Growing up in a military family, Summer Prescott enjoyed the amazing experience of having lived all over the world – experiencing other cultures, customs and cuisines from an early age.
Now that she has settled into a peaceful and pleasant adulthood in the Midwest, her loves in life are simple – a good book, some fine wine, and furry friends underfoot. She finds that Cozy Mystery readers are some of the nicest folks you’d ever want to meet, and is thrilled to have befriended many of them as she journeys through this wonderful mystery called life.
How did you get started writing fiction?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I think my first attempt was a poem in Kindergarten. I’m an avid reader, and though I started writing professionally by freelancing and doing articles on subjects ranging from self-help to Mediterranean cooking, I moved quite naturally into writing fiction when the time was right.
As I look through your website, I’m astonished by how prolific you are. How many books have you had published and in how many series?
Honestly, I’ve lost count at this point. I’ve published over 80 books, at least six series, and a handful of stand-alone books.
Where do you get inspiration for the material in your books, especially since you have so many books to your credit?
Everywhere. I’m always on the lookout for interesting people and situations that will spark an idea. I watch the news, and keep my eyes open when in public. I vividly remember taking a lovely ride through the country a few months ago. A pickup truck pulled in front of me, and it had several plastic barrels in the back. Of course my mystery writer’s mind went, “I wonder if he has bodies in there…” and a story was born.
Tell me about your writing process. How do you set about preparing to write and then actually writing your books?
My process varies. Some writers always write an outline, others never do. I go with the flow. Sometimes I have a completely fleshed out idea in my mind and only have to jot down a couple of cursory notes to keep me focused. Other times, usually when the mystery is more involved, or if there is a ton of technical detail, I’ll actually outline individual chapters. I tend to write in long spurts, rather than pacing myself, because I love “watching” the story unfold. I have snacks and (usually caffeinated) beverages on hand, so can minimize my distractions. I often have the news on in the background,
You call yourself a Dog Mom on your blog. As a dog lover myself, I want to know about your fur babies.
I’ve had a life richly blessed by amazing fur babies. My first dog as an adult was a golden retriever named Sarah. She’s the inspiration for Missy’s (the main character in my Cupcakes in Paradise series), dog, Toffee. My next baby, who crossed the rainbow bridge just over three years ago, was a gentle giant Leonberger named Zeus, who was the inspiration for the character Izzy’s dog in Cupcakes in Paradise. My new baby, Elvis, is a nine month old Standard Poodle. He’s a brindle boy, which means that he looks like he has curly tiger stripes. He’s sweet and smart and always by my side when I’m writing.
You really seem to like food, a topic you fit into almost all your books. Where does your interest in food stem from? Do you like to cook as well as write about cooking? What do you like to cook?
I was ecstatic when I found out that there was a category of mysteries for people who love food!! Not all of my books feature food, but a majority of them do. I’m a foodie from way back, and I don’t think there’s anything that I won’t try. I love all kinds of food, and when I have time, I love to create in the kitchen. When I travel to other countries, I look for local restaurants in order to taste authentic cuisines.
You grew up as a military kid, traveling around the world and being exposed to many cultures. Did your experience living in multiple countries have an effect on your writing?
I think my upbringing definitely helped to condition me to notice things. I’m an avid people watcher and love to imagine what’s going on in the lives of those around me, so in that sense, I think I’m definitely pre-disposed toward concocting stories. Also, being exposed to other cultures drives the point home that people are multi-faceted, and multi-dimensional people are more interesting to read about, rather than one-dimensional stereotypes.
A lot of authors self- publish, but you publish you not only for yourself but for others. How did you come to do that? How many do you publish?
I’ve lost count at this point, but I’m fortunate to be able to work with some amazing authors who are great people in addition to being talented writers. In the course of publishing my own work, I did a ton of research in marketing, promotion and how to go about the process of publishing efficiently and effectively. The authors with whom I work generally don’t want to be bothered with the mechanics of publishing. They just want to write, so they’re happy to turn that responsibility over to my team. SPBP writers are all in the top 1% of the indie publishing industry. They work hard and we work hard for them, it’s a happy combination. The SPBP staff and authors are like family, and I couldn’t ask for a better group.
What books do you consider as having influenced your writing career? What do you enjoy reading now?
I’m a voracious reader, and I grew up reading Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden and The Bobbsey Twins, as well as anything else I could get my hands on. I read everything that Stephen King wrote back in the 80’s, and I’d like to think that his influence shows[ up in some small part in my Thriller writing. I enjoy the classics and have devoured everything written by the sisters Bronte.
Now – I read a ton of true crime stories, profiles on serial killers, and whatever looks good in the airport shops. My reading list would probably cause any sane person to worry about me, hahahahaha!