Meet The Chapter Mates: Kathy Aarons

K. Aarons photo (1)
Kathy is a lover of cozy mysteries and has a passion for educating the youth in the craft of writing. Lets find out more about her!
Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
I’m Kathy Krevat and I write the Chocolate Covered Mystery series under the pen name Kathy Aarons. It’s a cozy mystery series by Berkley Prime Crime that features chocolatier Michelle Serrano and bookstore owner Erica Russell. First in the series was the nationally bestselling Death is Like a Box of Chocolates. Truffled to Death came out in June, and Behind Chocolate Bars comes out March 1, 2016.
In addition to writing, I’m an advocate for arts education for youth. I’m vice president of the board of directors for Playwrights Project, a wonderful nonprofit that has a small staff and a huge impact. Its mission is to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting programs and theatre productions. I also volunteer for the CCA Writers Conference, the only free writing conference for high school students in the country. It’s an amazing day filled with workshops by authors, including NYT bestsellers, journalists, playwrights, songwriters, and other writing professionals.
 
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I enjoyed writing in high school and college, and went into marketing and public relations when I graduated. Other than a short story I once wrote when I was a teen that made my mom cry, I didn’t start writing fiction – unless you count ad copy — until my youngest daughter was four and in preschool five mornings a week. Perhaps then I thought I was a writer, but that was because I didn’t yet know what I didn’t know.
What does RWASD mean to you?
I would not be published if it wasn’t for RWASD. I wouldn’t even be on the same planet! When I joined RWASD a million years ago, I was floundering around, not understanding what it took to write a story. That was the year they focused on the basics, so every month there was a morning and afternoon workshop on some aspect of plot, setting, characters, etc. I was amazed how much knowledge was being shared. I wrote down everything the speakers were saying because I hadn’t heard it before. I’d look around wondering why everyone else wasn’t writing this good stuff down. Later I realized that they were further along the writing path than I was.
I bought all of the writing craft books speakers recommended and ever so slowly, got better at writing. I learned about the publishing side at RWASD as well. Like many people do, I sent my work out before it was ready, but that was a learning experience too.
And I found my amazing critique group – the “Denny’s Chicks,” Barrie Summy and Kelly Hayes – through RWASD. We met at the RWASD Boot Camp in 2004 and have been together ever since.
 What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
Being disciplined enough to sit down and write which is combined with a lot of anxiety about writing. I’ve finally learned that the only thing that will overcome it is to do the work and the worry eventually passes.
 What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
I fell in love with Janet Evanovich which inspired me to write my first complete book, PTA Meetings Are Murder. I have a humorous voice and like writing that moment when humor lifts a serious or emotional scene. And I like when justice is done, which always happens at the end of a cozy mystery. I also enjoy revisiting a cast of fun and quirky characters – whether reading or writing.
What to you love best about writing? 
It’s rare, but that moment when what you envision in your head actually ends up on the page.
Love Scenes. Steamy or sweet? Why?
I read almost everything, but I write sweet. While there is often romance in cozies, and there are two romance subplots in my books, love scenes are generally off the page. I’m actually quite terrible at writing sex scenes. There was one in my PTA book and my critique group had to keep asking for “just a few more lines.”
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
J. K. Rowling. She’s a genius and an amazing human being.
If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Stop screwing around and start writing seriously. And lose weight – it gets so much harder with age!
 Tell us about your latest novel! 
In Truffled to Death, two best friends sell books and bonbons—and solve crimes—in this 9780425267240_large_Truffled_to_Deathmystery from the author of Death Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Hoping to sweeten sales for their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, Michelle and Erica host a reception highlighting a new museum display of ancient Mayan pottery curated by Erica’s former mentor, Professor Addison Moody. The evening has a few hiccups, but the ladies soon smooth things over with ample servings of wine and chocolate.Yet with the sweet comes the bitter. The very next day, the antiquities from the reception are discovered missing. The professor accuses Erica of having sticky fingers, claiming she wants revenge on him. And she’s only in more trouble after he’s found stabbed to death with one of the artifacts. Now Michelle must help Erica track down the real killer before someone else finds themselves in less than mint condition…

Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
Keep writing! I started writing fiction when my youngest daughter was four and my first book came out two weeks after she left for college.
When people said it showed that I was persistent, it didn’t feel right. I wasoccasionally persistent, and that was what worked for me.
So keep reading, learning and writing!
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