What is the title of your newest book and how many books have you published?
I’m currently finishing up edits on Reason to Doubt, book five in the Carol Childs Mysteries while I dabble with the beginnings of a new series. The new series takes Misty Dawn, an aging Hollywood psychic to the stars, out from beneath the umbrella of the Carol Child’s Mysteries where she played minor roles and launches her into a series of her own.
How did you develop your character and choose your location?
I spent twenty-five years in talk radio and when I began to write it’s all I knew. So radio and Los Angeles felt like a natural to me. I liked making my character a middle-aged woman because women, particularly women covering news stories, are so complex. They’re faced with balancing family, work and relationships and heavy, sometimes backbiting competition to remain relevant.
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?
I write first thing n the morning and try to write at least a thousand to fifteen hundred words a day. If that sounds daunting, I think of it as writing scenes. It’s easier to think today I need to write the ‘bar scene,’ get the bones of the scene together then go back and dress it up.
Do you belong to a writers group or are you in touch with other writers? How does that help your writing?
I have several writer friends I’m constantly in touch with but I seldom share what I’m working on until I’ve completed a draft. What I do do, however, is what I call story therapy. Talk it out. Ellen Byron and I are walking partners. I call our walks My Tuesday Mornings With Ellen. Lots and of times we’ll share ideas. I’m also good friends with Rochelle Staab. She and I frequently talk shop over lunch. What I do know, it’s important for a writer to get out and away from their desk. It’s amazing how walking away from a project for a short bit can reinvigorate an idea.
Do you model your character after yourself or any one you know?
I’ve been accused of being Carol. But she’s so much gutzier and cooler than I ever was.
Who is your favorite author?
There are so many. But for coffee contemporary mystery with a female protagonist I’d have to say, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Tammy Hoag,
How do you keep track of character details from book to book so they are consistent?
I’ve started an excel sheet with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
If you could not be an author, what would you like to do as a career?
Teach maybe? I teach creative writing classes from time to time, and I do enjoy that. I would be hard for me to say at this point in my life what else I’d like to do. I’ve come to the writing thing, or fiction writing anyway, late in life, and I’ve already run the gambit of things I’d love to do.
For a review of Room for Doubt, click here.