Today and tomorrow, we turn the spotlight on novelist Lonnie Cruse, author of the "Metropolis" mysteries Murder in Metropolis (Quiet Storm) and Murder Beyond Metropolis. She is an editor and an officer in the Middle Tennessee chapter of Sisters in Crime.
* * *
Who are your literary influences?
Bill Crider and Anne George. Love his sheriff, and love the humor both put into their works.
Who are your philosophical influences?
The Bible, particularly Proverbs. Hard to beat that.
What is the best thing anyone said about one of your books?
"I have a crush on Joe Dalton." Said by someone who reads my series. She asked if it was okay to say that. I told her, absolutely, because her statement let me know I'd done my job in drawing his character, in making him real to her.
What is the worst thing anyone said about one of your books?
"I guessed the killer by the middle of the book." Said by my husband and a reader who is a published screenwriter. Sigh.
How many books do you read a month?
At least 2 fiction, 1 non-fiction on writing, and parts of the Bible daily. (And sometimes a Bible study book as well)
What are your writing habits?
Um, rather undisciplined, I'm afraid. I try to write a bit every day, but I tend to stick with it much better whenever my online writing group (Guppys) is doing a challenge. The prize is always chocolate. I won last March. Trying to win this month.
As I said, I try to write every day, or edit what I've written before. And I study writing books.
Are you an “outline” writer or a “make it up as you go” writer?
Both. I use index cards for 4 main characters and I jot down things that might happen to them in the story. Then I put them in order on a story board. But quite often a card will cause me to take off in a different direction, and then the cards have to shift or be redone.
* * *
Come back tomorrow for the second half of our Q&A. In the meantime, keep up with Lonnie online at www.LonnieCruse.com and at her blog, Cruse'n With Lonnie.
Related link: LONNIE CRUSE, PT 2
More Author Q&As:
ANNE RICE (Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt)
THOMAS O'CALLAGHAN (Bone Thief)