ABOUT THE BOOKAfter Lizzie's new boss, celebrity chef Armand, is stabbed in his own kitchen, Lizzie finds herself at the top of the suspect list. Determined to clear her name she’s forced to enlist the services of her new neighbor, Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency (CCIA) special agent Jack Mathis, who’s been suspended from his duties for reasons unknown. Can Lizzie save herself from getting arrested and manage to resist her special agent sidekick’s considerable charms and gorgeous smile? Will they solve the culinary murder mystery or will she end up in a prison cell?
INTERVIEW WITH ZANNA MACKENZIE
Zanna, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?
I adore the bit where I get to create the fun characters for the book! I get my star signs book out and check the personalities for different zodiac signs and decide which traits will suit the various characters I have in mind for each book. I love to layer up each one – star sign, personality, quirks, likes and dislikes, favorite foods, where they live etc. For the appearance side of things I keep a folder of pictures of famous people who I think could be the visual inspirations for the character creation phase of a book. I’ll select an image I think feels right and use that to build up the looks, style and clothing preferences for the character. I love it!
What do you think is the hardest aspect of writing a book?
Being patient! Creating a novel is a long process, and I confess I’m not the most patient person in the world.
What books do you currently have published?
I have the Amber Reed Mysteries which are fun romantic mysteries involving the Celebrity Crimes Investigation Agency – there are 5 books in that series so far.
Then there’s the Celebrity Mystery series which has three books so far and follows wannabe baker and amateur sleuth Lizzie and her yummy neighbor Jack.
I also have a paranormal romantic comedy and a contemporary romantic comedy. There will be a new paranormal romantic comedy mystery series out later this year, I am working on it the moment.
What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Built a platform to connect with readers and other authors. Before I was offered contracts with two publishers in the same month, I had never used social media at all. My publishers both ran closed information groups for their authors on Facebook so I had to create an account and get to grips with how the systems work. They encouraged me to set up a Twitter account and join Goodreads. It’s been a steep learning curve.
What five things would you never want to live without?
Water. Food. A book/my Kindle. My lip balm. A hat (for warmth if it’s cold or shade from the sun if it is hot!)
What drives you crazy?
People being inconsiderate to others, animals or the environment.
What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Garden, walk the dogs with my husband, or read. I love watching romantic comedy movies too.
How often do you read?
Every day. I’ve always loved to read. I was rather late getting a Kindle, but now I have discovered ebooks as well as paperbacks and read both. I probably get new books far too often as I have a To Be Read backlog, but I simply can’t resist them!
What is your writing style?
I’d describe it as light, fun, fast-paced, layered with intrigue and romance.
What do you think makes a good story?
An intriguing plot that has you hooked from the beginning and great characters you really care about and feel drawn into their world.
What’s one of your favorite quotes? That would be the one from Albert Einstein: “Logic will get you from A to B but imagination will take you anywhere.” So true!
What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site? Probably imdb (Internet Movie Database). I love movies and like to check out reviews and trailers for them before watching them on TV or buying the DVD. It’s probably a close-run thing between IMDB and the BBC Weather website – I’ve always been fascinated by meteorology and like to keep up to date with the weather forecasts.
If you had a talk show who would your dream guest be? Probably the English TV presenter Kate Humble. She seems bubbly and great fun, and I admire all the work she does for the environment. Plus, she has a smallholding in the middle of nowhere with her husband and dogs – something I’d love to achieve one day – with my husband though of course, not hers! LOL.
Where is your favorite place to visit?
A deserted beach on the Lincolnshire coast in the UK. There’s nothing there but miles of sand, sea and dunes. Bliss. The wind is usually blowing a gale and it’s inevitably freezing cold, but it’s the most wonderful place to walk the dogs with my husband. Sadly, it’s a long way from where we live so we don’t get to go there very often.
What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
I have a fascination with the weather. As a child my dad made me a wooden Stevenson Screen for in the garden where I kept my weather recording instruments so that they gave a true reading and were not affected by direct sunlight or wind chill. I used to have a big notebook, and every day I noted down temperature and humidity and rainfall amounts. I did it for many years. I guess I’m a bit of a geek!
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A photo of mountains in the English Lake District – one of my favorite places in the world.
What are you working on now?
A fun paranormal romantic comedy mystery series set in the highlands of Scotland.
ABOUT THE AUTHORZanna lives in the UK (Derbyshire/ Leicestershire border) with her husband, 4 dogs, a vegetable patch that's home to far too many weeds, and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read.
She loves it when the characters in her novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot.
Zanna's hobbies include gardening, walking the dogs, weather watching and reading.
Connect with Zanna:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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