Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Guest Blogger Kylie Logan

Today our guest blogger is Kylie Logan, author of the new Button Box Mysteries. Welcome, Kylie! Tell us about your hobby and your new mystery series.

Killer hobbies, eh?

When asked by my buddy Linda O. Johnston to guest today, it was the first thing I asked myself.

Killer hobby? Which one should I talk about?

There are times my knitting pretty much nearly kills me. Like a couple weeks ago when I decided on the morning of my daughter’s birthday to knit her an earwarmer headband (complete with black and white skeleton heads) so she could wear it when she coaches her cross country team, the Rocky River (Ohio) Pirates. Actually finished it by cake and candle time that night, and yes, it was a killer. Could barely move my right arm the next day!

There are times my attempts at spinning are definitely killers, too. Witness my husband’s question, "Why are you sitting there making dirty string?"
But when it comes right down to it, I guess it’s my other hobby that relates to my writing that has really turned into a killer.
The hobby?


I know what you’re thinking. Buttons are so commonplace. So ordinary. They’re everywhere, and because they are, they’re not something we pay a lot of attention to. But think about it . . . a few hundred years ago, buttons were a revelation. Before that time, buttons were used as a clothing adornment. That is, until some clever person thought of the button hole to go with them. That ingenious invention changed the way clothes were made and worn.

Since then, the history of buttons has also been the history of society. Want to know how a person lived? Take a look at her buttons! From them, you’ll learn social class, the way a person took care of her clothing, even something about her love life. Back in the nineteenth century, young woman wore pictures of their beaus on their coat buttons!

To me, this is all fascinating. It becomes even more so when you take a look at antique buttons. They come in all shapes and sizes and materials and the workmanship on many of them is breathtaking. Miniature paintings, enamel, jewels. Buttons truly are tiny pieces of art.

It was my interest in buttons that made me decide to write the Button Box mysteries, and the first of those, "Button Holed" was published by Berkley Prime Crime in September. In it, readers meet Josie Giancola, proprietor of a brownstone button shop in Chicago who is enlisted to help in a murder investigation when an actress is killed in her shop and a button is found under the body–one that didn’t come from Josie’s collection.

I’ve had a great time doing research for the series, including sitting in on a judging panel at a button competition (yes, there are such things) and visiting button museums. Buttons are small, easy to store, portable and many are inexpensive. In fact, they provide the perfect hobby.

And for Josie, the perfect excuse to get involved in murder!

Kylie Logan’s next book, "Hot Button," will be published in June. As Casey Daniels, she also writes the Pepper Martin mysteries. The eighth book in that series, "Wild, Wild Death," will be published in January.


Betty Hechtman said...

Welcome Kylie! I had a long conversation with a button seller at a knit and crochet show. Who knew there was so much intrigue with buttons.

Kylie said...

I knit and crochet, too, Betty, so I'm always on the lookout, both for collectible buttons and for buttons I can use on the garments I make. Found some great handmade pottery buttons at a shop in Taos last fall. Still don't know what they'll go on. I'm waiting for the perfect project to present itself!

Kylie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dru said...

My mom collected buttons and I remember going through her tin to find a match and I never could.

I read your book and I can't wait to read Hot Button in June.

Terri Thayer said...

Welcome Kylie!
Buttons are grand. One of my first jobs in California was working for the office of a quilt shop. Our offices were in back of the button store! One of the most popular things was a giant bucket of buttons with a scoop. Kids would play while their moms shopped.

My niece (who is 28) was just reminiscing about good times spent with my buttons when she was a wee one.

Good luck with the series.

Kylie said...

Isn't it interesting that we all have button memories? I got a few buttons from my grandmother and hot glued them to a small wall shelf. It hangs here in my office. I'm sure a true collector (like Josie!) would consider it a sacrilege, but I don't think there are any valuable buttons there!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Just picked up a copy of Button Holed at Mysteries to Die For in Thousand Oaks, CA! Thanks for blogging with us, Kylie.

Linda Gordon Hengerer said...

I love pretty, decorative buttons! Always nice to find out you're not the only one with a curious interest.