Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
I actually started writing when I was extremely bored in my college accounting class. I wrote just to amuse myself and because I wasn’t seeing the kinds of books I wanted to read on the shelves. I started off with just some loosely related scenes and would write whatever interested me at the moment. With great fear and trembling, I finally let a friend of mine read one of those scenes. She was impressed enough to encourage me to try to get published. Miraculously, the third query I sent out got a request for the full manuscript, and a three-book deal followed. I’m still a little bit astonished by that.
Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
I’d definitely have to say that my most fun book is my current work in progress, Civil as an Orange. It’s a sequel to Rules of Murder, the first book in my 1930s mystery series, which was my most fun book until I started on Civil. My favorite character, of course, is Drew Farthering, my amateur sleuth hero. He’s stylish and witty and, of course, devastatingly handsome. And for some reason, through no fault of his own, he seems to always be running across dead bodies.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’d have to say plain old inertia is my biggest obstacle. More and more it seems like the hardest part of every day is just getting started. The only way I’ve found to get past that is to just write something. Anything. Being at home most of every day, it’s easy to let little things eat up my time. Just one half-hour TV show. Just a quick look at my new quilting magazine. Oh, look how cute the cats are being right now . . . And there goes the day. But if I can get started somewhere, even if it’s just an insignificant paragraph that links one scene to another, I can usually keep going from there.
My new book, Letters in the Attic, is the fourth book in the Annie’s Attic Mysteries series, so most of the characters were already created before I started writing. But I ended up having the most fun with a character I created, Officer Roy Hamilton. He was supposed to have a very minor role in the story, but he demanded more. In fact, as it turned out, he gave me a great opportunity to increase the suspense in the story, and that’s always a winner.
What would a perfect day for you look like?
Hmmmm, a perfect day would consist of sleeping until I felt like waking up and then reading in bed for a while. After a nice breakfast, perhaps French toast, I would do a little quilting or cross-stitching. Then, with my creative juices bubbling, I would write (brilliantly, of course) for a while. Once my brain was tired, I would go out to dinner with my family/friends and then curl up with a classic movie on DVD or DVR or, best of all, watch some Dallas Stars hockey. Ahhhhhh.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Oh, I love all kinds of books. I do tend to like historicals more than contemporaries, mostly because contemporary life is around me all the time. Historicals take me to someplace different and wonderful, a place with beautiful clothes and houses and oh-so-elegant manners. I love the classics, and I especially love classic mysteries: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham. – I can’t get enough!
Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
I think the overwhelming scientific evidence proves that one cannot write without chocolate.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Looking back at all the books I’ve written, I think the overarching theme is that, no matter how badly we mess up, God loves us and wants us, that He holds us in the palm of His hand and will never let us go, and that He seeks us no matter where we are. It’s something that still amazes me after a whole lifetime of being a Christian.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
I think it must be patience. My first three books came out in the late 1990s, so it’s be quite a while since I’ve had something new out. It’s really exciting, too, to finally hold that new “baby” in my hands. But it’s been a struggle to get things going on my mystery series, too. As my wonderful agent reminds me, though, my career is in God’s hands, not the market’s. In His hands is a wonderful place to be.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I don’t have any information about when my series of Drew Farthering Mysteries will be published, but I hope it’s soon. I adore Drew and want everyone else to have the opportunity to meet him. In the meantime, I have descriptions and excerpts for both books in the series on my website:
DeAnna is giving away a copy of Letters in the Attic. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment by Monday, October 4th and check back on Tuesday, October 5th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on this post and once on yesterday's spotlight with DeAnna. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.