Welcome to my new blog series highlighting the success of The Sandy Finalists.
I developed The Sandy writing contest seven years ago for the Crested Butte Writers and have been delighted to see many of our finalists go onto publication. I thought it'd be fun to follow up with them and see where they are now in their careers.
What year did you final, with what book and what place did you end up with?
My Lighthouse Mystery mss, FIRE POINT, placed third in the Mystery/Suspense category in 2011.
Both -- I published my first book, DOUBLE CROSSING, with Astraea Press, and a novella, The Key to Love. Then I self-published Santa Paws, a Christmas novella about a rescue dog. The sequel to Double Crossing, DOUBLE OR NOTHING, was just released with Blue Oyster Press.
What’s your story about?
Fire Point -- which I hope to publish soon, is about an artist who discovers a female keeper's body at the local lighthouse in 1909. Think American Downton Abbey, only without a lot of servants. ;-DYou write historical mysteries as well as contemporary romance novellas. What is it about the historical genre that attracts you and why set your mysteries in the past rather than present day?
I'm a history buff and research fiend. I could research the day long! I think I was born in the wrong era. Only I love my laptop and my indoor plumbing, my dishwasher, my microwave. There's a reason my heroines usually have a maid to do the housework. LOL
I think so too. I was surprised to discover I could "pants" with my novellas, and keep an outline in my head -- while I spend weeks on my full novels outlining and doing character sketches. Of course, the novellas are contemps. BUT I still have to research outfits, cars, houses, etc. And each character, historical or contemp, has to grow in some way. I try to incorporate a few things I've learned in my life into that character arc. It's fun, and I hope the reader enjoys not just the story, but the history and vivid details I put into all my books.
I believe that through the writing of a book, each story comes with its own lessons for the author. Does that hold true for you?
What are you most proud of in your writing journey?Winning the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best First Book of 2012 was a true shocker! The actor Wes Studi handed out the awards, and I got to shake his hand -- he's an incredible actor, and so different in real life, funny and friendly. I truly am proud of all the wonderful reviews for Double Crossing.
Can you give us a sneak peak at the next book in the series?Double or Nothing continues the adventures of Lily and Ace from Book 1. They're both stand-alones -- I kept any spoilers for Book 1 out of the sequel -- but to get the full effect, they ought to be read in order. And there won't be a third book.
In a nutshell, Double Crossing is True Grit mixed with Murder on the Orient Express. Double or Nothing is a blend of The Fugitive with Clint Eastwood's Hang 'Em High -- Ace is wrongfully accused of murder, and Lily must prove his innocence before the noose tightens.
Anything else you want to share?I hope readers will find me on my Amazon Author Page, my website, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, where I have boards for each of my books and also my characters from the Double Series.