Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Interview - CJ Fosdick

As tomorrow we see the release of "Hot Stuff - A Candy Hearts Romance" out from The Wild Rose Press, we welcome author CJ Fosdick to Romance Spinners to chat about her book and the ideas which inspired this fun story.

How does a klutzy slogan writer from a quiet Wisconsin Village who’s pushing thirty expect to meet the man of her dreams? Living with a long-tailed cat, a grandmother who bakes giant Snickerdoodles, and an autistic brother who “collects” neighborhood lawn ornaments, Katie has her hands full…until she opens the door to a “hot” rookie cop investigating a not-so-petty theft. Is it a major crime or an arrest of the heart?

I love the double-meaning of the title. Grab your pre-order now:

TWRP | Amazon | Kobo

So, on to the interview:

HWK: I love your plot element of a brother who "collects" things. What was your inspiration for this element? 

CJF: I have a long-time friend who has an autistic child now living in a group home with other handicapped adults. When he was a child, he focused on “collections.” Their home was filled with a maze of candles in all colors and sizes. Though most of them were gifts, or bought by his parents, I think he had to be watched carefully to prevent “collecting” from other homes and stores wherever candles were displayed. Because of my friend and her severely Autistic son, I’ve learned a lot about the disease. Aspergers is a milder syndrome of Autism—and a perfect foil for Kate’s brother—who creates a scenario for his sister to meet the man of her dreams—a handsome rookie cop.

HWK:  How did Kate land her slogan-writing gig? 

CJF: She was once a Wild Rose Editor who was fond of snappy phrasing, but with a legendary sweet tooth, she thought writing slogans on candy hearts would give her a lifetime “fix” of the product. (She was offered a job by the head candy maker after winning a slogan contest.)

HWK: What is the strangest thing you've written? 

CJF:  A script in the words of a famous local deceased man in an annual “Walk Through the Cemetery Tour.” Actors who dressed the part memorized scripts written by local writers, and brought to life the contributions and characters of famous deceased at their gravesite.

HWK: You've written "Hot Stuff" with a decidedly humorous slant. How do you see humor beneficial to our society? 

CJF:  Easy Answer. With all the negativity -especially in this election year- I think I think finding humor in any situation may be the straw that readers will grasp. I took a reader poll last summer and found that women read (and buy) most books and they prefer romance AND mysteries equally. Reading something with a different setting, different voice and attitude is like armchair time travel. Escapism at its best. Women shoulder more responsibility today than in any other era. They have a career, a home to manage, children or grandchildren to raise, aging parents to care for and little time for romance outside of books. Little time even for reading romance. When they do, I think they identify with an intelligent but flawed and funny heroine. Who doesn’t need to see the lighter side of everything? Even the new Star Wars has elements of humor and irony.

I write feature articles for a local magazine called “On the Lighter Side,” and I never run out of real life scenarios that tickle the funny bone. There will always be some humor in my stories, along with a bucket of emotion and intrigue. The dark side is not my bag. Society needs to laugh more and lighten up.

HWK:  Due to bizarre circumstances involving a sinkhole, a mistaken identity and one ugly pet dog, you must change careers. What will your new career be? 

CJF:  A green spaceship from Mars lands in your back yard on Halloween, turning your garden into a sinkhole. The ship looks like a giant pickle covered with zits the size of softballs. A tall, one-eyed , big-eared Martian breaks out of his pickle, followed by a very ugly little creature with a big nose and a dragon tail. Together, they climb up cucumber and tomato vines to reach the lip of the sinkhole and spy you frozen in shock and covered in dust. You are dressed for Halloween as the Statue of Liberty in a Donald Trump wig with a flashlight torch. The alien blinks when you direct light into his big eye. His ugly pet trumpets a protest through his big nose, spewing a puddle of green slime. 

You are amazed to hear and understand their thought transfers. He calls you a beautiful worm. You always loved tall, steely men. Your heart beating in fear takes a leap of faith. As an eye, ear and nose doctor, you see the possibility of great medical strides. You invite them inside your modest farmhouse for spiked cider and Mars candy bars. The alien dog sidles up to your giant Schnauzer. They sniff each other’s behinds, then settle down together on the sofa, like old friends. The tall alien sidles up to you as well. With a face like Donald Trump, nobody has ever called you beautiful. Your heart trips. In the back of your mind, another possibility rises. You love science fiction. New career? How hard would it be to write a Space adventure? Maybe even a romance?

HWK:  Preach it! If you could convince the world of ANYTHING, what would it be? 

CJF:  Read more, text less, don’t be seduced by soft chairs parked in front of computer screens that lure you into the dark side of violent games, “FREE” beauty products, and fixed realities. Think OUTSIDE your own box. Spread kindness. Take a hike. Smell the flowers outside. Laugh at yourself. Get lost in entertaining reads that nourish your own imagination. Write slogans on candy hearts!


Grab your preorder today for a fun read tomorrow:

TWRP | Amazon | Kobo

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