Today I am delighted to welcome back a very familiar and popular face on this blog: Barbara Silkstone. (Pls check out the details of her summer promotion after this interview.)
Hi Christoph, Thank you for inviting me. It’s lovely to be here today.
The pleasure is all mine. Please tell my readers, what type of crime fiction do you write and why?
I write comedy mysteries because that is what I most enjoy reading. Indiana Jones has been the man of my dreams since I was a teen. That dream led me to write two completely different comedy mystery series both featuring female versions of Indiana.
Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider (5 books – 2 box sets.) Wendy is a Miami Beach real estate broker specializing in selling mansions. During a slow turn in business, she takes up tomb raiding in reverse. Wendy and archaeologist, Roger Jolley, return stolen antiquities. What my heroine lacks in physical coordination, she makes up for in daring-do. There is nothing she won’t try, except getting her face wet. The romantic couple globe trot from the Caribbean to Cairo and to Vulgaria, meeting an odd and mysterious assortment of characters.
Mister Darcy series comedic mysteries is a Pride & Prejudice variation (7 books). The mysteries take place in current day England. Darcy and Elizabeth live in the most secure building in London. His penthouse includes a panic room, an indoor replica of Hyde Park and a climbing wall where he practices his mountain climbing skills. He is a member of a society dedicated to protecting the antiquities and history of England from sheiks and oligarchs. Darcy also secretly acts as the almoner (collector and treasurer) for the Knights Templar. Despite Darcy repeatedly forbidding Elizabeth to get involved, she can’t help sticking her little nose into his business, and ultimately accidently saving the day.
Oops! I almost forgot my little mini-series mysteries: The Witches of Longbourn – witches abound in this comedy mystery variation of Pride & Prejudice. Darcy rejects his witchly talents inherited from his deceased mother, Lady Anne Darcy, one of the most powerful witches in England. Good witch Elizabeth helps him solve the magical mysteries that threaten to separate them.
All murders occur off screen and no animals are hurt in the writing or recording of any of my stories.
Who would I cast to play the characters in a movie?
I am not sure about the male leads, as my tastes change, but Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect for either Wendy Darlin or Elizabeth Bennet. The stories are chockfull of physical comedy, along with delightfully snarky lines, both talents at which Ms. Lawrence excels.
Are you like any of the characters (and how so?)
I have written Wendy from the pages of my life. There is very little I have put her through that I have not stumbled into myself…except for the dead bodies, thank goodness! Wendy shares my two pet phobias: she can’t bear to get her face wet and she creeps out over holes in fabric. The holes phobia is the only way a villain could escape her… if he/she had holes in their jeans. Ewww!
Elizabeth is me—if I were ever lucky enough to live in London. It is my very favorite city in the world and I imagine myself there every day, living in a penthouse across from Harrods – with Colin Firth. J Or in the Cotswolds – tending sheep. Either situation would please me greatly.
Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?
Quite the contrary. I attended Catholic school where the nuns found it necessary to threaten me with excommunication if I continued to write my comedies. My mother was of the old school (not sure where that was) and felt her daughters should not rise above their humble beginnings. She threatened to disown me if I continued to aim for the stars. So I did what any other teenage girl would do, I ran away and joined the Peace Corps. Life and adventures got in the way and I did not really begin to write full time until about ten years ago. I was fortunate to be encouraged in writers’ workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker and PD James.
What song would you pick to go with your books?
Definitely the theme from THE PINK PANTHER
What do you do when you don’t write?
I used to do all sorts of interesting things like hot air ballooning, falconry, and parallel parking, but now that I am writing full time I can’t seem to pry my fingers off the keyboard.
What are you working on now?
I have just begun to write Book 8 in the MISTER DARCY SERIES. I am having tons of fun tossing challenges at Elizabeth and Darcy as the wrestle with another Templar mystery.
What makes you laugh?
A twisted phrase, a slip of the tongue, or a terrific pratfall. Will & Grace are a big favorite!
Who would I like to invite for dinner?
That’s easy! Oscar Wilde, Elmore Leonard, and Lewis Carroll.
What book are you currently reading and in what format?
H is for HAWK by Helen Macdonald. One of the most soul-thrilling experiences a person can attempt is to learn falconry. I have tried to explain the feelings and the sensations when the bird leaves your glove and soars into the sky, but I have never been able to find the words. Ms. Macdonald has captured it all in her unusual, tender book exposing how she dealt with the passing of her beloved father by adopting and training a goshawk. Her prose is exquisite. I have it in ebook format but also audio. I love to listen to her read her story as the words take on an even more emotional meaning. I do highly recommend it.
Thank you for inviting me!
I love your books!
Thanks Barbara – and I like yours. Great to have you back.
Bio and links
Barbara Silkstone is the best selling author of over twenty-eight novels and novellas. Her comedy mysteries feature goodhearted heroines caught up in screwball situations. Silkstone’s popular Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series has been compared to the writings of Douglas Adams and Monty Python. Her Mister Darcy series of comedic mysteries based on Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice now includes seven adventures – with more coming! She is also the author of two Regency novels: The Gallant Vicar and The Return of the Gallant Vicar. The Witches of Longbourn is a series of three lighthearted episodes that weave one tale of love and magic.
Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Box Set ~ Books 1-5
Amazon ~ http://amzn.to/1LPwPrI
Barbara Silkstone’s Amazon Author’s page
BRAND NEW, available as pre-sale:
It is the 8th book in my Mister Darcy series comedic mysteries.
All of Barbara’s books are available on Amazon, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Audible.com
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