Sunday, December 03, 2017

Cozy Writer Kathy Krevat Chats about Sweet Treats, Ocean Views and Communities of Strong Women

First things first: you write about chocolate in your Chocolate Covered Mystery series, so you are the expert: what’s the best      chocolate treat in the world?

Dallmann Fine Chocolates – their Fleur de sel Caramels. They’re an amazing combination of sweet and salty chocolate goodness. I use them in the Chocolate Covered Mystery books – my main character, Michelle Serrano, gives away bite size pieces as a “gateway drug” to get customers in the store.

Speaking of best in the world, you wrote on your blog that you live near one of the most beautiful places in the world, The Torrey Pines State Park. Tell us about it!

Torrey Pines State Park is a gorgeous place with winding trails through the bluffs filled with Torrey Pine trees (imagine that!) where every time you go around a corner, you see a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. The park backs up onto the Torrey Pines Golf Course – home of many golf tournaments – that you’ve probably seen on TV.

I often walk when I’m trying to solve a problem in my book, and somehow walking on the beach – the sound of waves or the sea air – usually does the trick.

What made you decide to write mysteries?

I started writing mysteries when I read Janet Evanovich’s One for the Money and discovered that murder mysteries could be hilarious! I’d worked in public relations and marketing and assumed that because I read a lot and knew how to write ad copy, that I’d automatically know how to write a novel. Hah! I floundered for quite a while until I joined writing organizations like Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America.

What I love about writing mysteries is what people like about reading them – figuring out the clues, getting to know characters, learning something new, and seeing that justice is done.

I was delighted to finally meet Janet Evanovich last year. I let her know that she inspired me to write and that I have two series because of it.

 Who are your mystery heroes?

I’m assuming you mean authors and that’s easy. Terrie Moran, author of the Read ‘Em and Eat mystery series has been a wonderful friend and mentor. Jenn McKinlay, Kate Carlisle and Daryl Wood Gerber have answered tons of questions from me about the publishing industry. Harley Jane Kozak was very inspirational to me as well.

The writing industry is pretty unique in the level of support, knowledge and training most published authors offer new writers.

If you could choose a “personal trainer” in the publishing world, who would it be?

 Anyone? J.K. Rowling. She’s a master author and plotter. Hard working and committed to both her writing and to worthy causes. I admire her a great deal.

 Why did you choose to write a series about chocolate (not that I’m complaining)?

Chocolate is something that most people like! Also, I wanted to write cozies, but I’m not very crafty and I don’t cook. However, I can make chocolate. Isabella Knack, owner of Dallmann’s Fine Chocolates, provides the recipes in the books. The truffles I make are not the works of art she creates, but even my ugly lumps of chocolate are delicious. 

It’s also fun to describe chocolate – a lot of readers recommend having chocolate nearby when reading the books.  Chocolate has a long and rich history -- I use the history of chocolate by the Mayan people  in Truffled to Death.

Your website says you are obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary. What is that?

 It shows how the Broadway musical American Idiot was made with the initial approval and then enthusiastic input of Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day. Watching it makes me want to write a musical. (Which would be impossible since I don’t play an instrument. Or write music. Or read music.) The documentary shows the sense of community and collaboration it takes to create theater, and I really admire that.

What books are now on your nightstand?

I just finished writing the second book in the series – The Trouble With Truth – so the To Be Read pile is even larger than normal. Being under deadline doesn’t stop me from buying books, just reading them. Kate Carlisle’s Eaves of Destruction and Jenn McKinlay’s Death in the Stacks are on the top of the pile.

I help to coordinate a writing conference for high school students which is my excuse for reading a lot of young adult books. I’m currently reading John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down at the same time as Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints. And there are about twenty more in the pile.

You live in San Diego; what’s the best thing about this place? Do you think you’ll live there forever?

The best thing about San Diego really is the weather. My husband and I walk most mornings, and we can do that at least 335 days of the year. (I might even be underestimating that number.) I love walking on the beach – it’s always changing. One of the surprising things about San Diego is the amazing theater community we have. Lots of Broadway shows get their start here and there’s so much quality work being done.

I’m not sure if we’ll live here forever, but even if we move somewhere else for a while, I’m sure we’ll come back.

You’ve lived on both the east and west coast. Which has made a bigger impact on your personality?

Since I’ve been in California longer, I’d have to say the west coast. But I also think that my personality and my views on life have always fit in here.  

What would you like readers to know about your books, and where can they find out more?

Both of my series feature strong women who run their own businesses and solve mysteries on the side. In The Trouble With Murder, single mom Colbie Summers is struggling to grow her Meowio Batali Gourmet Cat Food when she discovers the dead body of her friend and fellow entrepreneur.

In the Chocolate Covered Mystery series, chocolatier Michelle Serrano and book store manager Erica Russell manage their store – Chocolates and Chapters – while they solve mysteries in the small town of West Riverdale, Maryland.

Check out my website at or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

Kathy Krevat is the author of the GOURMET CAT MYSTERY series featuring cat food chef Colbie Summers and her demanding cat Trouble, the culinary muse behind her recipes. Kathy also writes the bestselling CHOCOLATE COVERED MYSTERY series under the pen name, Kathy Aarons.

Kathy lives in San Diego with her husband of twenty-five years in the perfect location – close to Philz Coffee and the beach, and within visiting distance of her two grown daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s an advocate for youth arts education and president of Partners in Crime, the San Diego Chapter of Sisters in Crime.