I asked a few of my author friends what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving.
You met my friend Carol Ayer a few weeks ago. Here’s what she said.
I have a lot to be thankful for—family and friends, the sweetest cat in the world, a place to call home, and the opportunity to pursue my love of writing. But this year I am particularly thankful for firefighters. The wildfires in California get worse and worse every year and there doesn’t seem to be any relief forthcoming. As I write this, we are under another Red Flag warning and more fires are expected. This past summer, my mother and I evacuated to Sacramento during one of the huge fires started by dry lightning. As it turned out, the firefighters did a fantastic job of keeping the fire away from the city limits, so we were able to return home the next day. I am in awe of how these brave men and women spend weeks putting out fires that grow to thousands of acres. As a thank you, I am incorporating a fire-related storyline into my next book.
Another good friend is Sherrinda Ketchersid. Here’s what she said. I’m thankful for so many things, but as a writer I find I am most thankful for the friendships I have forged along the journey. Nobody “gets you” like a fellow writer. They have all the same joys, same frustrations, same fears, same everything as you—and let’s face it, all writers face these things on a continual basis. I am particularly thankful for my critique groups, who take my writing to a higher level and teach me what I need to know along the way. They have encouraged me and provided the icing needed after a good “kick-in-the-pants”. They spur me on!
Thanks for stopping by and meeting some of my friends.
I’m thankful for my family, my friends, and you my readers. I’d love to hear something you’re thankful for this year.
Carol, congratulations on Peppermint Cream Die! It’s such a cute title. Tell us a little about your story. The story features Kayla Jeffries, a 35-year-old home bakery owner. She identifies as an introvert and a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). When her elderly friend is murdered, she overcomes her natural tendency to avoid stress and overstimulation and helps apprehend the killer. Along the way, she meets a handsome restaurateur, adopts two rambunctious cats, and makes a lot of baked goods.
Where is the setting? How did you decide to pick it? The setting is a fictional oceanside community called Seaside Shores in the (also fictional) town of Oceanville, California. The setting is loosely based on the Central California town of Monterey, a place I love to visit as often as I can. I think I chose it as a form of wish fulfillment–I would love to live in Monterey but can’t (it’s very expensive!). My character gets to live somewhere similar and I can live there vicariously.
How long have you been writing? Did you always dream of writing or have you always worked as an author? I’ve been writing since childhood. As soon as I realized that books were written by people and didn’t just magically appear in the world, I wanted to write my own. I started submitting to magazines and publishers when I was 8 (but, alas, didn’t get published until I was an adult). Do you have any pets? (If yes, can you include a picture of them?) I do! I adopted Rainn (see attached picture) from a shelter about two years ago. She will turn 4 soon. She and my last cat, Sammie, inspired a few of the (hopefully humorous!) storylines in my series.
Do you have a favorite beach or vacation spot? Yes, as mentioned above, I love Monterey, California. I’ve also had the good fortune of visiting Maui three times, and what can I say? It’s so beautiful that it doesn’t feel real. Where can readers find you on social media?
I do! Here it is:Super Simple Peppermint Cream Pie: Ingredients:Pre-made chocolate cookie pie crust5.1 oz. box instant vanilla puddingMilk to prepare pudding8 oz. heavy whipping cream2-3 miniature candy canes, crushed up (you can also use peppermint candies)
Directions: Make the vanilla pudding as directed, including a crushed-up miniature candy cane. (Because I don’t have a food processor, I use a plastic bag and a hammer; this can get messy if the bag breaks).Pour the pudding mixture into the pie crust and chill in the refrigerator until set.Whip the cream, again including a crushed-up miniature candy cane.Spread the cream across the chilled pie.If desired, add another crushed-up candy cane on top of the pie.Enjoy!
One last question…What is an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person)?Answer: HSPs make up about 20 percent of the population (I am an HSP myself). We deeply process sensory stimuli. We are adversely impacted by things like loud noises, scratchy fabrics, and florescent lighting. We easily get stressed by too much going on, criticism, and performing in front of others. On the plus side, HSPs tend to be creative, conscientious, and compassionate, and we have strong positive reactions to art, music, and nature. Most HSPs are introverted but a certain percentage are extroverts.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Carol!
Peppermint Cream Die can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Target.