Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a brand-new author. Kensington releases my first mystery, TIME’S UP in June.
It will be followed by CHOKED UP in December.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
TIME’S UP is the start of the Maisie McGrane mystery series. I read an article about how the city of Chicago sold their parking meters to Saudi Arabia for 75 years. Chicago has the highest parking rates and fines in the United States. That idea was my jumping off point.
I have over-protective brothers. So a younger sister trying to compete is a character I know inside and out. Maisie’s dream of becoming a cop like her brothers and father and being forced to work as a meter maid seemed a natural conflict that just sort of snapped together.
I love complex characters. No one is all good or all bad. My favorite villains are the scary ones you can’t help but empathize with.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write everywhere. I don’t need a quiet room or special desk. I’m either on a Mac or using an Ultra-Fine Sharpie on a cheap wide-ruled notebook paper.
If I don’t feel like things are coming together in my head, I:
1.) Take a shower
2.) Take a long drive
3.) Sit in on a seminar/talk/class I have no interest in. Blocking out someone talking about things I’m not interested in gives me focus.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ian Fleming for creating the cool as window glass in winter heroes.
Charlaine Harris’s ability to maintain lightness in dark situations.
Roald Dahl and Dick Francis–their ability to connect through first person is flawless.
What are you working on now?
I am working on the final edit of Choked Up and the start of the next book in the series: Shoot ‘Em Up.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’ll have to let you know! I do know that I’ve met some truly fantastic people on Twitter–resources of every kind.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It’s your subconscious’s way of telling you your scene or chapter isn’t working. Back up to where you were happy and try a different direction.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Know your genre inside and out. Read new authors in your chosen genre. They are who agents will be judging your query and pages against. Stay current. Remember, well-established authors get to play by a different set of rules than first timers.
What are you reading now?
I’m switching between The Bad Seed by William March and The US Army Survival Manual.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Write the third in the Maisie McGrane Mystery series: SHOOT ‘EM UP.
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Animal Family by Randall Jarrell