With all the craziness going on in the world these days, I have a fun distraction for you—an interview with cozy mystery author, Carolyn Ridder Aspenson! Grab a beverage and a snack, find a comfy chair, and scroll on down to find out what Carolyn has to say about writing, penguins, and cookies.
Interview with Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
1 – What inspired you to write your books?
I’ve always wanted to write a book…a book! I never thought I’d write more than one. I played around with it for a long time, but I never finished anything, and I never really tried to learn anything about the process. Until my mom died. When I lost her, I wanted to find a way to keep her alive in something more than a memory. I wanted to share her with other people. My mom was a great woman, and everyone loved her. So, I wrote a book called Unfinished Business about a stay at home wife and mother of two whose mother dies and comes back as a ghost. When she does, she opens a portal for the main character, and she’s suddenly thrown into this new world where the dead and the living live as one. It’s not a cozy mystery, but I’ve found people enjoy it, and it’s done well. It reached the top 100 on Amazon, which was a pretty big deal, and was published through one of their imprints before I decided to self publish it and the rest of the series.
2 – What’s your favorite thing about cozy mysteries?
I like that they’re not gory, and that terrible things don’t usually happen on the page. Real life is filled with enough of that, and I have other books in that style, but a cozy is just good clean fun.
3 – Do you have any writing rituals?
I typically write in the morning. I’m a morning person, and that’s when I’m most productive. Other than that, I listen to instrumental music, but that’s about it!
4 – What’s more important – character or plot?
Character for me is first, and plot is second. I don’t mean individual characters, but the relationships between the characters. Relationships drive people, they motivate them to make the decisions they make, and without them, even the best plot has holes.
5 – What do you like best about being an author? What do you like the least?
I like that my typing speed is almost two hundred words per minute. Okay, that’s not what I like best. It’s true, which fascinates me, but it’s not the best thing. The best thing is that there are people out there that actually read what I write, and they enjoy it. Unfinished Business still gets me emails from people who say it’s helped them feel better about losing someone, made them laugh and cry, helped them heal. That’s amazing. The book was my way of healing, of working through my grief, but I never expected it to help others, and I’m so glad it did.
What I like least is, hands down, the marketing. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money. Books don’t sell like they used to. The digital platform has changed that entirely, and most authors don’t make enough to support themselves.
6 – What’s your favorite cookie? If you don’t like cookies, what’s wrong with you? Oops, sorry, scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be far more polite – “Why don’t you like cookies?”
Gee, thanks. It’s Lent, and you’re asking me about cookies when I just gave up sugar! I am not partial to any particular cookie, except Thin Mints and homemade chocolate with white chocolate chips. And Oreos. See? Not partial.
7 – A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why did he come visit you?
He says, “As you wished, Rob Lowe is here for the weekend.” The penguin is my genie from a bottle, and Rob Lowe’s my wish. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
8 – What else would you like us to know about you?
I have a newsletter I send out twice a month, sometimes more if I’ve got something to say. I don’t push my books, but I do talk about my life. I’d love for everyone to check it out. Sign up is at carolynridderaspenson.com
I have several different cozy series. The Lily Sprayberry Realtor Cozy Mystery Series, The Chantilly Adair Psychic Medium Cozy Mystery Series (but I think my publisher is changing the series title), The Pooch Party Cozy Mystery Series, and The Holiday Hills Witch Cozy Mystery Series. I’ve got books in each coming out this year, and I’m always looking for ARC readers!
Thank you so much for having me!
About Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson writes sassy, southern cozy mysteries and featuring imperfect women with a flair for telling it like it is. Her stories focus on relationships whether they’re between friends, family members, couples, townspeople or strangers because ultimately, it’s relationships that make a story. Now an empty-nester, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, two Pit Bull-Boxer mix dogs and two cantankerous cats, but you’ll often find her at a local coffee shop people watching (and listening), or as she likes to call it, plotting her next novel.
Find Carolyn on Facebook at Carolyn Ridder Aspenson Books Find Carolyn on BookBub at Carolyn Ridder Aspenson Visit Carolyn’s website and sign up for her newsletter at carolynridderaspenson.com
Editor’s Note: Thanks so much for the interview, Carolyn! And I’m so sorry for asking about cookies during Lent when you’ve given up sugar. I admire anyone who can give up sugar. I think I would last less than twenty-four hours if I tried it. LOL!