Archive for the Category » Mysteries-Fiction «

Motivational Moments #40– Dust off a book you’ve written…

…and put out a new ‘edition’. I wrote Book #1 of my true crime series, Art of Murder, back in 2011.  Circumstances (I fired my publisher) led me to review and rewrite this book. Adding a new dynamic cover, new title  (Brush with Murder) and added 6000 new words. A love interest walked into Ben’s life and I pulled that thread. 

Most indie publishing platforms allow you to change the ‘interior files’ post-publish and change the cover when you’ve rewritten the book. In my case, since I was also changing the title, I issued the book as a new ‘revised’ edition. The new cover, by my illustrator, David White, is sexy and hot! He does such terrific work for me.

I recommend to all writers to review things you’ve written and even published. Only good things can happen! 

Now available!  Brush with Murder and Shadow of Murder 

Coming Soon!  Book #9, Triad of Murder

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Coming Soon in Audio-Books:
(Beneath the) Bridge of Murder
Video of Murder
Shadow of Murder 

 

 MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   August: Mega best selling author, Susan Mallery. September: Jonathan Rabb.  October: Alretha Thomas. November: Joe English. December: Molly Gloss. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) and Patrick Canning.
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To PurchaseTo Purchase

 

Interview with Playwright, Author, Alretha Thomas

  Shortly after graduating from USC with a degree in journalism, this prolific writer soon realized her interest in her major was not heartfelt. Instead of writing news stories, she wanted to write plays and books. Several years later, her church gave her an outlet to fulfill her writing desires through their Liturgical Fine Arts Department wherein Alretha penned twelve theatre pieces—the community response was overwhelming.  In between plays, Alretha’s first novel Daughter Denied was launched in 2008 and has received glowing reviews from readers and book clubs across the country.  Alretha was awarded the Jessie Redmon Fauset Literary Award for her indie novel Four Ladies Only. Alretha returned to acting and is now writing and acting full time. 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?  Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

AT. I write in the family dining room/hang out room. My computer is up against a wall and it’s my special place.
Whenever my husband wants to get my attention, he’ll leave a note on my keyboard knowing it won’t be missed! He calls it my home within the home. Lol! My husband and I often talk about buying a bigger home, if, and when we get a windfall. My dream workspace would have a view of the Pacific Ocean.

Q. Do you have any special rituals or quirks when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

AT. I have to be very comfortable when I write. Thus, I write in very loose-fitting clothing. Usually my blue sundress my husband bought me or my ripped up blue robe. I guess it’s something about blue.  I also must have my desk fan blasting. I have about a half dozen little stuff animals and toys that I keep to the right of me. I think they’re my good luck charms.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

AT. I volunteer every Tuesday at a nursing home not too far from my home. There are about six people there that I feel very close to. I paint nails for the ladies, tell stories and most times just listen. The residents have no idea how much they do for me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. They are wonderful people who for one reason or another are in the nursing home. It makes me grateful and it makes me appreciate being able to get around right now. No one knows what the future holds.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

AT. I love writing at night after my husband has gone to bed and it’s quiet in the house and the neighborhood. I just love it. I feel like a little girl in a sandbox. No matter what I’m doing during the day, I get excited when I think about the fact that later that night I’ll be writing. So many ideas about what my characters are going to say and do flood my head during the day. It’s wonderful when I can put it on paper.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

AT. Just do it! I’ve never had a problem with writer’s block or procrastination. Thank goodness. If anything, you have to pull me away from the computer!

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

AT. I believe my characters discover me. They enter my subconscious and take over my being. They slowly began to evolve. Case in point are the main characters in my latest mystery novel, “The Women on Retford Drive.” I’ve never met anyone like my protagonist Julia Pritchard or her stepdaughter Blythe Pritchard. One day I just had this feeling about writing about a mother and step daughter being abused and working together to escape their plight. From there, the story just took off.

Q. What first inspired you to write?

AT. My fifth-grade teacher inspired me to write. She gave the class a short story assignment. I got an idea to write a story about a bag boy in a supermarket who falls in love with a young customer. I guess you could say that was my first romance story. The following day our teacher congratulated the entire class on our work. However, she said there was one story that stood out. And that story was mine. I nearly fell out of my chair. I couldn’t believe it. She read it aloud and the class was riveted. While I was watching the expressions on the faces of my peers, I knew in that moment I wanted to be a writer for life.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

Join Us with Part Two of this fascinating Interview on October 26th
To Purchase Alretha’s books, click here 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   August: Mega best selling author, Susan Mallery. September: Jonathan Rabb.  October: Alretha Thomas. November: Joe English. December: Molly Gloss. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) and Patrick Canning.

To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shadow of Murder ~ Book #8 True Crime Series

     Newest in the true crime series. This one was so much fun to write…it literally fell out onto the keyboard.  O’Roarke, Garcia, and Phoebe Sneed’s personal lives all move along at a brisk pace, in spite of the complicated and cold, then hot, then cold case they are investigating. 

       Another mass shooting at the most unlikely of places, a small neighborhood market run by an Indian family. Is it terrorism? Will there be more? Who would have a motive against this seemingly innocent family working in their store? And it was called in on Detective O’Roarke’s first day back from his honeymoon trip. To make things worse, the killer slipped away leaving no clues, no evidence, no witnesses; leaving five dead and two mortally wounded.
The case quickly goes cold. Out of desperation, the remaining family members bring in a physic-medium who has a strange vision.

Who is this predator with amber eyes?

It takes a tightrope artist of a writer to create chapters that successfully delve into a killer’s thoughts without revealing his identity in the process, but Sugarek achieves this with a dance of introspection that reveals a killer’s religious rituals and the emotional turmoil…” Midwest Book Review for Angel of Murder

“Years ago one of my crew, in a stage production that I was directing, said, “Trish for years now I’ve had this great idea for a play script but I know I’ll never write it….hell, I wouldn’t know where to begin ….  you’re the writer so I want to give you the idea.” His name escapes me; it must have been Billy Bob or Bubba or Junior given we were in Texas at the time.  This idea of Bubba’s blossomed, first, into a one act play, and later into this series of murder mysteries.  All because he and I had a few beers one night and he thought I could write it better than he could. Thank you, Bubba, wherever you are!”  T.S.

To Purchase

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  July K.M. Ecke. August: Mega best selling author, Susan Mallery. September: Jonathan Rabb. Nov.: Joe English  Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)

To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase

 

Interview with legal Thriller writer, Manning Wolfe (part 2)

Q. Do you have a new book coming out soon? If so tell us about it.

MW. Next month, (July) Green Fees, the third legal thriller in the series will be published. It’s about a Russian money lender who uses an evil enforcer to extract repayment of illegal loans. Of course, Merit Bridges works to extricate a young golf pro from the Russian’s grip.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

MW. I’ve always taken writing seriously.

Q. How long after that were you published?

MW. I’ve had professional material published for years. As for fiction, the Merit Bridges Legal Thriller Series began in 2016.

Q. What makes a writer great?

MW. It’s hard to describe, but when I feel a certain emotion or tone as I write it, readers tend to feel it when they read it.

Q. and the all-important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like for you?

A Night at the Ballet

MW. I carried a mini bottle of champagne around for a year thinking I was going to finish the book any day. Finally, I got to pop it!

Q. How has your life experiences influenced your writing?

MW. I’ve practiced law for many years and use the legal aspects as well as my knowledge of people and their proclivities in my writing.

Q. Have you or do you want to write in another genre`?

MW. Yes, I expect to publish a memoir at some point.

Note to Self: (a life lesson you’ve learned.)

MW. I have witnessed many times that a good person can do a bad thing and change their lives and those around them forever. Those good people deserve a second chance, and in my stories, they often get that chance.   As above, my main character, Merit Bridges talks to me about a situation. That said, all my stories are based on real life legal dilemmas that happened in my law firm. Of course, I take the facts only so far and then explode them into a thriller.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

MW. Often, but I am usually writing from a dual perspective. I can be the writer and the reader at the same time. That way, I can gauge what my audience may enjoy about the story I’m telling.

Did you miss the first part of this writer’s perspective? Click here 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  June: Manning Wolfe. Coming this winter: Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick) !

To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

 

To Purchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert B. Parker’s Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins ~~ A Review

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing

5 out of 5 quills   Old Black Magic by Ace Atkins  ~~  A Review

 

Once again Ace Atkins nails it!!  Old Black Magic is right up there with the best of Robert B. Parker’s previous books. 
But readers better brush up on the history of Boston, as seen through Parker’s eyes, the hoodlums and mobsters over the past twenty years (introduced in the Spenser series)  ’cause they all show back up, alive and dead. The biggest heist of millions of dollars in classic art from a museum in Boston and the case was never solved. It finally goes cold for over twenty years. Hired by the museum to find the art, Spenser and Vinnie Morris team up…odd bedfellows to say the least. ….and that’s all I’m giving you of the story line.  

I don’t write spoilers in my reviews but I am known for sometimes running off on a tangent that has much or little to do with the book. So I thought it would be fun to see if the story plot had any truth to it…as truth tends to be stranger than fiction. Bingo!! Here’s what I found:  El Greco’s Gentleman was stolen and not returned to its rightful owners for decades.  But it was not a Boston crime crew who knocked it off but rather the Nazis!

‘In 1920, Mr. Priester began amassing a notable art collection of Old Masters, including the famous El Greco, which he displayed in his Vienna home and office. By 1938, however, Mr. Priester was forced to flee with his wife to Paris to escape the Nazis
Before leaving, Mr. Priester entrusted his impressive collection to a friend, but the art was ultimately seized by the Gestapo after the Anschluss with Germany. At the end of the war in 1945, Mr. Priester, who had escaped to Mexico City, undertook an internationally publicized recovery effort with the help of the Austrian authorities, but his collection and the El Greco painting could not be located before his death. 

After WWII, restitution of stolen art work would often take decades. But sometimes it could be accomplished seamlessly if the dealers who purchased the stolen art agreed to cooperate with the claimants, as recently occurred in the case of the stolen El Greco painting, Portrait of a Gentleman.

In a rare deal announced by the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, representing the original owners, and Art Recovery International, representing the art gallery which acquired the looted painting in 2010, Portrait of a Gentleman was returned to the heirs of the collection of Julius Priester. This deal took several months to arrange after seven long decades searching for the masterpiece.’ (credit: Observer.com)

Ace Atkins

So I digress a little…sue me!  But, am I the only one that finds stuff like this fascinating?

This is a terrific story and Ace Atkins tells it flawlessly in Robert B. Parker’s voice.  I highly recommend it.
 

Did you miss my interview with Ace Atkins?
Old Black Magic on Sale Now!!  Click here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 MY  features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: International adventurer, writer, Tal Gur.  June: Mystery writer, Manning Wolfe.
 
To receive my posts sign up  on the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Purchase 

 

Interview with Western & Mystery Writer, Larry D. Sweazy

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

LS. I have a dedicated office that I’ve worked in for the last seventeen years. It has a desk, books, and comfy places for my dogs (two Rhodesian ridgebacks) to hang out with me. For years, though, I had a little desk in the bedroom, and wrote wherever I could. I’m not sure a space creates any magic, but it can’t hurt to be surrounded by books and dogs…

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

LS. No, not really. I usually grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and start writing where I left off the day before. That’s boring, but it’s the truth.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

LS. I’ve nearly died twice in my life…third time is a charm has me a little worried.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

LS. I usually write in the morning, first thing. I try to stay as close to the dream state as I can. But when I’m really in a story, I’ll write whenever I get a chance.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

Kassi and Sunny

LS. Just write the story. Don’t worry about agents, or publishing, or getting famous. Just write. You can’t edit a blank page. Quit coming up with excuses. If your dream is to be a writer, then sit down and write only the story that you can write. If what you write sucks, edit it, or delete it, then keep on writing. Writing is a craft. You have to be willing to put in the time into reading and writing over everything else.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

LS. Characters are everything for me. I usually get a glimpse of them at the start of a story, and my curiosity drives me to find out more about them. Most of my characters are wounded in some way, looking for a way to prevail over their current circumstances. Marjorie Trumaine, the main character in my amateur sleuth mystery series, is a North Dakota farm wife with a quadriplegic husband. She’s trying her best not to lose the farm, and the local extension agent encourages her to take a correspondence course in back-of-the-book indexing to make extra money. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) used to offer courses like this to farmers to generate extra income. Anyway, Marjorie’s well read, so when a murder happens close by, the sheriff asks her for help. But she still has to figure out how to run the farm and take care of her husband. She has a lot of challenges to overcome. I also wrote a stand-alone a few years ago about an aging Texas Ranger who gets into a shoot-out with Bonnie and Clyde and loses his right arm. That novel, A Thousand Falling Crows, concerns the character’s fight to go on living regardless of the difficulty of his new circumstance. What a character goes through and how they come out of it shows who they are as far as I’m concerned. We all have our battles. Characters that have something to fight for are a big draw to me.

Don’t miss Part 2 of this fascinating Interview March 9th

Marjorie Trumaine’s latest mystery, SEE ALSO PROOF will be released May 1st.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    January: Sue Grafton ~ In Memory
March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: in60Learning ~ A unique, non-fiction mini-book read in 60 minutes.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

To Purchase

 

 

 

 

Sue Grafton ~ Interview ~ In Memory

           writers, best selling authors, best sellers, fiction for women  ~~   In Memory ~~      An Interview with Mystery Writer, Sue Grafton  (Part 1)

                      Author,  John D. McDonald died suddenly back in 1986 and took Travis McGee with him.  I owned and had read every book of McDonald’s…..Now what was I supposed to do??  I didn’t read many mysteries (back then) but I was especially fond of Travis and his bear-of-a-man friend, Meyer.   So back in the eighties, (when you shopped at a real bookstore), I looked through the aisles for someone worthy of replacing John McDonald.   There I found “A is for Alibi” with the formidable and quirky, Kinsey Milhone.  I’ve been reading Sue Grafton ever since. 

Now, with Sue’s passing, we have to say goodbye to another great writer who gave us Kinsey Milhone and so many hours of entertainment in reading. In August, 2013, Sue gave me an interview and I thought, as a way of sharing it with my readers, I would post it again in loving memory.  We will miss you, Sue!  TS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

this entry from Sue’s journals;

Dear Shadow . . . Self . . . and Right Brain, Doing everything I can here to make life possible. I’ve abandoned the old story . . . cleaned out my computer . . . sorted and tossed and filed away old notes and articles. Now I need help in launching myself again. Please speak to me. Please let me know where the new book is coming from. I really need your assistance and I’m hoping you’ll spark something so I can get to work.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Love & kisses,

Sue

Response from Shadow Self:   How about an old-fashioned unsolved murder case?  Parents are angry because nothing’s been done.    Case is old & cold, with no new leads coming in.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

best sellers, Sue Grafton,

Sue Grafton’s work space

SG. I have an office in both my homes; Montecito, California and Louisville Kentucky.  The two are different in terms of size and style but I can’t tell you that I’m more productive in one than in the other.  I like lots of light.  I like tidiness.  I like space.  I like quiet.  When I’m working my desk is usually a mess, but I do make an effort from time to time to restore order. The creative process is messy enough. I don’t need to look at chaos as well.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

SG.  Often I do a short stint of self-hypnosis which helps quiet the chatter in my head and helps me focus and concentrate.  I learned the technique from a book on the subject that I got at a book store and it’s been a wonderful way to keep ‘centered’ if you’ll forgive the term.

Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer? Etc.)

SG. A computer, of course. Which I claim has greatly improved my skills.  In the ‘olden’ days of white out and cutting and pasting, I got hung up on whether the page ‘looked right’. I hated adding anything that forced me to repaginate because I didn’t like all the extra work.  If I deleted 11 lines, I got so I could exactly replace the missing lines with something that would work as well so that I didn’t have to retype everything.  To my way of thinking, this is not the key to writing well. On a computer I can and do write every line over and over until it suits me.  The tinkering is infinite.  I when a line is right and when it’s not, I revise and refine and cut and amend until it sounds right to my inner ear.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

SG. I’m usually at my desk at 8:00.  I check emails and make a brief visit to my Face Book page where I chat with readers.  I never feel truly creative.  I work until lunch time when I take a short break.  go back until mid-afternoon when I usually take a walk with one of a number of friends.  I work seven days a week because it’s easier to stay connected to the writing.  In completing “W” I worked double-sessions, returning to my desk after dinner.  I cut out our social life.  I nixed all the walks which I found interrupted the work too often.  I didn’t run errands.  I didn’t stop to get my hair cut.

Part 2 of this Interview  Click here

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    December: British writer, J.G. Dow.  January: In Memory, Sue Grafton.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This Author/Blogger has tried her hand at true crime mysteries with great success. There are now eight in the series

Book #7

A Review ~~ The Wanted by Robert Crais

reviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writingreviews, authors, writing
5 out of 5 quills             

A Review ~~ The Wanted                                                                                                  

A good old fashioned murder mystery reminiscent of the writings of John McDonald and Robert Parker.  Simply and beautifully crafted, Robert Crais weaves a great story. Like myself, new readers to Crais will be delighted. And his fans are counting the days until the newest in the Elvis Cole & Joe Pike novel is released. 

A panicked mother, goes to veteran PI Elvis Cole as a last act of desperation.  She fears ‘her son is in deep sh– trouble’  when she found things in his bedroom that indicate that he has been stealing from other people.  Oh, if it were only that simple.  Tyson and his two buddies have committed a string of home burglaries and, by accident, have stolen from a really, really bad guy.  Now two hit men are on their trail and the big question is: will Elvis find the two teenagers before these hired killers find them and silence them forever? 

I readily admit this is my first novel by Crais and I look forward to catching up with Elvis and Joe in the other books in this series.  A highly recommended read!

On sale at all book stores December 26th. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   October’s author was Donna Kauffman. November: Rita Avaud a Najm. December: British writer, J.G. Dow. 
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Purchase



An Interview with Mystery Series Author ~Cheryl Hollon

TS. Cheryl Hollon writes a charming series entitled Webb’s Glass Shop mysteries. I particularly like her well-developed characters. Let’s follow her around in her writing processes in this entertaining interview.

 

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing? (please provid

my writing shed

e a photo/s of your shed, room, closet, barn….) Or tell us about your ‘dream’ work space.

CH. I have a little writing shack behind the house. It’s an ordinary wooden storage shed that used to contain husband’s woodworking tools. He sacrificed that to my writing addiction by emptying it out, painting the inside white, and installing a lot of shelfs. Since we live in St. Petersburg, Florida, he also installed a small window air conditioner. It looks out over the bird feeder and is shaded by an old oak tree.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (a neat work space, sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

CH. I have a well-established and reliable morning routine that gets me writing every day. My alarm goes off at 6:30 am and I get dressed, grab coffee, then walk out to my writing shed. I power up my laptop to post a Facebook comment by 7:00 am to a group of writers who start their day with a sprint. This focusing technique is hosted by Ramona DeFelice Long. In short, we each sign in and then write for an hour with no interruptions. She puts up the Sprint Thread every morning. It’s a way to get those fingers moving and ensures that I have accomplished a good bit of my writing target for the day.

Q. Could you tell us something about yourself that we might not already know?

CH. I spent a few years as a card-carrying Boy Scout Leader. First as a Den Mother, then as a Committee Chairman, and finally as a member of the Training Council. My husband was and still is basically allergic to nature, so I stepped up in his place when our two boys wanted to join the local troop. It was a terrific experience – I received the best leadership skills training I’ve ever experienced. It was simple, direct and actionable.

Q. Do you have a set time each day (or night) to write?

CH. In the early morning, the words just fly from my fingers onto the page like eager ducklings. After that, if I haven’t met my word target, I must hunt those words down, grab them by the scruff of the neck, then stab them to the page. I really try to finish my new words before eleven in the morning.

Q.What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

CH. I’m getting to be an expert in confronting and defeating procrastination. In fact, I’ll be presenting a workshop on that topic at SleuthFest 2018. I basically trick myself into working for little rewards during my writing sessions. One of my tricks is to use an hourglass to write for a continuous thirty minutes with no breaks for e-mail, social media or any breaks at all. I also line up a series of rewards for successfully achieving the sprint. The rewards are a combination of candy treats, on-line crossword puzzles, social media time and reading intervals.

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

CH. When I have a need for a new character, a waiter for example, I’ll take several distinctive features from recent restaurant experiences and Frankenstein them together into one person. To make that character come alive, I free-write dialogue to discover their personality in how they use language. It’s a method that works for me – your mileage may vary.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

CH. In my previous career as a project engineer and program manager for foreign military sales of flight simulators, there were many long-haul flights to Singapore, Taiwan and even India. I started scribbling ideas then as well as during the several months the team was on site for delivery and acceptance testing. Taking advantage of a corporate downsizing incentive, I left to write full time and haven’t regretted it for a second.

Q. What comes first to you? The Characters or the Situation?

CH. The situation comes to me first. Since I write for a series, the characters are already known. First, I pick the site for the discovery of the victim. Then I concentrate on how someone could be driven to make a violent fatal choice as a reaction to difficult circumstances.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing?

CH. I get completely immersed in my writing world. I’m a visual writer and play the scenes in my head as if I’m watching a movie. I’ve also been told that my writing is heavy in dialogue. I like that – that’s how I hear what my characters are feeling and what they’re thinking about doing next.

Q. Who or what is your “Muse” at the moment?

CH. My muse is Lujoye Barnes who lives in a woodland cottage near Gainesville, Florida. We have been friends for more years than I care to count. We have always shared a love of books and especially mysteries. When I get stuck in a plot, I always ask myself, “What would Joye like to see happen next?” It works every time. She has been my number one inspiration since I first confessed to her that I would like to write.

Join us for Part II of this fascinating Interview on Aug. 25th
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!

 

The Paris Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal ~~ A Review

writing, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fictionwriting, creating, reviews,fiction, children's books, fiction for adults, women's fiction A REVIEW 
5 out of 5 quills ~~ The Paris Spy

 

A real cliff hanger! To the last page (especially the last page) MacNeal’s new book keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.  This series is a delight. Beginning when a ‘math-o-holic’ girl gets hired in Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s office as a typist. WWII is just gearing up.  With an aptitude for numbers and codes Maggie Hope quickly rises, for a woman, in the war offices.  In this latest offering, we catch up with her as she ‘wrangles’ her way into war-torn and occupied France.  Searching for her sister, she is thrown into the deep end of espionage.

The Maggie Hope Mystery series offers intrigue, twists and turns and great characters. Woven expertly through world history the reader is treated to the workings and intrigues of 10 Downing Street and M16 (the CIA of England) . This reviewer strongly urges the reader to start at the beginning with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary and read the books in order.  But, of course, The Paris Spy stands very well on its own. With each book Susan MacNeal gives the reader a complete story, albeit a dangler most likely leaving the reader in a most delicious sort of suspense.
 
Available at www.amazon.com or your favorite book store.

 

 

 

Did you miss my Interview with this Author??
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?     Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we say ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.
                                                                                   
                                         Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks!