Thursday, February 18, 2010


As a Killer Hobbyist, I’ve made pets the main theme in many of my posts. I write about pets in my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mystery series, and will also write about pets in my upcoming Kendra spinoff about Lauren Vancouver, Pet Rescuer.

In addition, I write a paranormal romance mini-series for Silhouette Nocturne about Alpha Force, a secret military group of shapeshifters. More animals! I’ve also written one Nocturne about a woman with Valkyrie powers, but so far there aren’t any sequels in sight. My next Alpha Force story will be a January 2011 release: Alaskan Wolf. Yes, a werewolf!

So, pets are definitely a theme in my writing. But they’re not the only one. Just recently, I’ve had that made very clear by three separate opportunities that were, coincidentally, thematically related!

Monica posted a really great KillerHobbies blog entry recently about how, to be a published author, you also need to go out there and promote yourself and your stories. Definitely true.

When I was contacted about possibly giving an on-line class at the new Story Stew University, I suggested that I present one about blending romance and suspense, since I write... romances and suspense! My mystery protagonists all have some romantic interests, and my romances all contain suspense, so this seemed like a good topic for me.

I’m also attending Left Coast Crime this year. Why not? It’s in Los Angeles. I recently received my panel assignments. I’m on one about cozy mysteries, also featuring our very own Betty Hechtman. The other one? It’s about combining romance and mysteries.

Also, just this week, I was contacted about participating on a panel about cross-genre writing, sponsored by the local chapter of Mystery Writers of America. One panelist combines horror and mystery. Another combines sci-fi and mystery. I was invited to participate because I combine... what else? Romance and mystery!

So, it looks as if combining mysteries and romance is my current theme, even though I didn’t sit down and make a concerted plan to obtain publicity from it.

What’s your theme? Does it involve your hobby? Crafts? Types of writing or reading?

BTW, please check out my Story Stew University online class, to begin on April 19: Blending Romance and Suspense. Here’s the link to Story Stew U: You’re all welcome to take the class! (Although I know that a lot of you know much of what I’ll be discussing. But you never know what secrets you might learn...!)


Camille Minichino said...

I'm moving more toward romantic themes and almost ready to send in a romance novel proposal. It's fun to explore different genres and figure out what the differences and similarities are.

I'm going to check out your Silhouette books, Linda, for inspiration!

Janie Emaus said...

You are one busy lady! I admire that in you. I can't quite figure out which genre works best for me.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Camille. Be sure to let us know how your romance novel proposal works out. It's another fun genre and works well for a mystery writer!

And, Janie, versatility is definitely a plus, so there's no need to choose only one genre. Work in any and all that you enjoy!

Betty Hechtman said...

I didn't intend to put as much romance in the crochet mysteries, but it just sort of happened. There is a discussion group about my books on a yarn arts website and there was a whole string of postings about which guy they hope Molly ends up with.

Linda O. Johnston said...

The question is, Betty, do YOU know? Or will Molly figure it out and tell you? I always have fun when my characters tell me their opinions.