How old you when you wrote your first story?
What genre was that ?
Mystery—I was already reading Trixie Belden, and my story was similar to one of those.
Do you think that or do you have another series in mind? Where would it be locate?
I have a new first-in- series I’m doing final edits on now—it’s not published yet—and it’s set in the south central U.S. I have another series I want to start playing around with soon that has a bit of a paranormal slant and Europe is the backdrop for it.
Do you enjoy any sport? Crafts? Other?
I’m a huge basketball and hockey fan, and I used to play basketball but rarely anymore. I walk a lot and enjoy riding horseback. I also knit to relax and I love photography.
Where do write from?
Place in your emotions
I write mysteries because I love to read them. What I love most about mysteries is figuring out the “puzzle,” so I chiefly write from curiosity—if that can be labeled an emotion—to see how my characters use their strengths to solve the mystery. I also love snark and humor, and I write from whatever place draws from the needfor a quick laugh, too—but not a cheap laugh Most important, I appreciate characters who are smart and think outside the box, and I’m drawn to those kinds of people in real life, too, so it’s only natural I want them in my fictional life.
Place in your house? From your organizations? if so what organizations)
I have an office in my house where I write and work on the marketing side of my business during the afternoons. But I start each day writing on my laptop in my big comfy reading chair. I get started there with a cup of hot tea to write my sloppy copy of the day and brainstorm on my laptop until I’m ready to get the serious word count that gets completed in my office.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?
I honestly can’t imagine anymore. Probably I would do something that ties with the volunteer work I do now. I work a day each week in our local library, and I’m a certified literacy tutor and work with adults who want to learn how to read.
How much support do you receive in relation to your writing and eventual publication? From where and whom?
I’ve been writing full-time for more than 15 years—nonfiction before I signed my first fiction contract in 2013. So, I have a pretty good idea about the business side of things and don’t need as much help there. But on the marketing side, I belong to a number of terrific author groups with fabulously giving authors who share information that works for them and are quick to answer questions that any authors pose. Those groups are a tremendous support. I also have a terrific editor at Henery Press who is always available to help me work through any snags or plot holes.
If you could do only one form of writing, would you write stories or keep a blog? Why?
Definitely write stories. I’m getting better about blogging, but it still isn’t my favorite thing to do.
How did you find your niche?
I wrote what I love to read.
How much research do you do for your books?
A Lot! It takes about six months to write one Bodies of Art Mystery, and more than half that time is devoted to research and verifying art work or art history, and firming up my info on settings/locations I use in the books.
What surprised you most about the publishing process?
How much non-writing work authors must do after they turn a book into the publisher. Writing the book is only half the job—marketing is probably even more time consuming. Want to thank you for inviting me to interview, Michelle. I appreciate learning about other mystery authors, and this is a great forum for that. Thanks again for including me.