Sunday, August 18, 2013

Getting to know Staci McLaughlin

I’d like to welcome mystery author Staci McLaughlin.
Now, let’s get to know her.

Patricia: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not reading or writing?

Staci: I love to take walks. There’s a park in town with acres of open space and lots of trails. The kids and I sometimes see deer, rabbits, and even the occasional coyote or Great Blue Heron. Now that school is out, we’ve also been doing a lot of science experiments. We’ve managed to lift an ice cube using only salt and a piece of string, plus suck an egg into a bottle with a lit match. When I have time, I also enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. I only wish I could remember to mark the recipes that the whole family enjoys so I can make those dishes again. Instead, six months down the road, we’ll remember a great meal we ate, and I’ll have no idea what magazine or book it came from.

Patricia: What’s your favorite color? Why?

Staci: It’s hard to choose. Sometimes my favorite changes. I love different shades of blue, especially a deep sky blue or royal blue, but sometimes I’ll see a gorgeous shade of green in a leaf or a really vivid red dress, and decide that’s my favorite color for the day. But if I could only pick one, I guess I would stay with blue. I love to lay on the grass on a cloudless summer day and stare up at the vast blue sky.

Patricia: How would you describe yourself, personality wise?

Staci: I’m definitely a half-glass-full kind of person. I like to believe that most situations will turn out all right in the end. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen, but being optimistic is a much better way to spend my time than fearing the worst. I also try not to get annoyed with the little things, like being stuck in traffic. I remind myself that there are bigger problems in the world, which helps put pesky annoyances in perspective.

Patricia: Do you like to travel? If so, what are some of your favorite places to go and/or what was your favorite vacation?

Staci: I do like to travel, although I don’t always travel far. I prefer driving to flying, so a lot of our trips are to Southern California or Nevada. One of my favorite vacations was a trip to Ohio several years ago. My husband and I both love roller coasters, so we went to Cedar Point, which has some fantastic coasters. While we were there, we boated out to an island in Lake Erie and toured it in a golf cart. We also visited a wild safari park and hiked into an underground cave, fun things like that. When the kids are older, I’d like to visit Washington D.C., Mount Rushmore, the Alamo, and other historical places.

Patricia: How would you complete this sentence? If I won a million dollars, I would  ------

Staci: I’m a bit of a saver, so I’d put a large portion in a college account for the kids. I’d also take the whole family—grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles—on a big group vacation, maybe a cruise. I went on a Caribbean cruise for my honeymoon, and I’d love to take another one. It’s a great way to see faraway places and try different foods and new activities. I’d also like to donate money to a few of the local charities, especially the food bank and organizations that help underprivileged children.

Author Bio: Staci McLaughlin is the author of the Blossom Valley Mysteries. Going Organic Can Kill You is the first in the series, followed by All Natural Murder. When she’s not writing, she is a maid, short-order cook, and band-aid supplier for her two young sons.  They live in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, one fish, and a sea monkey.