First I’d like to apologize for not being around much. I fell last weekend and fractured a disc in my back. 😦 Needless to say blogging will be inconsistent for a few more weeks.
Having said that, I would like to introduce today’s guest blogger Lois Winston. Her latest book Death by Killer Mop Doll is now available.
Lois Winston is the author of the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting
Mysteries. The first book in the series, Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun,
received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and was recently
nominated for a Reader’s Choice Award by the Salt Lake City Library System.
Lois is also an award-winning author of humorous women’s fiction and romantic
suspense, an award-winning designer, and an agent with the Ashley Grayson
Literary Agency. Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at http://
What genre do you write in? If you write in more than one genre is it under
I’ve always written under my own name, no matter the genre. began my career
writing romance. My first published book, Talk Gertie To Me, is humorous
women’s fiction. My second book, Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception,
is a romantic suspense. Then at the suggestion of my agent, I tried writing an
amateur sleuth mystery and found my true calling as an author. My Anastasia
Pollack Crafting Mysteries have received critical acclaim, and I’ll be writing them
for at least the next few years, having just been offered a contract for books #4
and #5 in the series.
Is there something you definitely need around when you write?
Coffee. Coffee. More coffee. Plus the occasional piece of chocolate. Did I
. Music? TV? Or Silence when you write.
I need to write in total silence. Even soft background music is too distracting
to me because I find myself humming along. No way could I write with the TV
on! I have a friend who can only write while watching TV. She’s published over
25 books and is a bestselling author. I don’t know how she does it. I also can’t
imagine writing at a coffee shop like some people do.
How do you feel about writing contests?
Many authors got their first publishing break as a result of winning or finaling in a
contest. I’m one of them.
There are two different types of contests for unpublished authors, those run by
writing organizations and those run by publishers. The ones run by organizations
usually have entry fees. Too many people become addicted to entering these
contests and wind up spending more on entry fees than they’ll ever receive in
the way of an advance on a first sale. When it comes to contests, you need to
employ common sense.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Study each contest to determine whether it’s
a good one for your particular book.
If you’re entering contests in order to get feedback, keep in mind that the people
judging your work may not be the best people to offer you constructive criticism.
You have no way of knowing how knowledgeable or qualified they are. You may
be better served by hiring a freelance editor.
Do you have a favorite of your characters? Why?
I’m definitely Team Anastasia because she’d kill me if I claimed any other
character as my favorite! Seriously, though, I think she’s my favorite because
we have a lot in common. (Disclaimer: what we don’t have in common is a dead
louse of a spouse. My husband is very much alive and unlike Karl Pollack, he’s a
nice guy who hasn’t gambled away our life’s savings.)
Blurb for Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the critically acclaimed
Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries:
Crafts editor Anastasia Pollack’s stress level maxes out when her well-
intentioned mother meets and seduces TV producer Lou Beaumont. Suddenly,
Anastasia and her fellow American Woman editors find themselves roped into
unpaid gigs for a revamped morning TV show. However, not everyone involved
enjoys the idea of the overhaul, and a disgruntled staffer takes action by trashing
the studio set. When that doesn’t halt production, vandalism escalates to murder,
and a member of the production team is found with one of Anastasia’s knitting
needles plunged through his heart.
The network decides the show must go on, but morning TV turns crime drama
as a blackmail plot is uncovered and another body is found. Because Anastasia
fears the killer might go after her and Mama next, she has no recourse but to
launch her own investigation. Unfortunately, her snooping lands her directly in
the killer’s unforgiving spotlight.