Thursday, March 5, 2015

Salad with L.K. Hill author of The Botanist

L.K. Hill
friend or rival?
An author after my own heart, L.K. Hill (Liesel) returns to the Blog Mansion with a new book. You might remember her first visit last year when she talked about Citadels of Fire and rocket cats. This time, she’s here to talk about her new mystery The Botanist and salads.

Johnny: You’re like me Liesel, you are productive and write in a variety of genres for the same publisher, Jolly Fish Press.

Liesel: Yup! And like you, I appreciate a good tie-dye.

J: I thought I was the only one doing that.

L: Nope.

J: The Botanist is a detective mystery. I thought I was the only one writing those. You know I have The Finger Trap coming out from them next fall.

L: I heard something about it, but no you’re not the only one.

J: I’m not even first.

L: Again no.

J: Care for some salad?

L: What was that look for? That scary envious evil look.

J: I’ve had the flu.

L: Okay.

J: So while I dish up something scrumptious, tell me about The Botanist. What’s it about?

L: It's set in a small, fictional town in southern Utah called Mount Dessicate. A small-town cop stumbles upon a mass grave in the desert outside the town, and with it comes a serial murder mystery that's been going on for some time, only no one realized it.

J: Did you learn a lot about plants and flowers in your research?

L: Not especially. Most of the botany stuff I used, I already knew, but I did some research to fine tune the details.

J: That'll make things easier. When is it coming out?

L: It was supposed to be the end of March, but it got pushed back to the end of April. Jolly Fish Press believed pushing it back by a month would give it fairer shot at a good initial run. Not so rushed, you know?

J: Is there a giveaway I can help you publicize?

L: Always! When I have the date for the launch party, I'll let you know. I'll also be doing an online launch party. I'll be giving away free copies, other books, gift cards, and maybe even some seeds for spring planting. You know, just to freak my readers out. :D

J: Do you like rhubarb? I’ll add some rhubarb leaves to the salad.

L: Leaves? Not the stalks?

J: Tell me about Mt. Dessicate. What was your inspiration?

L: Years ago, I had several younger siblings who worked summers at a dude ranch in southern Utah. The town, about three feet north of the southern Utah border was called Antimony (also known as Back Country, Hickville, and Where?) Anyway, it's 5-6 hours south of where I live, depending on if I feel like abiding by the speed limit. The point is, during those summers I had many long car rides driving through the dusty, tumbleweed country of southern Utah, and--what can I say?--I'm a writer. My mind wandered. The Botanist was born. Ta-da!

J: Raw vegetables are so nutritious. I’ll just add in some raw lima beans and red kidney beans. Nummy nummy.

L: They are nutritious, Johnny. Thank you! (You do have a bathroom close by, yes?)

J: You won't need it. Is The Botanist launching a series or is it a one off?

L: It's a stand alone. It's funny because I'm such a long-winded story teller that I generally write series. This is actually the first stand alone I've published. And I definitely could write sequels, but I didn't envision the original story that way. We'll just have to see how it is received.

J: How has Citadels of Fire been going?

L: Great! It's been selling pretty well for a historical fiction, and the reception has been spectacular. Book 2 is slated for release this fall.

J: How has your marketing gone? What’s been your favorite part of it all?

L: As a newbie writer, I think like most of us, I was just afraid of marketing. Now that I've got some experience, I find that the discovery is my favorite part. I like to try new things--new websites, new promos, new ideas--just to see how it works out. The journey can be more exciting than the destination.

J: Isn’t it a great feeling to find your book on the library shelf or in a bookstore?

L: Oh yes. Definitely! It's especially great during the times that you weren't the one who walked in and put it there.

J: I’m glad you had a chance to experience that.

L: You make it sound like I never will again.

J: Did I? I’m sorry. I’m just so happy to have you here. In my clutch–, I mean, kitchen. Apple seeds for some crunch and I’m brewing some green tomato leaf tea. What a bonny meal.

L: You said bonny like people actually say bonny.

J: The Botanist is your second book with Jolly Fish Press. How has it been working with them?

L: I love JFP! I've worked with other traditional publishers before and I think the thing that stands out most about JFP is how much wiggle room they give their authors. I've had traditional publishers that make it almost impossible to sell your own book. JFP isn't that way at all. They just say, tell us when and what, and we'll help you make it happen. It's very refreshing.

J: So they’ll miss you if you if something were to happen to you?

L: Yeah, sure.

J: And I’d be sad. I like this friendly competition we have with them, both writing series and stand-alones, both with detective books coming out this year, vying for resources, fame, fans.

L: I don’t think it’s like that.
Foxglove is pretty. Pretty Deadly!

J: Your cover is really fantastic. I’m envious.

L: Thank you! JFP's art department is phenomenal. I've gotten nothing but compliments, and that's not even the part I worked on. (I'm happy to take credit for it though.) Luckily JFP has worked on your covers, too, Johnny. They are equally as stunning.

J: Cherry, almond and plum leaves toss up so nicely.

L: It’s a beautiful looking salad.

J: Wait until you taste the dressing; I distilled spring flowers in honor or you and your book. Foxglove. Purple and lovely. Just smell it.

L: Hold on. Foxglove? Digitalis? That’s poisonous.

J: Oh, no. You’re right. What was I thinking? That was a close one. Luckily I made another essence of Oleander. It’ll be just perfect.

L: Er--right. Okay.

J: Where on the internet can fans send flowers?

L: Send flowers?

J: In honor of your new book, The Botanist. A celebration of the book. And your short life.

L: Perhaps flowers of the digital variety would be best. We could celebrate the amazing ebook version. (Cheaper for the fans that way too.) They can send them to any of online platforms. They're listed below.
AMAZON (Author)
AMAZON (The Botanist)

J: Now eat up. Get those veggies in you. The natural world has so much bounty. Nothing like a big mixed green salad to celebrate spring and a new book.

L: It’s bitter.

J: Yes. Bitter.


Liesel K Hill is a novelist who writes across three genres: scifi/fantasy, historical fiction, and crime fiction. Her scifi and fantasy, including dystopian, are written under her full name. Her crime and historical fiction are written under her initials, L.K. Hill.

She comes from a large, tight-knit family and resides in Northern Utah. She loved to read and write at a young age, and her earliest memories consist of her father sitting in the doorway of her room at night, relating stories of Frodo, Gandalf, and the One Ring of Power. Her mother also read to her every afternoon as a child, sometimes for several hours a day.

Today she is an award-winning author. All of her published works thus far have won manuscript awards in the prestigious League of Utah Writers annual fiction competition. Persistence of Vision was the winner of the Silver Quill Award for Published Books in 2013, while Citadels of Fire also won the Silver Quill in 2014.