We sat down with Diane A.S. Stuckart, author of Fool's Moon: A Tarot Cats Mystery – one of our Editor-In-Chief's top Fall 2018 picks for Connie's Book Club – to discuss all of our favourite things: mystery, magic, and, of course, cats.


Q: What was your inspiration for the tarot shop and for the cats?

A: I’ve been interested in Tarot since I was a teenager—so let’s say for a very long time. And, of course, I’ve have been a cat lover for even longer. When my most recent cozy mystery series, The Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries, ended, I was determined to give my loyal readers more cats. I’d recently paired up with a Tarot-card reading friend of mine for workshop on writing and Tarot. And, I’d also adopted a black cat who was the sister of a black kitty boy we’d had for a year. They say, “Write what you know”, so I decided Tarot and cats would be the perfect pairing for a mystery.


Q: Do you have your own menagerie?

A: Of course! My husband and I have Butch and Sundance, our senior orange tabby boys, as well as Brandon Bobtail and Ophelia, our black kitties who are the inspiration for the fictional Brandon and Ophelia. Not to mention two Italian Greyhounds, Ranger and Rylee. Oh, and we’re currently up to five honeybee hives.


Q: You write with such charm while spinning a tale that makes it very, very hard to put this book down. We tore through it. Can you talk a bit about your writing process and what you try to achieve with your novels?

A: I want my readers to laugh, and I want them to cry…but in the right spots! As a cozy mystery writer, I focus more on the characters, human and feline (and canine, and bird, and fish, and…). Of course, we’ll always have a murder, but it will take place offstage, as will most of the police work. What I try to show my readers is how my characters react to this tragedy, and how they band together to find a resolution. While I hope all my books are entertaining reads, I’m always careful not to trivialize death. As for my actual process, since I also have a full-time day job along with lots of other obligations, most of my writing happens on lunch hours and at night. Depending on my contracts, I write anywhere from one to two books a year.


Q: Any advice for would-be novelists?

A: If it’s easy, you’re not doing it right! That is, if you are trying to become professionally published. If you’re simply writing for yourself, then it should be lots of fun. But if you are trying for a serious writing career, know that you might not sell the first book you write…or even the fifth one. Novel writing is a craft that must be honed. Read a lot, go to writing conferences, join a critique group, submit to contests. But, most of all, stay planted in the chair, fingers on keyboard, and write!


Buy Fool's Moon on Amazon or visit the author website.