For the next three days, we are featuring award-winning mystery novelist Lorena McCourtney, whose best-selling work has drawn acclaim from both the Romance Writers of America and the American Library Association's Booklist. Her latest Ivy Malone mystery is On The Run (Revell):
And so, without further ado, the first part of our conversation ...
Super senior sleuth Ivy Malone has curiosity that just won't quit. That inquisitiveness has gotten her into plenty of trouble, including murder, mayhem, and a place on a mini-Mafia hit list.
Hiding out from some thugs who want revenge, she hops in a motor home and heads across the country. But with Ivy behind the wheel, trouble is bound to be in the passenger's seat -- and a murder mystery can't be far away. So when she stumbles across two very dead bodies, Ivy is determined to solve the crime, even if it kills her.
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ARE YOU AN "ENTERTAINER" OR A "MINISTER"?
Just a writer. Although I hope I entertain readers and perhaps even minister to them.
WHO ARE YOUR LITERARY INFLUENCES?
From way, way back, horse books that I read as a child. My Friend Flicka, Black Beauty, etc., because I loved horses and wanted to write horse books. Even now, I think what influences me depends on what I’m writing at the time. When I was doing romances, I read a lot of romances. Now that I’m doing mysteries, I read a lot of mysteries. I don’t know how much they influence me, but I like to see what’s being published.
WHO ARE YOUR SPIRITUAL INFLUENCES?
I think the Bible has been the only real spiritual influence in my writing. I read some contemporary writers, of course, but I don’t think they particularly influence me. Although I do like to read the little monthly pamphlet called Our Daily Bread, with readings for each day, to get my day started. I find myself frequently underlining passages, or tearing pages out to save, so the writings there must have some influence on me.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ANYONE SAID ABOUT ONE OF YOUR BOOKS?
The most gratifying words have come from my readers through emails and letters. One said: “The storyline in your book gave me hope. Not hope that [ex-husband] will change, but hope that life will get better and I can make it on my own once again.” I am pleased to be giving this woman, and perhaps others like her, hope.
WHAT IS THE WORST THING ANYONE SAID ABOUT ONE OF YOUR BOOKS?
I’ve been fortunate enough to receive at least mildly favorable and often enthusiastic comments about my books. Although one reviewer came down pretty hard on me with the following: “The plot takes a very long time to get moving. Ivy Malone and her friends discuss topics that I honestly don’t want to think about any time soon, such as old friends dying off. In addition, the initial mystery hardly seems something that would grab a reader’s interest.” All of which practically shouts “Boring!” (Although the reviewer did say some nicer things farther on in the review.)
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Come back tomorrow for the next part of our conversation, In the meantime, find Lorena McCourtney online at LorenaMcCourtney.com and at her publisher's site, Revell Books.
Q&A: LORENA MCCOURTNEY, PT 2
Q&A: LORENA MCCOURTNEY, PT 3
More mystery and suspense author Q&As:
Q&A: MINDY STARNS CLARK (Blind Dates Can Be Murder)
Q&A: GINNY AIKEN (Decorating Schemes)
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)