For today’s post I thought I’d revisit an interview from 5 years ago shortly after I published my novel Ringer, including the original cover below.
I’m forever grateful for the opportunity at Musa Publishing. The publisher had a vision but they took on more books than they could handle, essentially becoming a book mill. Most of Musa’s titles languished from a lack of marketing. At the three year mark authors had an option not to renew, and I’d decided I’d take my books off their list and self-publish them. Just a few weeks shy of my three years, Musa Publishing, closed up shop. The good thing about this company is the authors were always paid on time.
This interview originally appeared on Romance Reviews Today in 2012.
Wow! 5 years has flown past! How much things have changed!
Including deciding to become a blogger here at The Lifestyle Digs!
The new cover for Ringer has a photo I took during a horse race.
I really enjoyed writing Matt and Holly’s story in Ringer. Standardbred racehorses are widely ignored in fiction novels, with most writers featuring Thoroughbreds, the more popular form of horseracing. I’ve always been drawn to the horse racing industry and drawn to the men who work with racehorses. When creating Matt Winter, I gave him all the features that my ideal horseman would possess. I love West Coast travel and I took Holly and Matt on a crazy trip with two horses in tow through Washington and Oregon, finally ending at a racetrack in California’s wine country. Of course, I also had to throw in a romantic day in San Francisco!
I liked Holly and Matt’s names so much that I used them when creating my cozy mystery series, the Horse Sense Mysteries. And then Ringer was accepted by Musa Publishing which meant I had to choose new names for the Horse Sense Mysteries.
Darn it! In a sense, Holly and Matt’s story from Ringer became the basis for the cozy mysteries, but the couple became Grant and DeeDee.
Here’s the interview. A blast from my past.
- Tell us about your newest release.
My novel Ringer was released with Musa Publishing in April 2012. It’s a romantic mystery set inside the world of Standardbred horseracing. Here’s the blurb:
A horse who is a dead ringer for a missing racehorse. A missing cousin whose body was never found. An attempted murder. Is anything what it seems? Holly Thompson is drawn into the middle of this puzzle when she rescues sexy horse trainer Matt Winter and flees with him and the look-a-like horse.
Holly and Matt follow clues from British Columbia to Matt’s home in Oregon to a horserace in California, trying to find who is behind the horse-swapping scheme. Matt didn’t count on losing his heart to a feisty woman who can saddle her own horse and hotwire a truck. And Holly has done the unthinkable: fallen in love with a horseman, something she vowed she’d never do. Is Matt a wealthy racehorse owner or just another backstretch con artist, cheating on horses and women? And will he ride to her rescue when they unravel the mystery of the ringer?
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I remember when I was about ten years old typing out short stories on our old Underwood typewriter. I had the never-finish-it syndrome and papers of unfinished manuscripts littered my bedroom. In my first year at the University of Victoria I took a creative writing class but I didn’t pursue any more writing classes. It was about ten years later that I started writing articles and submitting them to magazines.
- What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I found out that I am a perfectionist. I spend a lot of time editing and fussing and making sure I have everything right where it almost gets to the point that I hate to let the book go and submit it just in case I have done something wrong. I suppose I still have that never-finish-it syndrome!
- What authors or friends influenced you in helping you become a writer?
I was a big fan of Stephen King’s writing in the 70’s and 80’s, but I didn’t have it in me to write the kind of horror novels I loved to read. I looked at romance novels instead thinking they’d be easier to write. What I didn’t realize is there are a lot of other writers out there with the same idea! There is a lot of competition to break in and have a romance published. Harlequin novelist Vanessa Grant wrote a how-to book for romance novels that I bought and used as a guide. A year or so later I took a class she taught at a local one day writer’s seminar. That really pushed me to start writing romance novels, which meant I had to study writing styles and read more romance novels. My favorite subgenres were romantic comedy and romantic suspense and I inject both in the novels I write. In the past few years my tastes have changed more to cozy mysteries. They follow a similar pattern where the main character – usually female – stumbles over dead bodies and solves the murder. There is usually a love interest and the novel has funny moments. In the past few years I’ve enjoyed reading novels by series writers Cynthia Baxter, Blaize Clement, Jessica Beck, Elaine Viets, and Paige Shelton.
- What does your family think about your career as a published author?
My family has always been supportive buying me writing books for birthday and Christmas presents and buying me a word processor and then computers as technology changed. They’re always thrilled whenever something comes out in print.
- Besides writing, what other interests do you have?
Horses have always been a huge part of my life. I started riding when I was 4 years old. I have three horses, all geldings: Whistler, my Appaloosa; Lucky, my Standardbred; and Cajun, my Quarter Horse. I’m an adventurer and a traveler. I’m always up for going on a road trip or a cruise. Photography, baking, geocaching, swimming, and yoga are some of my other interests.
- Can you tell us about what’s coming up next for you writing wise?
My romance novel Horseman Spell will be released with Musa later this year. Standardbred horse trainer Scott buys the farm next door to Pam, his brother’s ex-girlfriend. Just when things start to heat up between them, big brother Lyle comes back to town looking to rekindle his romance with Pam. I continue writing articles for general interest magazines as I get assignments. I’m also working on a cozy mystery series featuring a married couple who race Standardbred horses. I haven’t found an agent yet so I’ve been approaching publishers on this series and hoping to find a home. Currently I have a publisher considering the series – so fingers crossed!
- How can readers connect with you online?
I’m always happy to hear from my readers or anyone who wants to talk horses!
If you’d like to purchase Ringer, click here to be taken to Amazon’s website. Try before you buy. You can read the first couple of chapters for free in the sneak preview, but you really can’t go wrong paying .99¢ for a full length romance novel.