Today Linda O. Johnston is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about her latest novel in the Barkery and Biscuits mystery series.
Welcome, Linda. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
LOJ: My novel For A Good Paws is the fifth and last in my Barkery & Biscuits mystery series, about Carrie Kennersly, a veterinary technician, who buys a human bakery, Icing on the Cake, from a friend and turns half into Barkery and Biscuits, where she bakes and sells the healthy dog treats she created as a vet tech. From the first story on, she or her friends seem to wind up being prime suspects in murders, so she had to solve them.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
LOJ: Actually, with this story, I don’t know. In it, Carrie hears that the convict who murdered the first woman mayor of the town of Knobcone Heights is about to be paroled early, which makes her curious. And when that mayor’s husband is found murdered, Carrie just has to get involved to help solve both murders.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
LOJ: Dogs! There are always dogs in my stories.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
LOJ: My characters just seem to come to me and tell me where they’ll fit into the story. My favorite characters tend to be my protagonists and their love interests–and their dogs. I’m partial to them because they’re the ones who are central to my stories.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
LOJ: My mystery series each take place in a specific town, usually a fictional one. In the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, it’s Knobcone Heights, a fictional California town. I believe it comes to life thanks to Carrie and her dog Biscuit and her friends, who include Dr. Reed Storme, her romantic interest who is a veterinarian at the vet clinic where she works, her brother Neal, who lives with her, her four assistants at the bakeries, plus others in town like Councilwoman Billi Matlock who also owns the local pet shelter, and Carrie’s friends who own Cuppa Joes coffee shop where she likes to eat and to drink coffee. They all have roles to play in Carrie’s stories and help to populate Knobcone Heights and help it grow.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
LOJ: I visit local barkeries–or at least shops that sell fresh pet food. And I also do whatever other research is necessary, online or in person with people in law enforcement, to make the stories seem as real as possible.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
LOJ: As I mentioned, For A Good Paws is the last in a series, although it can be read as a stand-alone book. It’s been a fun series, and even though there will be no more stories I hope readers continue to enjoy it!
Thanks for answering my questions, Linda, and good luck with your last book in the Barkery and Biscuits mystery series.
For a Good Paws is available at the following online retailers:
About Linda O. Johnston: Linda is a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. She writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink. Her fifth and final book in the series, For a Good Paws, is a May 2019 release. She has also written Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and nearly all her current stories involve dogs.