C. L. Bauer Interview Published on: 05, Feb 2020

Who was the most influential person to you growing up? Did you ever dream of becoming a writer?

I thought the most influential person in my life was my mom. She loved reading and the arts, but she also loved hockey and football. Now, as I get older, it seems my father had quite a bit of influence. His demand for perfection, and his work ethic really affected me in many ways. I always loved the arts, but in high school, writing became something I loved doing. I began as a sports reporter while still in high school.

You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

I would probably be a new shade of purple, one that was a little antique, but cool like a painted sky in the morning.

What inspired you to start writing after a career in journalism?

Journalism offered me the opportunity to go into public relations and marketing. I could see that newspapers were beginning to lose their power and their readership. I was a creative director, and through a series of events, I began to run our family’s wedding flower business. I still wrote on the side, in my diary, short stories, jotted down ideas and plots. Finally, I decided I had to put aside the fear and write for me. Amazingly, a publisher liked my story, and here I am.

How do the actual events from your years in the business inspire your character's wedding stories?

In the first two books of The Lily List Mysteries, the wedding stories are all based on actual events! I acquired plenty of material from our wonderful clients. In addition, the two mysteries in the first two books, are based on true crimes. You meet a lot of wonderful characters while running your own business. Also, it is great to inform the readers about how small businesses survive.

Which is your favorite out of the many great Kansas City restaurants?

In Kansas City, we are blessed with so many great restaurants. I do love Mexican, but you can always bribe me to eat out at Trezo Mare (in the northern part of Kanas City), RC’s (in southern Kansas City), and for barbecue, Jack Stack’s in Overland Park, Kansas. Trezo has an eclectic menu featuring the best fish tacos, RC’s has the best chicken fried chicken, and Jack Stack’s, well I personally love the French fried mushrooms!

What are some under-represented themes or people you feature in your books and why do you think it is important?

Under-represented? Hmm, I think I like to concentrate on characters who may be overlooked, like Lily. Lily just puts her head down and does her job day after day. She thinks she has missed her opportunity for love and for adventure. She is even overlooked by the man she is falling in love with, but she is unforgettable. She just doesn’t realize it. I think it’s important to show many women that you don’t have to be perfect, or that cheerleader to get the handsome guy. It is also important for women to know that the perfect guy may not be that perfect!

How did you begin writing the third book in the Lily List Mysteries series, "The Tulip Terror"?

The Tulip Terror began in a totally different manner. The first two books were outlined. The Tulip Terror actually began as a novella featuring just one part of the book it became. I love Paris, France so I wanted to share with my readers that love. I’ve always wanted to walk in the snow on the streets of Paris. I haven’t done it yet, but Lily was granted that chance. She does quite a few things I haven’t, yet!

How much did you research to develop a good representation of Kansas City in "The Poppy Drop"?

I really didn’t need to research Kansas City, Missouri for The Poppy Drop. It is my home city. It’s where my family is, and where I grew up. I leave the city, and I come back. I love it when readers want to know if they have guessed correctly about the location of the flower shop, or if I was writing about a certain hotel or person. We should do a Lily scavenger hunt in Kansas City!

Who inspired the character of florist Lily Schmidt in "The Hibiscus Heist"?

Everyone, especially my family, believes Lily was inspired by me! She does seem to have some components of my personality, well she is a lot like me, but she is the complete package. She pulls it all together, and I’m not sure I do that all the time. Her humor is perhaps what I would like to say, or what I’ve muttered. Her inner thoughts are really based on what I’ve thought over the years in certain situations.

Who is your favorite character among Lily, Abby, and Dev?

I hate to pick who is my favorite. Abby is a joy, Lily is a wonder, and Dev, well, fine, Dev is my favorite. He is based on a few men I have met over the years. You pretty much know what you get with Abby, Lily has a few layers to uncover, but Dev is multi-layered. He has his secrets, and his dreams. It will be interesting to see how he develops through the series. Mr. Perfect isn’t always so perfect.

What do you love the most about Walt Disney World?

We are a Disney family. One of our relatives works for the Mouse! But way before, when I was in grade school, my mom pulled it all together so we could go to Disney World for the first time. Now that my parents and a sister are no longer with us, the World offers me the comfort of some priceless memories. Every time I entered Main Street, I remember my mom shopping in the candy store. I remember my dad and his love of Cinderella (I swear he stalked the princess). Now, with all the kiddos who have been added in our family, so many good times have happened at EPCOT, The Studios, The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. They will all tell you, my favorite part of Walt Disney World (except for the orange slushie at France in EPCOT) is the fireworks over the castle. I get choked up every single time.

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d give up fear. I’d tell me to stop worrying about what people think, or if they will allow you to be part of their group. People come and go all your life. Hopefully, you pull away only the good from each relationship. But stop being afraid.

Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

That’s hard one. I would tell someone beginning, to just do it. Keep it up. Pray a lot. You will find yourself in that writing, and maybe that world that you form will heal you, and encourage you to keep going. Everyone does have a talent, and I believe everyone does have a story, but I’m a big believer in discovering what you are meant to do. I’m still working on that. Be good at what you are good at. Don’t try to push a writing career. Maybe your talent is in music or art. Yes, writing can be stressful, but it is the most peaceful part of my day…unless I can’t think of the correct word!

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?

I’m currently working on the final draft of The Sweet Pea Secret, Lily’s fourth story. We will have so many men in this one! I’m also working on a story for Gretchen, our dramatic wedding planner. Currently, I have a helper reading a book I wrote many years ago. I’ll be editing that one, hopefully, this summer. I just keep working. Now that someone has taken a chance on me and my stories it will be hard to stop writing again. I have no plans to do that!

How were you introduced to AllAuthor and what some pros and cons of the website, according to you?

My publisher encouraged joining All Author. I really appreciate the extra helpful tweets and information. I love doing something like this. It is an interesting concept to connect with other authors when I’m used to just sitting alone writing. I love the community. I’m still new to all of this so I have no negatives.

Share C. L. Bauer's interview