Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Abigail Keam, author of the contemporary Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series and the 1930s Mona Moon Mystery Series.  As for my age, I am as old as my teeth.

Fiona: Where are you from?

The Thoroughbred capital of the world – Lexington, Kentucky, USA where the past never dies and secrets abound in a world of antebellum mansions, oak-cured bourbon, and million dollar horses grazing in emerald pastures.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I am an award-winning author who writes the Josiah Reynolds Mystery series about a Southern beekeeper turned amateur female sleuth in the Bluegrass.

My new series is the 1930s Mona Moon Mysteries. I had such fun writing the trilogy.  They are standalone mysteries with Mona Moon at the helm of trickery and intrigue. Murder Under A Blue Moon will be live on Monday, April 29th, 2019.

My first mystery novel, DEATH BY A HONEYBEE, won the 2010 Gold Medal Award for Women’s Lit from Readers’ Favorite and was a Finalist of the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011.

DEATH BY DROWNING won the 2011 Gold Medal Award for Best Mystery Sleuth from Readers’ Favorite and was also placed on the USA BOOK NEWS-Best Books List of 2011 as a Finalist.

I am also an award-winning beekeeper. I’ve  won 16 honey awards at the Kentucky State Fair including the Barbara Horn Award, which is given to beekeepers who rate a perfect 100 in a honey competition.

I live on the Palisades of  the Kentucky River in a metal house with my husband and various critters. I still have honeybees.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My new novel is Murder Under A Blue Moon – A  1930s Mona Moon  Mystery.  I love history and spent a great deal of time researching the era.  Murder Under A Blue Moon will be released on Monday, April 29th.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I penned  my first short story  in the second grade.  It was called  Bobby Bobo Gets Baptized at the Big Bone Baptist Church.  I have always written and   always wanted to be a writer.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I could support myself by writing.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I kept dreaming about Josiah Reynolds, my beekeeping sleuth.  She wanted to be born, so I started writing about her and Death By A HoneyBee was born.  Anything to keep her quiet.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Uh, someone was killed by a honeybee?

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?  

I think less is more.  I appreciate the hardboiled writing of Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain.  I dislike a flowery approach to writing.   I get angry if I have to skip page after page of numbing description.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I am terrible at eavesdropping on other people’s conversations.  One can learn the juiciest things that way.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I travel in my imagination, but I wouldn’t turn down a trip to Italy.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed them, but I have several graphic artists who put my ideas on paper.

They do a great job.   My husband, Peter, lays out the book jackets from the art work.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

As a strong supporter of farmers’ markets and local food economy, I tap into my knowledge of beekeeping to create a fictional beekeeping protagonist, Josiah Reynolds, who solves mysteries in the Bluegrass. While my novels are for enjoyment, I discuss the importance of a local sustainable food economy and land management for honeybees and other creatures.

For Murder Under A Blue Moon, I did extensive research on 1933, even down to popular foods, speech, and personal hygiene.  Rickets, worms, and lice were common problems.  TB was a scourge and spread by people spitting on the sidewalk.   To this day, I cannot stand to see a man spit.

 Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

There are so many wonderful writers, it would be difficult to name a few.  I read all genres. Dashiell Hammett – The Maltese Falcon. Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts – Servant Of The Empire. When I first read Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire, I knew people would be reading it three hundred years from now. Wendell Berry for poetry.  Katherine Logan Lowry for time travel.   Carl Hiasson  just  to name a few.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Sue Grafton, another Kentucky gal, was very supportive.  I will always appreciate her kindness.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It’s how I make my living.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I like Murder Under A Blue Moon just as it is.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I thought I was well versed in history, but I was not aware of the seriousness of the Spanish Flu in 1918.  It infected 500 million people and killed 50 million, about 3% of the world’s population.  The Spanish Flu killed more people in one year than the Bubonic Plague did in 100 years.  Scary huh!

 Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Ashley Judd for Josiah Reynolds Mystery Series and Emilia Clarke for Mona Moon Mystery Series.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

It’s a tough business, so be prepared.  Have a thick skin.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I write about women for women.  My characters are strong females.   There is no reason women can’t have adventures like male characters in literature.  Beyond that I adore interweaving history and beekeeping information into the storyline.  My stories are entertainment but there’s no reason the reader can’t pick up a fact or two along the way.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Art of Mesopotamia

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

My mother paid for a subscription and a book came  every month.  Although they are musty and the book jackets are torn from use, I still have them as sacred treasures.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Questions like these.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Elizabeth I as she gave her legendary speech prior to Britain’s defeat of the Spanish Armada.  I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king.”

While I deplore the sentiment of a “weak and feeble woman” I understand  her motivation.  She was trying to calm  the fears of her soldiers when fighting  against one of the greatest naval invasions in history. Leadership at its best.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Movies from 1920-1965, especially noir films.   Gilda with Rita Hayworth 1947, The Night Of The Iguana 1965,  Laura 1945 just to name a few.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

GOT.  Lucifer.  Deep Space Nine.  The Kingdom.  I especially like Korean period pieces with subtitles.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, greasy green beans, milk skillet corn, sliced garden tomatoes and chocolate cake with butter icing.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Bother my neighbors.

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Complaining that I had only 24 hours left to live.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Beloved

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 www.abigailkeam.com

abigailshoney@windstream.net

https://www.facebook.com/AbigailKeam

https://twitter.com/AbigailKeam

Amazon Author’s page – https://amzn.to/2UTjCLA

Links to latest Josiah Reynolds Mystery

Kindle: amzn.to/2LdOaPX
Apple Books: apple.co/2sg3umC
Nook: bit.ly/2M3sV45
Kobo: bit.ly/2Ty8ej6

Links to Murder Under A Blue Moon

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IctY2z
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2OZgE1I
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2U4o5FS
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Kglp8p