Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Conversation with Mystery Author Dianne Harman

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Dianne Harman
with Dianne Harman

We are delighted to welcome mystery author Dianne Harman to Omnimystery News today, courtesy of Great Escapes Book Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Dianne opens a new cozy mystery series set in Cedar Bay with Kelly's Koffee Shop (November 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats), and we recently had the opportunity to catch up with her to talk more about it.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to the lead character in your new series.

Dianne Harman
Photo provided courtesy of
Dianne Harman

Dianne Harman: Kelly Connor is the main protagonist in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series. She was widowed when she was quite young, owns the town coffee shop where everyone gathers, and is an amateur sleuth. She had a boxer dog, Rebel, and her boyfriend is the town sheriff. There are a number of other colorful characters in the book. I like the fact that almost all of them have a second chance at life.

OMN: This is your second series. How have the characters developed over time?

DH: That's a good question. I haven't consciously tried to develop them over time, but in thinking about, they definitely have developed.

OMN: What is is about series mysteries that appeals to you as an author?

DH: I think readers develop an affinity for a certain character and enjoy encountering them. When I write I have an overall plot idea but I have to say the characters dictate what happens.

OMN: Did you find it difficult to transition from your Coyote mysteries to your new Cedar Bay cozies?

DH: It was a pretty natural segue to swing into cozy mysteries from the suspense mysteries of the Coyote series because I love food and dogs. Mysteries, food, and dogs definitely fit into the cozy mystery genre.

OMN: Summarize Kelly's Koffee Shop in a tweet.

DH: Murder, five suspects, an amateur sleuth, a drug-sniffing dog, and a sheriff. Food and recipes included!

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in your books?

DH: Yes, there are events in my books which have happened to me and traits of people I know show up in some of the characters. I think it's unavoidable. After all, I've had a lot of experiences and it's only natural I would write what I know, but it's always fiction.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

DH: I have tried outlining and it doesn't work for me. I have several characters in mind and an overall plot and then I just begin to write. The characters seem to come alive in my mind and dictate where the plot is going to go, often not where I would have expected it to go!

OMN: And where do you usually find yourself writing?

DH: I write at a computer in my home office. If I'm traveling I write on my iPad. Actually, my first book was completely written on my IPad.

OMN: Have you come across any particularly challenging or interesting topics while researching the plot points of your stories?

DH: The most challenging research was matching flight times to changes in time zones to make it all plausible in Coyote in Provence. The most interesting? Have to say if it's in my books, it's probably been something I've been interested in.

OMN: If we could send you anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, to research the setting for a book, where would it be?

DH: I would love to go to Bhutan. It interests me. The third book in the Cedar Bay series involved murder in a Buddhist retreat center. I understand the country's doesn't allow many tourists so it won't be spoiled by commercialism. It fascinates me.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author?

DH: The best advice I've received was to keep writing and that is the advice I would give to aspiring writers. Don't expect your first book to sell a gazillion copies. It's been my experience that criticism or bad reviews should be read to see if anything in it is applicable and then forget about them. Often they say more about the reviewer then what's being reviewed.

OMN: What kinds of books did you read when you were young? And do you think they influenced how and what you write today?

DH: I have been a voracious reader since I was 3½ and I've always read multiple genres. I have no idea how I happened to come to the cozy mystery genre other than I love solving mysteries, love dogs, and love to eat. The only two genres that really don't interest me are erotica and horror.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list for us on any topic.

DH: Top five places to visit: Provence, France; Nepal; Japan; Mexico; and Portugal.

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Dianne Harman Book Tour

Dianne Harman draws her stories and characters from a diverse business and personal background. She owned a national antique and art appraisal business for many years, left that industry and opened two yoga centers where she taught yoga and certified yoga instructors. She's traveled extensively throughout the world, most recently dividing her time between Huntington Beach, California and Sacramento, California, where her husband was a state senator.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at DianneHarman.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Kelly's Koffee Shop by Dianne Harman

Kelly's Koffee Shop
Dianne Harman
A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery

Kelly pulled into the harbor parking lot next to the pier and noticed that Amber's car wasn't in its usual place and there was no sign of her. She was usually standing at the door of Kelly's Koffee Shop, waiting for Kelly to open up. Wonder what that's all about, she thought.

The local residents of Cedar Bay come to Kelly's Koffee Shop for breakfast, lunch, and lots of gossip. Kelly serves it all up as she works to solve the murder of the high school Homecoming Queen. The townspeople can't believe what has happened in their sleepy little Oregon seaside town. She identifies five prime suspects, but which one did it?

Follow Kelly, her boxer dog, Rebel, and her boyfriend, Mike, the county sheriff, as they try to determine who the killer is in a murder that's shocked the town.

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)

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