Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Denny’s Chicks

Please welcome my Wednesday guest on Tuesday (kindly do not ask about the day switch!). Kathy Aarons is the author of Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, the first in the Chocolate Covered Mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime, published September 2014.

According to Kathy, research for the series was such a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores.

After growing up in rural Pennsylvania and attending Carnegie Mellon University, Kathy built a career in public relations in New York City. She now lives in San Diego, with her husband and two daughters, where she wakes up far too early and is currently obsessed with the Broadway Idiot documentary, finding the perfect cup of coffee, and Dallmann’s Sea Salt Caramels.

You can follow Kathy on Facebook or Twitter or visit her at: www.kathyaarons.com.
Some authors can write alone, edit their own work, and send it off to their editor. I’m the kind of writer who wants (and needs!) a critique group.

Denny’s Chicks was founded many years ago following a raucous yet productive book plotting weekend run by RWA San Diego. Barrie Summy, Kelly Hayes and I got along famously, laughing at each other’s jokes and driving the instructor assigned to us just a little bit crazy. (Maybe more than a little…) But we left that weekend with three complex and interesting plots and the goal to work together to make our publishing dreams come true.

With another writer who has since left to pursue other artistic interests, we started Denny’s Chicks; Denny’s was the most central restaurant to our four homes, and they let us hang out there for hours. The wait staff has been very supportive of our writing efforts and so far, we’ve never heard of other diners being upset with our discussions of murder, paranormal activity, romance, zombies, or a dystopian future.

Since that plotting weekend, Barrie Summy (http://barriesummy.com/) has published her middle grade I So Don’t Do mystery series with Random House, and her fifth book – The Disappearance of Emily H – is coming out in 2015. (It’s already on Amazon!) Kelly has signed with Fine Print Literary Management and her young adult book will soon be shopped around to editors.

With the recent launch of my first book, Death is Like a Box of Chocolates by Berkley Prime Crime, Denny’s Chicks are on a roll!

 Besides holding each other accountable, we all bring different talents to the mix. Barrie is not only a title genius, she’s the master of pacing, goal-motivation-conflict, tightening sentences, and the best copy editor ever. She has kept us all on track, ensuring we take our writing careers seriously even when we were just starting along the publishing path.

Kelly is a librarian and has read almost every book you could imagine. She has an encyclopedic memory about them all, and knows a ton about what is being published. Among other talents, she’s great at logistics and visualizing a scene, so that the actions that are written make sense and lead into the next scene.

My focus is usually on the plot, especially coming up with ideas to make them more complex. Barrie and Kelly love when I get that far-off look in my eye – it means I’m thinking up whacky ideas for driving people apart, bringing lovers together, or taking down the bad guy.

Thousands of words and gallons of Denny's coffee later...and we're still going strong.

Death is Like a Box of Chocolates

Whether it’s to satisfy a craving for chocolate or pick up the hottest new bestseller, the locals in charming West Riverdale, Maryland, are heading to Chocolates and Chapters, where everything sold is to die for….
Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.
As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…

First in a new series

Includes Scrumptious Chocolate-Making Recipes!







Heather said...

Hi there! I'm Heather and I was hoping you could answer a quick question about your blog! Please email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

Kathy Aarons said...

Thanks Judy for hosting me today!

Barrie said...

I love our critique group! And Death is Like a Box of Chocolates! Thanks for all the compliments, Kathy. The check is in the mail. Ha, ha, ha!!! P.S. Great blog, Judy!

Kelly Hayes said...

Literary logistics! Apparently I have a talent I didn't know about. I wonder if I can use that on my resume. Great post!