What kind of books/stories do you write?
I write mysteries, mostly cozy mysteries
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
This is a hard one. I have always loved to read. At some point, I started mentally revising books and movies and thinking up new ones. Eventually, that desire to change books morphed into wanting to create them.
What do you consider the most influential book you've ever read?
This is another hard question. There are several books that influenced me for different reasons. I’d say two books ,The Murder of Roger Akroyd and And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie probably played the biggest role in taking me down my current path as a mystery writer. I read those two books and I was forever hooked on mysteries. Agatha Christie was the queen of the cozy mystery.
What other authors are you friends with, and how have they helped you become a better writer?
I have several friends who are authors; many of whom I met through my MFA program at Seton Hill. I’m blessed to call Victoria Thompson, Barbara Miller, Dr. Lee McClain, Kellye Garrett, Patricia Lillie, Michelle Lane, Lana Ayers, Jessica Barlow, and Tricia Skinner friends. They are all authors (some published and some unpublished) who have helped me to become a better writer. They have provided encouragement, support, critiques and feedback. There is so much more to becoming a better writer that goes beyond the mechanics of writing and grammar. These authors have helped me to find my voice and pushed me to go further than I would have dreamed.
What’s the best way you've found to market your books?
I’m still figuring this out, but so far I’ve found that word of mouth does wonders. By talking about my books, and letting people know that I have written a book, it’s led to other opportunities. One conversation created an opportunity for me to promote my books on the radio, in newspapers, and through Facebook Groups. It’s been like a chain reaction. One person tells someone else and so forth and so on.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I LOVE research so this can be my downfall. I can (and often do) spend hours researching minute points, some relevant and some not. The Mystery Bookshop Mystery series includes a story within a story which takes place in between WWI and WWII in Great Britain, so I spend a great deal of time on the internet and looking through history books. Even though my books are fiction, I don’t want glaring errors. It’s a bit more challenging to find specifics from the UK. Sometimes there are language differences (i.e. flat vs apartment) between the UK and USA. What cars were available in the UK in 1938? Where was Scotland Yard located in 1938? Research is something I enjoy, but I can easily spend more time researching than writing. So, I have to limit myself.
Any last thoughts for our readers?
I’d just say to follow your dreams. If you want to write, do it. Don’t wait for the planets to be perfectly aligned. Just do it. Get the words on the page and tell your story. You can always revise and edit later. However, you cannot revise a blank page. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile is easy.
Mystery Bookshop Mystery Series
Book #1 - The Plot is Murder releases November 28, 2017 - Available from Amazon, Barnes& Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and anywhere books are sold.
Travellin’ Shoes release July 1, 2018 –Available for preorder on Amazon.