Hi Sheenah, thanks so much for hosting me.
This is your first published novel if I’m not mistaken. How long did it take you to write?
Oh wow, I started this book in 2008. However, I wasn’t always working on it, I wasn’t very disciplined when I first started writing. I’m still not as disciplined as I should be. I thought the book was finished a few times, looking back I remember how badly those early versions stunk.
Don’t worry about it! All early versions are supposed to be terrible. Are there any works you wrote before Mocha, Moonlight and Murder? And if so, do you think you’ll ever revisit them and publish them?
No, this was my first and only attempt to write a novel.
Do you have any other novels in the works right now?
Yes, I’m working on my second book. I’d like to have the first draft complete by the end of summer.
Who are some of your literary heroes?
I’m not sure I have heroes. I do have favorite characters. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, so Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy naturally come to mind. I’m also a fan of Gone With The Wind. I like strong female characters. Those are just a couple of my favorite books.
You have a rather interesting title. What’s the story behind it?
The book used to be called Risky Romance, but the people who read it prior to its release said the title didn’t fit the book’s plot. So, we did some brainstorming and came up with the new title. It fits because the main characters visit Starbucks or the café at Barnes and Noble a lot. The murder mystery begins at night, so there’s the moonlight.
I have to ask: Is mocha really your drink of choice?
It used to be. I still drink a lot of coffee at home but now, when I go to Starbucks I usually order Chai tea.
Chai tea is the best! You’ve traveled to quite a few places! Out of all the places you’ve been, which is your favorite?
I’ve been to a lot of cool places, but my favorite destination is New York city. I love it there. That’s stateside, overseas I’d have to say Italy is my favorite place that I’ve been. I’d love to travel visit London.
I’m a bit jealous. I’d love to see those places! So which route did you decide to go on your publishing journey? Self-publishing, traditional, or other?
I’d say my publisher falls under other. They aren’t a traditional publisher, but obviously I didn’t self-publish or I wouldn’t have a publisher to refer to.
What’s your writing routine like?
I try to walk every day. It’s great for brainstorming. When I return, I sit at the computer and do everything but write. I check my email, I tweet, I check Facebook. I told you I’m still not as disciplined as I should be. After I’ve had my social media fix, then I open up my work in progress and hope for the words to flow. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.
And finally: Advice to any other writers out there?
My best piece of advice would be that before you start writing, you go out and buy some really good self-help books in the genre you want to write in. For some reason, people sometimes feel that if they are creative types, and if they have talent, they shouldn’t seek advice or help. That’s nuts, there’s nothing else you’d do without first getting some instruction. Why is this any different? On my website, I list a few books I still refer to, real gems.
Where can your book be purchased?
It’s available at Amazon. For the week of 11-15 June, it will be FREE.
It can also be purchased in paperback, for those who love to hold a book in their hands.
How can readers connect with you?
Oh, I’m everywhere. I’m on Twitter–@maryannkempher
MaryAnn Kempher’s writing is infused with romance and mystery. Her love of romance stories goes back to her teen years spent living in Reno NV where Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. She had a career in the Air Force before deciding to write her first book. MaryAnn’s travels have taken her to beautiful cities in Italy, Southeast Asia and the sultry desert country of Qatar. She met her husband on one of her romantic misadventures while traveling. She has two children and currently lives in Florida where she and her family share their home with two dogs and a cat. Her writing influences include favorite authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She’s a huge fan of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. Her guilty pleasures are any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha!
Instead of feeding her late-night appetite, a midnight food run nearly gets 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian killed. She’s the only person to see the man who brutally murdered a local woman, and the killer is hell-bent on making sure she doesn’t talk.
Scott Mitchell left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno, and the last thing he needs is more melodrama. But when he and Katherine are paired for a college project, that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. Together, they try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the murderer. Passion flares, but with Katherine’s life in danger, romance seems like more than a bad idea.
Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date.