Top Hope Callaghan Fans Questions and Answers 2022

(Please Note: There are clickable links (blue color) in some of the questions and answers below in order to learn more about the particular series or books mentioned.)

Thank you for taking the time to write, and for asking such great questions!  I truly believe I have the greatest readers in the world! -Hope Callaghan

 

Research / Plots / Story Ideas

 

Do you visit the places you write about?

I’ve visited almost all of the places I write about – some numerous times. I lived in West Michigan for most of my life. My family is still there. The only place I haven’t visited is Kansas (it’s on my to-do list) and a couple of Siren of the Seas’ ports stops (Bermuda is one of them.)

How much time is spent researching locations?

Anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. If you follow the Millie’s series, you know that Siren of the Seas spent a season in the British Isles. Mitchell and I took a 10-day cruise of the British Isles and I believe had I not taken that trip, I could not have written about the ports as accurately.

 

Do you include a few days relaxation in some of the areas?

I would have to say “no.” When I’m doing research, I’m always taking notes, visiting specific areas I plan to include in my stories. Although I have down time, I’m still working, answering emails, typing notes, etc.) every day.

 

Where do you get your ideas for your series?

During road trips. Almost all of my series came from an idea while on the road with Mitchell (my husband) and me talking “shop.” They start with… “Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to write…”

 

How many cruises have you been on?

Thirty. I took my first cruise in 1990 on Carnival’s Holiday. I keep a spreadsheet of all of the cruises Mitchell and I have been on, the date, ship, itinerary, number of days, cabin type, price and departure port.

 

Which cruise lines have you been on and do you have a favorite?

We’ve been on Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Celebrity. Celebrity is our favorite.

 

Do you have a favorite cruise port?

I do. Actually, there are three. Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. I love the Hawaiian Islands, as well but as far as overall…it would be the “ABC Islands.”

 

Have you been to all of the ports you’ve written about?

I’ve visited every port I’ve written about except for Bermuda and Portugal.

 

Have you ever worked for a cruise line?

No, although I have taken every behind-the-scenes tour that I can and ask a lot of questions. I’m sure more than a few of the guides thought I was a kook because of all of the questions I ask. haha

 

Will Siren of the Seas ever go in for a dry dock?

They already have. It was during “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’,” book 9 in Millie’s Cruise Ship Mystery series.

 

Where do you come up with the characters? Are these actual people that you know?

I’m a people-watcher. I love watching people and trying to guess who they are and what makes them tick so I find a lot of character traits in those around me whether I know them or not. Some of my characters are loosely based on people I know. Of course, I don’t use their names but just habits and little quirks.

 

Do you plan a whole series and write or have a general idea for each series?

I’ve never plotted out a whole series. I have a general idea – theme, location, etc. I start with the first book and…always in the back of my mind I’m thinking about how the story will help set up for the next one so that I have an idea about where the next in line is going.

 

How do you come up with the great titles?

Some are easy. Others are like pulling teeth. Lol.  For example, I came up with the “Haunting Past in Savannah” title before I wrote a single word. Having said that, I did waffle a time or two, thinking I might change it at the last minute which is why I hesitate to give the title of a book until it releases – unless it’s a pre-order.

 

Do you ever get over halfway through writing a book and then not be able to get the ending you want? / Did you ever get surprised by what way your story may be headed then where it did finally bring you a different solution?

I would have to say “no,” although there have been times the ending has taken me completely by surprise, as in I never saw that coming! 😊

 

How many times have you visited Savannah?

Four or five. Four for sure.

 

Is it ever hard to settle on one plot?

Not really. I typically have an idea for the next story in a series when I finish the previous one.

 

How do you decide what the next crime will be that anyone will investigate?

It depends on which character is “in the hotseat.” For example, if I want to feature Tony Garlucci from the Savannah series, then there’s a good chance the crime will involve the family’s pawn shop since he’s the one who runs it.

I try not to repeat the same crime right in a row. If someone dies in one story, the next might be about a robbery or kidnapping. I also don’t think someone needs to die for a mystery to be involved.

 

My question is HOW you keep coming up with all the great story lines? / Are you constantly running story lines ideas through you head lol?

Aww…you are too kind 😊 My mind is always working, even when I’m not sitting in front of the computer. Some of my best inspirations come from everyday life.

 

I wonder how you keep the motivation going to keep these series going?

Well, I’ve often said if I run out of ideas then the series ends. But I view each series as sort of a long running soap opera.  There’s always some sort of crisis/crime committed and I just fit those in as the series progresses.

 

Do you have someone read each book before you send it to your publisher?

Absolutely. I type the draft, edit it twice, hand it over to Mitchell (my husband/partner) who goes through it, searching for plot holes, inconsistencies and glaring errors. (BTW…after 100+ books, he is very good at it. Almost too good. Haha)

He turns it back over with all his changes. I fix those. Sometimes he has to re-read parts of it, depending on how many changes he’s suggested. I do another round of edits and then send it out to my editor and ARC team. (Have I mentioned that they’re the best? They are. I love them and would be lost without them.)

They send their suggestions / edits back and I make the changes. My final step is to listen to the entire story beginning to end to try to catch any sneaky little typos that made it through all of those sets of eyes. It happens.

 

How did you get started/training

 

What best prepared you for writing these books? Did you read vociferously as a child? Did you take any courses in writing?

I love to read. I always have. My mom still loves reading and almost always asks for a book for her birthday or Christmas. I passed that love down to my daughter who has her own little library at home 😊

 

What is the title of the first book you wrote?

I wrote a series of non-fiction travel books. (Which are no longer available because…well, they weren’t very good. Lol)

Waves of Deception” is the first fiction book I ever wrote.

 

How did you get your start in writing?

Short answer: Mitchell, my husband. He insisted I told a good story, bought an online course and made me promise to give writing a try. I did. I wrote a series of non-fiction travel books. (They’ve since been unpublished.)

I moved on to writing fiction and the rest is history.

 

What did you do before being a full-time author? Did you always want to be a writer?

I worked for an international building supply company and moved around a bit, working as support staff for the legal department, environmental department, real estate division and finally (before I left) as a logistics coordinator. The last position was extremely stressful and almost did me in. Leaving the company was the best decision I ever made.

 

What inspired you to become an author?

My husband, Mitchell. I also realized that there weren’t many clean (truly clean) stories out there for readers and I decided I would try my best to fill that void.

 

How long have you been writing? About how long does it take you to complete a book?

Ten years. I wrote my first non-fiction story almost ten years ago. It takes me about six weeks from draft to publishing. I used to be a bit faster, but have become pickier so it takes me a little longer these days.

 

I have often thought about attempting to write a cozy mystery or any mystery, but do not have a clue how to even get started on this. What would you recommend to do to get started?

20BooksTo50k is a Facebook group that has a wealth of helpful information, whether you’re starting out or a seasoned writer. I believe there are even sub-groups for “newbie” writers.

I was part of another online Indie Author group when I got started. They’re no longer around, but I highly recommend the “20books” group.

 

What are the most useful magazines or websites authors tend to subscribe to?

The 20books group on Facebook (see above.) As far as craft, I found Techniques of the Selling Writer, by Dwight V. Swain to be one of the best. It’s dated but there are nuggets of information in there that helped me immensely, to figure out how to tell an engaging story.

 

Do you have a favorite series?

I love them all for different reasons and I would be hard pressed to pick one. If push came to shove, it would be the Garden Girls. They really got me started in my writing career and have a special place in my heart.

 

Characters

 

How do you come up with all the names for the different people?

I have a separate file for names used in all series so that I don’t keep repeating the same ones over and over. I sometimes make names up about things in my life. For example, Carrie Ford from the “Divine Cozy Mystery Series” is named after Mitchell’s truck. LOL.

 

If you were to have lunch one day with any of your book characters. Who would it be?

Elvira, and I’m sure I would be the one who paid for the meal. 😊

 

Do you have a favorite character? I very much like Sharky — that rascal with a good heart and an iron stomach. He must be fun to write.

Elvira. She’s annoying but also a bit of a loose cannon. I’m never quite sure what she’ll do next. Mitchell’s favorite is Sharky. I like him, too. His wheels are always spinning, which is probably why he and Elvira hit it off.

 

When are we going to learn more about Annette’s past? Millie and Cat’s exes have already shown up and caused trouble, helping to round out their characters. Could Annette have someone from her redacted past come and almost blow some of her cover in an attempt for revenge? Kidnapping or blackmail or threats or the like?

I like this idea!!! A lot. Stay tuned…

 

Are any of your characters based on someone you know?

A few. The first that comes to mind is Christi Kravitz from the Lack of Luxury Cozy Mystery Series. She’s my neighbor. For real, but minus the binoculars, at least I don’t think she’s using binoculars to spy on us. lol (Names have been changed, of course.)

 

I’m an author, too, and I have constant character dialogue running in my head. Do you have that, too?

No, but my characters aren’t shy about waking me up in the middle of the night with an idea or a reminder. I keep a notepad and pen in the bathroom cabinet and use it on a regular basis.

 

I love your mysteries and I love passing them on to my granddaughters! My question is: which of your characters is most like you?

I had to ask Mitchell who he thought. We agreed it would be Dot. She’s a bit more introverted and quiet. Another might be Echo Quigley, the new character in the Lack of Luxury Mystery Series. She’s very observant and also a people-watcher.

 

Will the mysterious deaths of Vinnie Garlucci Sr. and George Delmario be solved?

I honestly don’t know. I suppose if the series continues on there’s a good chance Vinnie’s actual cause of death will be revealed and George Delmario’s killer caught.

 

How in the world do you create so many rich characters and stories?? Where does it all come from?

 My very vivid imagination. Real life and people-watching 😊

 

How do you keep up w/all the characters for your books?

Notes and files. Pages and pages of each, separated by series. I also have separate files for recipes used, names used, Bible verses, etc.

 

How did you come up with Millie as a Cruise Director?

At the time I started the Garden Girls and the Millie’s Cruise Ship Mystery Series, most of the cozies featured younger protagonists and I suspected there was a need for more mature characters, ones who had experienced their share of life’s trials and tribulations so I decided to create Gloria & the Gang, closely followed by Gloria’s cousin, Millie. (Mildred/Millie was Mitchell’s grandmother’s name.)

 

I was wondering how old is Millie from the cruise series and Gloria and the Girls from the Garden Series?

They’re all in their 60s.

 

What character is the hardest to keep in the series?

I don’t feel that any are hard to keep in a series, although I’ve almost killed a couple of them off. Mitchell stops me.

 

I am very curious if you actually know anyone like Elvira or Sharkey? Are they someone you know personally or just your fabulous imagination at work?

Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone like Elvira or Sharky. I wish I did. It would be so much fun to try to figure out what makes those two tick.

 

I am from the great state of Michigan, did you grow up here?  How well do you really know the western and upper part of the lower mitten??

I lived in West Michigan for most of my life – a bit north-ish of Grand Rapids and moved down to Florida in 2003. My family still lives up there. If you’re familiar with Montcalm County, that’s where I’m from 😊

I love Michigan and miss so many aspects of it except winter. I don’t miss winter.

 

My question is, are your characters loosely based on friends, family, or foes?

I try not to write about family although Gloria does remind me a bit of my mom. I take bits and pieces of people I know or have met and mix them up with characters I create.

 

Have you ever used the same character in more than one book that wasn’t part of a series?

No. At least, I don’t think so.

 

Have you ever regretted killing off a character? And if so, have you considered how you would bring them back?

No. I rarely kill off a character. Mitchell talks me out of it every time I think about it.

 

How do you come up with names for new characters? I do think the names of the Made in Savannah characters are the most unique 😀

Aren’t they crazy names? Dernice was named after a little ditty in a country music song. Autumn Winter was just a little whimsy. Carlita and Mercedes were named after the vehicle. If I can pick unique names, they’re easier for me to remember when I’m writing.

 

What ever happened to Gary in the first Millie book?

He was an interesting character, wasn’t he? I don’t know. I suppose he left the ship not long after Millie arrived.

 

Will you ever have Mercedes get married and move from her Mom’s apt?

Mercedes and Sam are up next for an adventure in the Savannah series. Carlita will be moving in with Pete after they marry which means Mercedes will have her own apartment.

 

Does Millie marry the captain?

She does. The name of the book is Family, Friends and Foes.

 

Staying Organized

 

Do you need help managing the characters or reviewing your books?

I have a good handle on keeping track of my files for each of my series but thank you for your generous offer. I have a small ARC group…only a handful of ladies and try to keep it that way for my own sanity 😊

 

How do you choose the names of your characters, and not repeat those names in subsequent books unless they are necessary to the story?

Similar to my files for each series, I have a master file for all names used, so that I don’t repeat myself – at least within the same “world” I’ve created.

 

Do you completely finish a book before starting another book in another series?  I often wonder how you keep TRACK of the particular items in each story.  Obviously you are very, very organized.

I keep separate files for each series. I also have master files for names (characters, locations, activities, businesses, you name it.) I also have one for Bible verses used and recipes included. I would be lost without them.

To answer your second question, I do work on more than one book at a time. For example, I drafted “Seeds of Suspicion,” the first in my new Lack of Luxury Series, late last year. I wrote a book in between and then went back to it.

 

Have you found it hard to write Liz’s new series all from her point of view and not slip back into ‘Gloria mode’?

It hasn’t been hard to write from Liz’s POV. Having said that, it’s also easy to slip back into Gloria mode, so I’m trying to be cognizant of keeping them separate.

 

Do you have a “shipboard map” drawn out of Siren of the Seas?  Or do you just keep track of the physical locations in a type of database?  I always appreciate how your details track so well from one book to the next.  I’m a very data-driven type of person, and can easily get sidetracked by thinking “wait, that location is NOT supposed to be next to this location” when I am reading other series! 🙂  I’ve never had that experience with your books and so I was always curious as to how you keep everything straight!

As mentioned above, I keep detailed notes for each series. The Cruise Ship Mystery Series is my trickiest to keep track of…and my most comprehensive. I keep notes on not only itineraries, but also shipboard activities, port activities and, of course, a detailed ship layout with deck plan.

 

Series Specific Questions

 

I absolutely loved the cruising series. Will Millie and the gang be returning anytime soon? I’ve read every book in this series and would love to dive into another one.

I’m finishing up a trilogy (in a new world). After that, we’ll be heading back to Siren of the Seas. A new book should be ready October-ish.

 

Savannah is my favorite city, love the Savannah series and have finally turned my adult daughter into a reader with that series.  What was the motivation for a series set in Savannah?

Mitchell and I visited Savannah some years back and (like you) fell in love with the charming city so I decided to write about it.

 

Will you write another book in the Garden Girls series about Ruth?   I liked all the Garden Girls, but I enjoyed Ruth’s adventures and her research and use of technology.

Isn’t Ruth an interesting character? She’s an integral part of helping solve the mystery in “Seeds of Suspicion,” the first book in my Lack of Luxury series.  (Featuring Liz, Gloria’s sister.)

 

Will Patterson on the cruise ship mysteries ever get a romantic interest?

I hope so! He needs one. haha

 

I just love The Millie Armati and Siren of the Seas mysteries.  Is there a new job on the horizon anytime soon??

Hmmm. Now, that’s an interesting (and timely) question. We shall have to see what happens in the next cruise ship adventure 😊

 

Many of the women in the new Liz Mystery series are getting on in years. Do you plan on having any of them pass on?  I hope not. I love them all.

My hope (and plan) is that this close-knit group of friends are able to stick together until the very last book has been released.

 

Hi Hope!  I love all your books, but especially the Millie’s Cruise Ship ones.  How did you come up with the idea and was the main character, Millie, modeled after someone you know?

 

No. Millie is a 100% a figment of my imagination. Her name is based on my husband, Mitchell’s grandmother “Mildred.”  If I were ever to become one of my characters, she would be at the top of my list!

 

Millie from cruise And Jo from Divine are my favorites. Will Jo and Nash get married? The Divine series seems so different from the others, I just love the grit, compassion, friendship and firmness in the story line. How did you come up with this series?

 

The Divine Series came from what I felt was a calling to write a series about giving those who live on the fringes of society, shunned by the world and desperately in need of a second chance. I’m not sure if Jo and Nash will marry.

 

 

Love garden girls mystery series and also Millie cruise ship series as well. Regarding the garden girls, I have read all books, and also the golden years. Can see you are planning to have 5 books in that series, after that is that the end for the series?

 

Lack of Luxury,” the new series featuring Gloria’s sister Liz, sort of picks up where the Golden Years left off. Although Liz is the “star,” Gloria & the Gang are an integral part of the series, as well 😊

 

 

Siren of the Seas is so delightful, however with that many murders I can see why the leaders and managers of the cruise line are starting to raise eye brows and pursue cleaning up the image brand and disband current team on Siren of the Seas. Have I got that part correct? How do you decide when it is time to make these hard transitions and how do you handle the your readers responses to these major shifts.

I’m afraid I would have a mini mutiny if I stopped writing about the adventures/mysteries on board Siren of the Seas. Having said that, I think it’s realistic to believe there would be repercussions if so many crimes actually occurred on board the ship. It’s a good thing Siren of the Seas, Millie and the other characters only exist in my mind 😉

 

Will Millie ever be going to cruise the Northeastern US?

It’s possible. There are so many places Millie would love to explore!

 

Will Annette from the cruise ship series ever find a husband? Gigi wants to know is Sharky’s cat will ever sniff out a big drug bust?

I’m not sure if Annette will ever find the perfect mate. To answer your second question, I think there’s a good chance Fin, Sharky’s cat, will someday become involved in a drug bust. He has an amazing “sniffer.”

 

Series Crossover Books

 

I’d like to know if there will be more Millie and Gloria mash ups.

More than likely, the cousins will catch up again. The first crossover series book I wrote was, “Cruise Control,” book 6 in Millie’s Cruise Ship Mystery series.  This was where Millie’s cousin, Gloria and the Garden Girls joined Millie and crew onboard the Siren of the Seas.

Crossovers are tricky, trying to get characters from two different series into the same setting without creating “character overload” and confusing readers who don’t follow both series.

I had so much fun writing “Cruising Family Style” with the Garlucci family joining Millie on board Siren of the Seas but it did take me a bit more effort to iron out all of the details.

 

Will you write another crossover novel between the cruise ship mysteries and the Savannah series?  I really loved that you hooked up Elvira and Sharky and would love to read more between those two funny characters.

It’s quite possible that the crew on board Siren of the Seas meets up with the Savannah gang again 😊

 

Are there any crossovers that you’ve really wanted to try, but just couldn’t make a cohesive reason for them to interact?

No. I think any combination is possible, although crossovers are tricky which is why I don’t write them very often.

 

Are you planning to write anymore Sweet Southern Sleuths books?

No. I love Lacy, Loretta and Uncle Ichabod, but found cozy readers prefer the longer stories so I stopped writing about them.

 

Have you ever thought about writing a story with the Garlucci Family and the Garden Girls taking a cruise together?  Millie and the crew would have their hands full.

That would be exciting, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, it would be too many characters to try to fit into one story. It would make my head spin 😊

 

When is Millie going to visit Savannah?

My plan is for Millie and the captain to travel north to Michigan and stop in Savannah along the way. I’m not quite sure when that will happen.

 

Upcoming Books / Series Continuation

 

How many books have you written in the Millie/cruise ship series? I love cruising so really enjoyed those books. So far have only read the first 10 books.

There are 23. There’s also a crossover from my Made in Savannah Series (Cruising Family Style.)

 

Love Millie and the cruise ship mysteries. Are there more to come?

Yes. The next should be out October-ish.

 

I really enjoyed your Divine Mystery series. Have you ended that series? If not, can you please let me know when the next book is available? I like the fact that you do a minimum of recap in your writing.

Although I haven’t ended the Divine Series, I’m not sure when I’ll start working on the next book. Perhaps later this year or early next year.

 

Are you planning on writing more Garden Girls books in The Golden Years series?

The Garden Girls/Golden Years Series have ended. The “girls” are still around and very much a part of my new “Lack of Luxury” Series.

 

Why did you decide to continue the garden girls in your new series about her sister?? I was so happy to see them in the first book in this new series!!!

Because I got so many emails from readers asking me to continue writing about them. And I missed them.

 

How many books will there be in the Lack of Luxury Cozy Mystery Series?

I haven’t decided. It could be only a handful or as many as the original Garden Girls. I’m letting Liz decide how many crises she wants to be involved in 😉

 

Hope, do you miss Gloria & her friends as much as we do? She & Millie are my favorite characters!

They’re very much a part of the Lack of Luxury Series, including the first book, Seeds of Suspicion. Liz (Gloria’s sister) needs all the help she can get!

 

Are you planning a new series?

“Lack of Luxury” is my newest series and the first book recently released. I do have a three book trilogy coming out soon…new characters, new setting, new crises.

 

Locations

 

I always say authors are organizational geniuses! Where would you like to visit in one of your books? Either a port you’ve never been to or a favorite place to revisit.

Alaska is on my bucket list. Mitchell and I are also “tentatively” planning a trip to Hawaii. I’ve been on a Hawaiian islands cruise, but it’s been a few years! I also loved the British Isles and would go there again. The history is amazing and it was hard (exhausting) to try to visit all of the fascinating places. (One of my favorites was Blarney Castle.)

 

How did you decide on which locations you use for the different series? Does Savannah Georgia and Kansas and Michigan have special meanings to you?

I grew up in West Michigan so it holds a special place in my heart. I love cruising so that was super easy to pick as a setting. Savannah is such a wonderful, historic city – and only a short drive from where I live. I’ve never stepped foot in Kansas, but it is on my to-go-to list.

 

Just wondering if you have plans to have Millie visit the Island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras?  Many cruise ships stop there, and I think it would make a good setting.

I’ve actually been there a few times (and most recently a couple of years back.) I’m sure Siren of the Seas will wander over that way one of these days.

 

Is Belhaven based on a real Michigan town? If so which one? I want to know if this Born Michigander has ever been there.

Belhaven is a fictitious town in Montcalm County (where I grew up.) It’s also the name of a small senior citizens community where my grandmother lived.

 

I know you have been on many cruises. Since your next book is in the Savannah series – how many times have you visited Savannah and what is your favorite restaurant and attraction.

We’ve visited Savannah 4 or 5 times. The segway tour of Bonaventure cemetery was fun and we also enjoy the walking tours and learning about the city’s history. I’m not sure if I have a favorite restaurant. The Pirates’ House is (in my opinion) a must-visit. If you’re lucky, their resident pirate-ess will be on hand to give you a tour and explain some of the history.

 

Influences/Inspiration

 

Who’s your favorite movie star?

I don’t know if they’re my favorites, but I like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. I prefer clean comedies. Unfortunately, those are very few and far between these days.

 

Where does your inspiration come from? Childhood Nancy Drew books? A love for playing Sherlock Holmes as a child? Real life?

Real life. People watching. My (very) vivid imagination would be the top three.

 

How do your own pets inspire the activities of animals in your books?

Mitchell and I don’t have any “fur family” members at this time. We travel quite a bit and have decided when we’re ready to stay home, we’re going to adopt two cats and maybe a “Scout-size” dog.

 

Are locations in your books always real places?

Some are real including Savannah, almost all of the cruise ports are actual places. Divine, Kansas, Belhaven, Michigan and Misery, Mississippi exists only in my mind.

 

My question to you, and I apologize if you’ve heard this one already, why write about older protagonists? I don’t mind, not one bit, I was just curious as to why your heroines are older than the average heroine written about. I enjoy reading them, very much so and I enjoy that they’re older…less of the youngun “drama”, you know?

Back when I started the Garden Girl’s Series, most cozies were about pretty, young protagonists with hot, hunky cops. I thought us older gals weren’t getting enough attention so I created “Gloria & the Gang.” I never regretted it and love writing about older characters.

 

When did you know you wanted to be a writer, and who are some of the people that you look up to?

Honestly, I never planned on becoming a writer. I have always loved reading and grew up with my nose stuck in a book. Mitchell (my husband) is the one who kept insisting I told a good story and convinced me to “give it a go.”

I love Max Lucado. He’s such an eloquent, thought-provoking writer.

 

Do you have any one place that inspires you more than others?

Sitting out on my back patio and listening to the pool’s waterfall is soothing. Unfortunately, summers are too hot so I sit inside and gaze out the sliders instead.

 

How do you choose the recipes to include in your books?

I consult with the gourmet of the house – Mitchell. Seriously though, I try to mix it up. One book might have a dessert, the next an entrée, and throw in a breakfast dish for another. I kitchen-test every recipe before putting them in my books.

 

My question to you is where do you get all your recipes for the books?

Some recipes have been handed down, some I find online and then tweak them to make them my own and others have been in my recipe box for years so I sift through it every once in a while to find a new one.

 

Miscellaneous

 

How many people do you have helping with your books?

Pre-publishing, I have eight total.

 

What are your favorite tropes to read/write?

I read cozies and mainly write cozies, although I have written a few more suspenseful mysteries, as well. I would love to try my hand at rom-com (romantic comedy).

 

I’ve only read the first Garden Girls Mystery, do all of your book contain a faith element?

All but the Made in Savannah Series. It’s very clean, but there is no faith element.

 

I know it probably varies, but, in general, how long does it usually take you to write a book?

On average, about six weeks, from draft to publication.

 

How do you decide on cover art?

I have a story in mind and try to incorporate elements of it. For example, “Haunting Past in Savannah” includes pumpkins and bats, which are also on the cover.

 

My question is what made you realize you could breathe life into (your characters) and make them become almost friends to your readers so each continuing story or stories would flow together?

I’ve developed an emotional attachment to each of them. I care what happens. They become my friends, too, so it’s easy (at least for me) to write their stories, help them solves crimes and stay out of jail!

 

Do you ever get writers block and just want to give up on it all?

Writer’s block is real and can be crippling. I’ve never wanted to quit writing but have set stories aside if I’m struggling. I have several series in a “future” file.

 

Hi Hope, How many books have you written?

102, including three that haven’t released yet and a few that I unpublished. (I also have a handful that are languishing in my “future” file.)  You can get a complete list of my books by series on my website here.

 

I read several of your books that were Christian-based. With some of the books that I’ve looked at with the prospect of ordering some, I am curious if your books are still Christian based?

The only series that is not faith-based is my Made in Savannah Series, although it is squeaky clean.

 

Would you say you love reading mysteries more or writing them?

Writing them. It allows me to control (to some degree) the outcome. 😊

 

Of all the books you’ve written, which was the most fun to write?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one. If recently, I would have to say Cruising Family Style.

 

Of all the books you’ve written, which was the most challenging to write?

Also Cruising Family Style. Crossovers are tricky to write.

 

Of all the characters you’ve created which one is your secret favorite?

Elvira from my Made in Savannah series. She’s a loose cannon. I’m never sure what she’ll do next.

 

Of all the different locales you’ve written about, which is your favorite?

I love the cruise ports. I also love cruising. The British Isles were pretty awesome and I would probably do that one again, only because there was so much to see and do…and write about.

Why can’t I find your books in my local library?

I believe it’s possible to contact your local library and request books they don’t have.

 

Is there a list of all the books you have written?

Yes! Here’s a link to my books by series: https://www.hopecallaghan.com/list-of-books-by-author-hope-callaghan/

 

How many hours do you spend writing per week?

It all depends on where I’m at in the process. If I’m drafting and the story is moving right along, I might spend 6-8 hours writing each day. If I spend a solid eight hours, I can draft about 20% of a story. On average, it’s more like 4-5 hours per day depending on how complex or how much research needs to be done.

I also work every day. If not writing, I’m editing, answering emails, doing research, posting on social media.

 

Are you planning to release the audio version of the Garden Girls series?

It could happen – down the road. We’re in the process of catching up on the Millie / Cruise Ship Series’ audio now.

 

My question is when cruising what is your drink of choice?

I’m a huge coffee drinker. I love to start my day by ordering breakfast / room service and taking it out onto the balcony. I also love iced tea (unsweetened for this northerner…lol)

 

Hope, when you are writing, what does your setting look like…office, porch, etc. and how long do you write at a time (4 hrs., etc).

If it’s not too hot, I like sitting on the back patio overlooking our wooded backyard and the pool, but most days I’m on the sofa with everything turned off. I have trouble concentrating with background noise.

 

What cruise line might I see you on one day  ?

Celebrity – any of them – would be my line of choice, although I would also cruise Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess or Carnival again!

 

Do you write print books?

Almost all my books are available in print (except for the Sweet Southern Sleuths because of their length.)

 

Hi Hope, I know you live in Florida and I live in SE GA just above Jacksonville – we are in the same line of the hurricanes that come around each year – how often have you had to evacuate?

I haven’t yet, although we seriously thought about it when Dorian decimated the Bahamas in 2019. That storm was a monster and we seriously thought about packing up and heading north.

Hurricane timing and the waiting/watching game is tricky. If you wait too long, it’s too late. The highways are a parking lot, you risk getting stuck in the storm while on the road. Hotels are expensive and rooms impossible to find. Gas stations easily run out. I’m sure you know all of that, though 😊

I don’t think we’ll evacuate in the future – unless it looks like the State of Florida will get taken out.

Thank you for taking the time to write, and for asking such great questions!  I truly believe I have the greatest readers in the world!  – Hope Callaghan

 

Top Hope Callaghan Fans Questions and Answers 2022

 

 

 

 

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