Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
A former Associated Press reporter and TV columnist, I’ve sold 100 novels and launched a self-published mystery series, The Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries, with #101. A resident of Southern California, I’ve received a Career Achievement Award from Romantic Times and a USA Today bestseller placement.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet” is the first mystery in my new series. It came about because, after writing 17 romances for Harlequin set at my fictional Safe Harbor Medical Center, I wanted to return to mysteries. But I’d fallen in love with my setting and quirky supporting characters, plus I enjoy doing medical as well as forensic research.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I get very cranky and snap at anyone who interrupts me while I’m writing, with very few exceptions.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Mary Higgins Clark’s “Where Are the Children?” helped me understand how to maintain pacing. I studied it while writing my first mystery, “The Eyes of a Stranger.” Other influences include Jane Austen (my first published novels were Regency romances).
What are you working on now?
The second entry in the Safe Harbor Medical mystery series. I’m still at the plotting and outlining stage, but there are quite a few intriguing plot twists. Now I have to make sure everything comes together.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use social media–Twitter, Facebook–and actively network via authors’ groups, including Romance Writers of America. But the bottom line for me is my website, because I have complete control and readers can come there to find out all about me and my books, plus writing tips.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Take your readers seriously. Take your craft seriously. With self-publishing so popular, it’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and rush to print, but stuff you post on the Internet–and the reviews–hangs around forever. Or nearly.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Back to the classic This above all, unto thine own self be true. Oops, I nearly wrote “thin” own self. Maybe I’ve been dieting too hard.
What are you reading now?
Jana Deleon’s fun Miss Fortune mystery series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I plan to complete at least three mysteries in my series. If sales warrant, I have lots more ideas.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. But A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh isn’t far behind.