The Wickeds are thrilled to welcome back to the blog our friend Debra H. Goldstein. Debra’s newest book One Taste Too Many (first in a new series!) releases one week from today. We can’t wait.
Takes it away, Debra!
My Kind of FUN – Songs and Words by Debra H. Goldstein
I love Broadway musicals. When the orchestra plays the first notes of an overture, I lean forward in my seat anticipating the curtain rising. For the next few hours, I am transported to a world different than my own. The transformation may be historical (Hamilton, 1776), geographical (South Pacific, Aida, Fiddler on the Roof), emotional (Evan Hansen, Come From Away), or humorous (Hello Dolly, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).
What makes each musical special is its unique story and how song develops or enhances the plot. For me, even if a play has serious or sad moments, the entire experience created through the score’s lyrics is “fun.”
Reading cozy mysteries gives me the same “fun” release as attending a musical, but with a book. Sharing the “fun” is why I chose to write cozies. The only problem with my choice was most cozies deal with cooking or crafts – two areas I am woefully challenged in. In fact, when I got married, my friends threw me a kitchen shower to see if I could identify what was in the box.
Because my legal career trained me to be a good researcher, I read and tried faking cooking and/or craft expertise. The result was boring. The pages lacked pace, humor and weren’t even “fun” for me. If pretending wasn’t going to cut it and I still wanted to write a cozy, I had to change my tactics. I couldn’t use other people’s words and experiences.
There was only one choice – write what I and so many others know – a book about a woman who hates the kitchen. From that thought, Sarah Blair, my cook of convenience, was born. Unlike her perfect twin sister, Chef Emily, Sarah will do anything to avoid cooking. Her kitchen experience involves bringing take-out in or using prepared ingredients. In One Taste Too Many, the first book in this new Kensington series, Sarah finds herself with a cat named RahRah, a penchant for recipes like Jell-O in a Can and Spinach Pie made with Stouffers spinach souffle, and the need to figure out who killed her ex-husband with a taste of her twin’s award-winning rhubarb crisp.
The more Sarah came from my pen, the more I tingled with the excitement and joy I have when a musical unfolds. I couldn’t wait to see what song she would next sing. Sarah may live in my cook of convenience world, but writing her took me beyond my norm. For me, the process and the outcome were “fun.”
Readers: If you get an opportunity to read One Taste Too Many, drop me a note to let me know if you found it “fun,” but in the meantime, tell me, are you a cook or cook of convenience and what makes reading or writing cozies a “fun” experience for you?
Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of One Taste Too Many, the first of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Taste-Many-Sarah-Blair-Mystery/dp/1496719476
Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-taste-too-many-debra-h-goldstein/1128297322?ean=9781496719478#/
Books a Million – http://www.booksamillion.com/p/One-Taste-Too-Many/Debra-H-Goldstein/9781496719478?id=7404412233291
Indiebound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781496719478
Hudson Booksellers, Target, Walmart, and other indie bookstores.