Please welcome Diane A.S. Stuckart, author of Fool’s Moon. Read on to learn all about Diane.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
Like most authors, I read voraciously from a young age. Since we were poor, I spent a lot of time at the public library each weekend borrowing all the books I wanted to for free. (Though, sadly, that stack I checked out on Saturday never lasted all the way through the following week.) My favorites in grade school were the Bobbsey Twins, Encyclopedia Brown, as well as the works of Edgar Eager and Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Basically, anything with a mystery and featuring magic or cats (preferably both!) As a teen, I graduated to Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, and Barbara Michaels. So you can see that mystery and magic both made an impression on me from the start.
Do you listen to music when you write?
I’m one of the few authors who can’t listen to music while writing. I don’t mind some TV noise drifting through my office door because I can tune it out…though when I’m on a really stressful deadline, I have a mini white noise machine on my desk that I use to block out everything else. On the other hand, when I’m driving and need to do a bit of mental plotting, classical or New Age music helps jumpstart my brain.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Chocolate-covered cherries! Chocolate for my two black cat sleuths, Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia; the sweet white syrup center for the cats’ white pit bull sidekick, Zuki (short for Azu’car which is Spanish for “sugar”); and the cherry for my human protagonist, Ruby. Besides, I like chocolate-covered cherries…my paternal grandpa used to share a box with me and my siblings when we kids went to visit.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Since my previous cat-centric cozy mystery series had been cancelled, much to the dismay of my readers and me, I thought it important to do another feline series. I was also eager to set a story in quirky South Florida, where I’ve lived for more than a dozen years now. And I’d been wanting to add a bit of magic to my next books, so I settled on Tarot, which has been an interest of mine since I was in high school. All these elements came together in the perfect cozy mystery storm that is the Tarot Cats Mysteries!
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Friendship and family tend to be core themes in all my books, along with the notion of being (or learning to be) true to one’s self. My protagonists usually are separated from their birth families by distance. In the course of establishing their new (or simply better) self, they also recreate their absent family unit with friends and even pets. My fond hope is that this gives my readers who are on their own encouragement to do the same for themselves in real life.
About the book:
Two magical tarot cats and their tenderhearted human outwit a cruel criminal in South Florida.
Most days, Ruby Sparks feels like the sign that says Tarot Card Reader Extraordinaire should say Tarot Card Reader Fairly Competent. But as challenging as it is to take care of her half-sister’s new age shop — and her growing menagerie of mystically inclined pets Ruby never worries that she’s bitten off more than she can chew… until a customer wants her to divine the truth about murder.
When her own life is threatened with a double dose of danger, Ruby begins to wonder if she’s being played for a fool. Luckily, she has Ophelia and Brandon — sibling black cats with a talent for tarot — and a feisty pit bull friend who all lend a paw in collaring the culprit before Ruby finds herself taking her final cat nap.
“Lighthearted and quirky, this will enchant cozy readers and animal lovers.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“…she writes throughout with charm and warmth. Anyone with a pet will enjoy.” – Kirkus
Diane A.S. Stuckart is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop
series for Berkley Prime Crime (writing as Ali Brandon). She’s also the author of the
award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mystery series. Fool’s Moon (Nov. 8,
Midnight Ink) is her first installment in the Tarot Cats Mystery Series.
Stuckart has written several mystery and fantasy short stories published in various
anthologies from DAW Books and five critically acclaimed historical romances
published by Zebra and Pinnacle Books.
The Texas native has a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma, and while a westerner at heart, she migrated to South Florida over a decade ago and now calls herself a Floridian. She is a member of Mystery Writer’s of America, a past board member for the MWA Florida Chapter, and belongs to the Cat Writers Association. Stuckart is married and is a proud caretaker to four dogs and four cats (all but one of them rescues).
For more information on the author, please visit DianeStuckart.com.
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