My guest today is the fabulous Kate Collins!
CREATIVITY ON THE RUN, ER, WALK
By Kate Collins
Brains are fascinating organs. They’re the original computers, processing whatever they take in and spitting it out when you need it – hopefully. They’re inventive, too, making up all kinds of stories to amuse, soothe, or scare us out of a night’s sleep. For me that inventiveness started at a very young age when I was certain my chest of drawers turned into a big hairy gorilla at night. I also convinced the neighbor kids that a monster lived in the crawlspace of our house. That backfired on me, however, because I told the story so often I came to believe it and wouldn’t go anywhere near that part of the house. There’s a price to be paid for being too creative.
Recently I read an article* about how brains function better and are less prone to dementia when the body is exercised. What especially caught my attention was the paragraph that said exercise boosts creativity and helps a person come up with new solutions to problems. As a mystery writer, my ears perked up. I’m constantly solving problems, mostly of my own making, but still, sometimes I back a character into a corner and then have to figure a way out of it.
When that happens, when I’m staring at the words on my monitor and nothing is coming, I have to escape. For me that means taking a walk and letting the wayward scene play in my head like a movie and allowing my characters to talk about what’s happening. It also means that if you see me out walking and my lips are moving, pay no attention. I’m just working out their dialogue.
I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when I read in the article that researchers at Stanford University found that walking can increase creativity up to sixty percent. I’ll vouch for that! Even a casual stroll around the house or office can be beneficial, anything to step away from the words – or lack thereof – on the computer screen.
According to the researchers: “Four experiments demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after… Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
So it’s a win-win situation. Creativity goes up, calories burn off, blood circulates, muscles pump, and those feel-good endorphins rise. When I sit back down again, the ideas are there and so are my characters, waiting with a big “Welcome back, Kate. Let’s get this mystery solved.”
Kate Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of the popular and long-running Flower Shop Mystery series. A Root Awakening, #16 in the series, is a February, 2015 release. Read about Kate’s mysteries, historical romances, and children’s anthologies at www.katecollinsbooks.com
*Source: www.Mercola.com (1-23-2015) “The Remarkable Effects of Exercise on Cognition and Brain Cell Regeneration.”
A Root Awakening:
A Flower Shop Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Indiana
An Obsidian Mystery
An Imprint of New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00LMGK55Q
Abby Knight’s marriage may be in full bloom, but house hunting is no bed of roses in latest novel in the New York Times bestselling Flower Shop Mystery series…
Now that they’ve tied the knot, flower shop owner Abby Knight and her husband, Marco, want to put down roots. When it comes to picking a house, Marco can’t wait to get his hands dirty, while Abby isn’t ready for a fixer-upper. But conflict really sprouts when they’re checking out a dilapidated Victorian and watch a construction worker take a life-threatening tumble.
Since witnesses claim the man shouted for help, suggesting that the fall was no accident, the victim’s flamboyant wife hires Marco to find the person responsible. Meanwhile, Abby keeps secret from Marco her own investigation into the home’s inhabitants, a family whose off-kilter behavior has aroused her suspicions. If only Abby’s very pregnant cousin, Jillian, will stop distracting Abby with false labor pains, she can conclude her own inquiries before Marco finds out…and her case blossoms into a disaster.
House hunting can be fun but most times it is pretty daunting. Buying a house is a huge decision and Marco and Abby are not exactly on the same page as to the type of house they want. Marco is okay with a fixer upper but Abby knows with them both owning businesses and a private investigating company they are not going to have much time for fixing anything up. But she is willing to look. They arrive to check out a Victorian that is already receiving a bit of a facelift just in time to see one of the workers fall many feet from his ladder to the ground. It looks like an accident but the victim’s wife hires Marco and Abby to investigate. Abby also thinks there is something off about the people renting the house and her brain just can’t let it go so she does a little investigating on her own.
Not sure what their next move is regarding finding a home a very pregnant comes to the rescue and offers to find them the perfect place to purchase. The trick will be finding it before she actually really truly goes into labor and has the baby. Hilarity ensues!
This is the 16th book in this series. That should tell you something right there. This is an excellent series and Kate Collins is a wonderful storyteller. She continues to keep these character fresh and their adventures colorful and entertaining. They are definitely blooming in the place she has planted them.
As someone who has worked on a construction crew the man falling from the ladder sent extra chills through my entire body. Those Victorian homes are tall, my first thought was where was his safety harness but then I quickly became enthralled in the mystery. Did he just lose his balance or was he really pushed? Why? and Who? and was he going to survive? Abby and Marco seem to be getting nowhere in their investigation.
This was one of those books I just couldn’t put down. I knew what Abby was thinking but the author twisted it in a way I didn’t see coming at all. An extraordinary WHODUNIT!
I am a huge fan of this author and I anxiously await each installment and am never disappointed, in fact she always exceeds my expectations. We have already learned #17 is called Florist Grump and it hits stores in November! I truly can’t wait!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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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.”