Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE

Today, we check in with mystery writer Lonnie Cruse, author of the Metropolis Mystery series. Her latest book is Fifty-Seven Heaven (Five Star), the first in a new series featuring Kitty and Jack Bloodworth and Sadie, their fully-restored, trophy-winning 1957 Chevy. If you're in the Metropolis area this Saturday (March 15), there is a launch party for the book at the Metropolis Public Library, 2-4 P.M. Wear something that represents the 1950s -- the best outfit wins a free autographed copy of the book.

* * *

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BIG BREAK?
Both times I found a publisher it was through networking with other authors I met on the Internet through writer's groups like SINC. Going with Five Star was a HUGE break.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WRITE FOR AN "AUDIENCE" VERSUS SIMPLY WRITING FOR YOURSELF?
Hmmm. Well, I don't really write for either, if that makes any sense. I just sit down with a vision for chapter one in my head or a core idea, and start writing. Like with FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN, the book I'm launching at the Metropolis, IL Public Library on March 15, 2-4 PM, with free Coke floats (did I slip that in smoothly, or what?) I had a vision of a couple of baby boomers staring down at a dead body in the trunk of their classic '57 Chevy. (Antique car owners are a teensy bit fussy about what touches their cars, so picture that one. ) I started writing it, looking for "what next" after each chapter. Sometimes "what's next" is easy. Sometimes I tear my hair out.

WHAT FIVE CLASSIC AUTHORS DO YOU CONSIDER ESSENTIAL MYSTERY READING?
1) Agatha Christie
2) Shirley Jackson
3) Jane Austen
4) Edgar Allan Poe
5) Arthur Conan Doyle

WHAT FIVE MODERN AUTHORS DO YOU CONSIDER ESSENTIAL MYSTERY READING?
1) Donna Andrews
2) Bill Crider
3) Barbara D'Amato
4) Anne Perry
5) Tony Hillerman

BEFORE BEING SIGNED, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU HAD ABOUT BEING AN AUTHOR?
How much time I'd have to take away from writing to promote my books. How difficult it would be to "cold call" people and ask them to host signings or help promote my books. I'd rather eat worms.

Thanks to our guest, Lonnie Cruse. Keep up with Lonnie online at LonnieCruse.com and her blog, Cruse'n With Lonnie. She is also a contributor to the group-author blog Poe's Deadly Daughters, and has a MySpace page at MySpace.com/LonnieCruse.

More authors:
Q&A: NANCY MEHL (In the Dead of Winter)
Q&A: BRANDT DODSON (White Soul)
Q&A: JANICE A. THOMPSON (Gone With The Groom)
Q&A: SUSAN PAGE DAVIS (Homicide at Blue Heron Lake)
Q&A: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller authors
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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.