KMOT: When you are writing what sustains you coffee, tea or something else?
VH – "I’d say vodka, but some might not know I’m joking. For me it’s a time of day thing. Coffee in the morning. Tea in the afternoon if it’s a cold day. Tetley, please! And water if it’s hot outside!"
KMOT: How long was the writing process for Much Ado About Muffin?
VH – "I can’t tell you specifically for that book… I don’t really keep track. But my usual process is this: at some point long before I start writing a book, I write a synopsis for my editor to approve. Then, when I’m ready to start writing, I flesh it out, and begin. From that point on it takes, usually, 3 – 4 months. I will revisit twice more after my final draft; when I get a page edit from a copy editor I can change things and add some, though I don’t like to add a whole lot. Then, once it has been formatted, I get a typeset edit. At that point I can only address typos, misspellings, and occasionally mistakes that have been added in during the typeset phase."
KMOT: Where did the inspiration for Hannah the town librarian come from?
VH – "Well, actually, the inspiration was a wheelchair-bound reader on Facebook. The two aren’t really similar in any way except for being wheelchair-bound and loving books. I thought of how reading and libraries are great equalizers, in a way. Books, via public libraries, are there for almost everyone. Hannah is passionate about books, libraries, accessibility and reading. That’s why she tutors folks like Zeke who have a tough time reading because of learning barriers.
But this touches on something that is really important to me. Life is filled with all kinds of people, able bodied and disabled, all races, religions, gay and straight, easy-going and troubled. If a writer doesn’t populate their books with all kinds of people, they aren’t reflecting real life. Hannah may be in a wheelchair, but she is just one character in a cast of many, and that’s how I think it should be."
KMOT - I love that muffins and the tea pots are mentioned in this book, what is your favorite type of muffin and do you have a favorite style of tea pot?
VH – "Favorite muffin… what is this ‘favorite’ of which you speak? Hmm. Well, I do love the Fit For The King muffins I made for Muffin But Murder (Book 2 of the Merry Muffin Mysteries). They are banana and peanut butter (a favorite combo of Elvis Presley’s aka the King) with chocolate chips. How can you beat that combination? As for teapots, I do have a favorite among mine that I bought in a shop in a town where I went to a tearoom for lunch. It is a red transferware, and I just love the shape of it. My aim is to find a couple of different colors of transferware teacups and saucers."
KMOT: Autumn Vale is such a picturesque setting, is Wynter castle based on any particular castle and is Autumn Vale based on any actual town you have been to?
VH – "For some reason, the idea of inheriting a castle just popped into my head, fully formed. But when I went researching New York State castles, I was inspired by Beardslee Castle. It is an awesome venue that they use for weddings and fine dining. It’s so Gothic looking I love it! But as for Autumn Vale, no, it isn’t based on any town in particular. I think it probably owes its existence to an idea in my head of a village in the middle of nowhere that is a kind of caught in a mist, where nothing really seems to happen… and yet it does. There are undercurrents from the beginning, of things that have been going on, and yet they have never bubbled to the surface until Merry takes possession of her inheritance."
Thank you Victoria, it has been a pleasure having you stop by for tea today. To learn more about Victoria Hamilton's Merry Muffin Series and all of her writing please visit her website by clicking here.
Much A Do About Muffin is out now and you can order it and the three other Merry Muffin Mystery Series with Free shipping from The Book Depository by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me for a cup of tea and a visit with author Victoria Hamilton today. As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org