Welcome Kirsten! I am thrilled to get this chance to find out a bit more about you. Thank you for stopping in! Tell us about your current release.
The Elemental Detective is book five in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels, but it can be read as a standalone. Metaphysical detective Riga Hayworth is on her honeymoon in Kauai when she and her husband, Donovan Mosse, find a murdered man and seal on the beach. This one was fun to write because for the first time, Riga and Donovan act as a real team in the investigation. I wasn’t sure how it would work out – Riga’s used to working alone – but it ended up being a fun romp around the island.
My next release actually just happened – a Steampunk novel of suspense called Steam and Sensibility. It’s about a young British woman who gets stranded in San Francisco just as the gold rush is getting started, so it’s a very different animal from my Riga Hayworth series. But it was huge fun to write – nature spirits and secret societies, romance and spies – and I plan to write a sequel to it this year.
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
My friend, editor, and fellow Sisters in Crime author, Diana Orgain, writes the Maternal Instincts mysteries, about a new mother who sort of falls into becoming a private investigator. Diana’s been a tremendous support, and has taught me so much about the art and tactics of writing.
Where do you research for your books?
Wherever I can! I have friends who are police officers, and they’ve been helpful with some of the police procedures (though police officers behaving badly sometimes also make up parts of my story). And my hapkido instructor has helped me with some of the fight scenes. Whenever I can interview people – especially magical practitioners – I do. For The Elemental Detective, I interviewed a woman who teaches Huna, the Hawaiian magical practice. She not only taught me a lot, but also referred me to some great books.
When I travel, I take photos and notes in case I can use the scene in a book. Fortunately, I’d been on a vacation in Kauai in 2012, so I was able to use that material to build out my setting. And of course, the Internet has made research so much easier. I’ve become addicted to the Evernote program and use it to organize all my web clippings into files for each book I’m working on.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
Aside from “keep writing,” I think it’s important to be open to learning new things. As a writer, you’re really putting your heart and soul out there, but that makes it easy to fall into the traps of ego and defensiveness. Not every bit of advice or criticism you’ll receive about your writing will be good, and you’ll have to weed out the bad. But I think it helps if you recognize that no, you’re not perfect, and your writing can ALWAYS get better.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
My heroine, Riga Hayworth, is tough and can be prickly. And she starts out as a deeply flawed character. But it drives me nuts when I read a series and the lead character doesn’t development, so some of those edges have been softening and maturing as the series has progressed. I’m enjoying her character arc, but the sixth book in the series I’m working on now, The Hoodoo Detective, throws her into some very dark waters which threaten to knock her character back. I’m still not sure where that will go, but generally speaking, I prefer happy endings.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Mermaids, menehunes, and murder.
Riga Hayworth just wants to relax with her new husband on their Hawaiian honeymoon. But a body on a Kauai beach pulls them into a murder investigation, sending the supernatural world into an uproar.
When Riga detects traces of magic at a murder scene, she knows she can’t ignore the call. There’s necromancy afoot, and she must prepare for the battle to come. But can Riga fight the forces of nature? Or will they destroy her and everyone she loves?
Book five in the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels, The Elemental Detective is a fun, fast-paced urban fantasy blending romance with the supernatural, and exploring the magic of Hawaii.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Kirsten Weiss is the author of the steampunk suspense novel, Steam and Sensibility, and the Riga Hayworth paranormal mystery series: The Metaphysical Detective, The Alchemical Detective, The Shamanic Detective, The Infernal Detective, and The Elemental 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.
You can connect with Kirsten through the social media sites below, and if the mood strikes you, send her an e-mail at kirsten_weiss2001(at)yahoo.com
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