If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th. In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

An Interview with Gloria Alden

After writing for years and trying the traditional publishing route, Gloria Alden, a WWK blogger, opted to self-publish. I read her first novel, The Blue Rose, and enjoyed this cozy mystery. As a gardener, Gloria knows her subject well. Her plant descriptions of the public garden where the murder takes place made the setting come alive. E.B. Davis

Before we start, Gloria, could you give us the jacket paragraph so readers will know a bit about the plot in The Blue Rose?

Catherine Jewell enjoys the small quiet town she’s recently moved to where she’s a botanist at Elmwood Gardens and also has a small garden center, Roses in Thyme. At least she does until she discovers a body with a garden fork in his back at Elmwood Gardens. John MacDougal, the police chief of Portage Falls, has never had to deal with a murder in his ten years as police chief. As he questions the suspects, many who are Catherine’s co-workers and friends, she works to divert his suspicions elsewhere since she’s sure none of them could be the murderer. When another body is discovered, they start working together. In spite of their inexperience and several close calls with death, they solve the murders and restore calm to the little town of Portage Falls.

Is there really a blue rose?
     
No – only in The Blue Rose. There are roses with blue in the name, but they’re not a true blue, more of a lavender.

Much like blue roses, your characters aren’t always as they seem. Do you think that most people hide behind facades or withhold secrets?
  
I think most people do to some extent. We probably all have things we’d rather not share whether it’s our own secret or someone else’s.

Catherine Jewell, your main character, doesn’t particularly like the victim. Why does she want to solve the mystery?

The police chief is looking at her friends and co-workers as prime suspects, and she seriously does not believe they could be the murderer.

Although your characters seem traditional, they are not typecast. Why did you mix traditional roles with anomalies, such as John bearing the parenting responsibility and Catherine saving John?

I guess I wanted my police chief not to be a tough macho kind of guy. There are times he assumes that role in this book and maybe even more in the next one, but I wanted him to be more like my dad. And wasn’t it nice to have Catherine saving John? I think so.

Mothers have a hard time in The Blue Rose. Do you think motherhood is a particularly hard job?   

Yeah, they do. I’m speaking from personal experience here.

Your characters are distinctive. I particularly liked how your secondary characters’ backstories lent themselves to plot. How did you choose their characteristics and did you tailor them to suit the plot?  

Yes and no. I find people interesting and certain characters have some of the attributes of someone I know. Ed in my book has a lot of the characteristics – but not the background – of my brother. Because he was an avid gardener, I made Ed a master gardener. Ed is also how I remember my brother working in his gardens. Usually I create murderers from my mind. They are not based on anyone I know, but I do write biographies for them in some detail so I know why they felt they needed to murder their victim.

You leave many questions open for the reader in The Blue Rose regarding the past and the future. How many books are you planning for the series?  

Lots and lots. My series is on a monthly timeline. The first takes place in June, the second Daylilies for Emily’s Garden is finished and waiting for a cover. It takes place in July, the third, Ladies of the Garden Club is finished, but not polished. It takes place in August, and I have the plot for my 4th book in my head and am eager to get started on it. It will take place in September.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I was tired of trying to get an agent, although I hadn’t been submitting to them for over a year. I thought of the small publishers and sent to a few, but I wasn’t willing to slash as much as
was necessary to meet their word limit. Plus even if I was accepted, it could be another year or so before the book would come out.

Then I started reading on the Guppy list serve of all the Guppies going that way and reading blogs of well-published authors who had gone this route. I started buying the self-published books of Guppies and found that almost all of them were as well edited and interesting as the published books I buy. Another thing, even if a small publisher accepted me, there would be a gap of a year between books coming out – if they even accepted the second. An author has to sell several hundred books before they’ll take on the next one. And from what I hear, most publishers aren’t doing that much promotion for the books, either. With three books finished, I didn’t want to wait any longer.

Will you bring books to Malice for sale?

I’m planning on it. I still need to contact the dealers.

Bonus: Beach or Mountains?  

I like both, but I prefer the mountains. I love trees and camping.

I’ll look for you at the Malice Domestic conference, Gloria. Meanwhile, if you’d like to read Gloria’s The Blue Rose, the book is available at Amazon.

15 comments:

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I’m looking forward to seeing you at Malice. Although one is not supposed to judge a book by its cover—it is a great looking cover!

Just curious: how long are cozies “supposed” to be. I agree with you that a book should be just as long as it needs to be to tell its story and not a word shorter or longer.

And it’s great you have more coming quickly so your fans can keep buying – of course at some point the pressure will be on to produce new books at a decent clip.

Best of luck with your sales – hope you make a lot of agents and publishers wish they have signed you on.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Just out of curiosity, Jim, how long are your books?

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Mine are both about 90,000 words.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Mine too, but they were not cozies, which I think are between 70-80 thousand words. I think Gloria's book was more like 90 thousand words, which might be one factor in her decision to self-publish.

Pauline Alldred said...

I can't wait to read Blue Rose and good luck with the series.

Warren Bull said...

Gook Luck with your series!

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, a cozy is supposed to be shorter than mine according to most cozy publishers. Believe me, I cut a lot out, but didn't want to cut anymore. That's one of the reasons I decided to self-publish.

Gloria Alden said...

Yes, Jim and E.B. my book was about 90,000 words. So is my next one, DAYLILIES FOR EMILY'S GARDEN, that's I'm just finishing reformatting for the paperback version. I still want to do a final line by line edit of it since shrinking the size causes some glitches.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Pauline and Warren. I have a book signing this Saturday at a local bookstore and in April I have a "Meet the Local Authors" event at a nearby library. And then there's Malice coming up, too.

Ann G said...

I love all your characters, Gloria, and I feel as if I've come to know them. In addition you have created a real community - and in spite of the high crime rate it is one that I would love to inhabit. I think that's one of the real attraction of great cosy fiction. And as far as I am concerned, when I love a book, I want it to be long.

And I really love the way Catherine rescues John. One of my favourite scenes ever. looking forward to the next one.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Ann. I don't think the crime rate is quite as bad as Cabot's Cove - at least not yet, but I'm working on it. :-)

Kara Cerise said...

I enjoyed reading The Blue Rose and look forward to Daylilies for Emily’s Garden. Good luck with the upcoming book signings and author events!

Patg said...

Nice interview, Gloria.

Polly Iyer said...

I agree with all your decisions to self-publish, Gloria. I had an agent I really liked, but I'd probably have been drooling by the time anyone wanted to publish any of my books. We have to make decisions to make us happy. Plus, I don't like booksignings, don't like in person promotion, and haven't been to any of the big conferences. So I'm not a good bet for a publisher.

I have The Blue Rose on my Kindle, and as soon as I finish this @#!^& book I'm working on, I intend to read it. Best of luck with the choice you made. Write those books.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Kara and Pat.

So far I've been happy with my choice, Polly. Your books are on my to be ordered list as soon as I get more of the books I've already bought read. They sound very good.