Today I am thrilled to welcome back Kylie Logan
to Escape With Dollycas with another brand new series!
Where do you get your ideas?
By Kylie Logan
It’s a question authors get asked all the time, and every time someone asks me, I give the same answer: ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes I find them on TV, or in something I read. Sometimes they pop out of conversations I overhear, or talks I’ve had with my kids, or something I see in the grocery story. What it comes down to is every book is different, and each one starts in a different place.
But what about when it comes to a series? Where do ideas comes from for new series and how does an author know that an idea that might sustain one book can be carried over from book to book, made interesting and most important of all, kept fresh?
Since I’ve been working on a couple new mystery series, these are questions I’ve been pondering. For my newest series, The A Chili Cook-Off Mysteries the simplest answer is easy enough–I was chatting with my agent one day and mentioned that my husband had won a chili cook-off.
“Hmmm . . . chili.” Even over the phone, I could hear the gears turning in her brain. “Chili would make an interesting mystery series,” she said. “Work something up.”
Chili? Really? As much as I enjoy eating it (and my husband makes the best!), I’d never really thought about turning the hot and spicy bowls of deliciousness into the centerpiece of a series. But the more I thought about it . . . yeah, chili cook-offs, I decided, would be fun to write about.
Of course, the planning process doesn’t stop there. With the basic idea in mind, the next thing I had to do was decide who was going to inhabit my chili universe. Again, I had a discussion with my agent, and one of the things she mentioned is how much mystery readers like to read about families.
Warm and fuzzy is so not my thing. So instead of choosing a family that works together at the chili cook-off, I decided to turn things around. I chose a heroine named Maxie who is edgy and sassy and a whole lot of fun and works at the cook-off dressed in a giant chili costume, dancing out front to draw in customers. I gave her a stuck-up, uptight half-sister named Sylvia who has spent her life being mad at Maxie for the simple fact that Maxie’s mother stole Jack (both the girls’ father) from Sylvia’s mother.
Oh, conflict! The stuff fun books are made out of, especially when the girls have to work together, live together in Jack’s tattered RV, and when they both have their eyes on Nick Falcone, the hunky ex-cop who now runs security for the Chili Showdown.
And as far as their father, Texas Jack Pierce? More decisions to make and more consideration of how those decisions would affect not just one book, but an entire series. How did Jack play into my plans? And how would what I did with him in this first book ripple through more stories? Because I needed Maxie and Sylvia to have to reluctantly work together, I decided that Jack would be missing and the girls have to take over his Hot Cha Chili Seasoning Palace as it travels from cook-off to cook-off until he’s found.
Those are the basic building blocks the series is build from and so far, so good. Chili Con Carnage book #1 is out now and I’m currently working on the follow-up, “Death by Devil’s Breath.” Yeah, Jack’s still missing. And Sylvia and Maxie, they hate each other more than ever.
With any luck, they’ll keep it up for many, many more books!
About Kylie Logan
Kylie Logan has loved mysteries since she was a kid. Her dad was a Cleveland Police detective and he introduced her to Sherlock Holmes stories and gave her investigating experience when on his days off, they’d pile into the car and hit the streets to look for stolen cars. When he retired from the force, Dad became head of security for the Cleveland Public Library.
Crooks and books! Kylie comes by her love of mysteries honestly.
Kylie began her career writing historical romance and her book, “Devil’s Diamond,” was nominated for a RITA award as historical romance of the year by Romance Writers of America. She’s also written contemporary romance (as Connie Lane), young adult horror (as Zoe Danielsand Connie Laux) and she writes the popular Pepper Martin Mysteries as Casey Daniels.
Kylie is currently writing three different mystery series: the Button Box Mysteries(newest book is “Panic Button”), the League of Literary Ladies mysteries (“Mayhem at the Orient Express “) and now, the Chili Cook-Off mysteries. She can’t pass up an antique shop…there might be buttons in there! She can’t put down a classic book . . . even if she already knows the story. And she can’t say no to a good bowl of chili. Luckily, her husband is the world’s greatest chili maker.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually with her family and their two dogs, Ernie, an adorable Airedale, and Oscar, a rescued Jack Russell who came for a short-term stay and ten years later, is still around. Kylie says that those of you who have ever met/lived with/had dealings with a Russell will certainly understand how knowing him has increased her propensity for murder.
Chili Con Carnage
(A Chili Cook-Off Mystery)
Brand New Series
A Berkley Prime Mystery (October 1, 2013)
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Miles Hyman
Cover Design by Diane Kolsky
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book File Size: 1151 KB
Bean there…done that…
Maxie Pierce and her half-sister Sylvia are back on the Chili Cook Off circuit. Their daddy, Texas Jack Pierce, king of the chili cook-off circuit, has been missing for weeks. He has a bit of a reputation for chasing the ladies but to go off and leave The Palace in the hands of others is something her just wouldn’t do. People come from far and wide to buy his unique chili seasonings. Maxie was ready to leave Chicago but working side by side with Sylvia in the small quarters of the Palace and living together in an RV wad not what she really had in mind. She needs to find Jack and get the heck back to her own life as soon as possible.
Then a dead body literally falls on top of her and her half sister is the prime suspect. She is also being watched because the dead guy happens to be a guy she had drinks with the night before and things didn’t end well. In fact they had a very public argument just a few hours before he died. She needs to turn up the heat and find the real killer before things get too hot and spicy to handle.
First thing first, our family chili recipe includes beans and no hot peppers 🙂 or pickles??
Now about this delightfully hot and spicy mystery, I loved it!
Maxine is a fabulous character and Sylvia is truly something else. She is a woman with an ulterior motive who needs to be put in her place and Maxie is just the person to put here there. Maxie’s heart is in the right place but right now her life is a bit of a mess. Going forward this family dynamic could get to be quite volatile and I can’t wait. As they travel the circuit and hopefully a certain handsome security guard tags along you never know what could happen next. Family conflict will be almost as hot as the chili.
There is quite a group of people that travel the circuit and we met a few in this installment. I am sure we will get to know them better and meet others as the series continues.
In addition to introducing us to these fantastic characters Kylie Logan has plotted quite an interesting mystery with plenty of viable suspects. So many had means, motive and opportunity. This reader was surprised.
Kylie you are off to a great start with this one! I am looking forward to the next stop on the Chili Cook Off Showdown tour. I know it will be another tasty treat!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
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Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
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Leave a comment for Kylie for 5 Bonus Entries !
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Contest Will End October 16, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”