What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?
Lost Books and Old Bones is my seventeenth book.
How did you become interested in writing?
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was seven and wrote a poem about a kite. I still remember the moment. I’ve been writing ever since, but I didn’t start to pursue being published until 1997. I thought I’d be published by Y2K (2000). I wasn’t published until 2010. It took a little longer than I anticipated.
What is a day in the life of an author like? Do you write a certain number of words, do you write in the morning or evening, etc?
I have word count goals, and I work best in the morning, the earlier the better. In the hot Arizona summers, I get up at 5:00, get a bike ride in, and then write. Things don’t always go as planned and other things do come up. It’s best to try to get ahead of my goal – and then sometimes I still get behind. Edits, rewrites, marketing, social media, research – these extras can take up a lot of time and sometimes happen all at once.
Do you plot the entire book first, then write or plot as you go?
I’ve recently started plotting more. It’s difficult for me - I have a hard time seeing what’s ahead, but it’s becoming easier. I do think that plotting ahead helps and probably saves one to two extra drafts of a book, but sometimes those extra drafts are necessary. Every book is different and takes on its own personality.
Do you use real people and places as models for your books?
Edinburgh is the first real city I’ve used, and it’s somewhat fictionalized. I don’t consciously use real people in my stories, but I’m sure personality traits sneak in here and there. There are moments I think, “I need to use that in a book” but I haven’t ever used anything exactly. Little bits here and there probably do come in.
Who is your favorite author?
That changes all the time. An author I have consistently enjoyed over the years, though, is Sue Grafton. I will miss her.
How do you promote your books?
Social media. Some mailing, but mostly social media. I’m fortunate to work with the publisher’s publicists and marketing departments that are staffed with people who respond quickly and help in many ways.
For a review of Lost Books and Old Bones, click here.