Please introduce yourself and your books!
Hi! I’m Kirsten Weiss, and I write cozy and paranormal mystery. (I also write cozy paranormal mysteries!). Right now I have several series. In the paranormal mystery genre: my Riga Hayworth Metaphysical Detective books, The Witches of Doyle, and The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum. My “straight” cozy series are Pie Town and At Wits’ End, though I’m starting a new series in May: The Tea and Tarot Cozy Mysteries.
How do you deal with creative block?
Mainly I sit down and force myself to write through it, and try not to worry to much if what I’m writing is good or bad. I can always fix things in edits.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Wow. There are so many. Thank heavens I have editors to help me catch mine. One of the biggest is a lack of stakes. The hero or heroine has to have a driving reason that propels their actions through the story. This is especially true when writing mystery and suspense.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Bad reviews can hurt. A lot. And good reviews tend to inflate my ego. So I decided the best way to deal with them is to try not to read them. I wish I had a healthier personality which could just shrug the bad and good off, but I don’t.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’ve gotten much better at plotting – and not just the story plot, but also the emotional plot and character arc. But I still have a lot to learn!
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I guess a mix of both. I write what I want to write, rather than writing “to market.” If zombie stories are popular and I’m not feeling it, I won’t write them. But I do try to keep readers’ sensibilities in mind. For example, cozy mysteries don’t include violence on the page or a lot of swearing, and I’m happy to conform to that genre. So for me, it’s more about meeting readers’ expectations with a book that minimizes typos (they’re like bedbugs – nearly impossible to get rid of completely), entertains and intrigues, and doesn’t break genre to the extent that readers are turned off.
What are your plans for future books?
As I mentioned, I have a new cozy series, Tea and Tarot. The first book, Steeped in Murder, comes out May 21st. I’m also giving away a Tea and Tarot novella to newsletter subscribers. I’m also continuing to build my Wits End and Doyle witch books. Right now I’m creating two crossover novels in those series. They have different murders, but the subplots overlap and are told from two different points of view – magic and mundane. Those two books will come out in the summer and fall, I think.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m not sure if it’s quirky, but I just moved to Colorado, and I’m having great fun exploring the area! It’s been a big change for me and feels like the beginning of another stage of my life. I suspect readers will be seeing some Colorado-based mysteries from me in the not-too-distant future!