Today Ivy Culpepper is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Death Gone A-Rye, the latest novel in the Bread Shop mystery series.
Welcome, Ivy. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Of course! My name is Ivy Culpepper and I live in Santa Sofia, inside the Bread Shop mysteries written by Winnie Archer. She moonlights as Melissa Bourbon and also writes Pippin Lane Hawthorne’s world. She’s busy!
My latest adventure is chronicled in Death Gone a-Rye. It’s my 6th mystery adventure. I’m getting pretty good at solving crimes!
In a nutshell, my series revolves around Yeast of Eden, the artisan bread shop in town. I work there part-time. I’m also a photographer, so I do a lot of freelance work, building my business. Miguel Baptista is my high school boyfriend and we’ve reunited. He’s a pretty special man.
Penelope Branford is my neighbor across the street. She’s my 80-something sidekick. Sometimes I’m scrambling to keep up with her! Then there’s Olaya Solis, who owns Yeast of Eden. These two women are a big part of my foundation. My brother, my father, and my best friend, Emmaline, who is also the sheriff, make up the rest of it.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
That’s a funny question! I think the honest answer is we both do. Winnie has a pretty good idea of where the story starts and where it ends. Sometimes the fine details are loose, and that’s when I get to dig in and take the lead.
How did you evolve as the main character?
I grew up in Santa Sofia, but Miguel and I broke up and I moved to Austin, Texas for college. I stayed there and married Luke Holden. Till I divorced him. I didn’t return to California, though, until my mother passed away. Once I got back there, I never wanted to leave again.
Then I met Olaya and Mrs. Branford (I just can’t call her Penelope or Penny like she wants me to) walked into my life—or, I guess, I walked into theirs—and I felt settled again for the first time in a long time.
As my relationships in Santa Sophia grow and my freelancing takes off, I am discovering more about who I am. I’m 36 and still learning, and I’m pretty happy about that.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Like I mentioned, Miguel Baptista is back in my life. He’s become very important to me. Actually, he never stopped being important, we just both got a little sidetracked.
I’m always meeting new people—Like Candace Coffey, for example, in Death Gone a-Rye. We were friends in high school and I’ve run into her again. I love sharing my stories with whoever is in my writer’s head.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Santa Sofia is a dream town. It’s on the Central California coast. Think Santa Barbara mixed with Santa Cruz, but the size of, say, Capitola. It’s quaint and is a little bit of a hidden secret, though the secret is getting out. People come from far and wide to get a taste of Olaya’s bread. She’s got a touch of magic in her and her bread reflects that.
Santa Sofia is a great place to live! Minus the murders, of course.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
If you love bread—and honestly, who doesn’t?—you need to give this series and this book a try! Start with Kneaded to Death and work your way through. Books 7 and 8 are coming at the end of this year and the middle of next year! Happy Reading!
Thank you for answering my questions, Ivy, and good luck to you and your author, Winnie Archer, with Death Gone A-Rye, the latest book in the Bread Shop mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Winnie Archer: The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.