- What is your favorite word? It’s always the latest cool new word I just learned. I was the nerdy kid who read the dictionary for fun, and I still enjoy expanding my vocabulary. I love Latin and Greek root words, and I adore words from other languages that don’t translate directly into a single English word. Like antier, a Spanish word that means “the day before yesterday.” So handy!
- What is your least favorite word? Should. I know that society needs to have some order to it or everything falls apart, but in this day and age, with the many avenues of education, the complexity of societal roles, and breadth of employment options available to us, I honestly believe there is more than one “right” way to live, and probably to do most anything. I know it’s not should’s fault, and sometimes it’s used in a perfectly ordinary way, but the poor word gets flung at people as part of an unsolicited judgment. And who needs that sort of complication in their day?
And also I can never, ever type doctor, window, or neighborhood right the first time. I know how to spell them. But my fingers don’t.
- What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally? The right instrumental music can do all three. I often write to movie soundtracks. They’ve been crafted especially for drama and intensity, meant to draw the movie viewer along with the scene and feel the proper emotions, even if they’re not completely aware of them. As a listener, I find that my emotions get involved in the music very easily, which makes it easier to envision the scene, which helps me write it in more of a creative burst. And the feeling of creating art can be a spiritual high. I’m putting art into the world. I’m touching the All. I’m making the pond of human consciousness ripple when I drop my stone into it. I write, therefore I exist.
Apparently contemplating my answer to this question is also among the things that turn me on. Wow, I got deep there. That’s awesome.
- What turns you off? You know the stuff in that one dark chapter that all the moody, interesting characters have in their past? Yeah. If I ever wrote my chapter out, it would read like a psychological thriller. But I only write cozies. I choose to focus on things that keep me happy and moving forward. No one wants to remain trapped in the past forever. Nothing ever changes there, and that can be a very bad thing sometimes. Sometimes, that chapter sneaks up on me, and it can kill my creativity in a breath and a half. But I’m a writer, and we’re made of magic. So I resurrect my creativity and press onward.
- What is your favorite curse word? If the mood (and the company) fits, I wield the f-bomb with fiery glee. It’s so versatile! But for (slightly) gentler company, I go with gorram, from Firefly, or frak from Battlestar Galactica. I am a nerdy curser.
- What sound or noise do you love? Silence lets my mind expand. Background conversations in a coffee shop are both soothing and energizing (or is that all the coffee in the air?). But my new favorite sound is the wheels of my car as they drive on packed snow. There’s hushed shush about the rolling contact that’s instantly relaxing to me. Can you tell it’s been snowing a lot where I live?
- What sound or noise do you hate? Unexpected beeps. Argh! See, I fell down a short flight of stairs in the lobby of my boyfriend’s dorm in college, and I landed on the back corner of my skull, with his body weight on top of me as he tried and failed to save me. Heroic gesture, I know, but . . . ouch. I have a nifty groove in my skull behind my ear from the concussion I got, and I think that incident is why I have a very sensitive ear. I actually carry a pair of earplugs in my purse at all times—just those little squishy orange ones. They’re enough protection to let me enjoy outdoor events and shoot-em-up movies and stuff. But the difference there is that I know I’m going to experience those things, and I can get an earplug in before the noise kicks in. It’s the unexpected pings, dings, and beeps that make me flinch. It’s like getting stabbed in the ear with a hat pin—no fun at all. Don’t fall down stairs and land on your heads, kids. It gets really annoying later in life!
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Well, I just got done telling you about my weird ear. Would you like to hear about my fascinating nose? LOL! During my second pregnancy, I got that very sensitive nose that most women get—but then it never went away. My youngest is turning nine today—the 10th—and I’ve had this supersmeller nose his whole life. So I’d love to do something useful with it, like test foods for the best aroma combinations or ingredients. Perfumes and wines are often just plain overwhelming, but foods? Woo hoo, those can smell amazeballs with a supersmeller nose!
- What profession would you not like to do? I think I’d be very bad at being a tour boat captain, which is Lake’s job in my novel. I get seasick really easily. Plus, I don’t know how to pilot a boat. So please, everyone, find a qualified boat pilot for your sunset and whale-watching tours. You’ll be in much better hands.
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? I’m one of those people who believes I have a purpose in life. I mean, anything good I do, that’s a positive effect, and that’s worth something in itself. But when I use the skills I have, the knowledge I’ve acquired, that makes me feel like I’m paying attention to my own path. I’m the only me there is, so I’m the only one who can do exactly what I can do. Seems like, if I don’t do all the awesome things I can, I’ll leave a void in the world that no one else can perfectly fill. So I try to listen: to myself, to the universe, to the world around me. I enjoy filling gaps that feel like they showed up just for me to fill—those coincidental moments where someone needs a little thing, or a specific thing I can do, and I’m right there. I don’t think that I have to save the world by myself. But I can totally make one person’s day just a little easier than it would’ve been. And that can be enough. Nothing enormous, nothing earthshattering. But something constant. A constant purpose.
So if I ever stand at the Pearly Gates, I just want to know if I was on the right track with my life. Did I pay close enough attention to who I was, to what the world needed? If God could tell me, “Girl, you nailed it,” I’d already be in Paradise.
Please be sure to check out the new book from Morgan C. Talbot – Smugglers & Scones!
Pippa Worthy runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.
Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.
This was such an awesome interview to take part in. I had loads of fun pondering my answers and writing them out for you! Thank you so much for letting me join you inside the author’s studio!
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