CONGRATULATIONS TO LADY JO
WINNER OF NANCY'S BOOK!
Please welcome Nancy Jill Thames to Sleuths and Suspects. She has graciously agreed to give one of her paper back cozy mysteries to one person who leaves a comment. The winner will be chosen by random.org. Without futhur ado here is our interview with Jill.
Interview Questions/Sleuths and Suspects Blog
1. Tell us a little about yourself. My dad was in the Air Force so we traveled and moved around a lot. I lived in places like Casablanca, Morocco, Valdosta, Georgia and Las Vegas, Nevada, which gave me a sense of adventure. I’m just an average housewife who loves to entertain, or used to. Now that the kids have flown the nest, I decided to finish a book I’d started writing years ago, “Murder in Half Moon Bay” and do a series – just for kicks. I needed a needed a creative outlet. I have a degree in music and love playing classical piano but one can’t play the piano all day! My faith in God has led me all my life and He’s been so faithful. Traveling with my husband on his business trips gives me the ideas to base my books on.
2. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on. “Pacific Beach” is a mystery based on my family reunion that has been going on for 19 years. We’ve met in Pacific Beach for at least 14 of those. My protagonist, Jillian Bradley, is a gardening columnist for the San Francisco Enterprise. Her nephew, Chase Campbell, is accused of murdering a young starlet and her mother. The detective is based on my brother who is a retired sheriff. Teddy, Jillian’s Yorkie companion, uses his instincts to help her solve the homicides as he does in all of her adventures. There will be eight books in the series; “Pacific Beach” is number five.
3. Why did you choose this particular genre? Actually, truth be told, I got bored with reading the same author over and over. Ten years ago, I wasn’t aware of any other cozy authors except for Agatha Christie. I’d read all 80 of her books, two or three times each and believed I could come up with a sleuth, settings and plots. And I did.
4. What was your journey to publication like? I tell people if you want to publish a book, go to CreateSpace on Amazon.com and follow the yellow brick road. Because I didn’t know anything about publishing, I simply learned by doing. It started with doing a blog posting a chapter a week for “Murder in Half Moon Bay” until a local paper got wind of it and did an interview about me. After that, I raced to get it finished and published it 7 months later. I laid out a plan to publish a book every 6 months for 4 years until the series was complete.
5. What is a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now? Loved “Snow Falling on Cedars,” “The Poisonwood Bible” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy. Just finished C. L. Ragsdale’s Reboot series, which I loved and “The Saucy Lucy Murders.”
6. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it? “Waiting for Santa” is a mystery about a Santa Jillian hired for Christmas Eve, who turns up dead at a power station during a power outage. The police find a note with Jillian’s name and address inside his pocket. A double entendre occurs, as Jillian has to decide between two suitors as well. Who will be her “Santa?”
7. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication? Get about $4,000 together and use either CreateSpace or another reputable vanity press. Write the book, send it to beta readers for input, rewrite the book, pay a content editor to give you feedback, rewrite the book again, pay a proofreader to edit for typos, and pay someone to do a dynamite cover. When it’s PERFECT, get about five great reviews from other authors and work up a launch promotion. After you’ve done all that, upload your file to Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Nook and Smashwords. CreateSpace puts it for sale on Amazon.com. Then the real work begins. Posting, tweeting, blogging and emailing the fire about your book while appearing to be casually making comments mentioning your masterpiece. You also want a great bio and book blurb to generate interest in what you’ve written.
8. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us? I think the best ones are “Dollars & Sense” by McCray, Scott, and Thompson and The Writers Guide 2 E-Publishing Blog are the best two sources I know. The last one’s blogger has sold over 100,000 books so far.
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered? As my husband keeps telling me, just write good books. Books that you would like to read. Easy to say – difficult (but not impossible) to do.
10. Please let us know where we can find you on the web. My web site is http://www.authornancyjillthames.webs.com. From there you can find my blogs, Amazon author page and basic information.
Thanks for having me over Deborah!
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Thank you so much for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you again!