Author Interview: Kirsten Weiss

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  1. What made you want to write a book?

I’ve wanted to write mysteries since I read my first Nancy Drew. Well, actually I initially wanted to be a girl detective, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that wasn’t a feasible career choice. So writing mysteries was my next best option!

2.  Where do you get your ideas for stories?

From life, from research, and from a sort of stream of consciousness that connects one idea to the next. For example The Metaphysical Detective started with an idea for a fun career – metaphysical detective. What would a metaphysical detective do? What would my detective’s name be? I like the name Riga. Riga who? Riga Hayworth – because I’m lazy and it rhymed with the silver screen goddess, Rita Hayworth. So what does Riga look like? The book is a paranormal mystery; what would my heroine’s life be like if she was a dead ringer for Rita? And on and on and on.

3. You have a paranormal mystery series. What are your interests in both the paranormal, and in mystery?

I’ve loved mysteries as long as I could read. But I became more interested in the paranormal during my overseas career. I worked mostly in developing countries, and superstition and the paranormal was much more a part of daily life. I became interested in local traditions, and my research carried me deeper and deeper into the world of the paranormal.

4.  Tell me about your latest book.

The Infernal Detective is book four in the Riga Hayworth series. Riga is getting married, so I wanted this book to have a lighter, more comedic feel, and I did that with the introduction of two new characters – Riga’s dotty elderly aunts. They are much more than they appear.

The book starts off the week before the wedding, with the discovery of a murdered photographer in Riga’s bedroom. When the body drives off with her future groom, Riga suspects necromancy is afoot.

5.  Who is your favorite writer, and why?

There are so many! I think J.K. Rowling did an amazing job creating her magical world and cast of characters. There are dozens of characters in her books and each one is vivid and memorable. It’s quite a trick. But for the mystery genre, my favorite author is Ian Rankin. I admire his clean style and tortured characters.

6.  What do you hope that readers will take away from your books?

I hope they’ll have fun!

7.  What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new paranormal mystery series featuring Rocky Bridges, a female security consultant. Rocky’s last assignment went bad, and she lost her client and the hearing in her left ear in a bomb blast. But now she’s starting to hear a voice in her deaf ear. Is she going crazy? Or is something else happening?

8.  Why do you think the paranormal genre is so popular these days?

I think it’s popular because there have been a lot of great paranormal books out recently – the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter…  The list goes on and on.

But I also think the paranormal satisfies a certain craving we have for “safe” ambiguity. In mystery novels, at the end of the book the crime is solved and order is restored. And we like that. But that isn’t always real life. Real life is full of unsolved crimes and disorder, which makes us uneasy.

The paranormal, by its very nature, is unexplainable, chaotic, unresolved. But it’s a sort of ambiguity we can live with – much more fun to think about than if some teenager texting and driving is going to wipe us out tomorrow.

About the Author:

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mysteries published by misterio press: the urban fantasies, The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective and The Infernal Detective.

Kirsten worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and deep in the Afghan war zone.  Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer reruns and drinking good wine.

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