Author Chat with Bailey Cattrell
Bailey Cattrell recently stopped by the Cozy Experience Online Cozy Mystery Book Club to chat with us. We talked about her new Enchanted Garden Mystery, Nighshade for Warning (our May 2017 book club selection), heard what she has coming up this year, and more.
Catch up with what is going on with Bailey below.
Can you tell us a little about your inspiration for Ellie and the Enchanted Garden Mystery Series?
Well, I love to garden and have studied herbal craft and aromatherapy. I’m an only child who spent a lot of time by myself as a little girl – much of it in nature. It was easy to imagine the woods around my house might be populated by fairies and elves back then. Then a few years ago the fairy garden craze started, and it piqued that little girl part of my imagination. I’d already written a lot about aromatherapy in the Home Crafting Mysteries, the main character is a soap maker who only uses real essential oils to scent her artisan soap, but having a character who has an unworldly sense of smell appealed to me. Tiny houses fit with the miniature theme, and they fascinate me even though I doubt I could actually live in one. Same with Westfalia vans. And I find the language of flowers to be, well, enchanting. Come to think of it, I often write about things I just want to have a valid excuse to research! But when it came to Dash and Nabokov, I mined my experience with my own corgi and Russian blue cat, both of whom crossed the rainbow bridge long ago.
As for Ellie, I wanted to do something a little different than having her recently arrived in Poppyville at the beginning of the series as happens in many cozies (including my Magical Bakery series). She has a deep connection to plants, is very in touch with the earth, and it felt right that she’d also be connected to place and history. So she has extremely deep roots in Poppyville.
Do all of your books have a “magical” element?
Do you have one character you relate to the most?
Ha! That’s like asking which one of my kids I like best! I guess I relate to all my characters, but in different ways. Does that make me schizophrenic? Maybe. I prefer to think of it as “multi-faceted”! The truth is all my characters have similarities, and perhaps where those similarities meet is where I relate the most – the food, flowers, handcrafted bath products, herbal knowledge, etc. But I’m not as nice as Ellie Allbright or Katie Lightfoot. Neither is Sophie Mae in the Home Crafting series, though. She’s more acerbic. This makes me wonder how Ellie, Katie and Sophie Mae would get along if I threw them all together! Hmm…
What is coming up for you in 2017 and Beyond?
These days I’m reviewing the copy edits for Potions and Pastries, seventh in the Magical Bakery series. That will release this November. I’m also working away on the third Enchanted Garden book, Marigolds for Malice (I love that title). So with the recent release of Nightshade, right now I have three stories running around in my brain. Sometimes it’s hard to keep them straight! And then the second half of this year I’ll be writing the eighth Magical Bakery Mystery, with the working title Relics and Rolling Pins, for delivery to my editor next January.