Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 3


Today we conclude our conversation with mystery novelist Mindy Starns Clark, author of the "Million Dollar Mysteries." Her "Smart Chick Mystery" series includes The Trouble With Tulip and Blind Dates Can Be Murder (Harvest House Publishers).

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PART 3.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Get spelling, punctuation, and grammar out of the way and then learn POV, pacing, and story construction. I see so many manuscripts that don't even have the basics right! If you want to be published, first make sure that the mechanics aren't getting in your way—then and only then are you ready to start telling really great stories that will end up in print.


What one aspect of God do you most hope your readers will take away after reading one of your books?
I hope they'll see that a relationship with God is an all-day, every-day sort of thing—and that God's desire is for us to live in complete surrender.


What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers understood?
Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Bottom in chair, hands on the keyboard. Day after day after day. Writing is hard work. Period.


What one thing about writing do you wish other writers understood?
That there's not one right way to write a novel. So many writers will tell you "just hammer out a rough draft, don't edit as you go", but I'm incapable of that type of writing. I simply MUST edit as I go. It works for me, so that makes it okay.


For the writer with a new book, what do you consider the BEST thing he or she can do to promote it?
If I knew the single best way to promote a book, I could make a fortune! Unfortunately, marketing is a scattershot deal, and you never know what's going to work. I've tried to hit it across the board: personal appearances, direct mail, conventions, book signings, cold calls, internet promotion, reviews, etc. I sure wish I knew the best thing, 'cause then I would only do that. As it is, most writers I know do a little bit of everything.


BONUS: “The Munsters” or “The Addams Family”?
Neither. I was always more of a Gilligan's Island kind of girl. :)

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Many thanks to author Mindy Starns Clark! Visit her online at MindyStarnsClark.com and read her recent interviews at Cruse'n With Lonnie and the Harvest House site. Blind Dates Can Be Murder is available from Amazon and many other find retailers.

Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 1
Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK, PT 2

Related links:
CHRIS WELL ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS!
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN (Decorating Schemes)
Q&A: HOPE LYDA (Altar Call)
Q&A: CRESTON MAPES (Full Tilt)
Q&A: BRANDILYN COLLINS (Web of Lies)
Q&A: TASHA ALEXANDER (And Only to Deceive)
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Murder In Metropolis)

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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.