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





October 2017

Interview with Cozy Mystery Author Kirsten Weiss


What inspired you to write mystery books?

Like so many mystery writers, I was fed a steady diet of Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. (My parents had an “as many books as she wants” policy, for which I am eternally grateful). When I figured out become a girl detective wasn’t that practical, my goal switched to becoming a mystery writer.

What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?

Cozies, for sure! Once I graduated from Nancy Drew, I moved on to Agatha Christie novels. What a marvelous writer! I’m in awe of her ability to create puzzles. Some people dismiss her characters, but I think she’s a bit underrated in that category. Who wouldn’t want to meet a real life Hercule Poirot or Hastings or Miss Marple?

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?

I know where I’m starting and where I’m finishing and sometimes a high point in the book. Then I usually manage to plot out the first act and just start writing. If I’m lucky, by the end of the first act, I’m able to plot three or four chapters ahead. This method leads to a lot more editing and going back and changing things, but it works for me.

Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?

I tend to write series – a lot of work goes into building a world and its characters, so it just makes sense to me to keep rolling with them (especially when I’m enjoying them!). And I like to develop a character over the course of several books.

What is your typical day like?

I usually do my writing in the morning and my editing in the afternoon. My brain is a bit more creative after I wake up, I’m guessing because my subconscious, dream-mind, is a bit closer to the surface.

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

Because I frequently add hints (or dollops) of paranormal to my books, I do a lot of research into various paranormal topics. I’ve gone on ghost investigations, interviewed shamans, and done a lot of very oddball reading. And I confess, I find it all fascinating! I wish I could do more with all the strange paranormal factoids I’ve learned.

When you start a new book, do you always know whodunit or does it sometimes come as a surprise to you?

I always start with whodunit, why, and how. But recently I was working on a manuscript and realized – wait a minute, that person didn’t do it, HE did!




Pressed to Death by Kirsten Weiss

Pressed to Death, Book 2 in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series

Perfectly pressed. Perfectly proper. Perfectly deadly.

Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival – a haunted grape press. But before she can open the exhibit, she’s accused of stealing the antique press. And when her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Solving the crime is the last thing on Maddie’s mind, but her mother insists she investigate. Does her mother have a secret agenda? And why has the local charity, Ladies Aid, seemingly gone gangster?

In this light, cozy mystery, haunted houses, runaway wine barrels, and murder combine in a perfect storm of chaos. Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.


Pressed to Death, Book 2 in the Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series:
Free Fortune Telling Course from the Paranormal Museum:
Author website:



About the Author

Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly twenty years in the fringes of the former USSR, Africa, and South-east Asia.  Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. Sign up for her newsletter to get free updates on her latest work at: