Every so often, I like to do an “Author’s Interview”, and today, it’s the turn of my fellow-Crooked-Cat-Author, Joan Livingstone. Her novel, Chasing the Case, is out next Friday (May 18th.)
1 What makes a good story? When the reader forgets they are reading one.
2 How have YOU become a better writer? When I was a journalist, I had to listen to the way people spoke and acted. That helps me create realistic dialogue and characters. Also I read a lot of what other authors write.
3 What inspires you? Small towns and the people who live in them.
4 What does your family think of your writing? My spouse, kids, and mother are big supporters.
5 What was the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books? That writing has become a permanent part of my daily life.
6 If you could have written any book, what would it have been and why? Frankly, it’s too hard to choose just one.
7 How much research do you do? Very little.
8 How do you relax? Spending time with the people who are close to me, reading, taking hikes, gardening. Actually I find writing relaxing.
9 Do you have any writing quirks? No life is pretty normal in that regard.
10 Why write in your genre? I had never written a mystery, so I wanted to try writing one. I surprised myself how much I enjoyed it. But then again, I’ve watched and read a ton of mysteries.
11 How is your writing different now from when you started writing? I don’t use the word ‘that’ as much. I learned to expand and write a bit longer. When I was a journalist, the tendency was to get to the point and write short.
12 What do people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that they don’t? Not sure of an answer here. I have found people are very interested in mysteries.
13 Your 3 favourite authors? Only three? Annie Proulx, Sherman Alexie, Russell Banks
14 In what ways do you ’service’ or ‘support’ your books? I am learning as much as I can about social media promotion and how I can use it as a tool.
15 What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? They are par for the business. You’ve got to have a thick skin. I have the hide of a rhino from being a reporter and an editor.
16 What makes your book(s) stand out from the crowd? I believe my characters are interesting, well developed, and a lot of fun. Besides the main character, Isabel Long, there is her Watson — her 92-year-old mother — and such characters as the Old Farts (the men who gossip in the back of the town’s general store), plus the owner and customers who frequent the local watering hole where she works part-time.
17 Tell us something about your road to being published. I’ve learned the hard truth there is writing and then there is the business of writing. I stopped counting rejections from agents and publishing houses a long time ago. I’ve had two agents and fired them both. I tried self-publishing and felt I needed more help. So I am very pleased to have hooked up with Crooked Cat Books.
18 Plotter or Pantser. Without sounding too nutty, I would say for me writing is a bit telepathic. I sit and the words come to me. Sometimes it happens when I am ready to fall asleep. Then there is the rewriting. I liken that to taking up a good daydream and making it better.
19 Your main character. What makes him or her so special? Isabel Long is a long-time journalist turned amateur P.I. after a bad year — she lost her husband and her job as a newspaper’s editor. She’s smart, sassy and relentless. Okay, I will admit there is a lot of me in her.
20 What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? None yet, so fire away.
Thank you, Joan – and a reminder to you all – her latest Crime novel, Chasing the Case, is out next Friday! Here is the book linker code: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase This will give you your local Amazon link WHEREVER you are.
There’s more info about Joan on her Crooked Cats page:
and on her own webpage:
She can also be found
and on Twitter at: @JoanLivingston