Welcome to author C.L. Bauer who not only loves writing cozy mysteries but event planning and flower arranging!
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
I’m not there right now, but it is a friend’s beautiful house on Anna Maria Island, Florida. I usually sit out on the deck, the breeze from Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico cooling me as I drink a large glass of something cold. On that deck I have begun one book and had inspiration for two others. It is a special place, and I can’t wait to return. Not to mention, the friends are really like our family, and I miss them more than that special writing spot. If I can’t be there, I’m writing about it in my book out in 2021.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
The characters always come first for me. Even when I was younger, it was all about the characters. Heck, I had an imaginary friend (as many did) who had to be fed with me, went to bed with me, etc. I have always written down names I’m fond of, and descriptions of people who had that certain something. Now, I go back to those notes and have a full library of characters with different experiences. I add the story and where I want those characters to go, and I have another novel.
Can you hear your characters talking?
Of course! In fact, they have complete conversations, and sometimes turn my world upside down. I was writing the other day, and one character added their own slant to the entire plot of the book, well at least tried to. I didn’t adjust the ending though, and the character’s change just added to the fun of the mystery. One character talks way too much. She’ll now get her own book. Once the writing begins, those voices run the show. However, they never do my grocery shopping for me or remind me of that one item I forgot.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
I research a few general things before I write. I like to get an overall look at the world I’m heading into, but normally I make notes while I write so I can go back and get every little item correct. I make every attempt to provide all the elements for an interesting but true-to-life story. One of my characters is a DEA agent and former military. He needs to have the proper handgun, location, and all that goes with that career.
What kind of research do you do for a book?
I like to talk to people who are in the world I’m writing about. The Lily List Mysteries deals with a florist. I didn’t have to go very far…I own a wedding and event flower business. When it came to military information, I’m blessed with several relatives and friends who have served. They have a wealth of knowledge. Currently, I’m outlining another series that deals with real estate in the Kansas City area, so yes, my first bit of research was coffee with a realtor. My next step is to get an overview of the history, nuances, etc. that I might need to develop the characters or locations. Finally, after I’ve completed my first draft, I have to search for the minute details that make the story ring true.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a few writing quirks. Just like my featured character in my first set of novels, I use packets of post-it notes. I also have pieces of paper everywhere! Oh, and I have lists too. Oddly, one other quirk is that my greatest plot lines and scene dialogue are developed when I’m around water…while doing the dishes, taking a shower, watering the plants. Finally, I always act out dialogue to make sure it sounds natural. If it doesn’t, it won’t appear in the novel.
What is your favorite childhood book(s)?
Our parents instilled a love of reading at an early age so I love this question. I don’t know the name of it, but it was a 365 days of the year story with the same siblings throughout as they celebrated life and holidays. We read that book before bed. My favorite books (I gift these to young children) are Winnie The Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, the Little House collection, and for the older child To Kill A Mockingbird.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
There is an anonymous quote I found just a few years ago that sums it up—Have confidence where there is insecurity. There’s also a bible verse that is similar that would’ve helped me all those years ago—Be not afraid. I’d tell myself to just keep writing no matter what.
What does the future hold for your writing?
I hope to continue with my first and great love The Lily List Mystery Series, publish a book about my father’s experiences in World War II, start other books and series, continue to entertain my readers, and make my family proud. I want my nieces and nephews to say ”that’s my aunt’s book!”
Hi, I’m C.L. Bauer and the author of The Lily List Mystery Series. I live in Kansas City, Missouri and often feature locations around my beautiful city of fountains. I come from a journalism background, but own a wedding and event flower business that has given me so many great stories! Through a great opportunity, I have returned to writing these past two years and have future projects that will feature my quirky florist and all of those mysteries she gets herself into. Oh, and I’ll continue to watch Lily’s mentor, Jessica Fletcher.
My family and friends offer their great support even on those cloudy days. I have nieces, nephews, and cousins all over the nation. Their smiling faces and all they do bring so much joy. As always, happy reading!