01-19-19 – Judith Ashley – My Sanctuaries and Safe Havens: Writing and Spiritual Practices

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Undeniable Clues You Can't Stop Writing

By Linda Lovely

(Note: Since this is  Romancing the Genre's 6th Blog-o-versary. I decided to
update the very first blog I posted here in 2011, and, in the process, show
how I've mixed and crossed genres over the years. This weekend I'm celebrating
my great-niece's high school graduation with family so it may be a couple of
days before I'm able to respond to any comments. But I will!)

First Clue You Write Mysteries/Suspense. While visiting with your two Ph.D. nieces, you spend lots of time questioning them about exotic toxins and pathogens and how a smart killer might employ them to get away with murder—or at least give it a good try.

First Clue You Write ROMANTIC Suspense: One of said nieces, a Beta reader for my manuscripts, fans herself after reading a love scene. “Oh, my God, how did you come up with that?” she asks. Then, she crawfishes. “Nope. Sorry. Not sure I want to know.”

First Clue You Write HUMOROUS Mysteries: Your research includes visits to a moonshine store where you sample various flavors of white lighting, and you sign up for a goat yoga session at a nearby goat dairy.

My name is Linda Lovely. The fact that my very smart (and funny) nieces have earned doctorates probably gives you a hint that I’m not in my twenties. Okay, I waved goodbye to 50 quite a while back. Yep, I’m a baby boomer. Like many other authors in my age range, I’m finally at a point in my life/career where I have time to write what I want. In my case, that’s currently mysteries with lots of humor and a side of romance.  My first humorous Brie Hooker Mystery, BONES TO PICK, is set for release in October from Henery Press.  It features Brie, a vegan chef, who’s cajoled (by circumstances) into living and working with her Aunt Eva, a cantankerous, dedicated carnivore, on her aunt's goat dairy farm.

BONES TO PICK will be my sixth published novel and the start of my third series.  I’ve had loads of fun researching and writing all six books. My Marley Clark Mysteries feature an athletic, smart, funny, sexy over-50 heroine. Her adventures start in DEAR KILLER when she finds a naked corpse stewing in a hot tub and teams up with a 40-year-old deputy eager to trade strip searches. Hey, why should young heroines have all the fun?

My Smart Women, Dumb Luck romantic thrillers catalog the adventures of three women who become friends through a college mentoring program but pursue very different career paths—a forensic accountant, a director of security at a university, a biology and genetics researcher.  When danger looms, they have one another’s backs. DEAD LINE is the first in this series.

I wrote my standalone historical suspense, LIES: SECRETS CAN KILL, in honor of my mother, who told me so many intriguing stories about the trials and tribulations of independent-minded women in the late 1930s. 

My approach to writing fiction hasn't been very clever from a marketing point of view. I probably could have sold more books and done a much better job of establishing a "brand" had I focused on one geographic area and one series. However, after waiting this long to concentrate on fiction, I wanted to write the stories that spoke to me and had personal meaning. For instance, I may never write another historical suspense or another book set in my hometown, Keokuk, Iowa, but LIES was a book I felt compelled to write. 

My manuscripts may not fit neatly into strict genre categories. But then neither do people—or characters. My novels are all mysteries or suspense stories at heart with varying degrees of laughter and romance. We all need laughter and romance in our lives, so I have to believe my protagonists do, too—even when they’re suspected of murder.


Sarah Raplee said...

Linda, I always enjoy your books! Sounds like you have as much fun doing research as I do.:-)

I can relate to your need to write stories that resonate with you instead of chasing market trends. Even so, you are building a following because of the quality of your writing.

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks so much, Sarah. If the writing becomes a chore, then I think the readers will find it's a slog to read. And the research is fun!

Steve said...

Linda, We love reading your books. Please write faster. LOL.