Thursday, July 8, 2010


You’ve written a variety of fiction and non-fiction and were also a writing teacher. What is the biggest misconception a writer has before being published?

Not realizing how much one must do to promote his or her book. It takes as much time for me to promote as it does to write a book.

Once a writer has published many books, as you have, is it easier to keep coming up with ideas and materials—or harder?

Oh, I always have ideas--it's finding the time to put them into the computer that's the hard part. We just returned from Mayhem in the Midlands, one of my favorite mystery conventions, and now I have a huge stack of writing-related tasks to get done. (And I didn't even mention all the things that must be done to run this busy household.)

Having penned both fiction and non-fiction, which is easier to write? Should writers try their hands at both, or stick to just one?

I truly love writing fiction the best and seldom write any non-fiction anymore, unless I'm doing a ghost-writing project for someone.  Having said that, I think writing non-fiction is best if you really want to make some money at this profession.

Tell us about your most recent books.

I write two series. The latest in the Rocky Bluff crime series is An Axe to Grind. The idea for the story came from a talk by a coroner at a Sisters in Crime meeting. He showed slides and talked about various murders and one was about a decapitation. I took notes and knew that one day the detectives in my series would have to solve that case. While doing so, Detective Milligan has to put planning his wedding to Officer Stacey Wilbur on hold. The Rocky Bluff P.D. series has an ensemble cast and what I've tried to do is show how what happens in the police officers' families affects the job, and what's happening on the job affects the family.

Dispel the Mist grew from research about Big Foot for a previous novel. I learned that the Indians on the reservation that is often in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series believe in a legendary creature called The Hairy Man. I was fortunate to see the pictographs of the Hairy Man in a rock shelter on the reservation and knew that my heroine had to have an encounter with him.

I met your husband when we were at the EPIC Conference in New Orleans earlier this year; he’s not only nice (and charming!), but also incredibly supportive. How important do you believe it is to a writing to have a support system?

It certainly helps to have a support system and I'm so fortunate that my husband is willing to do so much to help me especially when I'm on the road promoting my books.

What types of things do you do to promote your books?

I attend writers and mystery conferences if I can either be an instructor/speaker or be on a panel. Though I do a few book store signings, I do far more library visits, book and craft fairs. And of course there is the Internet, where I'm on Facebook and Twitter and do blog tours for all of my books.

What are the addresses of your websites and blogs?

My website is
My personal blog is
Every Tuesday I blog at
and the first and third Tuesday's I'm at

Linda, thank you so much for letting me visit your blog today.


  1. Thank you, Linda, for this insightful interview. You asked some great questions.


  2. You're welcome, Marily. It's always a pleasure.

  3. You are truly so busy, Marilyn, that your writing life leaves me breathless. And in awe. I couldn't agreewith you more. Writng is only half the work, the fun part for me. The other half is promoting and selling. Seems like I do a lot of promoting and not enough selling. If you had to choose only one soruce for social networking to promote your work, what would it be?

  4. Oh, my Lesley, I don't think I could pin it down to one because each thing seems to rely on others. If you're blogging or visiting a blog, you have to let people know, so that's where Twitter and Facebook come in. (I'm partial to Facebook for social networking. And a confession, I don't sell near as much as I'd like to. Thanks for asking even if I didn't give a concise answer.