Monday, January 28, 2013

Scene of the Crime with Author Paige Shelton!

When I first met Paige at the Cozy Con in May 2012, I knew I wanted to read her books, so I got a copy of her first Farmers' Market mystery. When I met her again at the Poisoned Pen a couple of months ago, I realized that I had yet to read that book. Oops. SMBSLT Syndrome, right? (So Many Books, So Little Time....) When she described her Country Cooking School series that afternoon and said that the Missouri town she created is based on Rolla, Missouri, and Tombstone, Arizona, I knew I had to read that one, too-- even if my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen. Denis and I drive through Tombstone twice a year, so I'm very familiar with the place. At this stage in my life, I know myself rather well, and I knew there was only one way I could ensure that I read her books. Stepping up to the table so she could sign my book, I asked Paige, "Do you do email interviews?" to which she smiled and replied, "I certainly do!"

I have now read both first books in her Farmer's Market and Country Cooking School mystery series, and you'll be able to read my reviews of both on Tuesday and Thursday. (Since I'm no longer in an area where the internet connection lives and dies by its own whim, this is a guarantee that they'll be here on my blog when I'll say they'll be here!)

Paige Shelton
Yes, it's Paige Shelton Week here on Kittling: Books, so let me share a few links with all of you so you can learn even more about this talented writer:

That's enough of the facts, ma'am, so let's get on to the interview!

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

The book that I have the most specific memories about is Little Women. It wasn’t the first book I loved or the first book I read, but I still remember the whole experience of reading it. As with so many young girls, it made a huge impact on my world and when I finished it I cried – because of Beth’s circumstances as well as the fact that I’d come to the end of the story. I read the other books in the series but none of them made quite the same impact. No other book has done what Little Women did for me – change . . . well, everything.

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

My free time is taken up by my son. He’s eighteen and a senior in high school. He’s always played football, basketball and baseball so we always have a sporting event or two per week. I don’t know what I’ll do once he’s off to college. I used to crochet, but I haven’t had much time for that in years. I like gardening but our garden is usually pretty simple (because we don’t have a ton of time to devote to it), so maybe we’ll plant more veggies.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

The King's English Bookshop
I’ve lived in Salt Lake City for twenty-five years so I’ll call that my hometown, though before that I lived in a bunch of different towns and cities in the Midwest. Much of Salt Lake City is in the guidebooks, but I love sending or taking people to our small Indie bookstore, The King’s English. It’s in an older, historic area, on a block with a couple restaurants, a coffee shop, and an art gallery. The bookstore itself is fairly small but a wonderful place to be. One can easily spend a couple of relaxing and enjoyable hours looking through the store, having lunch or dinner, and visiting with friends on one of the local shops’ outdoor patios. I’d take you there, for sure. 

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, of course. And Brad Pitt for my husband, of course again. I’d have to be on set to approve all scenes too. 

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone. She’s become a reliable old friend. 

If you could have in your possession one signed first edition of any book in the world, which book would that be? Why that particular book?

I guess it would have to be Little Women because of the above mentioned reasons. 

How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published? What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

I was in a tiny rental car with my husband and son, on our way to the Burbank airport from Disneyland, when my agent called to tell me the first three books of the Farmers’ Market series had sold. I was bemoaning the tight space my knees were crammed into when I got “the call.” There was excitement, but no opportunity for jumping around like I always thought I would do. After hearing the news, I didn’t even notice the tight quarters anymore though, and I wished I could ride the roller coaster just one more time to mark the event.

I took pictures the first time I saw Farm Fresh Murder on shelves, but I have to admit - seeing books with my name on bookstore shelves still doesn’t feel real. I still can’t make the connection that I am the same Paige Shelton that is on the cover. It’s a strange feeling.

Name one thing on your Bucket List.

I’d love to go to Italy with my husband.

You've just received a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice. Which bookstore are you making a bee-line for?

El Ateneo  © Marianne Liston
Some friends, Marianne and Pat, recently traveled to Argentina to visit their son who was studying there for a few months. They brought back pictures of an amazing bookstore in Buenos Aires – El Ateneo. It’s in an old theater, and it’s spectacular. That’s where I’d go – though I imagine $100 wouldn’t cover the travel costs, but we’ll pretend I just won an all-expense paid vacation too.


Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Paige. It was a pleasure to get to know you a little better.

May your book sales do nothing but increase!


Don't forget to stop by on Tuesday for my review of Farm Fresh Murder, and on Thursday for my review of If Fried Chicken Could Fly!

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