I was able to make it down to The Poisoned Pen Central to meet and hear Earlene Fowler today at lunchtime. She started everything out on a light note by passing around a scrapbook with pictures of her Welsh Corgi, Boo.
Barbara Peters, owner of The Poisoned Pen, was the wonderful moderator for a fun event with just eight of us in attendance. They started out by discussing Earlene's Benni Harper mystery series. That series, set in San Celina, CA, is actually based on San Luis Obispo. In the first book, Fool's Puzzle, Benni is a recent widow. Earlene said she was once told to write what you fear the most. Since she had known her husband since they were fifteen, married at nineteen, and they've been married for thirty-three years, what she fears the most is life without him. In one of the books, she has Benni say she knew her husband before he could shave. Earlene said that's about her husband.
Ruby McGavin, in Fowler's first standalone, The Saddlemaker's Wife, is also a recent widow. As a waitress and cook at thirty-five, she had given up on love when she met her husband. Six months later she was widowed and discovered he had lied about his life and his family. When she went to Cardinal, CA (based on Bishop), she discovered that his family had secrets they didn't want to share. Earlene said the character of Ruby, a loner, is based much more on her than the character of Benni.
It's always enjoyable and enlightening to hear an author talk about her books and her life. Worthwhile trip downtown!