Interview With Anita Kulina
ULM: How would you describe your main character, Mrs. B?
Mrs. B has lived in Burchfield since she and her late husband Albert bought their little house when they first got married. She has two children, but both of them livethousands of miles away. Every morning Mrs. B plays pinochle at the Senior Center in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, where she gets to see her closest friends, Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Dinner used to be a quiet meal watching the classic movie channel, but Mrs. B sometimes has company now that her new neighbors moved in across the street. Burchfield is a city neighborhood that feels like a small town. It’s a very rooted neighborhood, where people live in the same house for generations. Mrs. B and herfriends sometimes struggle to get by, but they have each other and, to them, that’s the most important thing.
ULM: What inspired you to write, A Question of Devotion?
I write what I know. The character of Mrs. B came first, based on the strong women I knew growing up. Then I developed the town of Burchfield, which I based on the world I knew as a child. Most of the characters in A Question of Devotion are based on people I knew, or are composites of people I knew. After I had the characters and the town, I knew right away it would be a series. Theidea for the plot of A Question of Devotion was based on a newspaper article I ran across a long time ago. I had set it aside, thinking, “I might want to do something with this someday.” When Mrs. B was born, that someday had come.
ULM: What other hobbies do you have besides writing?
I love writing, it’s lots of fun for me. Other than being with family and friends, it’s really the way I like to spend my time. I do have to take a break once in a while, though! When I do, you can usually find me walking through my city neighborhood, or in my kitchen baking scones.
ULM: Will there be another Mrs. B novel?
I’m halfway through the second novel and have an outline for the third. So the answer is yes!
ULM: How would you describe your writing?
If you’re looking for a serious, dark book full of dead bodies and mayhem, you need to look elsewhere. But if you want to curl up in a comfortable chair on a cold afternoon with a cup of cocoa and a cozy read, A Question of Devotion might be just what you’re looking for.
ULM: What other books have you written, if any?
A Question of Devotion is my first mystery. I also have a nonfiction book, a historyof Western Pennsylvania. Now that may sound dull, but I assure you Millhunks and Renegades is not a typical history book. It’s told through the lives of the residents of Greenfield, which was once part of Squirrel Hill, home of the notorious Girty family. There are lots of scandals and the book is chock full of tidbits of fascinating information. Did you know Andrew Carnegie once belonged to a street gang, and that he dated Stephen Foster’s wife?
You can read excerpts of Millhunks and Renegades at: http://www.brandtstreetpress.com/millhunks.html.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your book online?
A Question of Devotion is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or you can ask for it at your local bookstore.
I probably should learn more about social media, but the truth is I’d rather be writing. If you’d like to contact me, I’d be happy to hear from you.
Send me an old-fashioned email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandt Street Press is my publishing company. http://www.brandtstreetpress.com/