Emily Baird has contributed unforgettable stories to several Elm Books anthologies, including Death on a Cold Night, Bad Girls for Christmas, and now Undeath and the Detective. Let’s get to know her better!
1. In one sentence, sum up your story in Undeath and the Detective.
When the a significant number of beautiful celebrities are among the walking dead, it’s important to beef up your high-end mall security.
2. List 5 random facts about yourself.
1. I take a really, really long time getting into pools.
2. I spent a lot of time in grad school, but it was more like an immersive tourist package than a career building experience.
3. I take my tea with milk and three sugars.
4. I was a huge fan of the Alfred Hitchcock Three Investigators series. Ghost to ghost hook-up anyone?
5. I have a fondness for table linens.
3. What in particular inspired you to write this story?
I read way too many Hollywood gossip blogs. Also, I have a habit of putting other people’s dogs into my stories. Skippy may or may not bear a striking resemblance to a particular editor’s German Shepherd.
4. What do you most like to write? Is it the same or different from what you like to read?
I’m still learning what I like to write. So far I’ve learned that I like to challenge myself by tackling genres out of my regular wheelhouse. I’ve also realized that short stories provide an excellent way to explore those challenges without tying up my keyboard for months on end. One thing my writing and my reading have in common is a strong preference for happy endings.
5. Is this your first detective story? Your first supernatural story?
I thought to myself at first that it was. Then I remembered the story I wrote for Elm Books Death on a Cold Night. It may not have strictly been a detective story since the detectives were kids trying to learn about their elderly neighbor, but there was detecting involved. And while I hadn’t intended for there to be any supernatural aspects involved, a certain KIA soldier had other plans for the ending of the story.
6. Do you celebrate Halloween? If so, how?
I buy pumpkins. Lots and lots of pumpkins. I have a really hard time walking by seasonal squash without putting a few in my cart.
7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, drink tea, catch up on TV shows, play tons and tons of word games. Actually, I do a lot of that when writing as well.
8. Are there any particular authors or artists who inspire you?
Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Catherine Murdock, Kristin Higgins, Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters, Jennifer Crusie, Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer at the moment.
9. Are you working on anything new? Tell us about it!
I’ve got a gothic send-up/romance in the works. Think werewolves, vampires and the literary-minded girls who can’t stand them and won’t let themselves be locked in an attic.
10. Promote your work! What is your favorite thing you’ve written, and where can readers find it?
One of my favorite stories, Death Benefits, was published in Death on a Cold Night, coincidentally also edited by Jess Faraday! And if you’re interested in a little detective work of your own and love a steamy romance, take a look at Elm Books Christmas is for Bad Girls. I’ve got a story in there under a pseudonym. See if you can figure out which one!