Today I’ve got a very special interview for mystery lovers – with Jane Firebaugh, author of the White Mountains Romantic Mysteries.
Jane was born and raised in eastern Tennessee. She grew up with an insatiable appetite for books of all genres. As she grew older, that desire continued and finally developed into a love of writing.
She says her books are a bit of a mix between cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. You’ll find them to be fairly cozy, with no profanity, overt sex or obvious gore, yet there is a bit more romance and suspense than you normally see in a cozy mystery.
When Jane is not in front of a computer writing, she can usually be found hiking with my dogs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during temperate weather seasons, skiing there during cold ones or occasionally melting in the Florida sun.
(FYI, no audio or video with this interview.)
Interview with Jane Firebaugh
Alexandra: Tell us about the main character in your White Mountain romantic mysteries, Olivia McKenna. What is her background? What does she care about? How does she end up embroiled in murders?
Jane: Olivia adores animals, nice people and antiques. She tends to care for others to the point of getting herself into situations that are dangerous for her sometimes. She also seems to have a magnet for murder, but luckily she is very intuitive and with Josh’s help, she always manages to land on her feet and solve the mysteries.
Alexandra: What are Olivia’s strengths? What are her flaws?
Jane: She is a strong advocate for people and animals. She is easily brought to tears by the pain of others. She adores restoring and collecting antiques, but can go a bit overboard with her collecting sometimes and clutter her house too much. Due to her previous fiancé disappearing days before their wedding, she is a little bit insecure, but tries valiantly to overcome that.
Alexandra: You describe your books as ‘romantic mysteries’; is the romance and the mystery evenly split?
Jane: I would say the split is pretty even, yes.
Alexandra: What inspired you to write about a protagonist who is an antique finder? What does an antique finder do with the things they find? Does Olivia own a store?
Jane: I wrote about an antique finder partly because it is something I would like to do myself. I adore antiques and like Olivia, can find myself going overboard with the collecting aspect of antiquing. Olivia has clients who give her lists of antiques they are searching for and she enjoys trying to locate the items. She charges a fee based on a percentage of the price she pays for each piece. She is also able to keep the items for a little while to enjoy before she gives them to the clients.
Alexandra; I’m a sucker for books with animal characters. Tell us about Olivia’s dog Molly.
Jane: Molly is a Golden Retriever who Olivia rescued from a shelter. No one knows her history, but it is apparent that she was well loved and well trained before she somehow ended up at the pound. She has a few tricks up her sleeve that Olivia is gradually discovering.
Alexandra: Olivia meets a New Hampshire state police detective in book one. Tell us about Josh Abrams. What are his strengths and flaws?
Jane: Josh is a really good guy. He is hard working, caring and handsome. His only real flaws are that he can occasionally get a little overprotective of the people he cares about and though he is pretty easy going, once in a while he can be provoked into throwing the first punch, though that is very rare, and usually happens when someone he cares for is being threatened or otherwise abused.
Alexandra: How are Josh and Olivia a good match?
Jane: Olivia is very independent, but not to the point of refusing help when it is truly needed, and she is able to curb Josh’s overprotective instinct. They have a lot in common. They both love animals, they love hiking and Josh even likes antiques, though he is not nearly as in love with them as Olivia is. They also are both very good at solving mysteries and Josh admires Olivia’s investigative skills.
Alexandra: Tell us about the White Mountains in New Hampshire that give your series its name. How does this geographic area inspire you? What does it mean to you?
Jane: It is where I am the happiest. I live there half the time and love to hike in those beautiful mountains with my dog Kali, who was the inspiration for Molly. I look out my window at my desk and see those mountains, and somehow they make the words flow from my fingers on the keyboard.
Alexandra: What is your favorite part about writing?
Jane: When my characters surprise me by doing unexpected things.
Alexandra Do you have other books planned for the series?
Jane: Yes, I am currently working on the third book which will be set partly on a fictitious island off the coast of Massachusetts called Mary’s Orchard.
Alexandra: Do you think you’ll write another mystery series in addition to this one? If so, do you know what it might be about?
Jane: I don’t have anything concrete in the works yet, but I have a feeling it may yet happen down the line.