Karin Kaufman writes cozy mysteries with an edge. Her debut novel, The Witch Tree, is the first in her Anna Denning mystery series. Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with an ever-ready pot of coffee and her two crazy but lovable shelter dogs.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us about The Witch Tree (Anna Denning Mystery). Is there a favorite passage you can share? Are you planning more books in the series?
The Witch Tree is about Anna Denning, a genealogist who discovers that a client’s family tree holds the key to a murder. I wanted to make Anna a genealogist because genealogists are adept at digging for clues and connecting the dots—like any good amateur sleuth. Anna is also a widow who’s having a tough time dealing with the loss of her husband—and her anger at God because of that loss.
In the course of the story, Anna is reminded of her past involvement with wicca, something she’d rather forget. That’s something I can identify with. In my twenties, even though I was a Christian, I dabbled in wicca. As a result, although I have strong opinions on wicca, witchcraft, and paganism—many of them not fit to print—I have a great deal of empathy for young people caught up in those “paths.”
I do have some favorite passages in The Witch Tree, Cherie, but they come later in the book and probably wouldn’t make much sense unless you read what comes before! And yes, I’m definitely planning more books in the series. Many more, I hope.
Like me, you’re a member of ACFW. How do you think writers organizations like ACFW can benefit a new author?
The number one thing ACFW does is let you know you’re not alone out there, whether published or unpublished. And the members are so helpful and knowledgeable. Are you writing a historical romance and want to know what people used on their hair before shampoo was invented? Ask a fellow ACFW member and you’ll get an answer. Writing a mystery and want to know how quickly a poison works? Someone in ACFW is bound to know.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
I’ve tried to whittle down my answer to one book, but I just can’t. So here’s three. First, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Heaven– But Never Dreamed of Asking by Peter Kreeft. It’s mind-boggling, especially the chapter titled “What Is Eternity?” Second, Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity by J.P. Moreland, the best book on Christian apologetics I’ve ever read. And third, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, by C.S. Lewis. It’s not a book Lewis himself wrote, but a later collection of his essays, speeches, and letters.
Book you’re currently reading?
I’m reading an advanced copy of Amanda Stephan’s Lonely Hearts, a Christian romance that will be released this fall.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
In the spring, I like to garden, even though it’s mostly container gardening for me these days. In the fall and winter, I enjoy walking with my dogs. I love to take them to a local cemetery so I can let them off leash (if I get there early enough). One of my greatest pleasures is watching Sophie, the larger of my two dogs, run at top speed. God knew what He was doing when he made dogs. Oh, and one of these days I’m going to get into scrapbooking. It looks like a lot of fun, but I haven’t been able to make time for it.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for hosting me, Cherie. This was fun!