Each Monday I would like to take some time to get to know some of our favorite authors. My hope is that this will help readers connect with the authors.
Today I would like to introduce you to: Heather Day Gilbert!
Heather writes some of the best cozy mysteries that I have ever read! I have binge read all of her books. They are that good!
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries set in her home state of West Virginia. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect what they love.
To help us get to know her, I have given her some questions and here are her responses:
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Hm. I’ve always been a reader, so as you would expect, I’ve loved writing, too. I did win an essay contest in fifth grade, as well as a poetry contest in high school and an extemporaneous essay contest in college. It’s always been something I loved to do, but over the past eleven years as I’ve completed numerous novels, I’ve definitely honed my techniques.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m writing book 3 in the Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series, Fair Trade. It’s kind of funny because it’s set at the West Virginia state fair, which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID. So I’m hoping to bring that taste of the fair to readers this year in particular.
Q: What are some of your writing must haves? (Drink, snack, supplies, etc.)
A: COFFEE. That’s about it. I’m not a big snacker. Another thing I occasionally need is to break and play video games, since it gives me a break from plotting. LOL
Q: What is your favorite time period to write about? Or read about?
A: I’d have to say I’m very much a contemporary girl, with the exception of the Viking era, which is endlessly fascinating to me because I’m allegedly related to Eirik the Red. And really, a lot of authors of classics also wrote about the era in which they lived, when you think of it. I do read some historicals, and I always enjoy learning about different time periods (like Jocelyn Green’s portrayal of the French in America in A Refuge Assured, for instance). But on the whole, I do veer toward contemporary, and as an aside, if a book is written in first person present tense, that’s one of my fave things. It almost always pulls me straight into the storyline.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: Definitely Agatha Christie (some faves are Sparkling Cyanide, By the Pricking of my Thumbs, and Ordeal by Innocence), as well as The Mill on the Floss by Eliot (features a strong sibling bond, like what I’m writing in the Barks/Beans series), Vanity Fair by Thackerey (because Becky Sharp is just so EXTRA), and Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, because he was such a great writer of characters. I’ve also recently picked up a couple of Phyllis Whitney books because I loved reading her and Daphne du Maurier when I was a teen. I have so many others, but I’ll limit it to those. 😉
Q: If you could spend a day with one fictional character, who would you pick and what would you do?
A: Oh wow! That’s such a hard question! I think I’d like to hang out with Tommy and Tuppence Beresford from Agatha Christie’s books–those two were always digging up trouble and solving crimes. Or maybe Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s mysteries, just to figure out the way he thinks.
I have saved my favorite question for last!
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your books?
A: What I want is for my readers to enjoy a good, clean read that makes them think–much like Agatha Christie mysteries. I try to write characters/settings readers would like to return to, as well–people and places that feel as if they really exist.
To connect with Heather, please click on any of the following links: her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
I’m also featuring her newest release, Fair Trade. It is the 3rd book in the Barks & Beans Cafe series. It comes out October 27th. I loved this one! Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf!
About the book:
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
With the one-year anniversary of the now-successful Barks & Beans Cafe approaching, siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield set up an iced coffee booth at the state fair. Taking a break from brewing, Macy bumps into Carolina, a long-lost childhood friend who’s now sitting pretty as a country superstar. Macy tries not to fangirl too hard when her old friend extends an invitation to meet the rest of the Carolina Crush band before their opening show.
But when Carolina falls victim to not one, but two near-death experiences, Macy takes it upon herself to find out who has it in for her old friend. Fortified with plenty of roasted corn, cinnamon rolls, and her brother’s signature iced maple latte, Macy takes to the Ferris wheel to get the lay of the land from the air. She discovers too late that this year’s fair isn’t all fun and games…but she’s already locked in for the ride.
Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown…with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.