Today Paula Darnell is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Artistic License to Kill, her first novel in A Fine Art Mystery series.
Welcome, Paula. 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.
Artistic License to Kill is the first book in my cozy mystery series, A Fine Art Mystery. The main character, our amateur sleuth, is artist Amanda Trent, who’s starting over in a new town, with the goal of making her living as a full-time artist after her husband dumps her for a woman who is younger than their son. In the series, mystery and mayhem pop up as Amanda navigates the local art scene, where she’s a member of the Roadrunner, a cooperative gallery.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
The idea for the setting came from my own experiences being a member of a couple of cooperative art galleries and an art guild, where I’m on the board of directors. I can’t really pinpoint where the idea for the mystery came from (it’s a mystery to me!).
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
Yes, the theme is based on the idea that many women have that it would be fantastic to turn a hobby or an avocation into a full-time business and actually make money from doing what they love. Although it’s touch and go for Amanda sometimes, earning her living from her art fulfils her dream.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
My characters sometimes arise from a plot necessity. They may have characteristics I’ve observed in people, but they’re never based on a real person. My favorite characters are always my sleuths.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
I always use settings with which I’m familiar; for example, my DIY Diva Mystery series takes place in a guard-gated community, which is governed by a homeowners’ association with lots of rules and regulations. Since I live in such a community myself, it’s easy to write about a fictional version of one.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
I sometimes need to research details, but since I often write about places and situations I know about, I spend more time writing than researching.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
I hope readers enjoy the book!
Thanks for answering my questions, Paula, and good luck with Artistic License to Kill, the first book in A Fine Art Mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Paula Darnell: Award-winning author Paula Darnell is a former college instructor who has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in English and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in English with a Writing Emphasis. Artistic License to Kill is the first book in her Fine Art Mystery series. She’s also the author of the DIY Diva Mystery series and The Six-Week Solution, a historical mystery set in Nevada. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Gary and their Pyrador Rocky.