The following is an interview with author and psychotherapist Harper Kincaid regarding the recent release of the mystery novel, A Midsummer Night’s Scheme, through Crooked Lane Books. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Kincaid about the creative process of and inspiration for bringing this book to life, what she hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of A Midsummer Night’s Scheme! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Harper Kincaid: Well, if you want brutal honesty, the whole series is based on various revenge fantasies, with this one being the lotharios in town being the targets. I promise no ex-boyfriends were harmed in the telling of this story.
BD: How would you describe your creative process in crafting this mystery? It’s always thrilling to follow your mystery stories as the reader, but I would imagine that crafting the narrative and staying 3 steps ahead of your reader is quite the challenge!
HK: It’s the strategic thinking that makes it enjoyable for me. Some readers like to be surprised by who is the killer and others prefer to be able to figure it out before the sleuths do. With any mystery story, I start from the ending and work my way backwards, plotting out the breadcrumbs and red herrings. That said, beyond plotting the mystery, I allow the characters to unveil what’s happening with them along the way.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Quinn’s story will connect with and impact readers?
HK: Honestly, Quinn lives a very safe life, beyond searching for killers. It’s her co-narrator – her cousin, Sister Daria – that’s the juicy character who’s going through her growth arc. Sister Daria has convinced herself she wants to live the quiet life of a nun – she’s about to take her final vows in a year – but over the course of this book, she’s realizing there’s a big disconnect between who she thinks she should be, to be happy, versus reality. All the best characters have a fair degree of cognitive dissonance.
As far as how these characters impact the readers, well, both characters are younger. Perhaps they’ll model for millennials and Gen Z that people are complicated and nuanced, constantly evolving and being messy along the way. Consciousness is a process.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novel into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
HK: Absolutely. If this series resonates with readers, I would love to offer them more, across mediums. If you want more of this series, readers need to let Crooked Lane know. They love hearing from readers – email them at inquiries (at) crookedlanebooks (dot) com and say you want more of Quinn, Daria, and the quirkiness of Vienna, Virginia.
BD: What makes Crooked Lane Books the perfect home for this story?
HK: Crooked Lane is a great place for a writer to grow, because they have a stellar editorial and publicity team. They run like a boutique press, but with the distribution power of a big house.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
HK: I do. I have a TV series proposal I’m working on – very far from the light capers of cozy mystery, though. It’s a mafia story – based on actual events. I was a historian years ago, so this is especially compelling for me.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about A Midsummer Night’s Scheme and your other work?
HK: They should stalk me through my website and sign up for my newsletter. Visit www.HarperKincaid.com. My newsletter is where I share ALL the tea!