Today we have Chelsea Thomas, one of my favorite authors. I was honored that she would agree to do a post for me. And I learned some fun, and unexpected, things about her… how about you?
Before I answer these questions, I want to make it clear that all Chelsea Thomas books are written by me and my husband, Matt. So even though all my answers will be about me (Chelsea) personally, all my cozies are co-written by both of us. OK! Excited to answer these questions!
Susan: What is the first thing you had published, and when?
Chelsea: The very first thing I had published was probably an editorial in the local paper in Florida, about why art classes were important to me. I was in middle school and quite passionate about the topic!
S: What is the one story you want to write, but just can’t?
C: When I was a kid, I wrote a mystery series called Autumn Waters. I used to do live readings of the new installments every week for the kids who rode my bus. I’d incorporate bullies from school as villains, that kind of thing.
I’ve wanted to novelize those Autumn Waters stories for a long time, but haven’t been able to figure it out yet.
S: Who is your favorite antagonist in your stories, and why?
C: I love Sunshine Flanagan, the beautiful but spiteful police chief in our books. There’s something really satisfying to me about a villain who is gorgeous and amazing and powerful. You love to hate her and you’re also kinda jealous of her.
S: Why do you write the genre you write?
C: friend of mine, Christy Murphy, was writing cozy mysteries and recommended it… plus, I’ve always been a mystery fan.
I watched and read a ton of Poirot and Miss Marple and Sherlock growing up. It’s a gratifying genre, because there’s a mystery and then it’s solved. It’s fun to plot and to have a sense of justice and closure at the end of every book. Like finishing a puzzle.
S: What is your favorite writing snack?
C: Pizza Pringles. Hands down.
S: What is the most valuable piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
There’s been a lot. But probably just to write things you like. Ideas that immediately set your imagination in motion always turn out better than ideas you have to force into realization.
S: How many times do you re-do the opening of your stories before you are satisfied with them?
C: Basically once. My husband/writing partner and I do a lot of prep for our books, so by the time we get to the first draft it’s pretty close to the finished product.
S: Do you blog? If so, what do you blog about?
C: I don’t blog but I love reading them!
S: What has helped you most in your growth as a writer?
C: Reading. And writing. That might sound overly simple, but it’s true. Nothing is more helpful to me than absorbing as much good writing as I can, and then sitting down and trying to reverse engineer my own stories.
S: Are you writing anything now that surprises you?
C: Matt and I just finished writing the screenplay for a horror movie, which is not normally our niche. But we loved it. And there’s a lot of overlap in the Venn diagram of horror/comedy/mystery, so the genre felt familiar in surprising ways.
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USA Today Bestselling Cozy Mystery Author
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If you haven’t yet read any of Chelsea and Matt’s Apple Orchard Cozy Mystery series, you’ve really been missing out. I, for one, can’t wait for the next installment of the series. Talk about great, fun, and satisfying reads! See for yourself! Start with “Apple Die”, book 1, and I guarantee you’ll be marathoning through the entire series in no time!