Just when you get comfortable, something changes...

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Thank you to everyone who's become a follower of my site or simply dropped by to read. Due to problems with Blogspot I will be moving The Raven Croaks to another website shortly.

Please check back here for the new location.

See you soon!!



Monday, November 2, 2009

The Ravens Eye Is On : Sunny Frazier

I've known this woman for several years now and she's never failed to impress me. First and foremost, she is one hell of a talented writer. Secondly, she is a smart and saavy career woman who has taught more than a few fledging writers not only the intricacies of writing a great story, but the more hazardous and pitfall laden path to the business of being a published author. Her Christy Bristol series, with astrology as a enticing hook, is a great read and one I highly recommend. Christy is an underdog heroine, the kind we love to root for and who resonates as a true modern woman, with no fancy bells and whistles but rather a honest perspective and one extrordinary skill at reading the planets.

Was there ever a moment when you reconsidered being a writer?
No, it never crossed my mind. However, I remember when I decided to give up journalism and devote my talents to fiction. It was after I dealt with discrimination as the only woman on a small newspaper and they paid me much less than the male summer intern. The publisher told me I didn't need equal pay because I should have a husband to take care of me. This was 1979. I sued.

Is there anyone, author or otherwise, in particular you draw inspiration from? If so, how has that influenced your writing?
I've always considered J.A. (Judy) Jance a mentor; she is accessible to her fans and very honest in her writing. However, Chuck Palahniuk is the author I wish I were brave enough to imitate.

What’s the first thing you do once you get a great idea?
I mull. I let my mind play with the idea, add to it, see the characters. I also look to the outside world for more ingredients for the stew. I can simmer an idea for years before I sit down and write. But, at that point, the writing is simply an aftermath.

What comes first for you, the plot or the character?
Character. My stories are all character-driven. I have no idea how the plot will unreel until I know who is involved.

I know you have a unique and innovative approach to getting published, tell me more about it.

While I was writing my first novel, FOOLS RUSH IN, I also wrote short stories for contests. My teacher and other writers warned me against this, they were afraid I would get off-track or give up the book. Oddly enough, it was the short stories that put me on the map and got my name out there. I published many of my prize-winning stories in VALLEY FEVER and went on to contribute to three other anthologies. I now teach guerrilla tactics on how to win short story contests.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Right now it's putting down other books to attend to my own. I'm submerged in historical fiction and don't have my head in mystery at the moment.

While getting a book onto store shelves is a huge challenge, the work doesn’t end there. How do you go about publicizing your work and keep expanding your fan base even at this stage in your career?
I found out early on that marketing was my second love. And not just marketing myself, but other writers. I do this through The Murder Circle, my cyber gossip column of who's publishing in mystery circles. Locally, I maintain contact with all the Central California authors and set up book events for them at the library and other venues. I blog, do interviews and stay active on approx. 35 Internet sites. I also sweetened my own sales by telling people I would do their horoscope for 6 months if they would order my books directly from me. In my mind, by promoting writing in general people will gravitate to your works and words. So far, it's working.

If your characters could describe you what would they say?
Christy would definitely bad-mouth me. She thinks I push her buttons and I'm only here to make her life miserable. Rod would probably agree and tell me to back off. Lennie and I would go drinking together and compare guy-notes. She'd keep me up past my bedtime.

Do you work with a schedule to get to your deadlines or do you have a more freeform style towards your writing?
Schedules don't work after you publish. There's so many expectations and opportunities, I stay fluid. Plus, I got into writing to make my own hours, so I don't like working for someone elses deadlines. My publisher understands this.

What is the single best piece of advice you could give to someone striving to become a published author? What is the greatest pitfall for a new author?
It's a balancing act of following your artistic vision and realizing you have to sell it to the public. Don't sell your soul to commercialism or the latest trend, but always know who your audience is and respect them. Don't buy into your own success. Keep people around you who are supportive but not afraid to tell you when you're full of shit. You can't write on a pedestal.

Who do you read when you have the time to?
Any book that Daniel Silva produces. Right now I'm entranced with Margaret George and Philippa Gregory.

What sort of process do you use to create? Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
Competition fires me up. If I think another author in my circle is eclipsing me, I feel I have to prove I'm still in the game. That's probably a personality flaw.

What are you working on now and when can fan’s hope to get their hands on it?
The third astrology mystery, A SNITCH IN TIME, should be out next spring. I'm also experimenting with THE CHRISTY CHRONICLES where my character discusses how she feels about the people she does charts on, then the person continues the story with what happened in their life as predicted by the stars. With the new Dan Brown book out, I think there may be a raised interest in astrology.
I'm also putting finishing touches on a children's book I wrote 30 years ago. THE KING'S TABLE is "Pirates of the Caribbean meets The Food Channel." Children should know the history of where the food they take for granted comes from.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I just returned from a Mexian Cruise. It was a cruise saluting Veterans, very patriotic(I am a Vietnam Era Vet). I was on a panel of authors talking to the vets about writing their memoirs. We got together later with the travel agent who pulled together the trip and pitched the idea of a Mystery Cruise: Murder on the High Seas: A Cruise To Die For.
Details: Nov.14-21, leaving from Los Angeles. Three days at sea for the panels and such. Ports-of-call Puerto Vallart, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. No extra charge for the conference, just pay for the cabin. Really encouraging fans, small presses and and their authors to attend. I'm also trying to negotiate with the ship so we can sell our books. Bev has wrangled 20 cabins. She'd like to see $100 deposit to hold the cabin as soon as possible, with a second installment on the deposit of $150 by June 1st, and the remainder by Aug 25th. Go to She'll send your readers a flier.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Ravens Eye is on Carolyn Hart

This Halloween I've got one treat you won't forget. An interview with a woman who has made an indeliable mark on the mystery world with her wit, style and panache. In the ranks of the most illustrious and esteemed authors of mystery, there are a few names that have the rare honor of having illuminated the path for the rest. One of those is Carolyn Hart. Not only does Carolyn possess a rare and wonderous talent at creating clever characters and ingenius mystery plots but she is a truly lovely and gracous woman. I am thrilled and grateful that she took the time to share with The Raven Croaks. Make sure you run out and get the second book in her Ghost at Work series, Merry Merry Ghost, its one book that will linger with you as long as the afterlife.

When did you begin the process of writing your first adult fiction book?
Carolyn: I wrote several books for children and young adults, then turned to adult fiction in the early 1970s. My first adult novel was FLEE FROM THE PAST, a suspense novel.

How long did it take you?
Carolyn: As I recall I spent about a year writing it. At that time, my children were young and I didn’t work in the summers when they were out of school.

What did you find the most challenging?
Carolyn: The challenge of writing fiction is to be able to have the confidence to trust in the process. Books are built sentence by sentence, character by character. I am not able to plot in advance except in the most general terms so I have to believe that if I keep on writing, I will find the book.

Is there anyone, author or otherwise, in particular you draw inspiration from?
Agatha Christie, Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Phoebe Atwood Taylor. Christie is the premier genius of plotting and characterization. Rinehart always wrote with great charm. Taylor’s humor celebrated the absurd.

If so, how has that influenced your writing?
Carolyn: I write a fair play mystery, a la Christie. I love to celebrate being an American and writing about Americans, a la Rinehart. I hope that I offer humor, a la Taylor.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Carolyn: From the news, from observing people, from an interest in human relationships.

I found this quote in your biography and I liked it so much I wanted to share it. ""Readers read mysteries and writers write mysteries because we live in an unjust world where evil often triumphs. In the traditional mystery, goodness will be admired and justice will prevail"". Is this still your most fervent belief?
Carolyn: Emphatically yes.
What do you think of writers who want to delve into the darker more sordid aspects of mystery without an emphasis on good triumphing over evil?
Carolyn: All authors follow their heart and write what matters to them.

It is becoming more difficult for authors today to become published. Your career started in a different era of publishing. What was the process when you got started?
Carolyn: Publishing was indeed different. There were about 47 publishing houses in NY when I began. Now there are about 5. My first book, a juvenile mystery, was published because I won a writing contest. I attended writing conferences and found my first agent. That is how the later books sold.

What do you think caused the implosion in the publishing world?
Carolyn: Publishing houses are now huge conglomerates and are expected to sell an ever increasing number of books. The concentration on best sellers has severely limited the number of mid-list books purchased and mysteries are usually mid-list.

Should new writers really start re-thinking their previous concept of how to get published?
Carolyn: I still recommend becoming a part of the writing world via workshops, Sisters in Crime, and conferences. Self-publishing usually is a dead end for authors. Be patient and seek an agent.

So many mystery writers have been inspired by Nancy Drew, what was it about her that appealed to you the most?
Nancy is brave, kind, independent and devoted to justice.

While getting a book onto store shelves is a huge challenge, the work doesn’t end there. How do you go about publicizing your work and keep expanding your fan base even at this stage in your career?
Carolyn: I think the most effective outreach is a web site and attending conferences.
Up until the ""Ghost at Work"" and the soon to be released, ""Merry Merry Ghost"", your books were primarily ""living"" mysteries, what made you decide to branch out into the world of undead mystery?
Carolyn: I always loved the Topper books and films. I enjoy funny ghost stories. The Bailey Ruth Raeburn books are intended to be fun as well as provide a good mystery. They are whimsy.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Carolyn: I believe in whimsy and imagination.

I’d like to say you’ve seen your share of the mystery world evolve throughout the years, what changes do you see ahead? In both publishing and writing?
Carolyn: My crystal ball is murky. E-books will continue to increase their share of the market but I believe paper books will always be available. Possibly POD may become more the norm.

Do you work with a schedule to get to your deadlines or do you have a more freeform style towards your writing?
Carolyn: I work to meet deadlines. I try to write five pages a day. Some days are good; some days are not.

What is the single best piece of advice you could give to someone, such as myself, striving to become a published author?
Care passionately about what you write. If you care, somewhere an editor will care.

Who do you read when you the time to?
Carolyn: I often read books to provide cover quotes. Two of my favorites coming out this fall are ALL THE WRONG MOVES by Merline Lovelace, Berkley, and THE WITCH DOCTOR’S WIFE by Tamar Myers, HarperColins.
When I am writing, which is most of the time as I am expected to write two books a year, i enjoy old favorites by Christie, Rinehart, Taylor, and Patricia Wentworth

Thank you Carolyn. This interview has truly been a pleasure. I hope everyone gets out there and makes merry with Merry Merry Ghost this holiday season.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Raven's Eye is On: Yvonne Mason

When did you begin the process of writing your first book? How long did it take you? What did you find the most challenging?
Yvonne:I began writing my first book in the early 1970'swhen my children were small. I did it because I wanted to leave something behind for my children to remember about my brother who is challenged. It took over thirty years to complete it. The most challenging was finding a publisher who would publish it for me. I have so many rejection letters if started to become a joke at my house. Q: Is there anyone, author or otherwise, in particular you draw inspiration from? If so, how has that influenced your writing?The person who has inpsired me is my brother Stan who is challenged - He never quits no matter how many people tell him that he can't do something. He believes therefore he achieves. To him Failure is Never an option

What comes first for you, the plot or the character?

Yvonne:Sometimes they both arrive at the same time. If depends on what I am writing. If it is true crime it is the people, if it is fiction it just depends on where the character wants to go.

It is becoming more difficult for authors today to become published. Tell me more about what paths you took to success?
Yvonne:Yes, it is more diffucult to get published that is if you believe it so. My path has not been one of ease. I spent many years being rejected by traditional publishers simply because they didn't have time for me.
I decided that I would take control of my destiny and found a way. My first book was finally published in 2007 and I haven't looked back. Yes, I was burned by a Publisher, but that taught me a very valuable lesson. That being that I need to always be in the drivers seat.
Because of the internet getting published is so much easier than it was years ago. I have on book with Kerlak Publishing out of Tennesse and the rest are with Lulu which is a Publish on Demand and I am in control. I load all of my books up to lulu and they are instantly ready to be put in book form. I am all over the internet because I don't have my books in stores I use the net as my store. I have an online bookstore which I sell my books from. They arrive to the buyer signed by me. I am on Amazon both with books and on Kindle. I sell e-books on Lulu as well as my paperback books. I have a cover designer by the name of Debi DeSantis which has really enhanced my sells.
I network with other authors, post blogs, have numerous blog sites and am on facebook and myspace. If any one googles Yvonne Mason they will see I am all over the place. I get my books reviewed by other authors and those are posted all over the net.
I use a press release site by the name of I post press releases all the time and they go all over the net.
I buy my business cards, banners, postcards and other advertising material from Vista print which is online and I carry my business cards and post cards with my book covers on them every where I go. I hand them out all the time.
I always carry a book with me. I am on many blog talk radio shows and do interviews anytime I am asked. I am a member of the Florida Writers Association and do public speaking.

There has to be a discipline in marketing just like there is in writing. It is something one must do every day to be successful as an indie author.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Yvonne:When I can't write. I never run out of things to write about and sometimes all my characters try to talk to me at once. They all want to be heard. I now have two books I am working on and some days it gets very interesting . One is fiction and the other is another true crime

While getting a book onto store shelves is a huge challenge, the work doesn’t end there. How do you go about publicizing your work and keep expanding your fan base even at this stage in your career?
Yvonne:I never stop marketing and networking. I do it every day. I do it every place I go and talk to every one I see.

If your characters could describe you what would they say?
Yvonne:They would say that I am passionate, dedicated, loyal and that they are always telling me what to do.

Do you work with a schedule to get to your deadlines or do you have a more freeform style towards your writing?
Yvonne:I have a semi schedule. Some days I do nothing but marketing and somedays I do nothing but make my books come to life, even if it is just research.

What is the single best piece of advice you could give to someone striving to become a published author?
Yvonne:The best piece of advice is this, Failure is Never an Option. There are always success no matter where one is in their dream. To have tried is to have succeeded. To have never tried is to have failed.
Another piece of advice is this. If you are really serious about being published understand that you will not and I repeat will not become a millionaire. An author must write for the sheer joy of seeing their work in print. That is the easy part. Forget the money. What comes will come. Just write because you love it.


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Ravens Eye is On : Deborah Grabien

Deborah Grabien shows some righteous chops when she writes the JP Kinkaid mysterys as well as the otherwordly Haunted Ballad series. A true artist, Deborah weaves the story intricately with songs lyrics to create a harmonious mystery that will delight the senses. In the JP Kinkaid series, she
shows you the other side of a musicians life, the ups and downs, the sorrow and the joy, not to mention the murders and mystery.

It took you a while to feel comfortable writing about your life during the peak of the Haight-Asbury days, what eventually made you decide to do it? What did you find the most challenging?
Deborah-My Haight-Ashbury days were actually spent on the other coast! But I got fascinated by, and then acquainted with, the San Francisco bands at places like Fillmore East , Queens College, Ungano's, and the folk clubs in the Village. My sister, who's nearly nine years old than I am, was already writing about music for all the publications out there at the time: Crawdaddy, Changes, even Rolling Stone. She took me damned near everywhere with her, so I was running around backstage at 14. I decided I was moving to SF after Woodstock and Altamont, and my sister had already moved out here to Marin County, so that was a nice easy move. My parents were fine with it.
I walked away from the local scene, and everyone in it, for nearly thirty years, after a bad personal breakup. An old friend who is now a literary agent kept leaning on me to write about those days. She was there, and she knew it was eating away at me, that I needed to reclaim some of that lost history. Besides, the whole "midlife crisis" thing has a way of asserting itself. When I finally cracked and decided to do it, I wrote the first six thousand words in about two hours, and never looked back. That was the first JP Kinkaid Chronicle mystery, Rock and Roll Never Forgets. I finished it in 29 days, took two days off, and began While My Guitar Gently Weeps. That one got finished in 31 days; it comes out on 15 September 2009. I didn't so much write this series as bleed it. I'm now in the middle of book 7, Dead Flowers.

Most challenging? Two things: First, keeping the integrity of John Kinkaid's narrative voice. His voice began as the voice of the man whose memory I was trying to recapture, so it was vitally important to me, both as the writer and as the woman, to get his voice right. The second thing was the fact that his younger life partner/caregiver, Bree Godwin, is very much what I think I might have evolved into had things gone differently. Writing her, I kept thinking things like "Wow, what a pain in the ass she is!" Ouch. But you have to be true to the story.

Is there anyone, author or musician, in particular you draw inspiration from? If so, how has that influenced your writing?
Deborah-Inspiration? Probably not in the way the writers I know would define that word. There are a couple of writers I adore - Peter S. Beagle comes to mind, as does Ngaio Marsh - but my inspiration, such as it is, comes from a different place. It's an interior thing.

What book was the most difficult for you to write?
Deborah-One that hasn't been published yet: the fifth Kinkaid, Book of Days. I can't say why without dropping a huge honking plot spoiler for the first two Kinkaids - everything in this series loops around and is interconnected - but reality and fiction came together in a heartbreaking confluence at the end of that book. It just nailed me.

What sort of process do you use to create? Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
Deborah-Nothing. I sit down, and either the story is there or it isn't. If it is, it pours out, I write it, I send it out to my wip-readers (that's Work In Progress), I wait for their feedback, I weigh it, I do whatever I agree needs doing. If the story isn't there just then, I walk away from the computer and go do something else. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, I never force myself to write and I've never had to.

It is becoming more difficult to become published. Tell us about the process it took for you to get your first book on bookstore shelves.
Deborah-Oh, lord, it's a different era entirely. I did the nice traditional thing, back in 1987 or thereabouts: I wrote a book, I submitted it to an agency, they took me on and sold my next four books (that first one never did get bought, but all the next ones did). These days, it's so much harder, I can't even imagine it. While getting a book onto store shelves is a huge challenge, the work doesn’t end there.

How do you go about publicizing your work and developing a fan base?
Deborah-I'm fairly tireless about promotion, and that's saying something, because, like JP Kinkaid, I have multiple sclerosis and there are days when putting shoes on is like one of the labours of Hercules. But I have three publicists (a personal publicist and my publicists at both St. Martin's Minotaur and Egmont USA), plus a longstanding list that grows constantly. I've cultivated relationships with particular local bookstores and with several of the local media outlets. I'm especially invested in libraries.

What is the single best piece of advice you could give to a writer just starting out?
Deborah-Depends. To a writer just sitting down to write their first work, I would say, A writer writes. If you're really a writer, sit down and do it. No excuses, no stopping to read someone else's advice on writing, no fancy classes, none of that. A writer writes. To someone who's finished their work and is trying to sell it, I'd say, make sure you get a selection of fresh eyes on it, and be prepared to weigh all the advice. Learn the differences between dissonance (if ten readers all say different things, you've done your job) and consonance (if five of those ten have the same problem with chapter three, you'd better go look at chapter three). And if you have any shiny dreams about selling next week for a zillion dollars, lose them. It doesn't work that way and that isn't why you should be writing anyway.

If your life could be summed up in a song, which one would you choose?
Deborah-Hoo boy, that's a toughie. It changes from day to day, but today, I'd probably say the Rolling Stones "Can You Hear The Music". Tomorrow? Something else.

Tell us one quirky things that fans might not know about you?
Deborah-I own a crossbow. Know how to use it, too.

What book are you working on now and when can fans expect to get their hands on it?
Deborah-Two books, as a matter of fact: The seventh Kinkaid, Dead Flowers. And the follow-up to my first YA novel, Dark's Tale, which comes out March 2010, on Egmont USA. As to when? They haven't even been seen by the publishers yet - I write really, really fast!

My sincere thanks to Deborah for spending some time with me. You can purchase any of her fabulous books from the first JP Kinkaid, Rock and Roll Never Forgets, to the upcoming second in the series, out this week, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Make sure to add the Haunted Ballad set as well, starting withThe Weaver & the Factory Maid, The Famous Flower of Serving Men, Matty Groves, Cruel Sister, and New Slain Knight. Check out her website, to find out where to buy them all.


Monday, September 7, 2009

The Raven's Eye is on: Kate George

Kate got her start writing because someone double dog dared her to stop talking and start writing, and aren't we glad she did! Her debut is one great ride of mystery, romance, and murder. Nothing like a corpse to kill a girls good time!

Read on to find out more about Kate and how she managed to work some murder into the moonlight.

You started writing on a dare, but did always have the bug to write? How long did it take you to finish your first book? What did you find the most challenging?
Kate-Yes, I wrote Moonlighting in Vermont on a dare, (more the fool me!) but it wasn't my first novel. I wrote my first novel when I was in my twenties, and it was pretty awful! I don't think I could make it readable if I tried. Before that I had some poetry published. Moonlighting is my first novel since that first novel, but I've also had essays published.

I had a passing fancy as a child that I'd like to be an author and see my name on the books in the library!

That first novel shook that fancy out of me. Writing can be hard work!

I have to say that having some life experience has made writing so much easier for me. I "get" a lot more about people than I used to. Dialogue, motivation, interesting situations are all easier to write when you've been around the block a time or two. At least for me! I was not a prodigy by any stretch of the imagination. I had to really live some life before I began to be able to write about it. The most challenging part was balancing family with writing. I have four children aged 9-15. I was fortunate enough not to have to work for the first part of the book or I may not have made it. It took me about a year to finish Moonlighting and then another year to get it published. During that time there were innumerable rewrites!

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?
Kate-There is always something more interesting, pressing or important to do! It's easy to get caught up in the dishes, the email, the laundry, the research and forget to get to the writing. I set aside writing time but I'm not particularly disciplined.

Is there anyone, author or otherwise, in particular you draw inspiration from? If so, how has that influenced your writing?
Kate-Janet Evanovich and Jennifer Crusie are my biggest influences. They both use humor to lighten the mood of their writing. Like most people, I've had a few challenges in my life and I love to be able to read novels that make me laugh when the world around me is falling apart! These two women have always been able to cheer me up. When I started writing Moonlighting I wanted to give other people that same feeling. Kind of like paying it forward, or paying it back if you rather. I felt I could write best what I most like to read, and so that's how I began. It's hard sometimes to keep that light tone. It's difficult to stay light and upbeat when things are falling apart in your own life. But I do my best!

Which came first, your character, or the plot?
Kate-Ack! How to answer? I've been nursing the plot for a long time. I worked at a hotel that catered to the rich and famous and we weren't supposed to be seen by the clients. There were secret closets and underground tunnels, all kinds of tricks to keep us invisible. So I guess the idea had been percolating in the back of my mind for a while.

But without my character that plot would have never come to be. At the time of the "dare" I'd been reading a lot of Evanovich and Crusie and I loved their female protagonists. One of my friends said I was a lot like Agnes in Agnes and the Hit Man by Crusie and Mayer. No worries though, I only use my frying pan for cooking! I wanted to write about a woman who was like me - but more. Funnier, braver, but also more prone to things going wrong. Bree is like me in some ways but at the same time she's completely her own person.

I guess the real answer to that question is the plot came first, but it didn't become real until Bree stepped into the story.

What sort of process do you use to create? Is there anything special you do to get in the mood to write?
Kate-I write best when it's quiet. So I like to get up early or write late when no one's around. But that's not always possible. When I need to tune out the world I put on my ipod and listen to music. I try to make a play list for each novel, that way whenever I hear my music for each book I'm immediately back in the story. Back in the mood.

If I'm writing where it's noisy I leave the music on and tune it out. I need to be able to hear the words in my head, and it's funny in a weird kind of way, but sometimes when I'm listening to something those words end up on the page instead of my story! If I'm in a quiet place I either turn the music off after a couple of songs, or just don't turn it on to begin with.

I'm trying to teach myself to be able to write anywhere at anytime. I write in airports, on buses, with pen and paper if I don't have my laptop with me. Waiting rooms, you name it. With four kids I figure I'll never get books finished unless I write at every possible moment.

It is becoming more difficult to become published. Tell us about the process it took for you to get your first book on bookstore shelves.
Kate-Never give up. I queried many, many agents and many, many publishers. It only takes one yes and eventually a small publisher took a chance on me. Mainly Murder Press, LLC is small and relatively new so maybe it was taking a chance on each other. It's a decision I don't regret in the least. I read somewhere "When the bus stops, get on." In my mind that means when your chance comes, take it. I'm glad I did.

The sequence of events was interesting for me. I entered the Daphne writing contest for excellence in mystery before I submitted Moonlighting to Mainly Murder Press. Actually, I entered and then totally forgot about it. I submitted to MMP and was offered a contract within a month! Unheard of. (well, maybe not unheard of, but rare.) Then I found out I was a finalist in the mainstream division on the Daphne. Oh joy! Oh my! I'd just signed a contract and I didn't know if I'd already violated one of the clauses! Yikes.

Luckily, MMP was as thrilled as I that Moonlighting was a finalist and eventually won the mainstream division. So it was two fortuitous events in a row! But I tell you, I was worried. A contract is very formal and legally binding and it would be just like me to have inadvertently messed it up before I even really got started!

Tell us one quirky thing that fan’s might not know about you?
Kate-Besides having four kids I have three obnoxious dogs. One of my dogs made it into a story I'm writing now, and a woman who was kind enough to critique my work told me it wasn't believable that anyone would continue to put up with the dog's exploits. She basically said that readers wouldn't be able to relate to a protagonist that was stupid enough to let a dog run her life. I couldn't bring myself to tell her that it was all true. That dog was modeled after my shepherd/retriever cross, Moose and I put with a great deal more than I should from him. Just ask my husband! I can't help it. Moose is the most lovable chowder-head you'll ever meet. He may the stupidest dog I've ever owned, but he's also one of the most adorable.

The only other quirky thing I can think of is that I used to be a motorcycle safety instructor. Yes, I taught people how to ride motorcycles for a living when I was young. Now I'm doing everything I can to keep my kids off them!

While getting a book onto store shelves is a huge challenge, the work doesn’t end there. How do you go about publicizing your work and developing a fan base?
Kate-I'm still learning how to publicize and develop a fan base. I try and keep a presence on the web - update my website, blog, facebook. I also judge contests and stay as active as I can in my online writers groups. If a book store or library gives me the opportunity for a signing or reading I jump on it. Fellow writers are also a good source of information about getting the word out. I read a lot about publicity, what works - what doesn't.

What is the single best piece of advice you could give to a writer just starting out?
Kate-Just write. There's no way to become a better writer except by writing. Set a daily goal and strive to meet it. Write before you do anything else. Email, critiques, writers groups, research - all are good things, except when they are getting in the way of actually writing. Can you tell I have experience with this? There's nothing worse than getting to the end of the day, totally exhausted by life with no energy to write and realizing you didn't even try to reach your daily goal. So I'll say it again. Write.

If your characters could describe you, what would they say?
Kate-That crazy woman keeps ruining my day? No? Let's see, Bree would say I'm a combination of her best friend Meg, Bree's mother - Samantha MacGowan - and a little bit of Bree herself. Meg and I would be best friends.

When can fan’s expect their next dose of Kate George?
Kate-If all goes well there will be a new novel on the shelf next summer. I have two in the works: California Schemin' is another Bree MacGowan adventure. Tank and Maggie Meet the Mob is about a new protagonist - Maggie Merlot - a FBI dropout who finds herself in the kind of situation she left the FBI to avoid. And in case our readers don't know it, those are working titles - Meaning that if I'm are lucky enough to get them into print, the publisher may decide to change the title. My name, however, will stay the same!

Thanks to Kate for spending this time with me. I’m sure there are plenty of readers who can’t wait to go Moonlighting in Vermont. Order it now from Mainly Murder Press (.com) at a 20% discount. OR from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and can be ordered from any bookstore in the country.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Sue Ann Jaffarian’s larger than size twelve heroine, Odelia Grey is back in her fourth adventure, “Booby Trap”, after a lipsmacking time in “Thugs and Kisses”. This time Odelia has to help a friend in distress whose son may or may not be a serial killer. When her friend gets chatty online with a stranger who suspiciously resembles the notorious Blond Bomber, Odelia jumps in to help. Sinful sex talk, tastelessly tainted torsos, and tough guys with ties to the murders along with lively humor make this an mystery with a plus size appeal.
Make sure to visit Sue Ann Jaffarian’s website for a list of all her great book,

Where there’s moonlight, there must be murder. Kate George’s Moonlighting in Vermont, a Daphne aware winner, has no shortage of mayhem and mystery. Bella Bree McGowan, typesetter for the local paper, finds that life in the boonies can be dangerous to your health, as well as your freedom. She’s got a sexy Lt. who wants to put her in jail, a town that thinks she’s capable of almost anything on the wrong side of the law, and dead bodies popping all over the place. Bree might have just lost her boyfriend, and slept with the wrong guy, but she’s about to find out that moonlight can be a pretty dark place to be.
Make sure to visit Kate George’s website for more information as well as more on this great read,

Angie Fox’s straight laced Pre-school teacher Lizzie Brown may have thought finding out she was demon slayer was life altering enough in An Accidental Demon Slayer. Especially when it comes with a gang of seventy-something biker witches, led by her Grandma, a love affair with a shape shifting griffin and late night conversations with her suddenly talkative terrier. In the second book of the series, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers she’s off to Sin City where a salacious succubi has her eye on her devilishly handsome protector, Dimitri. This demon is about to find out just how tough a Pre-School teacher can get.
Make sure to visit Angie Fox’s website for a list of all her great books,

The ability to see what lies beneath the conscious surface of our world can be a blessing and a curse. Rebecca J Vickery’s psychic Jessica Wilder knows this all too well. In Looking Through the Mist Jessica has seen enough as consultant for the FBI to compel her into retirement. The life she is building is threatened when horrific visions of child abductions force their way in. Now she has to confront whatever malevolent force is at work in these crimes as well as the skepticism of a police detective who may doubt her vision, but not the growing attraction they both feel.
Get this great read as an E-book from ClassAct Book. Make sure to visit Rebecca’s website for a list of all her great books

Miraculous cures, mysticism and murder fill the plot of Bleeder, John Desjarlais latest mystery thriller. After Professor Reed Stubblefield suffers the disabling consequences of a school shooting, he finds peace in rural Illinois writing a book on Aristotle. Suddenly, this reclusive haven is overcome with the afflicted seeking a cure for their ailments in the form of the new parish priest who claims the power of the stigmata. Reed, against his own reservations, is drawn into a friendship with the cleric, only to see him bleed to death on Good Friday in front of the entire parish. Was this the fatal price for the fleeting fame of being a stigmatic or something more sinister? A local reporter, Aristotle’s logic and Reed’s stubborn pursuit of the truth are all that stand between him and a devious killer.
Check out John’s other books at

If you think fixing up your old house is tough, try doing it around a dead body. Avery, the renovation maven from Jennie Bently’s first in the DIY mystery series, Fatal Fixer-Upper returns in the second of this series, Spackled & Spooked. This time, Avery and her hunky handyman in crime, Derek are trying renovating a house that was once home to a decades old murder. When some resident spirits make their dislike of the new wallpaper known Avery and Derek have to utilize more than their knowledge of paint and plaster to flip this house.
Check out more of Jennie’s books at

Carole Shmurak brings back Shauna Thompson from Deadmistress for new mystery set in a privileged Connecticut town. In Death at Hillard High, Shauna has been hired as the first African-American teacher in the schools history. Change doesn’t come easy to this town and soon Shauna is being subjected to cleverly cruel pranks. She turns to her old teacher for help discovering who’s behind the malicious campaign. Before Susan can determine if its student or colleague, another teacher disappears then his wife turns up dead. Susan’s soon digging deep into town secrets as she tries to uncover the truth along with the missing man.
Find out more at


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