Sometimes authors combine their separate stories into a set or collection. Occasionally, two authors will team up to write one great story. Today’s author has done just that. We met Michelle Griep a couple of months ago, so today we’ll visit with her writing partner, Kelly Klepfer! It looks like they had a blast working on this together! Here’s a quick peek at their new book, Out of the Frying Pan.
When the chef of Sunset Paradise Retirement Village ends up dead, life for sisters Fern and Zula Hopkins is whipped into a froth. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety or the criminal’s?
But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts–especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.
Before the snooping pair gain any headway with the case, it becomes crystal clear that the sisters share a mysterious secret that takes life from the frying pan and into the line of fire.
Welcome, Kelly! This sounds like such a fun story! Do you have a favorite character from Out of the Frying Pan? Why is this character your favorite?
I have to choose Zula. But Detective Flynn is a close second. Zula is bigger than life. Loud and bodacious and says exactly what she thinks. I think Zula is one that makes uptight people cringe but then she manages to win them over because she has a generous soul. She causes a ripple of tension when she sashays into a room but charms the socks off of folks because of her sincerity. Bold and reeking of self-confidence and floral vanilla scent concoctions, she’s that quirky relative everyone is slightly envious of. Detective Flynn is a mix of awkward boy next door and knight in shining armor. Suffering from a little PTSD from the mean streets of Miami to the heart crushed by the sweet girl in Kansas City who couldn’t handle the long distance, he really grew into his role as a lead player in the story. From secondary, supporting character to a be-still-my-beating-heart hero.
They must make quite a pair! Have you given any of your own personality quirks to your characters? If so, would you be willing to share about it/them?
Fern has one characteristic. No, make that two. First I tend to laugh hysterically in awkward situations. Case in point, lifting heavy objects such as furniture to carry across a room. My husband, my children, anyone who has ever done a project with me knows that when it comes to moving furniture or lifting drywall or etc there is going to be at least one tense moment when I’m har-har-haring while they wait it out. As a little girl I’d be fine until it was time to pour the milk. As soon as that gallon was poised over the cup I got the giggles. Seriously. Fern loses it at the crime scene.
Fern is also a minimalist which I aspire to become. My husband and I have decided we have way too many possessions. I began by setting a goal to rid our home of 1000 items. This was a one year goal, we blew it out of the water. Since then we have been asking ourselves if we really need or love an item. At this point I’d say we’ve purged about 60% of our material possessions. Our home is large, too big, and we have recently decided to share it with our daughter and her children. My hubby and I will have about 300 sq feet to call our own private space and we will share a kitchen and sitting area as common ground. We have gotten rid of even more since making that decision and we are all very excited for this next season of life.
I have followed some minimalist blogs and Facebook groups, but I have a long way to go! Maybe one day I’ll be able to say the same, though… 😉
I really enjoyed visiting with Michelle a couple of months ago, and I can only imagine how fun it must have been to work together on this story. What do you find are the greatest blessings and challenges of working so closely with another author?
I loved working with Michelle. We became friends while in a Christian author critique group and our friendship has really taken off. Our kids are friends. My oldest daughter was even a bridesmaid in her oldest daughter’s wedding.
Michelle is the stronger and more disciplined writer and she loves to edit. I went through several seasons of insecurities regarding what I was even doing writing with her, wondering what I could bring to the table. But as we just did the work and played off of each other our story became more than what we’d hoped for. When Michelle refuses to reread her first published book because it makes her gag but does a hundredth final read through of Out of the Frying Pan and laughs out loud and sends messages telling me how much she loves this story, I think our goal was exceeded.
That’s awesome! What a blessing to be able to combine your talents like that! Did you have a favorite story/book as a child? Why was it a favorite?
I used to read a compilation of short stories to my brothers. The Bull Beneath the Walnut Tree. I adore this book and found a used copy for my brother on Amazon and gave it to him for Christmas one year. He was thrilled. The stories were just so quirky. My favorite was about three little weird bug creatures that went on an adventure called One-Two-Three-Four, Hoppity and Nost. My aunts gave us a book every year that was an award winning children’s book so we were gifted with so many. The Bull Beneath the Walnut Tree was one of those. The timing was right for all of us. My aunts had a huge part in instilling in me the love of reading.
What a neat legacy! What is your favorite dessert? Would you be interested in sharing the recipe?
Chocolate and peanut butter. I rarely make the same dessert twice. But chances are if chocolate and peanut butter are in the ingredient list I’ve made it or tweaked it or will make it! Here’s a super easy recipe idea. You need Nilla wafer or Ritz or graham crackers. This will make a whole box of Nilla wafer sandwiches. Take 1 cup of peanut butter and ⅔ cup powdered sugar and ⅓ cup of cereal or cracker crumbs of choice. (This is where I use up cereal that’s not getting eaten real quick or you have just the last dregs that won’t even make a bowlful.) Mix the peanut butter, the sugar and the crumbs together. Smear some on a cookie or graham cracker half and put another one on top to make a sandwich. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 TBSP of peanut butter. Dip one half of the sandwiches in the chocolate. Put on a waxed paper lined jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Chill until ready to serve or the chocolate hardens. You can store at room temperature or refrigerate them. You might even need two pans.
Oh, that sounds yummy! It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter together! Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?
I read e-books, but that is usually for functional reasons such as a review deadline or endorsements. If the book is by an author I like I would much rather have a real life book so I can curl up with it, experience the turning of the pages and smell the paper.
I agree. Keepers just need to be in paper… If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
The important stuff is the little things you do every day. That sounds weird but in the tiny details you are building your writing career and actually your life. For example, the writing conferences, the conversations you have with people who can help you along the way don’t do anything for you if you aren’t working the daily disciplines of writing, reading and putting in the time. You also need to be teachable and you need to be humble, your words are no more important than anyone else’s. Talent is only one aspect of writing. Discipline may take you much further than talent ever could.
That’s so true! Thanks for taking the time to visit with us today, Kelly! (I think I need some sandwich cookies now…) 🙂
Your turn! Minimalism seems to be trendy right now. What’s your take? Are you a minimalist, wish you were, not at all interested, or not sure what we’re talking about? (No judgment! Pure curiosity!)
Kelly Klepfer had ambitions to graduate from the school of life quite awhile ago, but alas . . . she still attends and is tested regularly. Her co-authored cozy/quirky mystery, Out of the Frying Pan, is the culmination of several of the failed/passed tests. Kelly, though she lives with her husband, two Beagles and two hedgehogs in Iowa, can be found at Novel Rocket, Novel Reviews, Scrambled Dregs, Modern Day Mishaps, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Goodreads and
‘Out of the Frying Pan’ Giveaway:
Kelly has graciously offered to give away an e-copy of Out of the Frying Pan. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.