"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Author Interview: Chrystle Fiedler

Chrystle Fiedler’ newest fiction release Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery is available for pre-order on her home page or on www.amazon.com. The book will be available on February 21, 2012 . Chrystle is the author of the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). Chrystle’s magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in such national publications as Better Homes and Gardens, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Remedy. She is a native of the North Fork on Long Island.  To learn more about her fiction and nonfiction work, visit: www.chrystlefiedler.com

1)      How did you develop an interest in writing? I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil! When I was younger I wrote children’s book and plays, as I got older I became a copywriter, then a journalist, a non-fiction author and now, a cozy mystery author. 

2)      I see you are working on a MS - please tell me a little about it. My fiction debut is DEATH DROPS: A NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY (Gallery/Simon and Schuster) which will be published on February 21st. I’m very excited! The book is the first to feature a naturopathic doctor (Willow McQuade) and a wide variety of natural cures. Naturopathic doctors take a holistic view of patients, treating body, mind and spirit. It’s set in my hometown, Greenport which is an idyllic village on Long Island’s East End. Dr. McQuade takes over her Aunt Claire’s health food store Nature’s Way Market and Café when she is murdered and sets out to find the killer with the help of a hunky cop on disability, Jackson Spade. Sparks fly!

3)      What other styles do you write? I also write non-fiction books that feature natural remedies including: THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of  BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and  THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). My magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in such national publications as Better Homes and Gardens, Natural Health, Vegetarian Times and Remedy. You can see my non-fiction work at www.chrystlecontent.com and my fiction at www.chrystlefiedler.com.

4)      What authors do you admire? Laura Childs who write the Tea Shop Mysteries and two other series. I don’t know how she does it! She’s also been on the NY Times Bestseller List, a place I’d like to be someday! I also love Diane Mott Davidson, author of the catering mysteries. Her book Dying for Chocolate inspired me to write my first mystery.

5)      What do you do when you have writer's block? I rarely get writer’s block but I did so when I started Scent to Kill, the sequel to Death Drops. My friend who is also an author for Gallery Books suggested I relax and let the words flow instead of “trying” to MAKE something happen. Writing comes from a different place than thinking she said. I know now that it’s true! 

6)      When working on your current MS did you complete an outline first or did you just start writing? I have never outlined before Scent to Kill. I just started and let it flow. The characters told me what they wanted to do and say. I didn’t want to know who “dun” it. But after Death Drops, my editor wanted an outline for the second book so I had to do one. It was so much easier to have that framework. It makes it easier to get started every day and to keep going if you feel like stopping.

7)      What is your writing process like? My best writing happens in the morning until I have lunch usually around noon and after 4. For some reason 12 to 4 aren’t as productive. I don’t set a number of pages that’s too much like a real job! It’s usually difficult to get started but once I do, I feel like I’m transcribing, the words just come.

8)      Do you have an editor or agent? Yes, my editor is Kathy Sagan at Gallery Books and my fiction agent is Ann Collette of the Helen Rees Agency in Boston. Both of them are terrific at what they do!

9)      Would you care to share your opening paragraph (hook) with us? You bet! Here it is:
 Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery - Call me a nature nut. I love nature. I like to walk in nature, I use natural remedies, and I practice natural medicine as a naturopathic doctor in Los Angeles. So my “green exercise,” walking in the forest, this Friday morning fit right into that theme. It was part of the reason I’d traveled to Long Island, two hours east of New York City at the beginning of June, wanting to absorb by osmosis nature’s finest in a preserve the Nature Conservancy called one of nature’s last, best places. I’d come back to my hometown of Greenport, New York, an idyllic fishing village turned tourist mecca, to stay with my beloved aunt Claire, master herbalist and owner of Nature’s Way Market and Café, for my annual summer visit and to rest and recuperate. Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery Dr. Willow McQuade, N.D., a twenty-eight-year-old naturopathic doctor specializing in natural remedies, has decided to take sabbatical and visit her Aunt Claire, the owner of Nature’s Way Market and Cafe in idyllic Greenport, Long Island. But the idea of rest and relaxation is quickly forgotten when Willow arrives from a morning meditative walk to discover her Aunt Claire dead in the store, a strange almond-like smell emanating from her mouth and a bottle of flower essences by her side.

3 comments:

Carole Anne Carr said...

This appeals to me, sounds very original.

Chrystle Fiedler said...

I'm glad Carole! Thank you for your interest!

Jess said...

Good interview and your book sounds great. I love learning about natural remedies so I'll definitely check it out.
Also, I agree about the outlining too. The book I'm working on was a SOTP and I'll NEVER do a mystery without an outline again! Best of luck with your series.