Rhonda lives in Texan with her family and lots of animals, even wildlife! She is a write of young adult cozy mystery, paranormal/fantasy and romance. She has also written apocalyptic/dystopian. She has also been involved with several anthologies. Be sure to stop by her website and subscribe to her newsletter and pick up a free short story. You can follow Rhonda on BookBub, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
Now, let’s ask Rhonda a few questions…
What type of witch do you write (think Bewitch, Sabrina, Charmed, Hocus Pocus)?
The witches in my Witches of Whispering Pines series are all good witches. Mostly. Grandma Ruby and one of the teen witches tend to cause some mischief with their magic at times which can lead to some interesting situations.
Tell us what time frame your stories are in and what setting or world?
This current series is set in the modern world in a small town in East Texas. Witches and other supernaturals live amongst the human population who aren’t aware of their existence.
Who is your protagonist?
Charley Cooper is a sixteen-year-old who has a close-knit family, friends, and works on the school newspaper. As many teen girls do, she has some angst when it comes to boys in general but especially toward the boy she’s been crushing on who just happens to be one of her best friends. And while it keeps her family and friends’ anxiety levels high, she’s always loved a good mystery and finds it hard not to jump into the middle of the action.
Has she/he always known they were a witch? How did they discover their power?
Most witches in her family have their powers by thirteen, but three years later, Charley had given up on ever getting hers. She chalked it up to her dad being human.
But magic pours out of her one day when she and loved ones are attacked while walking through the forest. Seeing her sister and best friend in danger unleashes a tidal wave of power that is a surprise to even her family.
What sets your mysteries apart from other paranormal cozies?
There aren’t many young adult paracozies out there and I thought there should be more. 😄 As a young adult author I like to show my characters overcoming adversity and finding out who they are and what they stand for. Of course, in this series I like doing it in a fun way and with quirky characters.
How much research do you do to create your story, and how much do you include in your books? Or your story pure fantasy?
It depends on the series. For Witches of Whispering Pines, I lived in East Texas for a while so I didn’t need to do a lot of research for the area. I did look up a little about the trees and flora for the Piney Woods and I sprinkle it in where it’s needed. Mostly though I make it up as I go along as Whispering Pines is fictional town.
Do you feel the crimes committed in paranormal cozy are very different from a contemporary cozy?
It depends. Some are crimes you’d find in the human world. While others can have a supernatural origin. I think the main difference is how the crimes are solved in paranormal cozy mysteries. A witch can use her unique powers, and a familiar if she’s lucky, to help her out if needed. Plus, there are the other supernatural creatures that may lend a helping hand at times.
Writing Witchy Cozy Mysteries is fun and I love the light-heartedness of the genre. I enjoy writing about all the elements of small towns and the people who live there. And the quirky characters. I’ve lived in small towns most of my life, so I’m well-versed in the quirkiness. 🤣Rhonda Hopkins