Recently I had a chance to sit down with Lois Winston the author of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and The Empty Next Mysteries. Thank you Lois Winston for stopping by today.
What genre do you write?
For the last six years I’ve concentrated on writing two different humorous amateur sleuth mystery series, the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and the Empty Nest Mysteries. Prior to that I wrote romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. I’ve also written one middle grade book and several nonfiction books.
How did you come to write cozy humorous genre?
I was writing dark, gritty romantic suspense, but life had gotten too real, and I found myself spending a lot of time staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen. My agent suggested I try my hand at writing humorous cozy or amateur sleuth mysteries instead of romantic suspense. I fell in love with the genre and have never looked back.
Who is your favorite character to write about?
Tough question. I don’t know that I have one favorite character that I write. I have fun with both of my sleuths, but I also enjoy creating various secondary characters. And I really enjoy writing characters readers love to hate. Lovinia Darling, the victim in Literally Dead, is one such character. She’s a bully with an over-the-top diva personality—the perfect murder victim because everyone hates her.
Who inspires your books?
Because truth is stranger than fiction, many of my characters are an amalgam of people I’ve known or observed over the years. I love taking various traits from different people and combining them to create my characters. The same is true for my plots. Most of them spring from actual events I’ve either experienced or read about in the news. I then play the “what if” game, giving the events a unique spin that works with my series and characters.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I can’t sing, I can’t act, and I can’t dance, but I love Broadway musicals. So when I have the money, you’ll find me sitting in the
audience, living vicariously through the performers up on the stage.
If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?
An unlimited source of power, a refrigerator stocked with food, and MacGyver. Between the power source and MacGyver, I wouldn’t be on the island very long and while I was there, I’d have plenty to eat.