Interview with Jean Erhardt, author of Small Town Trouble

small trouble 1

Photo Credit: Author website

Today, I have Jean Erhardt at the blog today being interviewed about her book, Small Town Trouble. Jean’s book introduces readers to Kim Claypoole- an amateur sleuth who seems to have trouble following her everywhere!

Small Town Trouble synopsis (from Goodreads)

In Small Town Trouble, the first in my mystery series, you get acquainted with Kim Claypoole’s irreverent ways of dealing with the peculiar characters and events that seem to follow her around. Claypoole’s misadventures begin as she leaves her home in the Smoky Mountains to help save her kooky mother Evelyn’s from financial disaster. Setting off to assist Evelyn, AKA “The Other Scarlett O’Hara,” with her newest personal crisis, Claypoole leaves her Gatlinburg doublewide and the Little Pigeon, the restaurant that she owns with her partner and sometimes best friend Mad Ted Weber as well as a steamy love affair with TV diva Nancy Merit.

Claypoole’s savior complex leads to more trouble when she bumps into an old flame in her hometown who asks for help clearing her hapless brother of a recent murder charge. In true Claypoole fashion, she gets more than she bargained for when she gets dragged into a complicated quest to find the true killer that involves topless dancers, small-town cops, a stream of backwater character and even a meeting with the Grim Reaper. We’re never sure if Claypoole can muddle her way through the murky depths of this bizarre murder mystery before it’s too late. With biting humor and wit, Small Town Trouble will leave you guessing what’s around the next corner in the quirky world of Kim Claypoole and looking forward to her next adventure.

Interview with Jean Erhardt

Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed by Traveling With T!

Thank you, Tamara, for the opportunity and privilege to be here with you and your friends today.

Jean, could you describe Small Town Trouble in 20 words or less?

Small Town Trouble introduces amateur sleuth Kim Claypoole who confronts peculiar characters and deadly deeds with biting humor and moxie galore.

How did you create the character Kim Claypoole?

Claypoole basically invented herself.

If Small Town Trouble was made into a movie or TV show- do you have a dream cast in mind?

Actually, Small Town Trouble has been optioned for a movie by writer/director Mike Bizzarri who is in pursuit of funding as we speak.  Any investors out there?  I would love to see Ellen DeGeneres or Maria Bello as Claypoole.  Maybe Diane Ladd or Sissy Spacek as Claypoole’s mother.

Do you have a routine for writing? A writing  schedule? Is there a place that when you write there the ideas just seem to happen quicker?

I almost always start writing first thing in the morning.  Sometimes very early morning and continue until I’ve reached a good stopping point.  I generally write in my study at home, but I can write just about anywhere.

Does Kim Claypoole have a favorite book?

Claypoole is a Charles Portis fan.  Portis is probably best known for writing True Grit which was made into the classic John Wayne film.  Portis writes deadpan comedic novels and has a small, but devoted group of fans, many of them writers.

Most authors today don’t just write, they also use social media to connect with fans and to spread the news of their book’s release. Are you using social media to help create a fan base for your character Kim Claypoole?

For the longest time I refused to get involved with social media.  But my sister Sara seemed  to be having a lot of fun with Facebook, so I asked her to show me the ropes.  Now, I’m practically an addict.  I have a personal page, an author page and Kim Claypoole has her own fan club page.

Jean- when you are not writing your own books- who are some of your favorite authors to read?

I adore Kinky Friedman.  I enjoy and greatly admire Robert B. Parker, John D. MacDonald, James Crumley, Joy Williams, Jim Harrison, Ann Beattie, Hunter S. Thompson, Lee Smith, Carolyn Forche, Rita Mae Brown, Stephen King, Armistead Maupin and (yes!) Charles Portis.  Some of the writers I’ve more recently come to admire are Joyce Thompson, Mark Spencer, Josh Goldfaden, David Gates and Lily Gardner.

If Kim Claypoole could be best friends with a character from another book series- who would she pick? And why?

It would definitely be Kinky Friedman.  Friedman’s mystery novels feature a fictionalized version of himself as, you guessed it, Kinky Friedman. He goes about solving crimes largely in New York City, dishing out wit, wisdom and charm along the way, not unlike Kim Claypoole.  Claypoole and Kinky share similarly somewhat jaded, yet cautiously optimistic views of life, love and the human race in general. And they both enjoy a good cigar!



jean erhardt

Photo Credit: Author Website




Liked Jean’s interview? Read more about Jean by visiting her website or Facebook page. And if you enjoyed Small Town Trouble, the next Kim Claypoole book will release in Spring 2014!

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