Wednesday, October 21, 2015

An Interview with Christine Wenger


By Pamela James

MM2: Christine, give us the backstory on you and your writing career?

I've worked in law enforcement as long as I remember.  I wrote at first for escapism, then for pure enjoyment, then to share my stories with others.

MM2: Start to finish take us thru your writing day?

I'm easily distracted!  Sometimes, I'd rather be playing with my golden retriever
(Blondie, who is featured in all of my mysteries!) and hanging out with my husband. Then when time is running out and I have a book due, I race to the finish like a maniac!

MM2: Where is your favorite place to write?

My back porch.  It's enclosed with a lot of windows, and I feel like I'm outside.

MM2: What comes first the plot, character or setting?

Hmmm....In my mysteries, it's the characters.  In my romances, it's the characters.  Then the setting.  Then the plot.

MM2: You have fun and unique characters. Tell us how you came up with them and start the names?

I wish I knew.  Sometimes, it all comes to me at once like a tidal wave and I have to sort it all out.  Names of places and people just pop into my head.  I hope it never stops!

MM2: What was the best writing advice you can give a mystery writer?
To read other books out there for flavor, but make your stories unique somehow.  

MM2: Dead or alive what five authors would you love to take to breakfast? What would you ask them and talk set the scene for us?

I know he's fictional, but I'd love to dine with Richard Castle (or really Nathan Fillion!).  But to be serious, I'd love to hang out with Nora Roberts and ask her about her writing day.  She's so prolific and writes great stories.  I'd ask her how she does it.  And John Jakes and James Mitchner because they are such great historical writers.  How do they know all that history?  And I love the historical westerns that Jodi Thomas writes-also her contemporary westerns are fabulous.  And the fabulous gothic mystery writers like Mary Stewart and Daphne DuMaurier.  I'd like to have breakfast with them in a gloomy castle somewhere in England....nice! 

MM2: Now for some fun questions. What is your favorite place to vacation, your favorite meal, your favorite song, tv series and movies?

I like to vacation somewhere on a beach or lake-someplace with water.  And as for my favorite meal....pierogies-fried with onions!  Favorite song is "My Way" by Frank Sinatra.  TV series would have to be Poldark and Downton Abbey and Castle.  As for favorite movie...I guess it's a tie between REBECCA and JAYNE EYRE. 

MM2: Do you re-read some of your favorite books?

I used to.  There's no time anymore.  

MM2: Is there a new author you would like for us to keep watch for her books or series?
Wow...there are a lot of wonderful cozy mystery authors around-some are new authors, but some have launched new series, so their new ideas are fresh and fun.  

MM2: Tell us about your series, your latest book and they say it takes a village to write and publish books. Who is in your village?

My latest book is MACARONI AND FREEZE and I have two critique groups who help me with ideas and they give me a nudge when I need it.  I couldn't write without these fabulous people! Well, I could, but it would be fun.  And I have two wonderful editors: one at Obsidian/Penguin and one at Harlequin Special Edition.  They are totally smart women who polish my books until they shine. 

MM2: My dog 'Pepper' loves your dog biscuits. The recipe is so easy to make. My question for you is...
"Do you love to cook?"

I am so glad that you tried my recipe for dog biscuits!!  Blondie (my golden retriever) loves them, too.  I love to cook and I love to eat!  I am Polish, so I do a lot of Polish family favorites.  And for Christmas, I make about 14 dozen pierogies for dinner and for gifts.  

MM2: Give us the guided tour on where you live and why you love living there?
I love in the suburbs of Syracuse.  I love my house, the woods behind me, the deer that I see sometimes and the birds!  The winters are waaay too long, however, but I love watching the snow fall.  About January 5th, I want the snow all gone and spring flowers blooming.  

MM2: lastly, is there something you would like to say to your readers? Also what would your character Trixie Matkowski, want us to know about you?

I'd like to think that when readers read my books, they enjoy a laugh or two.  I hope that they can escape for a while to another place and that they like Sandy Harbor and the people who live there.  I hope to challenge them to pick out the murderer, but mostly, I want them to laugh.  

Trixie Matkowski would probably hire me to cook at the SilverBullet Diner.  We'd laugh together and have fun with the people who dine there along with our co-workers.  We'd speak "dinerese" and work hard to serve fabulous comfort food to our patrons.  They come to the Silver Bullet for meals that they enjoyed when they were young!  

Best wishes to all my readers, bloggers, and kindred spirits like Pamela Jones and Terri Parsons who do an incredible job in passing the word about books that we writers labor over.  We send them out into the world, and we hold our breath with the hope that EVERYONE will love them as much as we do!


  1. Thanks Christine! I have Frank Sinatra in my head now! LOL

  2. I love this series, Love, love love the characters. Such great recipes and fun series to read. You definitely know a thing or two about what cozy and mystery readers want to read.


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