What genre do you write?
Three. I write two traditional (or cozy) mystery series for adults: The Mainely Needlepoint series and the Shadows Antique Print mystery series. I also write historical novels for ages 8 and up – and I’ve written a book of essays about “Living and Writing on the Coast of Maine” that’s nonfiction.
How did you come about writing cozies?
When I wrote my first (SHADOWS AT THE FAIR) I was working full-time and had four children, a grandchild, and my mother, living with me. I’d been writing literary fiction, but had trouble plotting a whole novel. I knew mysteries were a bit more formulaic – so I decided to write one to prove to myself I could write a whole book. And I was a 4th generation antique dealer, so I knew that world … and the Shadows Antique Print mysteries were born. There are now seven. The latest is SHADOWS ONA MAINE CHRISTMAS.
Who is your favorite character to write about?
I love writing Angie Curtis, the protagonist of my Mainely Needlepoint series. She had a rough childhood, her mother disappeared when she was ten, and her grandmother brought her up. She took off after high school and ended up assisting a private investigator in Arizona. The series begins with TWISTED THREADS when she’s 27 and gets a call from her grandmother, “Angie, it’s time to come home. They’ve found your mother.” She’s learning about herself with every book – and so am I!
Who inspires your books?
So many people and experiences! The coast of Maine and its people are at the top of that list. My own grandmother, who never was able to go to college but who read more than anyone I’ve ever known. And history. I love tying current situations to things that happened in the past.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to row in my little rowboat, listen to CNN, and sip wine and eat cheese with my husband on our porch in the summertime. He’s an artist, and we love attending gallery openings (especially his!) and going to museums. I have eight grandchildren I love to see. Plus – my favorite parts of writing are research and editing.
What plans do you have for 2016 with writing? New releases?
Three of my books will be published in 2016: THREAD AND Gone, in January, and DANGLING BY A THREAD, in late October, both in the Mainely Needlepoint series. And the 8th in the Shadows series, SHADOWS ON A MORNING IN MAINE, will be published in September. I’ll be writing the 5th and 6th in the Mainely Needlepoint series, and I’m doing research for an historical mystery I’m hoping to find time to write, too …
If you were stuck on a deserted island with only three things, what would they be?
A magically available supply of water. My computer – with a stack of batteries – so I could write! A copy of the complete poems of Emily Dickinson (and Walt Whitman, if I could find a volume with both.) And a REALLY strong flashlight so I could try to attract passing planes and boats! (I know – that’s four. But it’s a DESERT ISLAND!)
Thank you so much Lea for taking the time to visit Community Bookstop