Meow my guest today is author Daryl Gerber!
Agatha Award-winning and nationally bestselling author DARYL WOOD GERBER ventures into the world of suspense again with her second stand-alone novel, DAY OF SECRETS. Daryl writes the bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling Cheese Shop Mysteries. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She has also jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and hitchhiked around Ireland by herself.
- Welcome Daryl! Tell us a little about your New “French Bistro” series!
Thanks ROCCO! In A Deadly Éclair I introduce you to Mimi Rousseau, 35, who used to be a chef in San Francisco, but after life dealt her a blow – or rather death did – she returned home to Nouvelle Vie, an unincorporated enclave in Napa Valley with her tail between her legs. Thankfully with the help of a mentor/benefactor, she is able to open her own bistro and neighboring bed-and-breakfast inn. The bistro features French food at its best. The bed-and-breakfast is a charming place designed with a Monet theme. I am loving writing this series. I adore spending time with new characters.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
There are two challenges at all times. Writing the book – mostly the middle that I call the “muddy middle” and feeling like it’s fresh and new and has plenty of twists and turns. Then there’s the PR for promoting a book. Yipes. I think very few authors are prepared for the rigors of promotion.
- What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’m working on the second book in the French Bistro Series, Soufflé of Suspicion. I’m also preparing to release another suspense novel in early 2018, and I’m crafting a new cozy mystery series that I hope my publisher will love and want to snap up.
- What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
It depends, but mainly I write about 3 hours in the morning and another 3 in the afternoon. Of course life’s little issues or PR can discombobulate this plan, but that’s my aim. What I try to write each week is 1-2 chapters in whatever I’m working on, plus a page or two in whatever new I’m formulating.
- Plotter or Pantser?
I am a plotter. I love writing an outline. BUT the outline can morph and change at all times. It’s like a road map. It gest me from point A to point B – yes, I know the ending of my books – but like on a road trip, you can take roads to the left and right for an excursion. I just wrote a chapter that was not in my outline at all, and I loved it. A new character wanted a little extra page time. How could I refuse?
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane (with an instructor) – so much FUN! And I hitchhiked around Ireland by myself. Dumb (a little dangerous) but I survived and I really did enjoy the trip. I found out how independent I was.
- What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m not a natural blonde. LOL Okay, maybe learning that I was told by my seventh grade teacher that I shouldn’t become a writer. And I believed him. It took me a long, long time to find my confidence with putting thoughts to paper. Also, I’ve performed on stage a bunch, and I adore it!! I sing and dance and act. I miss it. I haven’t done a show in a few years. I don’t have time.
- What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
Why do you like to write in two different genres? I started as a suspense writer. Actually I started as a screenwriter, but I didn’t find success. Not because I wasn’t good but because we moved across country for my husband’s career, and it was hard to proceed with that career from 3,000 miles away. But I liked writing long form, so I started taking mystery classes. I wrote a couple of mysteries, but found that I really enjoyed writing suspense and thrillers. However, I didn’t find my initial success there. I found it in cozy mysteries. And I learned that I really enjoyed writing them! But I still like to write suspense. So I am doing both. It’s like wearing different hats when I do. The pace is different. The voice is different. Getting my fans to understand that I’m not throwing them over for a new “lover,” has been a challenge.
- Where can we learn more about you and your books?
On my website. I have all sorts of tidbits for you to read, watch, and learn. www.darylwoodgerber.com
- What’s your favorite thing to have for lunch?
I love a tasty grilled cheese sandwich – maybe with three kinds of cheese, onions, and jam. I also love a Cheddar cheese and veggie omelet. I like protein in the middle of the day because it helps me keep my eyes open so I can continue to write!
- Do you collect anything?
I used to collect butterfly-theme art. I have bunches of little doodads, but I stopped collecting when our family continued to move. To Florida, North Carolina, Connecticut. You find that collectibles really take up a bunch of space. I do have a ton of Christmas ornaments. I don’t collect them, per se, but there was a time when I couldn’t pass a Christmas store without buying a trinket. I’ve stopped doing that, too.
- What was your favorite book as a child?
I loved A Wrinkle in Time. It was a Newbury winner. I remember being very afraid while reading it, but loving the adventure! I fell in LOVE with reading when I had the measles and read the entire set of Nancy Drew in a week.
- What’s something you’re always running out of?
Energy? No, I have plenty of that. Let’s go with staples: eggs and milk.
- What is your go-to comfort food?
Grilled cheese! It used to be pasta with butter and cheese, but since I became a celiac (and have to eat gluten-free), I don’t eat that as much. I have a great gluten-free pasta, but it just doesn’t appeal like it used to. I can make a delicious grilled cheese with gluten-free bread!
- If you entered the witness protection program and had to start over, what job would you want to do?
Chef. Not even a question. I love to cook. I’d love to be really good at it, so I’d have to study under someone good first. After that, maybe a country Western singer or a dance instructor.
- What is your most annoying habit?
Waking up repeatedly during the night. But oftentimes I have new ideas, so I can’t complain. I’ve always been a lousy sleeper but a great dreamer!
- What would you love to have a never-ending supply of?
Good ideas and clever characters!
- What’s the last tv show that made you laugh?
I love old reruns of the Mary Tyler Moore show.
- What store could you browse in for hours?
Any bookstore. A cookware store.
- Who is your favorite band?
I like individual artists. I like Peter Cetera, Kenny Loggins, Natalie Cole, Sarah Brightman, YoYoMa, Mozart. Very eclectic. And I love show tunes.
- How do you rate in the kitchen?
I’m pretty good. Innovative. I’m really good at making gluten-free recipes out of regular recipes.
- What is always in your refrigerator?
Veggies, fruit, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, and something sweet for my 10:30 a.m. snack.
Thank you so much, Daryl!
Folks you can find Daryl at:
Daryl will give away either GRILLING THE SUBJECT from her Cookbook Nook Mysteries, FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE from her Cheese Shop Mysteries or a copy of her suspense novel, DAY OF SECRETS (sorry, A Deadly Éclair is not available for giveaway yet!) plus some swag to TWO lucky commenters!
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