Sinc-ing Up With Sisters in Crime

This September, Sisters in Crime is running a blog hop to introduce authors, bloggers, and readers to one another.

I was tagged by the lovely Linda Townsdin, whose  Spirit Lake Mystery series chronicles the adventures of Britt Johansson, a kickass photojournalist with a big heart and bad social skills. Thank you, Linda, for the shout-out!

Here’s my take on some of the SinC-up questions:

Which authors have inspired you?

I’ve had to file this one under “too numerous to mention,” but if I have to narrow it down to one I’d have to say James Rollins. Not only are his Sigma Force novels among my absolute favorites (read: pre-ordered in hardcover, and read within days of release) but when it comes to authors whose personality, attitude, and behavior I admire, James Rollins shoots to the top of the list there too. He spends a lot of time encouraging others in our profession, as well as teaching at writers’ conferences and talking with every fan who says hello. He’s a consummate professional, a truly gifted writer, and a gem of a human being all around.

I’d rather not grow up at all, but if I must…I’d like to be as much like James Rollins as possible. (P.S.: his newest Sigma Force novel, THE 6TH EXTINCTION, is out now, if you need a great read.)

What’s the best part of the writing process for you? 

I love all parts of the process, for different reasons. Writing the initial draft is exciting, because I write them fast and it’s great fun to watch the word count grow. Editing appeals to my love of discipline. I’m happiest in edits, I think, because there’s a kind of magic in watching the words line up and the gears of the mystery start to turn.

Do you listen to music while writing? What’s on your playlist?


I’ve discovered that music interferes with the rhythm of the words themselves, so although I love music, it’s off the table (and the speakers) during the writing and editing process. I don’t work in silence, though. I have a 60-gallon marine aquarium (seahorse reef) that sits beside my desk, and I work to the burble and flow of water–one of my favorite sounds!

What books are on your nightstand right now?

Again, this one gets filed under “too numerous to mention.” However, the next two on the list are Aaron Michael Ritchey’s LONG LIVE THE SUICIDE KING and Ed Hardy’s WEAR YOUR DREAMS: My Life in Tattoos.

If you were to mentor a new writer, what would you tell her about the writing business?

Never give up, never surrender. This business can be difficult, and it takes time to make a dream come true, but if you truly want it, it will happen. Don’t get stuck revising and rewriting a single novel, though. Write and edit until the book is the best that you can make it, and then–when you start querying–start working on the next one. Keep improving with every novel, every line, and every word.

And now I’m tagging my talented friends and fellow authors:

Jennifer Laam, author of THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR, with whom I’m sharing a panel at next month’s California Capital Book Festival, and

R. Franklin James, author of the Hollis Morgan Mysteries, who will stop by this Thursday and guest blog her entry here at Spann of Time.