Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Interview with Dean James


MM2: Dean, how and why did you become an author? How long did it take for your book to be published?

I wanted to write fiction ever since I was old enough to figure out that books were written by people. I wrote my first novel when I was about twelve or thirteen. That book was never published, though I did send it to a publisher. Later on, when I began writing novels as an adult, it took fifteen years before a novel I wrote was actually published.

MM2: Will you give us an inside peek into your writing schedule and take us through a typical writing day?

Because of my current full-time and part-time jobs, I'm usually too tired during the week to write every day. So I do most of my writing, at least in the early stages of a book, on the weekends. The closer I get to finishing a book, however, the more likely I am to write every day. I don't really have a typical writing day, because on the weekends I also have to do those chores that don't get done during the week, like grocery shopping and laundry. So sometimes I write while the laundry is going, with breaks to take clothes out of the washer, put them in the dryer, and so on.

MM2: What advice do you have for aspiring mystery authors?

Read. Read. Read. And read mysteries. If you don't like reading them yourself, why would you want to spend months writing one? Read good ones and bad ones, see what works, what doesn't. Don't try to copy someone else. Let your own voice come through, but make sure you understand the basic rules of grammar. Sloppy writing won't impress anyone.

MM2:  Okay we want to know about your latest book and what you are going to write next?

The latest book, written by my counterpart Miranda, is FILE M FOR MURDER. It came out January 31st. I'm working on the next book in the series right now. The working title is OUT OF CIRCULATION, and it should be out around this same time next year.

MM2: This year will you be attending Malice Domestic?

Yes, I will, and I'm going to be doing a panel on Southern Mysteries. One of my fellow panelists is my good friend Leann Sweeney, author of the "Cats in Trouble" series. We're going to have a lot of fun.

MM2: Okay now will you tell give us a few answers to some fun questions.
1. What is your favorite movie?

The Philadelphia Story. It doesn't get better than Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.

2. What is your favorite meal and dessert?

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, fresh biscuits, sausage or bacon, and grape or blackberry jam. For dessert, either chocolate ice cream or cheesecake (but not with breakfast!).

3. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?

Reading and/or watching old favorites on DVD/TV.

MM2: In closing is there something you would like to say to your readers?
I appreciate my readers very much, and I am touched when they take time to email me via the website ( Without enthusiastic readers, this series wouldn't be doing as well as it is, and I'm profoundly thankful for the opportunity to keep telling stories about characters I love.

Dean,  thank you for giving up your time to do this brief interview. Feel free to add questions or leave off anything you do not want to answer.


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