Kathy: In White Colander Crime the Heritage Society wants to recreate a perfect Victorian Christmas for Queensville's Dickens Days Festival. Have you ever attended a similar event?
VH: I never have, though I think it would be awesome. But when I created Queensville I knew that their most viable local business would be tourism, and that they would use the town’s history, from the Victorian era, as the hook. So what could be more appropriate at Christmas for a town like that than Dickens Days? That idea was built in to the series right from the start. Their two anchoring events are Tea with the Queen on Victoria Day weekend (one weekend before Memorial Day weekend) and Dickens Days in December. I envisioned a small snowy town with strolling Victorian garbed singers, and a hot cider booth, etc. Since then I’ve researched many on the internet; the one in Wellsboro, PA is probably closest!
Kathy: What makes Victorian themed Christmases so special?
VH: I think we’ve all been steeped in the Victorian Christmas images, from Dickens to Currier and Ives, so when we sing songs like Jingle Bells, with the horse and sleigh dashing through the snow, we’re thinking of the Victorian era. Half the Christmas cards out there have Queen Anne style houses (like Jaymie Leighton’s, and the Queensville Historic Manor) with sleighs and horses in front of them, or Victorian garbed carolers or party goers depicting that time, too. It just seems so idyllic.
Kathy: Is there something special about writing a book set during the holidays?
VH: It’s special writing it, but it’s even more special promoting one. It allows me to give stuff away (which I love!) and really get in the spirit of it all while promoting my book! I’ve always adored Christmas-set romances and mysteries. In fact, I save a few to read every year in the one week I always take off from writing (when possible) between Christmas and New Years.
Kathy: What is your favorite Charles Dickens novel?
VH: I have to admit it: A Christmas Carol. I used to read it every single year the week before Christmas. I haven’t for a few years, but maybe I will again this season. I love other Dickens novels too, Great Expectations and David Copperfield, but not as much.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for White Colander Crime?
VH: I had a few that came together, but I can’t really talk about them because they’d be spoilers! LOL. I can say that in this case though I didn’t read a certain popular novel – you’ll know which when you read White Colander Crime - nor did I see the movie made from it, the idea of it triggered my ‘what if’ thoughts, and I just went with it.
Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Jaymie?
VH: That is tricky. For those who don’t know, the conglomerate that is Penguin, Berkley and Random House has gone through a bit of a shake up recently and not all of the bits and pieces have fluttered to the floor. As a result many of your favorite authors (I hope I’m one of them!) aren’t sure which of their mystery series will survive. At this point I don’t have a new contract for the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, but that doesn’t mean an end for Jaymie! I’m still hopeful I can keep writing them. Heck, I love her and the town of Queensville so much, I’d probably keep writing the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries even if I didn’t get a contract.
In fact, I’d be truly interested to hear from readers where they see Jaymie’s story going after they read White Colander Crime. Drop me a line!
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
VH: As many know, I write two mystery series other than the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries. I write the Merry Muffin Mystery series, and I also write the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. Much Ado About Muffin, Book #4 of the Merry Muffin series comes out in July, and The Grim Steeper, Book #3 of the Teapot Collector Mysteries comes out in February!
Thanks so much, Kathy, for having me. I’d love to give away some books. This is open to Canadian and US address; whoever comments is entered to win Death of an English Muffin (Book #3 of the Merry Muffin Mysteries ) as well as a copy of White Colander Crime… and maybe some other goodies!!
To qualify, simply leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite aspect of a Victorian Christmas along with your e-mail address no later than 11:59pm EST Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
About White Colander Crime:
In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Mallets Intended, the Heritage Society is re-creating a perfect Victorian Christmas—until good tidings go bad...
Queensville has great expectations for their Dickens Days festival. A tourist-trade boom means a big turnout for the opening of Queensville Historic Manor and for Jaymie Leighton, food columnist and vintage cookware collector, a chance to promote the manor and give away homemade goodies. At the end of a long day of festival fun, Jaymie discovers the battered body of local woman Shelby Fretter.
Shelby predicted her own murder in journal entries—and all clues point to Cody Wainwright, the troubled son of Jaymie’s beleaguered newspaper editor. But considering the entire Fretter family had its share of dirty secrets, Jaymie’s not convinced by the case against Cody. With twists all over, she’s going to have to work like the Dickens to wrap up this investigation before Christmas—especially with the real killer ready to kill again.
INCLUDES A RECIPE!
Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
Find Victoria online!
Victoria Hamilton Mysteries: http://www.victoriahamiltonmysteries.com
Victoria Hamilton Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoriaHamilton
VKM Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VintageKitchenMysteries
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MysteryVictoria - or - @MysteryVictoria