Interviews by Catherine Chant

What They Say

“Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber, but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through—originality.”
—Jack Kerouac



Catherine Chant

Catherine Chant is the author of a young time travel series available at and other online retailers, and two installments in the Vampire Diaries franchise via Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. She teaches several online classes for writers throughout the year, and her popular workshop GROW A BOOK: TURNING YOUR STORY IDEA INTO A WORKABLE PLOT is now available as an eBook, exclusively at

Grow a Book by Catherine Chant

For more information about Catherine, her books and her workshops, please visit her website at or find her on social media at and





February 2017

Interview with Bestselling Mystery Author Cindy Sample

Mystery Author Cindy Sample

What inspired you to write mystery books?

I discovered Nancy Drew in the first grade and by the time I was eight, I’d read all of the books in the series. One day I decided to help out Carolyn Keene and write a sequel for her. I took my third-grade spelling words and turned them into Nancy Drew and the Haunted Mansion. It was only 16 pages long since my mother made me go to bed at 8:30. When I received an A+ the next day I knew I wanted to be a mystery author. Although I didn’t expect it would take half a century for my next literary masterpiece to be released.

When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?

Even though I’ve just released the sixth book in my series, I’m still amazed at how magical my writing process is. I start with an idea and a couple of subordinate themes, place my fingers on the keyboard and they start to fly. In several of my books, I had no idea who the villain was which made the process particularly exhilarating for me. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and find out whodunit!

Do you prefer to write mystery series books or standalones?

I prefer reading a series. One of the highest compliments I’ve received from readers is how much they enjoy my protagonist, Laurel McKay, and her adventures. Several people have commented that they wish she was real so they could hang out with her.

What’s the most interesting or unusual research you’ve done for a book you’re writing?

What author doesn’t love to do research? I took a Caribbean cruise and met with several of the crew. They were fascinated that I was a mystery author and kept pointing out places where I could stuff my DB (dead body). It was the perfect setting for DYING FOR A DIAMOND.

In DYING FOR A DAIQUIRI, I toured the Big Island of Hawaii. I enjoyed an ATV ride, two boat trips, botanical gardens and Kona coffee plantation visits, and a Hawaiian dance lesson. The most fun of all was sampling daiquiris all over the island.

And in DYING FOR A DANCE, I entered a ballroom competition just to see what it would be like. What an eye opener!

Do you have a favorite character from your books?

In DYING FOR A DUDE, the fourth book in my series, Laurel’s grandmother walks into the book. Then she basically ran away with all the best scenes. She isn’t like anyone I know personally, but she really is a hoot. If I’m struggling with a scene, all Gran has to do is pop in for a minute then I start giggling.

Where do you get your ideas for the mysteries in your books?

Mystery writers tend to walk into a room and ask “what if.” No matter where I am, my busy brain is always formulating new plots. I only wish my fingers moved as quickly as my imagination.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block, and if so, how do you overcome it?

If I come to a place in a scene where I’m stumped, I go for a walk, or what I term plotting and plodding. On the weekends, I’ll occasionally stop and look at open houses. I’m not sure what it is but the change of scenery opens up my creativity and my brain is once again spinning at top speed.






Warm breezes, tropical seas, a handsome new husband? What more could a girl dream of?

When newlyweds Laurel McKay and Tom Hunter embark on their honeymoon cruise, they look forward to sunny days exploring the Caribbean islands and intimate evenings together. Their dream quickly goes “poof,” when Laurel’s family decides to tag along and their romantic duet turns into a party of eight.

The first night on the ship, Laurel witnesses someone going overboard. But no one is reported missing, and the chief of security gives Laurel’s sighting the same credibility as an alien landing.

After a series of diamond thefts, Laurel discovers that suspicious shipmates are as plentiful as calories on this cruise. When a murder occurs, and a family member becomes the top suspect, Laurel is determined to unmask the killer before her dream honeymoon becomes a nautical nightmare.

BUY LINK: Amazon




Cindy Sample is the national bestselling author of the Laurel McKay humorous romantic mystery series. She is a four-time LEFTY Award Finalist for best humorous mystery. Her experiences with on-line dating sites fueled the concept for DYING FOR A DATE. You can connect with Cindy online at her website,  , or on Facebook  , or on Twitter