Pens, Paws, and Claws welcomes Barbara Schlichting to the blog!
Tell our readers a little about yourself and your writing.
I enjoy teasing and having fun with my grandchildren. My granddaughter and I are planning to take a short trip to Iowa next summer so I can drop by a few bookstores. Her blue eyes and smile sells my books. I write mysteries and children’s picture books plus poetry. I’ve also been known to wear red shoes and eat too much ice cream.
Tell us about your pets. Are any of them models for pets in your writing?
I’m not sure if you can consider deer, squirrels, birds and chipmunks as pets, but I lived in the woods with the Mississippi River out my back door for seventeen years.
Tell us about any pets you have in your books/stories. Are any of them recurring characters? What are they and their names?
In my poetry, I have a number of poems about wildlife. In my picture book, Red Shoes, I feature Maggie, a three-legged kitty who lost her shoes. Peter the puppy and Bonnie the bunny help her find them.
What are you reading now?
I just finished two Rex Stout books, Fer-De-Lance and the League of Frightened Men.
What writing projects are you currently working on?
I just published my first historical mystery. Body on the Tracks is set in 1943 and begins with a body in the Chicago railyard and finishes in Denver. There’s a Nazi onboard who causes all sorts of murder and mayhem.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Agatha Christie. She’s so good at hiding her clues. I love reading her.
Did you have childhood pets? If so, tell us about them.
We had a dog when I was in high school. When I married, we had a dog for many years for our boys to play with, Clumsy was her name.
How do you use animals in your writing? Are they a character in their own right or just mentioned in passing?
In the picture book, Red Shoes, the animals are definitely the characters.
Why do you include animals in your writing?
Animals are sweet and loveable.
Do you have any working or service animals in your stories? Tell us about them.
Actually, I should write a mystery with a service dog. My brother had been a police officer and used a service dog to detect drugs so I have an easy reference. Thanks for the idea!
When did you know you were a writer? And how did you know?
I knew I was a writer from the beginning of time. In seventh grade I got an English penpal, and we’ve been writing ever since. That’s approximately fifty-five years!
I graduated from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, MN. After marriage, we moved to Bemidji where we raised our two boys. I graduated from Bemidji State University with an undergraduate degree in elementary education and went on to earn a masters degree in special education. I taught in the school district as a substitute for many years.
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