Give a Shelter Pet a Furever Home on Valentine’s Day!

BlackDog
Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

While I don’t recommend adopting an animal for someone else, without them meeting the animal, I would like to give a shout-out to one of my favourite causes: #AdoptDontShop!

Bird1
Photo Courtesy of Canva.com

So many animals linger in animal shelters, just waiting for their “furever” home!

Bunny
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

And, what could be more romantic then taking your sweetheart to find a wonderful pet of their own!

BlackCat
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

It’s a “Happily Ever After” fairy tale, for sure!

DogLove
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

If you’re at a loss for a gift, many animal shelters can also get you a gift certificate for a future adoption! Or you can make your own!

Iguana
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Don’t have room for a pet in your life but you know your significant other loves animals…make a donation to a local animal shelter, or even sponsor a pet seeking a home in your loved one’s name!

Bird2
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Hope your Valentine’s Day is lovely, no matter where your own heart is!

Hamster2
Photo courtesy of Canva.com

Find your furry or scaly or feathery love of your life by running a search on Petfinder.org!

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author Justine Johnston Hemmestad

This week’s author is Justine Johnston Hemmestad, who definitely spun circles around me in this interview!

Willow Croft: I’m going to open with the food question—what historic (or historically recreated) food dish (or drink) would you most like to try?

Justine Johnston Hemmestad: What a great question! I would definitely say haggis (after learning that I’m a great deal Scottish on both maternal and paternal sides), and then I would get sick.

Willow Croft: Some writers prefer silence when they write, and others like to have music on, or some background noise (like recordings of coffee shops, for example). What kind of music or ambient noise do you prefer to have playing while you write?

Justine Johnston Hemmestad: When my kids were little I was used to their sounds, or I wrote when I went with my husband to construction stores or sites – the chaos helped me train my mind to focus. Now I love silence, but coffee shops are nice to write in, I’ve written in a bowling alley with the music blaring, I LOVE to write in graveyards, and I write in the car during long trips. I have to carry a notebook with me and write when the thoughts come to mind (no matter where I am), otherwise I’ll forget them (I sleep with a notebook close by as well).

Willow Croft: You have a book titled Macbeth’s Spinners that is a forthcoming release from Antimony and Elder Lace Press. What are some of your other favourite mythological women?

Justine Johnston Hemmestad: I really like Persephone, wife of Hades, because she bargained with him and won, and because she had courage to live with him in the Underworld. She didn’t try to get out of her fate, but by bargaining with him she overcame it and she ultimately got the freedom she most desired whilst becoming his equal. I also like Isis for the same reason, because she learned the secret name of Ra and gained power equal to his.

Willow Croft: Coming back to the future, have you ever had an unexplained encounter with a supernatural entity or otherworldy being?

Justine Johnston Hemmestad: YES, whenever I open a book written by the greats (Poe, Shelley, the Bible), and I love writing in graveyards for that very reason.

Willow Croft: If you had to select an animal to best represent you, which would it be, and why?

Justine Johnston Hemmestad: I think a bird, something that can really soar like an eagle or a dove, because it’s the freest creature I can think of. My youngest daughter says a Pegasus and I really like her answer. The national animal of Scotland is a unicorn, which is cool too.

About Macbeth’s Spinners

“Macbeth’s Spinners begins with the transformation of the three mythological Greek fates into a single witch in ancient Scotland – this transformation serves as their cover in their mission to escape the Greek god Apollo’s wrath, as much as to guide the warlord Macbeth’s rule. The dominant Fate named Clotho shows Macbeth the intricacies of his own pain in order to overcome it, however she also has to avert the mysterious Apollo, for he has followed them in their escape to Scotland and works against Macbeth’s army. The Fates believe him to be bent on retaliation against them, which would distract them from their work on Macbeth’s behalf.”

When they not lurking around cemeteries, Justine Johnston Hemmestad can be found at via the links below.

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/JustineJohnstonHemmestadauthor/

Amazon Author page is https://www.amazon.com/Justine-Johnston-Hemmestad/e/B01DHSLN0M/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

And, as if she’s not busy enough, Justine Johnston Hemmestad has plans to launch a literary café (called Bailey’s Brew) where “in addition to a café, we’ll have community events, a small library, and literature studies”. Here’s the link for Bailey’s Brew–it looks really cool!: https://www.facebook.com/baileysbrew/.

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author Priscilla Bettis

The “Five Things Friday” interviews have resumed!

We’re getting things “rolling” (do hay bales even roll?) with horror author Priscilla Bettis, whose spooky novelette The Hay Bale was recently released on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hay-Bale-Priscilla-Bettis-ebook/dp/B09P4PJQLT.

Willow Croft: I read on your Amazon author page that you now live on the northern plains of Texas. I think that every geographical locale has its own inherent spookiness to it; so what defines the Plains area of the country in terms of creepiness?

Priscilla Bettis: The wind is constant, first one direction then the other, like a Lovecraftian entity breathing in and out. Sometimes the breath hisses through the trees. Sometimes it just howls.

Willow Croft: I’m always very curious when it comes to science and other fields; could you tell me what sort of projects you engineered as part of your work as an engineering physicist?

Priscilla Bettis: We live in a world where nuclear war is a horrible possibility. My job was to ensure nuclear survivability of military airplanes. It means I had to be well versed in electromagnetic fields and radiation and all sorts of dire subjects. On the positive side, I met a kind, brilliant, sexy man who was a reliability engineer for the same airplanes. We’re now married. 🙂

Willow Croft: I see in one of your interviews (https://marciamearawrites.com/2022/01/19/tenthingsyoumaynotknow-about-priscilla-bettis/) that you like dark chocolate and dark coffee, but I’d love to know what local Alaskan dish, since you grew up there, is your favourite?

Priscilla Bettis: Do drinks count? Because I’d pick hot Christmas eggnog. When I moved to the lower 48, I was astounded to learn everybody drank it COLD! There’s nothing like wrapping your hands around a warm mug of sweet, fattening eggnog at Christmastime.

 Willow Croft: I love taking walks in cemeteries, especially when they are historic cemeteries! What’s the most interesting historic cemetery that you’ve visited?

Priscilla Bettis: In Lynchburg, Virginia, there is an old city cemetery with Civil War graves. Antique roses planted in 1860 line the wall of the cemetery. A cottage sits among the graves. It was a pest house in the 1800s, and the floor is deep with sand. It’s not like they had Depends and Maytag washers back then, so patients close to death lay on the floor, and the sand absorbed the, um, effects of dysentery and was easily shoveled away. It’s a beautiful cemetery with all the roses, and it’s a sobering cemetery with the War graves and the conveniently located pest house.

Willow Croft: Let’s talk about your interest in angels and miracles: have you ever received a visit from an angel-type being, or witnessed any miracles yourself, personally?

Priscilla Bettis: Once, on a sweltering summer day, my full-sized sedan broke down in bumper-to-bumper traffic. A handsome fellow with long, wavy hair pushed my car into the next driveway which was a church entrance that slanted UPHILL. I don’t know how he did it! Then he disappeared. I wonder to this day if he was an angel. Also, a kind lady stopped and gave me a bottle of cool water while I waited for the tow truck, so THANK YOU, kind lady, whoever you are!

Discover more about how Priscilla Bettis “rolls”–her literary adventures, book reviews, and more cemetery strolls here:  priscillabettisauthor.com.

Warhol/Factory Series: Girls of the Years by Willow Croft

A big thanks to Fevers of the Mind for posting my poem!

Fevers of the Mind

Girls of the Years

Once,
I was you,
a hippie friend said,
just like you, when I danced.
I didn’t believe it, until
she dressed me up in Edie clothes.
And I saw me, through Superstar eyes
We sparkled in the same way
We looked lost in the same way
We’d said Ciao to everything we’d ever known,
everything that had ensnared us,
but it still wasn’t enough, and so I
didn’t want to believe
(no such thing as reincarnation, I said)
but really because
I’ve dreamt of her through a million pasts,
seen her in a thousand mirror ghosts,
saw she knew me
Inside and out and very far
From the world’s stage
From the critics,
the ocean hid us away, where
we dreamt in unicorns
star-wished above the clouds
danced like kindred spirits under full moons
Barefoot and wild and free and holding
a million futures in our…

View original post 50 more words

Enjoy Halloween with Eva Pohler’s The Shade of Santa Fe

I signed myself up to do this book tour thingy…I guess it’s good practice, right? But I’ve seen other bloggers’ “Book Blitzes” and they all look so glitzy and polished.

TheShadeofSantaFeBlitzBanner

Makes me realize my blog is a little low-key. But I like it that way.

Anyhoo, as you can see from the banner, the author that’s being book-toured is Eva Pohler. Yes, the very same Eva Pohler that I interviewed as part of my infamous “Five Things Friday” author interviews. https://willowcroft.blog/2021/06/18/five-things-friday-mini-interview-with-author-eva-pohler/

She’s got a new book out today…the seventh in her “Mystery House” series, and it’s called The Shade of Santa Fe.

Hopefully for Pohler’s “Ghost Healers, Inc.” characters, the ghosts they seek won’t be as elusive as internet and cell phone service is in New Mexico!

Here’s what I do know, from the “case file” information I received from Xpresso Book Tours:

Synopsis:

A haunting in Santa Fe will either reunite Ghost Healers, Inc. or disband the group forever.

When Ellen decides to buy a fixer-upper in an art community in Santa Fe, New Mexico, she’s reassured by the realtor that nothing evil has ever occurred there. What she doesn’t know is that the bridge near the back of the property is notoriously known in the town as Suicide Bridge. As she and her friends try to uncover why so many people have taken their lives there, they are shocked by what they find. Can the reunion of Ghost Healers, Inc. untether the troubling spirits near Ellen’s fixer-upper, or will their discoveries be too much for them this time?

AUTHOR BIO:

After earning her Ph.D. in English and teaching writing and literature for over twenty years, Eva Pohler became a USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels in multiple genres, including mysteries, thrillers, and young adult paranormal romance based on Greek mythology. Her books have been described as “addictive” and “sure to thrill”–Kirkus Reviews.

I don’t know about you, but this picture is exactly how I’m hoping to spend my Halloween evening. Unfortunately, it’s too late for me to get a print copy of The Shade of Santa Fe (even if I did have the money), but you can find digital versions at the links below (or wait for your print version to arrive!).

So, that’s that! How’s my first hosting of a book tour go?

That great, eh?

*wry laugh*

Hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween, however you spend your magical evening! (You are spending it reading, right?)

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author C.M. Saunders

Come in and have a cup of “cofftea” with this week’s “Five Things Friday” author, C.M. Saunders!

“What’s ‘cofftea’,” you may be wondering, but you’ll just have to read on to find all about it, and what sort of “dead things” this author loves to eat!

Willow Croft: Since I’ve been mourning the recent demise of my old VHS tape of Sid & Nancy, I gotta open with a question inspired by your RetViews (Retro Review) series (https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2017/08/06/coming-soon-retviews/). You’ve reviewed a lot of great films on there, but if you were stuck in a weird horror loop in one of those films, which would it be, and why would you choose that particular fate?

C.M. Saunders: I’m so glad you are enjoying my RetViews! I started the series out of pure indulgence, and also as a kind of experiment. I wanted to re-watch some movies that had a profound affect on me as a kid or a teenager, and see how they stand up years later. Plus, there are so many great movies out there that don’t get the attention they deserve. The series has been picking up more attention month-by-month and now it’s probably one of the most popular things I do. Back to your original question. That’s such a tricky one to answer! I’m tempted to say John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) but the arctic would be so cold, and not fun at all. I know horror movies aren’t really supposed to be fun, but I do love a splash of humour with my horror. An American Werewolf in London (1981) and Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2011) are perfect examples of what floats my boat.

At the end of the day, though, I’m going to have to go with Lost Boys (1987). Coolest. Film. Ever. What could be better than hanging out with the Frog brothers in Santa Carla chasing vampires and Jami Gertz? If I’m going to be doing that forever, it would also be a nice little tie-in with Peter Pan who also never grew up, and where the title came from.

Willow Croft: In your Redrum interview (https://www.redrumreviews.com/post/interview-with-c-m-saunders), you mention wanting to start a “massive open-air splatterpunk festival combining music, literature, performance art, and comedy”. While I would love to hear nothing but Cure covers (they’re my favourite band, and were actually really awesome to meet in person), what bands and performers would you add to your lineup?

C.M. Saunders: Previously, I said Alkaline Trio should be headlining. But I’ve since relegated them to ‘special guest’ spot in favour of The Wildhearts. I don’t know how well-known they are outside the UK but they’re well worth checking out. Their new album is amazing, and they have a song called Splattermania which is destined to be the festival’s unofficial theme song. In a recent interview Ginger (the singer) said he didn’t believe in God but knew something must be going on because it’s the only thing that could explain him still being alive. Brilliant. I’d also find slots for Senses Fail and Silverstein, and I’m a big fan of The Dangerous Summer. Not least because they wrote a song about the music industry called Fuck them All and went indie. That takes balls.

I think the comedy slots would be hardest to fill, because everyone is so easily triggered these days. It’s taken millions of years of evolution for us to arrive at the point where our first reaction is to be triggered, usually on behalf of someone else. We’d probably have to settle for a mime artist making balloon animals.

Willow Croft: Time for the food question! I’ve eaten some terrible food concoctions back when I was young and wannabe punk rock/squatter (for example, one staple was a soup made from ketchup and Taco Bell sauce.). So, have you ever created your own mash-up of unlikely foodstuffs that turned out to be just as terrible—or absolutely delicious? Share your concoction here!

C.M. Saunders: I had the innovative idea once of mixing tea and coffee together and calling it ‘cofftea.’ I was convinced my invention was going to take the world by storm. The only problem was that it was absolutely disgusting.

I used to be a very fussy eater, until I went to live in China in 2007. There, I was struck by how many things are not only edible, but delicious. We waste so much food in the west. We don’t even think about it. For example, most people only eat the prime cuts of an animal. Fatty bits, ew! But in China they eat every single part from the ears to the ass. Fat is a delicacy because there’s less of it on an animal. Chicken feet, which are literally just skin and bones, are insanely popular. One day, a friend came over to my apartment to cook a meal, and brought a bloody pig’s nose with her. I’ve learned not to be squeamish, and in my time there I ate tons of things I wouldn’t have got to try otherwise. Boiled brain, fried bamboo worms, chicken hearts. I lived in a place called Changsha in Hunan province, and they have a specialty there called ‘fried live fish,’ where they cook and gut a fish, and then serve it before it actually dies. That was pretty gross. After I saw that I changed my personal rule from, ‘I’ll eat anything,’ to, ‘I’ll eat anything as long as it’s dead.’

Willow Croft: What I miss most about my travels outside the U.S. was/is the absolutely amazing train travel. So, if there were an intergalactic train trip offered, what places, real or fictional, in the universe would you want to visit, and why?

C.M. Saunders: Does it have to be intergalactic? I’m not a big fan of space. It just seems like a whole lot of nothingness to me. There might be aliens, but I think you’d have to work hard to find them and when you do they might look like sticks of celery or something. You might think I’m boring but I’m quite happy with normal trains. I’m from the UK which isn’t very big. You can take a train from one end to the other and it would only take a few hours. On the other hand, when I lived in China some train journeys would take days. Days! You’d buy a ticket, look at the arrival time, and it would just say “Thursday” and you had to pay extra for a seat, otherwise you’d have to stand up the entire way. Ooh, how about a time travel train? Can I go on one of those? Can I? Hmm? Can I? There are so many places I’d like to visit, like late-seventies New York when the Ramones were taking off, the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 with Jimi Hendrix and The Who, Live Aid in ’85, the list is endless. I think I’d give Woodstock a miss, though. It might be iconic, but it looked like a living nightmare to me.

Willow Croft: One of the things that I’m navigating as I get older is making sure I don’t fall into a life that’s too, I don’t know the words, traditional or conformist—to not fall into a certain state of ennui about how things are. I don’t want to get too comfortable—I want to keep fighting against the pricks—literally and figuratively, and one of the ways I try to do it these days is by picking up the pen. What ways, if any, does that sort of “punk rock”, alternative, or “change the world” mindsets find its way into your writing, and/or any other creative areas you explore? Does horror, as you write it, fit into that aesthetic (how and why)?

C.M. Saunders: Right now it’s a very difficult time to be artistic, or put yourself ‘out there’ in any way. Every time you do so, you set yourself up for a world of shit. Just one misinterpreted line in a story, or a comment or social media post taken out of context, could end your career. Everybody is so eager to be offended. In one of my novels, Sker House, a character complains about being friend-zoned by a girl he liked. A reviewer read it, found the whole ‘friend zoning’ concept offensive, and called me a misogynist, completely missing the point that it was fiction. I wasn’t putting across my personal views, I was speaking through a character, who happened to be a frustrated 18-year old college student. Things like that affect your later work, because frankly, I don’t need the drama. The social climate at the moment is so precarious that whatever anybody says or does, someone somewhere will get pissed about it. I find this confusing. People love to be offended, usually on behalf of someone else, under the pretense of being a ‘good’ person. And then they take great delight in stomping people who don’t share the same views as them into the dirt, which isn’t what good people do.

Find out where C.M. Saunders has put themselves “out there”:

https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/CMSaunders01

https://www.facebook.com/CMSaunders01

Here’s the RetView posts C.M. Saunders mentions in the interviews:

https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2020/08/13/retview-37-the-thing-1982/

https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/retview-3-an-american-werewolf-in-london/

https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/retview-17-tucker-dale-vs-evil-2010/

https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/the-lost-boys-at-30/

Oh, and just in case you were still hungry (you all know that this longtime vegetarian sure as heck isn’t. Ha!), take a look at “Eating brain”: https://cmsaunders.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/i-want-to-eat-your-brains/

Wildhearts – Splattermania: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eu6_0n4rXbY

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author and Historian Elaine L. Orr

So, while all of the authors that I cajole into getting interviewed on this blog are fantastic, this week’s author is even more exciting, because . . . we’re related! Yes, really! According to her, we are “fourth cousins once removed” because my father and she are fourth cousins. It gets better, though, continue to read the excerpt from Elaine L. Orr’s most recent correspondence to me:

“Our common ancestors are Paul Orr and Isabella Boyd who never left Ireland. At least she didn’t. I descend from their son William, you from their son George . . . We’re some kind of double cousins. I also descend from Elliott Hickman and Nancy Isbell, but through their daughter Artemissa. You are [descended] via their son Temple Elliott Hickman, I believe.”

So, without further ado, please welcome my cousin, Elaine L. Orr!

Willow Croft: As you state on your blog, the “Irish Roots” references your family genealogy, of which you’ve extensively researched, and published your findings in a book. (https://elaineorr.com/orr-family-history/). So, if you could go back in time, what family member would you most like to meet, and why?

Elaine L. Orr: That’s a tough question. It would probably be Sarah Frances Reynolds, daughter of Artemissa Hickman and Jonathan Reynolds. She was a great grandmother on my dad’s side. During the Civil War, Sarah Frances’ father was killed by Confederate Bushwhackers (deserters from the regular Confederate Army). Her mother (someone I’d also like to meet) packed up her kids and drove them in a wagon to Lawrence County, Missouri, where some of her siblings had settled.

Sarah kept a brief diary of the 475-mile trip. They crossed three rivers (the Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi), the latter at Cairo, Illinois. As the oldest of nine (four of whom were seven or under when her father died), I figure she had a lot of responsibility for younger kids. I imagine her keeping track of them during river crossings.

Sarah had seven children of her own and helped raise a granddaughter after her own daughter died. Despite her size (perhaps four feet ten), she was said (by one of my aunts) to have been “a ball of fire.” She learned to quilt from her mother and taught all six of her daughters to do the same. I have a tattered quilt that my own grandmother made – a skill she learned from Sarah Frances.

Willow Croft: Which of the fictional/fictionalized locations in your (multiple!) cozy mystery/mystery series would you most want to live in?

Elaine L. Orr: I finally placed a series in my original home state of Maryland. It’s a family history mystery series, set in the Maryland mountains. I might like to live there, but I’m not big on driving on curvy roads in snow – and it snows a lot at those altitudes..

So, I’d probably pick the Jersey shore, where the Jolie Gentil books are set. However, I would want it to be a town similar to my fictional Ocean Alley, perhaps the real-life Ocean Grove. I love the ocean, especially when it’s stormy – though not during hurricane season.

Willow Croft: Keepers of historical archives can be a unique class unto themselves. What’s the oddest situation you found yourself in while conducting research into your family history (either in person, or online)? Alternatively, what’s the most unusual story you’ve come across in your research?

Elaine L. Orr: In addition to my immediate family’s history, I’m also the historian for the Orr Reunion Association of Mount Vernon, Missouri. Six families from Ireland stayed in touch after coming to America. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve learned about a lot of relatives who went to Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It’s given me a real appreciation for how thousands of people can grow from a few. We’ve also married into other race and ethnic groups, including Native Americans. It’s been neat to learn all that.

The oddest situation…Because I post family trees on ancestry, a lot of people contact me with questions. Two have been looking for parents! One had been adopted. The person she thought was her father had passed, so I couldn’t make the connection for her beyond what she had seen in my tree. I was kind of glad, because I had no idea if he ever knew he had a daughter.

The other wanted contact info for a first cousin. I said I would pass on the information (and did), but would not give her a living person’s email or phone. She did track the cousin down on her own. He let me know that, but I didn’t ask about their conclusion. I didn’t like being in the middle.

By far the ‘best’ story happened to a third-great aunt and her family. They just missed a steamer that was to take them from Ireland to the USA because they had not received a communication about a departure time change. They ended up on a sailing ship, which took much longer, and one family member died. However, the steamer was never heard from again. If they had made the first ship, they would have all died.

Willow Croft: If you have family artifacts in your possession, have you ever felt any of them to be haunted?

Elaine L. Orr: I had a teapot that belonged to my great grandmother (mom’s side). While I never thought of it as haunted, it was later stolen. I hope to heck it haunts whoever took it.

Willow Croft: If you had to pick one recipe or dish from any of your mystery series to eat for the rest of your life, which would you pick? Or, what’s the strangest recipe/foodstuffs you’ve come across in your family research?

Elaine L. Orr: Oh, heavens. It would probably be the boardwalk fries that Jolie and Scoobie eat – she with ketchup, he with vinegar. Obviously, I don’t have the recipe! In Final Cycle (a Logland series book), I include a chile recipe that is attributed to Nick, co-owner of a diner. However, I like the chile of a friend (Jodi Perko) so much, that I asked for her recipe. I made it at home; it’s great.

Recipes say a lot about the original cook. My Great Aunt Stell’s (Estella Cochran’s) fruitcake recipe has more ingredients than I would have thought possible, listed in precise amounts. My cousin Doug’s handwritten barbeque beans recipe has ingredients such as:

Various kinds of beans: pinto, lima, butter…whatever
Mustard (not much, just a dash)
Brown sugar
Molasses/sorghum
The above two are linked with a note that says, “Balance these two.”

Bottom line, a recipe is yours once you make it, so you can improvise!

***

I don’t know about you, but I sure hope that purloined teapot is haunting whoever stole it, too. Check out Elaine L. Orr’s included bio (below) for more information about her mystery series and her other literary works, as well links to her websites! Hope you enjoyed the visit from my cousin . . . I sure did!

Elaine L. Orr writes family and local histories as well as four mystery series: the Jolie Gentil series at the Jersey shore, the River’s Edge series along Iowa’s Des Moines River, the Logland series in small-town Illinois, and the Family History mystery series in the Western Maryland Mountains. She also writes plays and novellas, including her favorite, Falling Into Place. Two of her books have been shortlisted for the Chanticleer Mystery and Mayhem Awards, and The Unscheduled Murder Trip received an Indie B.R.A.G Medallion in 2021. Elaine is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Indiana Writer’s Center.

www.elaineorr.com
http://elaineorr.blogspot.com

Five Things Friday: Mini-Interview with Author Katherine Pritchett

This week’s interview is a writer from Kansas (the state where I now reside). I miss some things about New Mexico–the local cuisine, the great social support programs, and more! But Kansas has the internet access I need for work, so…here I am! But I chose to revisit New Mexico via this interview…at least by way of the first question.

Willow Croft: We’ve both been to a few of the same historical sites in New Mexico (according to one of your blog entries). Which historical site, in general, made you feel like you’ve been there before (or which most resonated with you)?

Katherine Pritchett: I felt the stories at Fort Union the most. It was probably occupied the shortest amount of time, but I felt a presence there the most, like their stories were untold or the mission unfinished. At Frijoles Canyon, I felt peace around the cliff dwellings long abandoned as though, and at Los Alamos Laboratory, I felt the weight of the history and of the future, while just a few miles away lived the old ones.

Willow Croft: I see from your blog, that you spend time watching our bird friends. If you could be any bird for a day, which would you pick?

Katherine Pritchett: I think I’d pick a cardinal. They seem to stay with me wherever I go. My sister-in-law believed they were visitors from heaven. If so, my whole family–mom, dad, Aunt Betty, my brother and sister-in-law–may be watching over me. Lord knows, I need it! But it may also be my fiance Charles Durham, my kindred soul who passed after we had only been seeing each other five months. But we lived a lifetime together in those five months, because once he was diagnosed with leukemia, we only dealt with the important things.

Willow Croft: I’m fairly new to Kansas, so I’m curious, what’s your favourite “local cuisine” dish you like to, eat, make, or have made for you? Alternatively, what local vegetables or fruits find your way onto your plate?

Katherine Pritchett: Well, I love to eat more than cook, so there are lots. My daughter and one daughter-in-law always frequent Taco Delite when they visit. It’s been a staple of Pratt for years and is consistently good and filling. I’m not that much of a cook, so I like to eat what others prepare. My youngest son is a firefighter, so he has learned to cook dishes that feed a family. My daughter in Tennessee married a great guy who cooks rich southern dishes like dump cake, and we are regulars at a Thai restaurant there. My oldest son served in the Army and married a Canadian woman he met in Vietnam. They cook a lot of fusion cuisine. Now the whole family cooks and shares recipes and cooking tips. When we are all together, which is at least once a year, more if we can swing it, each family cooks a meal. Curiously, all my best friends are also good cooks…

Willow Croft: What’s the oddest thing your pet (or pets) have done?

Katherine Pritchett: What haven’t they done? The horse I had from the time she was about 10 minutes old took up jumping fences when she was 28 years old, starting with her first encounter with an electric fence. She decided that little wire couldn’t hold her, but a few seconds after walking into it, she felt a zap. She spun around and stared at it a couple of minutes, then took two more strides back and cleared it. She later jumped a woven wire fence the same height. But when she cleared the fences, she put herself in her stall. Her mother just looked at her as if to say, “Fool!” and resumed eating grass.

A cat I had set the couch on fire trying to catch a moth. The moth was fluttering around a lamp, she attacked it and knocked the lamp over. The lampshade fell off and the bulb sat against the foam cushion until it began to smolder. Another cat follows us on our walks. I believe she thinks she is security, our own secret service detail. Sometimes I think I see her putting a paw to her ear to hear the ear bud.

They all have unique personalities. I guess I communicate with animals well because they were pretty much my only playmates when I was little. I remember sitting under the honeysuckle vines with the mama barn cats. They would nap while I cuddled their kittens. When I walked home from school, all the loose dogs in town would follow me. Now I know all the neighborhood cats and dogs by name and history. Don’t always remember the names of their humans.

Willow Croft: Your books on Amazon are crime/mystery/suspense in genre(s). Have you ever encountered a real-life mystery or true crime that fascinated you and which you wish you could solve? (Well, aside from the “missing” sandwich case you mentioned on your blog that involved a dastardly canine culprit!)

Katherine Pritchett: What the River Knows was inspired by a murder that occurred in Hutchinson, Kansas, over 40 years ago. A suspect has never been arrested. Dennis Rader, Ted Bundy and other serial killers deny killing her. Yet every time I cross the Arkansas River bridge south of Hutchinson, I remember her. I couldn’t bring her justice in real life, but tried to do so in the book. The detective in that book is in the process of getting involved in another mystery now, one that may land him in hot water. Or worse.

And there is the constant mystery of where I left my glasses. Or phone. Or coffee cup.

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Maybe you can help Katherine Pritchett find her missing items at one of her social media sites! Here’s the links–pay her a visit if you’d like! She’s also on Amazon, but this weird inset window pops up when I try to put in the link, so you’ll just have to do a search over there for her.

http://katherinepritchett.com/

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Writer/Katherine-Pritchett-Author-108014189234379/