Laura Childs is the pen name of Gerry Schmitt, who worked in advertising for 30 years before turning to fiction. She and her younger sister were raised in rural Minnesota by her father ho worked as a contractor and also served for a time as mayor, and her mother who was heavily involved in the Girl Scouts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota and became a writer for Target before embarking on a long and illustrious career in advertising. Thanks to the support of her husband, she was able to take a break from her career to write her first novel, and now she writes full-time.
Childs’ inspiration for the teas described in her Tea Shop Mystery novesl comes from her travels to Asia, including visits to Japan, Indonesia and China. Her husband, Dr Poor, is an Asian art enthusiast and his passion has also influenced many of Childs’ works.
Laura Childs has come up with her own word to describe the genre that she writes, referring to her works as ‘thrillzies’: a combination between a thriller and a cosy read. She is proud of the characters and settings that she creates in her works as well as the fast-paced plots. She often includes suggestions for parties and entertainment along with recipes and ideas in with her fiction. Her most successful series, The Tea Shop Mysteries, are set in a tea shop and introduce her readers to all sorts of ideas about new teas to try and recipes for cakes and snacks.