Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Linda Kozar


Interview Questions/Sleuths and Suspects Blog

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a multi-published author. My agent is Wendy Lawton with Books & Such Literary Agency. My husband Michael and I will celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary this year and we have two lovely daughters in college. Our oldest graduates this year! Besides writing, I enjoy painting in oil and sometimes watercolor and acrylic. Also I love to bead and do other crafts when I have the time. I’m getting pretty good with making my own pie crusts—building success on many failures. (Some of my piecrusts were as solid as sheetrock).


  1. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
My most recent book is Strands of Fate, the first in a series written by different authors for the Creative Woman Mystery series.

Right now I’m working on another (inspirational) historical gothic romance. The first is complete, proposal as well and is in my agent’s hands.


  1. Why did you choose this particular genre?
My mystery series, “When The Fat Ladies Sing” is out on Kindle via Spyglass Lane Mysteries and I’m also working on another mystery series. Strands of Fate, was a work-for-hire, with the characters, setting, etc. already patterned out for me.

  1. What was your journey to publication like?
I started out working for local newspapers, though I’d always wanted to write a book. I made that decision in second grade. The process of writing a book can be so daunting! Which is why I was able to talk myself out of it for a while. But then I quit the newspaper and decided it was time--now or never. The first book I worked on was a nonfic and I sent it out with a lot of newbie chutzpah after attending a writer’s conference. But it went to three different pub boards! It was rejected of course—mainly because I didn’t have a name for myself. Soooo, I shelved it and turned my attention to fiction. I wrote part of a book, though I wasn’t sure where I was going with it. Then I took a writing challenge from one of my crit partners, Marian Merritt, to write “X” number of words a day. I finished writing the book, which turned out to be a mystery, in two weeks. On a whim and a prayer, I sent a query to Editor Susan Downs (Heartsong Presents—Mysteries/Barbour Publishing) and she was interested! That’s how my first book, Misfortune Cookies, made it to print. I also received a contract for the second book in the series A Tisket, A Casket. A month after the first book came out in print (Nov. 2008) , the mystery line was cancelled by the publishing house.

In 2010, I received a contract from Howard/Simon & Schuster for a book of devotions titled Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (released in Dec. 2011).

Then, a year later, the mystery line was revived! I was told that the second book (which had to be renamed), would make it into print (August of 2011) and I was thrilled. They were even interested in a third book. However, a few months before Just Desserts was released, they cancelled the Hometown Mysteries line as well. THEN, in 2012, the MacGregor Literary Agency decided to ePublish the entire mystery line (for those authors who chose to participate), under Spyglass Lane Mysteries. So that in a nutshell, is the history of my mysteries and other books.
5. What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?

I am a big fan of gothic mysteries. My favorite book is Rebecca. I just finished The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson—loved the homage to Rebecca. I’m reading The Orchid House now and enjoying it and will soon move on to another book.

  1. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
The book my agent is shopping now is called Alligator Pear. Here’s the blurb and a few lines from the book:
Beautiful young artist Fleur D’Hemecourt returns home to the family estate in post WWII New Orleans to attend the funeral of an aunt, and meets Louis Russo, the young man she once had a crush on, now a promising young attorney home from the war. But a sudden series of accidents and near misses convince the two that someone is trying to take Fleur’s life before she inherits the estate on her twenty-first birthday. Her Uncle Bernard, a man of flamboyant vice, is her guardian and would profit the most from her demise, though the foreboding home on St. Charles Avenue hides even darker secrets that begin to surface, painting shadowy images of family, friends and the man she dares to love. 

(From Alligator Pear—by Linda Kozar)

Family and friends of the deceased gathered like black clouds before a storm. Near the gilded ironwork cross at the entrance to Saint Louis Number One, they whispered prayers, consoling one another. But discreet voices faded to reverent silence as the priest approached, followed by a young acolyte bearing a crucifix.

Breathless and flustered, Fleur D’Hemecourt paused to smooth her dress and hair, tousled from the hurry-scurry carriage dash. Young and attractive, her honey-hued curls bounced along the curve of her elegant shoulders as she inched ahead to take her place with the immediate family.  But all heads turned in response to the sudden arrival of the hearse, its roof festooned with a pleasing array of saffron-colored lilies, red roses and fragrant jasmine. (From Alligator Pear—by Linda Kozar)

  1. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?

If you are on the road to traditional publication, get yourself a thick hide. Learn how to handle one rejection and persevere to the next one. Be patient. Be bold. Be stubborn. Study to show yourself approved (as the Bible says) and praypraypray. But these days, there are other options. Indie publishing is an option many authors are taking advantage of. It is just as attractive to traditionally published authors because of the monetary return and creative control. Decide which route is best for you or be open to both.

  1. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?
I have a page on my website with those writing resources “For Writers,” and I invite your readers to visit my website for that info. I update it regularly. Here’s the site:
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us we haven’t covered?

Most writers I know start out journaling or writing poetry, but if you are really serious about getting published, you’ll have to take a step beyond that and put yourself out there. Decide what you want to do and do it. It’s very difficult and frankly, not marketable to publish a book of poetry unless you indie pub it. Is that your goal? Or do you want to write a book? Decide if the book in your heart is fiction or nonfiction and then start writing. Learn as much as you can about the craft of writing. Read what other writers write. Join a critique group. Go to writing conferences and dream big!

  1. Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
I co-host a radio show on the Red River Writers Network on BlogTalk Radio, once a month (3rd Thursday) called Gate Beautiful. We interview four authors per show, from NY Times Bestsellers to Debut authors and industry professionals. GATE BEAUTIFUL RADIO SHOW ARCHIVES

Readers can find me on Facebook where I have a regular Page and Author Page: Writers On The Storm/ACFW Chapter
To win a three ebook(Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket and Dead As A Doornail)set of Lindas cozy mysteries please:
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  1. I love cozies more than any other. Guess it's because I was weaned on Agatha Christie.

  2. Nice to learn more about Linda Kozar. Adding to my reading pile. It's taller than my granddaughter now.

  3. Great interview. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Enjoyed the interview. I am already a follower! I enjoy cozy mysteries the best.


  5. Karen, Becky, Marcy, and Jo, thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! I have a new mystery out called "Strands of Fate" and it's on The publisher does most of the knitting, crochet and crafting magazines in America and their line of mysteries includes crafting. My mystery includes two crafts: knitting and jewelry making. It was a lot of fun to write. I love to bead and have done a bit of silversmithing, thanks to my friend Dannelle Woody who is a jeweler and silversmith. I learned the basics of knitting from my second grade teacher, Mrs. Newkirk, but I haven't knitted in years. You never know, though...