Hobbies Our Characters Love

Ah, February the month of love, cold weather, and the need to have something to do–inside for those of us in cold climates. Do your characters have hobbies? How did they end up with that hobby? And do they have much time with all the sleuthing they do to pursue that hobby?


Jessie: My characters always have hobbies, likely because I do too! Edwina knits, gardens and reads. She is also a decent cook and enjoys entertaining guests in her home. Beryl loves traveling to new places, motoring in a automobile that is fun to drive and mixing up cocktails. Edwina is a rather proper woman of her time and sphere and her hobbies reflect that she has often valued what society has encouraged. Beryl, on the other hand, has made a deliberate decision to engage in pastimes that flaunt her disregard for convention. I will say she refrains from making cocktails whilst motoring!

Barb: I hadn’t thought about a hobby for Julia Snowden until Dru’s Book Musings interviewed her for A Day in the Life and asked about it. Julia works so much during the tourist season, it’s often hard to figure out how she solves the mystery, much less fits in anything else. The next book I am to write takes place in the off season, so I should think about it–though I more see Julia using her extra time to volunteer, perhaps at the library or historical society. Jane Darrowfield has plenty of hobbies–travel, gardening, bridge–but in retirement she finds they are not quite enough, which starts her down the road to her new job as a Professional Busybody.

Edith: Robbie Jordan picks up a crossword puzzle whenever possible, and since she’s a master at it, she does them in pen. Sometimes she creates a puzzle to help her think through an investigation. She also goes out for hard hilly bike rides to clear her mind and get her heart rate up. Mac Almeida? No hobbies have surfaced so far other than a daily walk, but birding on Cape Cod would be a natural. And Rose Carroll works too hard for a hobby – when she’s not helping pregnant or birthing women or solving crimes, she’s baking bread or growing herbs for her practice. Only the elite in the nineteenth century could afford to have hobbies!

 Liz: Stan Connor’s hobby has always been baking and cooking, although now that it’s turned into a job, she’s got to find other hobbies! Once she gets a little less busy, she’ll have time to sort that out. As for Maddie James, she loves music – and loves to watch live music. She’s even a closet singer, which pairs nicely with her new love interest’s gig in a band.

Julie: Lilly Jayne (in the Garden Squad series) gardens, which is a passion of hers. Her love of gardening gets her into conversations that helps with the sleuthing she and the rest of her team do. Delia is also a cook, which serves everyone well. In my Theater Cop series, Sully is an ex-cop who runs a theater company. Her hobby is eating. I just did the last round of edits on the next book in that series, and food plays an important role.

Sherry: Sarah Winston’s hobby of going to garage sales and finding bargains becomes her job in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. How fun would that be to have something that we love doing turn into a job? (I guess for me that would mean someone would pay me to read novels!) And as I think about Chloe Jackson for my new series I need to give her some hobbies. Chloe is an avid runner and loves water sports between that and work (former children’s librarian and now working in a bar) she doesn’t have a lot of time for other hobbies.

Readers: Do you have a favorite hobby? Or lots of hobbies?

42 Thoughts

  1. Hobbies, err reading (naturally!), and crafting (knitting, sewing and cross stitch)

  2. Well, of course, reading, but really that is like breathing! Let’s see, I sew, crochet, cross stitch, garden when it is nice out, bake and try my hand at writing.

  3. I’m at a stage where quite a few of my hobbies, other than reading, are aspirational because while I collect supplies, and books on doing the hobby, I am often just too tired to do anything other than read at the end of the work day.
    So I (allegedly) stitch (cross, embroidery, needlepoint), knit, sew, fiddle with jewelry making, garden, scull, hike, and cook.

  4. My poor characters–they all seem to be too busy working to have hobbies! As for me, I like to make or repair things. Which is why I’ve learned not just basic crafts like knitting and sewing, but also window-glazing, wallpapering, upholstery, tiling, and so on. Can you tell I’ve lived in old houses?

    1. Hi Sheila,

      After reading your post, I had to lie down for half an hour with a cold cloth on my head.

  5. I have always been a reader, enjoyed sewing, and doing needlework. I also like gardening, doing puzzles, and traveling. I like going to flea markets and antique stores, though I don’t need anything and it is more for fun than anything else. I am now retired and don’t have a problem finding things to do.

  6. Lots of hobbies! And volunteering. It’s good to have interests and things to do. Of course, reading is the number 1 hobby! I am never bored!

  7. Oh, if I could be payed to read novels that would be my full time job! A lot of people don’t know that I dance. I’m at a wonderful studio, because they take it seriously, but not TOO seriously. None of us plan on persuing dance after graduation, but it’s something we love to do.

  8. Jim Duncan’s hobby is fishing. He’s an outdoors type of guy. It’s less about catching a fish than being out on the river, either on a boat or standing, enjoying the warm sun.

    Sally Castle doesn’t have a hobby that I’m aware of. Poor woman works too much. 🙂

  9. Photography is my current hobby. Love trying to capture in a photo what the eye sees. It’s harder than you think because a split second in reaction time mean a completely different picture at times. Love nature and love critters and taking photos allows me a chance to enjoy both. Hubby started first but it didn’t take me long to discover the love of getting that one great capture.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. Reading and my blog, although that has become something of a second job. One I love, but one that doesn’t pay me anything.

    I also run to train for
    mud runs and ultimate Frisbee.

      1. Unfortunately, bowling is out at the moment. That was something I was doing at my old job. I really miss it.

  11. Personally, I’ve always had a host of hobbies. In addition to reading (of course),

    I’ve always been addicted to travel. I used to cruise very frequently (because for someone who loves traveling, I loathe packing and unpacking); I wish I could still afford to do that.

    I’m also an addict of theater, especially musicals, and in my younger days I’d intended to make acting my career (and I was pretty good). I’m thankful I never pursued that. I think the regular rejection actors must endure would probably have been the end of me. Perhaps someday I’ll write a play, get it produced, and have it close sometime in the middle of the first rehearsal. 🙂

    I love to cook (and I’m quite a good one). What I can’t do is plan my time well. I used to be notorious for inviting 20 people for dinner at 7 and serving the first course at midnight. Everybody complained, but I noticed that nobody ever left or refused a second invitation.

    Finally, there are model trains. I’ve been addicted to that hobby since I was ten. (Which looking back at previous paragraphs was also true of all my other hobbies). I’m fascinated by the artistry and craftsman ship that can turn something so big into something so small. I also just like watching the trains run around my layout. A friend gave me a metal sign saying, “Still Plays with Trains,” and I’m afraid trued words were never spoken. Appearances to the contrary, I’m still ten years old.

    1. I love that you have trains. When I was little — before first grade — we had neighbors with an elaborate train set in their basement. It was fascinating to watch it. I’ve loved them since but haven’t ever had one!

    2. Hmm–my husband has a number of model trains, which we’ve never had room to set up (since our daughter’s first Christmas). What gauge do you prefer?

      1. Hi Sheila,

        My main layout is HO modeling European trains using Marklin AC equipment. I’ve collected a LOT of engines and rolling stock, both passenger and freight. I started out wanting to replicate train trips I took in Europe, and things grew out of control from there. I keep most of it in six display cases that line my halls and the train room (which was formerly known as the living room). I also have a Marklin Z-Scale layout modeling a winter scene that I bring out at Christmas and set up in front of the fireplace next to the Christmas tree.

  12. I share my hobby with my protagonist, painting on canvas. And like me, my character is as bad an artist as Sherlock Holmes was a violinist. I am constantly told that my walls are filled with yet another piece of worthless art, which I accept as a compliment because it means they’re paying attention.

      1. My sisters and I love doing them. When my kids were still at home, we always did puzzles, We never all just sit around working on one, we all come and go but will stop and do a few pieces, then go do s
        whatever else we need to do, though we will just sit to work on it for 30 minutes or so.. I also read..lol

  13. I’ve always loved to read, do jigsaw puzzles, and crossword puzzles. As I go older, I added travel, photography, yard work, and (with my husband, anything to do with trains). I also selectively collect masks, postcards, and giraffes. I have many more interests, but like everyone else, I run out of time to do all the things I love. And I’m retired!

  14. Reading is more than a hobby for me. I used to oil paint but now make greeting cards on the computer. I also garden and do jigsaw puzzles.

  15. I sew, mostly small things like doll clothes and accessories for 18” dolls and Barbie dolls. But I have also sewn a ton of pillows from throw pillows to big dog beds, curtains when I can’t find what I want, tote bags and purses, and tons of fabric crafts. Just never a quilt…I’d love to but just haven’t ever made one, other than ones for doll beds. I also like to scrapbook, make handmade cards and just craft in general. And of course read!! I’ve told my mom many times that getting paid to do my favorite hobby, read, would definitely be my dream job!!! Then when my husband came home and asked what was for dinner I could say, oh sorry, I’m not through with work yet!! LOL!!! Renee

  16. I have lots of interests and hobbies and each is enjoyed when the occasion or mood comes into my schedule. I love to cook and bake almost every day and do specialty meals and desserts as often as I can. I collect bone china tea cups and unique china tea pots. I love to sketch and do watercolor and acrylic paintings. I love to paint on non traditional surfaces like wood and slate and stone and trying new techniques. I make lots of jewelry, mostly beaded bracelets and various kinds of necklaces/pendants. I do a number of other non traditional art like painting wine bottles and making collages of sea glass or seashells etc. I used to do embroidery when my vision was good but not anymore. I love to read but that’s getting rather difficult again. I used to write a weekly food column so recipe hunting, cooking and collecting recipes became a hobby too. I have many more interests and crafts that I enjoy besides these but so do many people I’m sure.

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