Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SinC Up For Bloggers

            I'm delighted to say that I was invited to participate in the September Sisters in Crime SinC Up for Bloggers, in which I was asked to respond to some or all of a bunch of questions that appear on the bloghop website. 

            Some of those questions, and my answers, are below. 

If someone said "Nothing against women writers, but all of my favorite crime fiction authors happen to be men," how would you respond?

            I'd say, "Hey, nothing against men writers but have you read any of my stories?"

            Okay, seriously?  Sex definitely matters in some things, but not so much in who's doing the writing.  There are excellent authors of both sexes in all genres and subgenres.  Backgrounds can matter, but these days there are both women and men in all aspects of law enforcement.  And all of us can do research!

            Sure, there are more female authors of cozy mysteries because cozies tend to have recurring themes that more women than men relate to, such as cooking and sewing--but there are some darned good male cozy writers, too, just as there are excellent female thriller authors.

            Everyone's entitled to his/her opinion, but mine is that if anyone actually said what's quoted above, they were attempting to generate controversy and probably would have succeeded! 

What's the best part of the writing process for you? What's the most challenging?

            The best part of the writing process for me is letting my mind go wild and create new ideas and characters and scenes.  My subconscious mind is one of my best friends!  It's always at work, and when I need to figure out what comes next in a story, for example, I relax and let it get busy, then take notes about what it tells me.  Often that happens at off-beat times, like in the bathtub at night, or waking me in the middle of the night, or slipping into my head while I'm driving.  (No, I don't take notes while driving but I concentrate so I can jot down what I need to when I'm able to.)  Sometimes, when I'm not certain about what comes next, I play games with my subconscious--literally.  I'll do an on-line crossword puzzle, and voila!  When I'm not forcing it to work, my mind comes through and I then know what to write.

            Most challenging is when that same mind gets distracted.  My dogs like to keep me busy figuring out how to deal with that situation.  A lot.  But somehow, we manage to work it out.

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

            Nope, the quieter it is, the easier it is for my mind to scheme and plot and write.  On the other hand, I'm very obedient when my dogs bark for attention or to go outside.

What books are on your nightstand right now?

            I've got quite a few books on superstitions sitting on my nightstand and elsewhere in my house.  Why?  My new Superstition Mystery Series starts in October with LOST UNDER A LADDER, and I'm working on the second book in the series.  I know quite a few superstitions and they're generally good to me (my fingers are crossed as I write this, which makes typing a bit difficult) but love researching more so I can mention them in my stories. 


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

                  The writing business is really different from when I started out a long time ago.  I did my homework then and started getting published by traditional publishers, and I still am, although I've been doing a little self-publishing, too.  The best advice I can offer is to do your homework.  Learn how people are getting published, both traditionally and self-publishing.  Join organizations that feature the genres you're most interested in and connect with people so you can learn not only how to write well but also what publishing avenue is likely to work best for you, including how to find the best agent for you.  And of course one of the best organizations I belong to is Sisters in Crime!



                  As part of the blog-hop, I'm also asked to tag someone else to respond, so I've asked Killer Hobbies' own Tracy Weber to respond to some or all of the questions as well.  Thanks, Tracy!

              By the way, you can find out more about Sisters in Crime at  


                  Meantime, blog reader, are you a member of SinC?  What's your opinion of blog-hops, especially this one? 


Betty Hechtman said...

Interesting questions and answers. I think writers are always looking at how other writers work hoping to learn something new.

Tracy Weber said...

Thanks, Linda! I'll be posting my responses next Thursday.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree, Betty. It's always fun to try to figure out how other writers think!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Great, Tracy. I'll look forward to them!

Rick said...

Great blog. Thanks for sharing this post with us.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Rick.