Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Author Interview - Josi S. Kilpack



Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.



Tell us a bit about your family. I've been married to my husband for 20 years--I can't believe he's put up with me so long--and we have four kids. Our oldest is currently attending U of U and majoring in Computer Science. She plays in the Jazz ensemble, pep band, and marching band. She is loving everything about college. Our second is 16 and one of the most creative people I know. She tolarates high school and could do anything she dreams if she can finish strong! The only boy is our 14 year old, he's makes us laugh all the time, loves sports, video games and is always "starving his face off." Our baby is 11 and the sweetest of the bunch (not that they all aren't wonderful.) She has a big heart and has begged for a baby brother or sister since she was about 2 years old. She loves zebra stripes, dance, and art in any form. 

What is your favorite quality about yourself? My ability to talk to pretty much anyone. People fascinate me and I love to hear their stories. 

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I hold grudges far too long and far too easily. I feel a need to 'protect' myself that is not something I'm proud of and has hurt myself and other people far too often.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? "Use your talents, for use is why they were made. What is a sundial in the shade?" by Benjamin Franklin. I love this quote because for a long, long time I didn't feel as though I had any talents. I interpreted my 'averageness' as 'not worth pursuing.'  It took my writing for me to see how much joy talents can bring into ones life, and that having a talent doesn't mean being better at something than anyone else, it simply means adding depth to your life and the lives you influence through your own self improvement. In the years since, I have met many, many people who feel the same way I did, that they aren't good at anything, and somehow got skipped over. It makes me sad because every person I have ever met is brimming with ability and opportunity and I want so much for them to hold on to those things and grow them into talents. It's Something I have become very passionate about. This quote is all about the fact that we have those gifts, but it is up to us on whether or not we use them. What IS a sundail in the shade? Pretty, even interesting, but not useful.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? My family. I am so proud of them and see the sacrifices their dad and I have made for them to have good lives. The greatest compliment I can receive is when someone tells me how much they enjoy one of my children. 

What is your favorite color? Black 

What is your favorite food? Sugar 

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My mom was a voracious reader and even though I wasn't for many years, when that switch was flipped for me, I had her example to follow. I was a grown women before I realized that some people feel guilty for reading. That was never something I had to overcome. Reading was applauded. My dad is an artist and I grew up seeing him work on his art whenever he had free time (which wasn't often. He was a teacher with 9 kids to raise.) That also gave me permission to pursue my own talents once I found them. I also learned independence and industriousness as a child. all of these things compounded into how I approached writing, stuck with it when it got hard, and fit it into my life.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I brainstorm like crazy. I often hit a block about 1/4 of the way through a book and it almost always is because I don't know my characters and, because of that, I don't know my story. I end up brainstorming character histories, possible plot lines, motivations, themes, etc. Sometimes for days and days at a time before something clicks. I also try to read great books which often inspire me to want to create that same feeling. Because I write on such a tight deadline these days I don't have time to let things sit or wait for the block to pass on it's own, I have to dig right into the center of it and make things work. So far, it has worked and for that I am very grateful. The fear that one day it won't work, that I will encounter a block I can't get around, is always in the back of my mind. 

Who designed the cover? Shauna Gibby is the designer for the covers and I could not be more thrilled with them. Every book has been fabulous and I'm always amazed at how well it matches the rest of the series. Each time I worry that she's going to get stuck, but she never does. She is an amazingly talented woman. 

Why did you choose to write this particular book? This series is getting really long and I'm concerned with keeping each book fresh. It's tricky because I still have the same character, so I can't change her too much, and yet I want the books to feel unique. For this book, I chose a cruise because it's a unique location--closed, isolated, and without traditional crime-fighting elements such as police and crime-scene tape. I also brought Sadie's family into this story because they haven't been as involved in the last several books. It's my hope that these elements will help this book stand apart, as I hope every other book in the series also stands apart. 

What was the hardest part about writing this book? I started it in the summer, which is a really hard time of year for me to write. I was also training for some 1/2 marathons, my daughter was starting college, we had a foriegn exchange student for a few weeks, and my husband was finishing his masters degree. AND I was working on another book at the same time. I ended up putting this story off over and over and over again, which then made my deadline impossible. It was extended two different times but was very high-stress writing which was taxing on me and my family. I am trying really hard never to do that again, which means I need to be more disciplines in the beginning. So far Rocky Road (book 10) is going much better. 

Will you write others in this same genre? We are planning for 12 books in this series and then I anticipate taking a break from culinary mysteries. I can't imagine being able to create a new series that is different enough from this one. I'm not certain what I'll work on next but hope that I enjoy it as much as I have loved writing this one. 

How much of the book is realistic? My husband and I went on an Alaskan Cruise for research and the ship in the book is patterned after the ship we sailed on. The ports are the same ones we stopped in, and a lot of the food is food we had there. In fact a cafe in Ketchikan Alaska called Sweet Mermaids gave me the recipe of their Salmon and Red Potato chowder to use in the book. 

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I don't 'have' to but I love to! 




Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie
Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

Praise for Baked Alaska
Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie's life wouldn't be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just "happens" and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie's character, even if she is a busybody, you can't help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. :)
~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill







Tour Schedule





Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/17/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

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My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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