Jennifer Kincheloe is a research scientist turned writer of historical mysteries. THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK will be in bookstores November 14, 2017. Her first novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC, is a finalist in the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery, the Colorado Author’s League Award for Genre Fiction, the Macavity Sue Feder Award for Historical Mystery, The Mystery and Mayhem Award, and is the winner of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Award for mysteries. Jennifer is a Southern California native who currently lives with her husband and children in Denver, Colorado. She is busy writing book three in the Anna Blanc series. (via Goodreads)
I did this author interview as part of an Audiobookworm Promotions book tour, in addition to a book review published last week here.
Q: What authors are auto-buys for you?
An old favorite is Elizabeth Peters. Her Amelia Peabody novels set in Egypt around the turn of the 20th century make me laugh out loud. My new love is Susan Elia MacNeal. Rhys Bowen is wonderful. Lori-Rader Day, James W. Zisken, Anna Lee Huber, CB McKenzie.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer or is this a recent development in your life?
It never occurred to me that I could write stories. Seven years ago, I took up a pen out of the blue. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. The first thing I wrote was a screenplay about two kids who traveled the globe hunting a terrorist. I sent it off to my super successful screenwriter friend, David, who told me it was terrible (because it was). But he gave me book recommendations for honing my craft. I read them all and worked really hard. My second screenplay eventually became my first novel, The Secret Life Of Anna Blanc. I got an agent, a book contract, and now I’m on book three.
Q: What does your writing space look like?
It looks like a King-sized bed with a little black dog in it. Also, sometimes there’s a man in it.
Q: What is your favorite description of your books?
When RT Book Reviews described my first novel as “an I Love Lucy-meets-Agatha Christie adventure.” I feel like that covers it.
Q: What inspired you to write Anna the way she is?
I think flawed characters are more interesting. I wanted Anna to be a woman of her time and station. I tried to imagine what a young woman would be like if she had been controlled, indoctrinated, kept ignorant, denied opportunity, valued mainly for her beauty, and told she was worth less than every man she knew. Anna came from wealth, so she was also spoiled.
She has much to overcome.
Some readers may be tempted to judge Anna because she’s so naive and self absorbed. But she’s also incredibly smart, brave, and dogged, and she sacrifices herself completely.
Q: Why did you pick Los Angeles for The Secret Life of Anna Blanc?
Because I really miss Los Angeles.
Q: Who is your favorite character? Why?
I love Wolf. He’s such a letch and he’s on the take, but there’s more to him. He genuinely loves his friend Joe Singer. And he’s got a hopeless crush on Anna.
Q: What can readers expect from the next chapter in Anna’s life?
It’s set in Chinatown, which was the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles. The city zoned almost all the vice into a few square blocks. I had so much fun researching it. Anna and Joe discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. It’s loosely based on a true story that happened in New York’s Chinatown.
The Woman In The Camphor Trunk, will be in bookstores on November 12th, but you can pre-order it now on Amazon!