I’m the author of the Someday Quilts and the Kate Conway Mysteries. Mollie is one of the great side-effects of being a mystery writer – I get to meet great people who write things I love. She asked me to step in with a blog, and I was inspired by Mollie’s posting in which she revealed she quilts (yay!) and doesn’t make pie every day. (That’s okay Mollie. I like you anyway, but call me when you do make pie.) I thought I would write, by way of introduction to Mollie’s readers, five things about myself that aren’t necessarily secrets… just things to know.
1. I used to perform improvisation in Chicago. This is where a group of people get on stage and make up a scene as they go along, and usually try to be funny. I write novels the way I used to perform. I write something, build on it, and basically, make it up as I go along. I never know what will happen, who will be the killer, or how it will end until I get there. The difference, of course, is improv was live, but when I finish the first draft of a book, I go back and make changes.
2. You can always tell how well a book is going by how clean my home is. If it’s spotless, things are bad, very bad. Check the sock drawer. Is it organized? Yikes. Are my books and knickknacks dusted? Double yikes. How’s the tub? No ring. Then don’t even ask. On the other hand, if it looks like someone has come into the house and turned the place inside out looking for some secret document, if piles of laundry sit unwashed, and if the only food is in take-out containers – then rejoice. The book is going well.
3. I go to art fairs, big and small. I like being around hand made things, and the people who make them. I go to stores and buy the manufactured stuff when it comes to things like cars, but I try hard to seek out art work and day-to-day items made by artisans. When I travel, that’s my souvenir and when I’m home, browsing the aisles of an art fair for earrings, a painting, a set of notecards… this is one of my great pleasures.
4. My oldest friendship dates back to pre-birth. No, I’m not a twin. The story goes that when my mom was about seven months pregnant with me, a new neighbor, Patrick Gibbons, brought his six-week-old daughter over to meet my parents. Her name was Peggy Gibbons. So, though I was in-utero, that’s when we met. By kindergarten we were best friends, in high school we shared our first beer, and agonized over our first boyfriends. We’ve lived very different lives, but we’ve always been in touch. We’ve known each other more than 40 years now and while I’ve made a lot of great friends since birth, none of them are as special as Peggy.
5. I’ve been talking about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for years. One of my cousins and I have been planning it. Sort of. I met a woman who climbed it for her 50th birthday and she didn’t seem in Olympic athlete shape or anything. She seemed normal. So it got me inspired, but as a person who lives in her imagination I can get inspired and just enjoy the ride. Don’t expect it to happen anytime soon. Or anytime. But it’s fun to think about.
Thanks so much to Clare for being on my blog today. I will definitely call you when I bake some pie! She is truly on my my favorite people and I LOVE her books. So check them out. For more information on Clare, check out her blog. Here’s Clare’s latest book! Great cover, heh?