Interview with Chariss K. Walker
Author of A Medium's Birthday Surprise
I write fiction and nonfiction books that inspire, inform, and delight!
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How would you describe A Medium's Birthday Surprise to a new reader?
- Twenty-six-year-old Becky Tibbs has been a medium for six years. On the night her parents died in an automobile accident, they were the first ghosts she had ever seen. She inherited the gift along with her brother Bobby and her sister Barbara. This first story in the series explains the family dynamic. Becky accepted her gift while her siblings did not. Becky has been working with ghosts long enough that she is not easily surprised, however, on her birthday, she gets the biggest surprise she's had in a while... and it is a doozy.
What was the inspiration behind Becky Tibbs: A North Carolina Medium's Mystery Series?
- I lived in Asheville, North Carolina at the time. The city, the ancient forest and mountain range, and the majesty of the waterfalls inspired me to begin this series.
Did you incorporate the locale in your series?
- Asheville is fully incorporated in the scenes of my series. I used the ambience of local pubs and restaurants. And as the story unfolded, I also used local popular gathering places such as the many rivers and waterfalls to enhance Becky's story.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
- Asheville has a pub culture where folks gather for a locally brewed beer and bite to eat after work and on weekends. It also has a diverse population of hippies, Native Americans, vegans, Wiccans, artists, and transplants from all over the country. It gives a writer a lot of topics and personalities to use when writing.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Write what you know. Don't try to copy anyone else. Simply find your own style and do the best you can with it.
What's your writing process?
- I treat my writing as a full-time job. I put in a lot of hours and schedule time each day to work on the current story. I also promote my own work and that takes a lot of additional time. My process is to write first thing each day, then spend time promoting before I return to writing.
Which character in A Medium's Birthday Surprise has had the greatest impact on readers?
- Although Becky is the heroine, Josh has had the most impact in this first book. He disappeared ten years earlier and then reappeared as a ghost without knowing he was dead. It was pretty traumatic for everyone involved.
Do you use any conflict in your story?
- Although this is a sweet, cozy mystery, there is plenty of misunderstanding in the family dynamic. To name a few, there is a nosey ghost mother who doesn't allow her children to be adults, two siblings who attempt to drown out their abilities with medication and booze, and a young ghost who despises his parents.
How have readers responded to A Medium's Birthday Surprise?
- This first book in the series has at this moment over 90 reviews with an average 4.5 rating on Amazon. I took a break from writing the series after book five and the reviews complained that I had ended the series. So, I began to write more about Becky Tibbs.
Where next? What are you working on now?
- I listened to my fan base and I am currently continuing to write more books in the series. A Medium's Wedding Day, Book 8, releases on December 6 and A Medium's Honeymoon, Book 9, releases in January.