Interview: Barbara Jean Coast

Please welcome Barbara Jean Coast, author of the Poppy Cove Mystery Series.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
I wake up in the morning, feeling refreshed and looking youthful. My houseboy serves me breakfast by the pool and takes flawless dictation of my latest Poppy Cove novel. After my three martini lunch and long nap, I work a little A NATE TO REMEMBER Covermore on my stories, then get ready for a lovely evening on the town with the most handsome and eligible bachelor in Santa Lucia.

Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
Kitten heels, a wink and a smile will get me through anything.

Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Nancy Drew, Mary Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor

Do you listen to music when you write?
Oh yes! Ol’ Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) is my musical dreamboat of choice. Blossom Dearie, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Charlie Parker also color the background to my work, just to name a few.

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Dark chocolate. It’s rich and mysterious with a hint of noir and a dash of regret.

What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Well, I think we all have a history that affects our present day lives, and if we don’t we’ll want to create something daring about ourselves.

What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Everyone has a past or a future that affects the world around them and how they relate, act and react to each other. There’s more to every person than meets the eye.

Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Margot’s quiet and contemplative, a thinker and planner. What she does is usually quite deliberate and keeps many things to herself. Her past choices led her to where she is in A NATE TO REMEMBER, my latest mystery.

Daphne, on the other hand, is an open book – free spirited and impetuous, she’s never had much to worry about or hide. As she discovers that almost everyone she knows has led a life she thinks is more daring than hers, she decides it’s time to take a risk and maybe do something that’s a little more daring to give her something she may regret and be able to tell her own story.

Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Margot – Nancy Drew, Veronica Lake, Lauren Bacall
Daphne – Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Gidget

If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, Grace Metalious, Mary McCarthy, Truman Capote, J.D. Salinger

What’s next for you?
Well, finding things for the pool boy to do after the weather turns…no actually, I’m sure that won’t be too difficult. Oh, and writing the fourth in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series. I’ve also got some ideas developing about some of my background characters forming their own tales outside of Santa Lucia, so I’ll let them take the lead and show me where they want me to go with them.


Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff, both of whom reside in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Barbara Jean, however, is a resident of Santa Lucia, California (eerily similar to Santa Barbara), where she enjoys long lunches, cocktail parties, and fancy dinner dates with attractive and attentive gentlemen. Her interests include Alfred Hitchcock movies, reading Carolyn Keene, music by popular musicians, such Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, shopping for new dresses, attending society events and always looking fabulous in kitten heels. Published by Cozy Cat Press, the first novel in the Poppy Cove Mystery Series is STRANGLED BY SILK, followed by DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN. The third book, A NATE TO REMEMBER, is the newest release.

Andrea Taylor always imagined herself being a supersleuth girl detective and writing adventurous stories, full of mystery and intrigue since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She resides in Kelowna, BC, Canada, where she writes under the pen name of Barbara Jean Coast with her co-author friend, Heather Shkuratoff, and travels often to California to further develop the stories and escapades of the Poppy Cove Mystery Series. Andrea has also published freelance articles about fashion, current events, and childcare, and is currently blogging on WordPress about creativity and poetry, as well as researching for her own literary novels.

As an avid mystery reader, Heather Shkuratoff joined lifelong friend Andrea Taylor to create the Poppy Cove Mystery Series, written under the pen name of Barbara Jean Coast. Growing up in a family of talented crafters and sewers, Heather developed her own skills to become a dressmaker and designer, which helps to give rich detail and character to their stories. She lives in Kelowna, BC, Canada, but spends much time in California, researching for the novels and doing her best to live like Barbara Jean.

Twitter: @BarbaraJCoast
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7 thoughts on “Interview: Barbara Jean Coast”

  1. What a great interview! I feel as though I fell into a fabulous alternative world while reading this. A fabulous alternative world where I could pull off wearing cat-eye sunglasses and a pink headband. Also, LOVE the mashups. Thanks for visiting us!


  2. I agree with Cynthia, great interview, and what a perfect alternate universe to have stumbled into on a Friday morning! Love the idea that every person has a unique past that colors the way they interact. It’s a deep concept lurking behind pearls and kitten heels. Can’t wait to check out the book!


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