Susan, I’m happy to be here today.
It's nice to have you over, Patricia. Please give us a brief bio, and include something about yourself that readers might be surprised to learn.
Well, let’s see. I write mystery novels but I’ve worked as an administrative assistant, the sole proprietor of a résumé writing service and the manager of a sporting goods department. (A girl has to have money to buy chocolate. J)
Those who don’t know me might be surprised to learn that I love guns and target shooting. (Those who do know me will tell you that I’ll probably never be sharpshooter of the month.) My father introduced me to guns when I was young. He took me to turkey shoots, which I thought were the greatest things. Of course, the first time I went, I was worried that we would be shooting at real turkeys! When I saw the paper targets and he explained the process, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Where do you live, and how has your environment affected your writing?
I grew up and still live on the west side of Cincinnati. When I was a young girl, I read Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew mysteries constantly and I developed quite an imagination. We lived in an old house with a big woods behind it, the perfect setting for mystery. I was naturally curious and I loved to explore. I would make up stories about our house, the imaginary people who used to live there, the woods and the neighborhood.
Give a short synop of your book.
There’s a serial killer attacking women in their homes on the west side of Cincinnati. It’s the week of Halloween and Ann Kern is struggling with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy.
When she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband. Several bizarre and frightening events take place, including Ann’s discovery of a handmade tombstone marked with her name, which pushes her close to the edge. Will she be the Westwood Strangler’s next victim?
Is it available in print, ebook, and Kindle formats?
Yes. Mixed Messages will be available April 17th at Amazon.com and Postmortem-press.com/.
What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give other writers?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned about writing (and it cost me a lot in time and frustration) is that, when you send a manuscript out to an agent or publisher, the first thing they’ll do is Google your name. If you haven’t worked hard to create an online presence, in all likelihood, your work will be rejected. I have a feeling that, if Margaret Mitchell lived in these times and hadn’t marketed herself, Gone With the Wind probably would not have been published!
As to advice to new writers, I would caution them to be absolutely 100% sure their book is the best they can make it before they send it out to an agent or a publisher. It’s crucial to have other writers read your work first. If at all possible, join a critique group and pay close attention to the suggestions of the other writers. If you’re truly open-minded when they give you constructive criticisms but remember to trust your own instincts, you’ll make the right decisions in your writing.
We all know how important promoting our work has become. How do you get the word out both off and online?
Fortunately, no one would ever accuse me of being shy so getting the word out offline comes easily and naturally to me; I tell everyone! Online is another story. Truthfully, I had no idea where to start until I submitted a query last year to Sunny Frazier, the Acquisitions Editor for Oak Tree Press. When she Googled my name and came up with a big, fat zero, Sunny was kind enough to invite me to join her Posse, an online writing/marketing group composed of other mystery writers. She has guided me through the whole process and, thanks to her and the other members, I now have an established online presence.
Can you tell us your writing goals/projects for 2012 or beyond?
April 15th, the book launch event will take place for Mixed Messages so there’s a lot of work to do for that and, of course, I’ll be working diligently to promote my book. I also plan to finish the rewriting and proofing of Unfinished Business, the second novel in my Malone Mystery Series. Then, I’ll work on plotting and outlining the third book and, time permitting, start writing the first draft by the end of the year.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I belong to several sites including Face Book and I have a website where I post every week. I hope your readers will stop by. http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/
Thank you for inviting me to be here today, Susan. It’s been a lot of fun!
My pleasure, Patricia. Here's a link, folks: http://www.postmortem-press.com/mixed.php