Lois Winston Guest Blogger

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

different names?

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
mention coffee?

. 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There are two different types of contests for unpublished authors, those run by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.



9 thoughts on “Lois Winston Guest Blogger

  1. noraadrienne says:

    You fell last week? Was this before or after the panel thing at the 5th Ave. Library? It was great meeting you there along with Nancy and Tom. I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve even got the first book on a hold at my public library so I can get started on reading your books.

    I hope your back feels better soon, and I look forward to your next local appearance so I can visit again.

  2. rachelkb says:

    Lois, feel better! And yes to coffee. I like a little white noise, that I then tune out, but somehow it helps. Too much silence feels…I don’t know, like my brain is empty. Interesting to hear what environment works best. rachelkb at gmail.com

  3. jeff7salter says:

    Lois, I also need absolute silence in order to concentrate enough to write.
    It turns out I’m blessed with excellent hearing — at least so far in my life — and I can hear the TV if it’s on downstairs …. or conversations two rooms away. Best possible scenario is to be in the house completely alone.
    Like you, I know people who use music (both FOREground and background) and/or other things with great effect. And, like you, I know folks who’ll pack up their laptop and spend hours at a coffee shop writing. That would be a disaster for me. Oh, I’d enjoy the coffee, But all the distractions! Movement, sound … humanity!
    Nope … I need my solitude.

  4. jeff7salter says:

    And to Elaine — very sorry to hear about your accident. Disk issues are very serious matters. I hope and pray you’ll fully recover … soon.

  5. Lois Winston says:

    Hi Nora! No, I didn’t fall. It was Elaine Charton, the owner of this blog, who fell. It was a pleasure meeting you last week. I hope you enjoy the book.

    Elaine, thanks for inviting me here today. Hope you’re back feels better soon.

  6. Lois Winston says:

    Thanks, rachelkb, but as I mentioned to Nora, my back is fine. Elaine is the one having the problem.

    As both you and Jeff illustrate, we all need different environments for optimal creativity. You have to find what works best for you and stick with it.

  7. Fun interview- and your new book sounds like a lot of fun!

  8. Lois Winston says:

    Thanks, Alicia!

  9. Jane R says:

    Great interview! As a fellow coffee drinker I can fully appreciate why you have it nearby when you’re working. And chocolate is always good too!

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