Multi-genre author Susan Whitfield writes the Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck,Hell Swamp, Sin Creek and Sticking Point. She authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook, and wrote a women's fiction, Slightly Cracked. She is currently writing an historical fiction titled Sprig of Broom. Susan interviews authors and industry experts on the blog. Web site: www.susanwhitfieldonline.com
Friday, October 21, 2011
John Lindermuth's FALLEN FROM GRACE
John Lindermuth, author of Fallen From Grace is my guest today. Welcome, John.
JRL: Thanks, Susan.
Tell us something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
JRL: I’m as curious as that proverbial cat. Part of that stems from my experience as a journalist, but I think the seed was there long before. I’ve always been intrigued by the word ‘why?’
How many books have you written?
JRL: Nine published, two more under contract and probably an equal number either stuck in a drawer or discarded.
What books or authors have influenced you?
JRL: I’ve always been a voracious reader and I believe every book read influences us to some degree. I’m constantly finding new writers to admire. Perennial favorites among contemporaries would include James Lee Burke for his lyrical prose, Ruth Rendell for her psychological insights and Elmore Leonard for skill in dialogue. I’d like to think I’ve been positively influenced by some of the authors whose work I admire and, yet, have developed my own unique voice.
What has been your most rewarding experience during the writing process?
JRL: To me, the greatest reward is having a reader tell me they’ve enjoyed my books and want more. I’d probably go on writing even without the feedback, but the incentive is like the right spice in a bowl of chili.
Tell us about your latest release, Fallen From Grace, published in March by Wild Oak, a division of Oak Tree Press.
JRL: Sylvester Tilghman is sheriff of a small Pennsylvania town at the end of the 19th century. It’s a family trade. His father and grandfather have had the job before him. Arahpot is normally a quiet town and Syl’s major concerns of late have been finding a new deputy and convincing Lydia Longlow, his longtime girlfriend, to marry him. But when a stranger is fatally stabbed and another resident dies of arsenic poisoning, Tilghman finds himself in danger. And worse—Lydia is pushing her obnoxious cousin as candidate for deputy.
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
JRL: Available in all those formats.
What are some of the problems you faced while plotting a series with ongoing characters?
JRL: Fallen was not written with the intent of launching a new series, but comment from readers/reviewers indicates an interest in having me do that. We’ll see what prompts I get from Sylvester and company.
I believe it’s as much the influence of those characters clamoring to be heard as the intent of the author which does result in series. I know that was the case with my Sticks Hetrick series (four books out, another under contract and one in progress). The biggest difficulty with a series to my mind is having the character/characters continue to grow and not become stagnant. Readers are certain to let us know if we don’t notice.
How do you develop characters?
JRL: I’m more of a pantster than an outliner. My outlines—if they can be called that—are generally so brief, just a scattering of words to serve as reminders of the direction I’m going, they’d be totally meaningless to anyone else. I usually start with a specific character in a situation and proceed from there.
How do you choose your setting?
JRL: All of my published books have taken place in settings I’m already familiar with—places I’ve lived, visited or thoroughly researched.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
JRL: I have a webpage and blog and I participate in all the usual social outlets—Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linked-In, etc. I’m also a member of the Posse formed by Sunny Frazier, a group of writers who keep one another apprised of blogging, learning and other opportunities. I don’t have a formal mailing list, but I do have an increasing list of people who I keep informed of what I’m doing. I also submit release to media in my area and keep in contact with area libraries. Unfortunately, there are currently no bookstores in my immediate area, so I have to rely more on personal contacts, library programs, festivals and the like.
Can you tell us about current or future projects?
JRL: Whiskey Creek Press will publish The Limping Dog, a stand-alone mystery, in March 2012 and Practice To Deceive, fifth in the Sticks Hetrick series, later in the year. I also have a story in Four OfA Kind, an anthology scheduled for release in 2012. Meanwhile, I’m working on several projects, including a sixth Hetrick mystery.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?