I am thrilled today have author Julia Buckley with us today to talk about her An Undercovered Dish Mystery series. Book one The Big Chili came out in 2015 and book two Cheddar Off Dead came out September 6th.
Julia has agreed to share a cup of tea with us today and some insight into the series and Cheddar Off Dead. Welcome Julia!
KMOT: What gave you the idea for the Undercover Dish business that Lilah has?
JB: My agent, Kim, came up with the idea of clandestine covered dishes. I had sent her a different manuscript altogether, and she said she wasn't sure about that one, but she liked me writing and wondered if I''d try writing something else? So my fictional Lilah and the gang can thank Kim for their existence.
KMOT: Lilah and her Dog Mick make a great team who is Mick based on?
JB:Mick is a figment of my imagination, but I've had dogs all my life. My childhood dog, Buffie, was a beautiful mix of collie, beagle, and Norwegian Elkhound. She was a lovely and devoted dog, and lived to be thirteen. When my oldest was six he begged for a dog, so we got Simon, a Beagle/Russell mix, and we had also had him for thirteen years. The funny thing is, when I was writing Mick I fell more and more in love with him. So when Simon died, and we thought we might like to get a dog, I said I'd like a Chocolate Lab. The shelter didn't have any chocolate puppies, but they had a Black Lab, and we snapped him up. His name is Digby, and he is lot like Mick.
KMOT: The recipes in the back of the book are such a treat, are they your own recipes?
JB: I don't really have any recipes that I've made up or that were passed down from someone in the family, so I just find base recipes and put my own spin on them--adding and subtracting ingredients and writing my own narration. But I do have some very distinct ideas about that when I 'Interpret" traditional recipes
KMOT: What can we expect from Lilah in Book Three?
JB: In Book 3 things are a bit more settled for Lilah, and not as traumatic, but she still becomes embroiled in mystery through her affiliation with Ellie, Jay Parker's mom. Lilah is, as we've learned in the first two books, highly observant, and this makes her helpful to investigators, but also puts her in some danger when her observations lead her to the truth.
JB: I really love my characters. I don't think I could keep writing about them if I didn't. Since these are cozy mysteries, everyone is a bit idealized, but I like stories like that. For those reviewers who say things are too happy or too exaggerated, I would suggest that the cozy genre asks for a fair amount of "feel good" detail. And frankly, who doesn't like to feel good? That's the appeal of cozy mysteries.
Now, if you ask why I prefer happy, cozy little stories, I guess it must be that I used to watch a lot of cozy things in my impressionable years--Disney films and Doris Day movies and Pollyanna. And I LIKED them. They were positive and happy and focused on nice things. Even in this cynical world, there are those of us who like to think about happy and nice things.
Oh, and for those who hated the ending of THE BIG CHILI--keep in mind that you have to look at the big picture in a series, and the overall story ARC. Readers should be pretty happy in that respect with CHEDDAR OFF DEAD!
Thank you Julia for joining us today for a quick cup of tea and a look at your wonderful series. Learn more about Julia by clicking here for her website and you can order your own copy of Cheddar off Dead from Amazon by clicking here.
Thank you for joining me today for a cup of tea and a cozy chat! I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org