Thursday, May 11, 2006


Continuing our online conversation with novelist Ginny Aiken. The latest book in her "Deadly Decor" mystery series is Decorating Schemes:

Design job? Check. General contractor/sparring partner? Check.
Dead body, mystery to solve, and guilty suspicion? Check, check, and check.

Haley Farrell is getting her life under control. She's got a great design business, a successful auction house, and loving friends and family. But finding a dead girl on the patio is not a good way to start a decorating job -- especially when your general contractor is the main suspect. And the body is only the beginning.

Haley sets out to solve the crime. Even though she finds Dutch Merrill infuriating, she can't believe he's involved. But with the karate chop cop, Lila Tsu, watching every move and the neighborhood "Jessica Fletcher" constantly under foot, will Haley be able to free Dutch? Or will she paint herself into a very dangerous corner -- with a murderer lying in wait?

* * *


How many books do you read a month?
Far fewer than I’d like to these days. I spend so much time writing and researching that I’m lucky to read two or three books a month. That’s down from an average of one book a day right before I put my rear in the chair and started down this writing road eighteen years ago.

What are your writing habits?
Pretty boring, actually. I hit the office after I finish my coffee, after my husband and sons head out the door. Most of the time, I work until around three o’clock, when I have to get to the bus stop to pick up my youngest. If I’m on a tight deadline, I’ll put in a couple more hours in the evening. If things get really bad, those hours stretch into the wee ones of the morning.

Are you an "outline" writer or a "make it up as you go" writer?
I work from my synopsis to develop an outline on index cards. But no one other than me would consider what I scribble there an outline. It’s more like a few key words to steer me in the direction the story needs to go. As far as my characters go, they develop on the fly.

Are you a full-time novelist?
Yes. I have been for about ten years. I’m also a full-time mom. Only my oldest is married and on his own. He and his wife are about to make me a grandmother—couldn’t resist sneaking that in. I’m thrilled!

How many books did you have to write before you were able to go full-time? (When did you know you had "made it"?)
I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom when I started to write. I’m also blessed with a husband who encouraged me during the years before I earned enough to cover even my supplies.

On the other hand, I doubt I’ll ever feel I’ve made it. I’ve never focused on the business side of this, so the chance to reach as many readers as the Lord wants me to is what matters most. On those terms, I doubt I’ll ever ‘make it.’ There’ll always be another reader out there who might be blessed by the story God has me tell.

* * *

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our series. Decorating Schemes (Revell) is available at Amazon and many other fine retailers.


Related links:
Q&A: RANDY SINGER (Self Incrimination)
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


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 Watch the trailer on YouTube.