
I have to say I really enjoyed the Kim and Brien adventures, you still have time for Easter, so don't doubt and read the Anna Celeste Burke books, you will enjoy a good mystery and some humour, of course! ;)
Labels: Blog Tour, Book, Great Escapes, Interview