Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An Interview with Lisa A. Bork

Lisa Bork is new upon the mystery author scene and here is her thoughts on mystery writing, being an author and on her new mystery FOR BETTER, FOR MURDER.

Pamela: Lisa tell us how long it took you to write, FOR BETTER FOR MURDER.

I started it in February 2007 and finished in August 2007. Then I passed it by ten readers for feedback and made my revisions. I sent out my query letters a month later.

Pamela: Tell us about your writing schedule and where you write?

I don't have a schedule. I only write when I feel like it. Obviously, I was pretty motivated in 2007 and wrote almost every weekday while my kids were at school and sometimes on the weekends. Now I most often write weekdays during the school year, two to four hours a day. Sometimes other times, if and when ideas come to me.

Pamela: Now we want to know about your life? What is your favorite book, movie, food, and tell us about being a mystery author?

I don't have a favorite book, although I have read Gone With The Wind more than once. I like character driven stories with humor. My favorite kind of movies are romantic comedies like You've Got Mail. I've watched Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice many times, as well as Pretty Woman and, you guessed it, Gone With The Wind.

Being a mystery author is still new to me. It's what I do now, and I'll do it as long as it's fun to write and people want to read my stories. When that's no longer true, I'll find something else to do.

Pamela: What are your future writing plans?

I'm currently writing the fourth book in my series. I have storylines for these characters and series for one or two more books beyond that. I'm waiting for another idea to hit me, so that I can write either another series or a standalone. An idea hasn't even brushed by me yet.

Pamela: What would you like the readers to know about Lisa: the woman, the friend and the mystery reader?

Oh my gosh! Well, I am the mother of two delightful children, and my husband and I have been married almost seventeen years. I can be happy with one true friend, but I'm a friendly person.

As a mystery reader, I cut my teeth on The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Cherry Ames then moved onto Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, and Alfred Hitchcock. I enjoy characters like Stephanie Plum and Myron Bolitar and Fletch. I like to laugh out loud or be moved by characters.

Lisa: What would you like to say to your readers?

Hi! Thrilled to know you're reading my books. I hope you enjoy them.

Lisa: How many times do you rewrite your books?

The hardest chapter I ever wrote was the first chapter in For Better, For Murder. I changed it several times until I got it just the way I wanted it. Now I rewrite lines and passages to fit things I discover as the story comes to me.

Lisa; Give us some background on how you became a mystery author?

Truthfully, I was motivated by boredom. I worked for many years in human resources and marketing, but I decided to stay at home when my kids were young. When they entered school full-time, I didn't know what to do with myself. I wanted something to do at home that might make a little money and keep me entertained--and still available for field trips, class parties, and school vacations. With a bachelors degree in English and a love for writing and books, taking a stab at becoming an author solved my problem.

Lisa: Why do you think holiday mysteries, wedding mysteries, and hobby mysteries are so popular?

I think those kinds of mysteries give an author the opportunity to write a character driven story, and I think readers are interested in other people, real or imaginary. With hobby mysteries, readers might learn something new or enjoy someone else's perspective on their interests. Holidays and weddings always seem to bring out the best and the worse in people, which makes for interesting storylines.

Lisa: What is the best part of being a mystery author?

Writing entertains me, and I'm hoping it entertains my readers, too.

Lisa: Leave us with some writing words of wisdom and your website addy.

If you want to be a writer, I must steal from Nike's slogan: Just Do It.

By all means, please visit me at www.LisaBork.com. I have pictures of my writing inspirations there and a list of things I found helpful on my way to being published.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Guest Blogger - Lois Greiman

They say you can judge a person by the company she keeps. I find this interesting (and a little scary) because just last week I told an author friend that I was planning to write a book about werewolves with my daughter. And she said, “Yeah? Is it fiction?”
Ahhh…my people!
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been enthralled with all things magical. Tolkein was a legend in my world. Ents lived and breathed. Gandalf was my personal hero (Although seriously, if I had known Aragorn was Viggo Mortensen I would have had a poster of HIM instead. Except he didn’t have the great horse: Shadowfax--when I saw him on the big screen I actually started to cry. But I digress…and ramble.)
Annnnyway, back in the dark ages I wrote a trilogy I called the Dragonheart series. It was about a magical amulet that passed amongst three Scottish girls. I desperately wanted a dragon on the cover. But alas, it was later titled ??Highland Brides (sigh) and I was told that if they put a dragon on the front Avon wouldn’t sell a single copy.
Methinks times have changed. These days everything is paranormal, and I’m lovin’ the weird stuff. We have witches, faeries, demons, and elves. Not to mention vampires up the wazoo. To me fantasy is the ultimate fiction. The farthest reaches of our imagination. Love it, love it, love it. But…when my twenty year old daughter suggested that we write a paranormal novel together, I played it cool. “A paranormal, you say.” (This is me looking wise. Maybe stroking my chin.) “You and I? I don’t know I’m a little too busy to be spending time playing make believe WITH MY FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WORLD!!”
As you can imagine I was all over this idea. I eat, sleep, and ruminate this idea. So, hold your communal breath for me, please, and hope we can get this brainstorm off the ground.
Until then I have my latest series for your reading pleasure. The Witches of Mayfair series been tons of magical fun for me. Under Your Spell and Seduced By Your Spell are already out there. The final book, Charming the Devil, will be released in February. They’re about a coven of government witches in 19th century London. Just serving up a little Regency weird stuff. Hope you enjoy.

Best Books of 2009

It's that time of year, you know what I mean I am listing the ten best books I've read for 2009: Please blog us your ten best books of 2009.

1. The BAKER STREET LETTERS (Those who love Sherlock Holmes will devour series) by Michael
2. The VICTORIA VANISHES by Christopher Fowler
3. The GHOST and the FEMME FATALE by Alice Kimberley
5. BOOKPLATE SPECIAL by Lorna Barrett.
6. IN the BEST FAMILIES by Rex Stout
7. The CAT, The QUILT And The CORPSE by Leann Sweeney
8. MURDER With All The TRIMMINGS by Elaine Viets
9. The ALPINE RECLUSE by Mary Daheim
10. ALMOND and RAISINS by Kerry Greenwood.
Two runner ups were:
FOR WHOM The DEATH TOLLS by Kate Kingsbury
I read some other really good books but these made this year's cut. I doubt in another month I would refine this list of books.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November is Here!

It's fall and the leaves are falling faster from the trees than a Nascar can reach the finish line. It's ther pefect time to feel warm and cozy, and it's the perfect time to read.
This fall I have read some very great book a cat book by Leann Sweeney, a wonderful book by JB Stanley, and the list goes on and on but today let's talk about what books are on your Christmas Wishlist.
Mine are Merry, Merry Murder by Carolyn Hart, all the books by Christopher Fowler (his perculiar crimes series), the latest Carola Dunn Mystery, the last two Emily Brightwell Mrs. Jefferies Mysteries, Cubbed To Death by Elaine Viets, the latest Lisa Scottoline Legal Thriller, most of the books in the Alpine Series by Mary Daheim, plus I'm really trying hard to think of everyone and I'm sure I missed some great authors.
How do you keep track of your wishlist?
I know I discovered a new author recently Barbara Allen I have her Christmas Mystery that I stumbled on and love it.
Okay for this month this is all I have to say except HAPPY THANKSGIVING one and all.

Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Intimate Review by Simon Brett

Blotto and his friend go see  Light and Frothy;   a new popular show and his friend falls for the star of the show.  After his friend is k...