Hey, Scribelings! Welcome! I have another special treat in store for you today: an interview with cozy mystery/romance author Laura Bradford/Elizabeth Lynn Casey. I recently asked her a buggy full–or should I say a sewing box full?–of questions, and she was kind enough to answer all of them. Here’s what Laura had to say:
I’m one of those folks who knew what she wanted to be since she was a little girl. I was officially bitten by the writing bug while playing at a friend’s house in 4th grade. It was raining and we’d had our fill of Barbies. So out came the paper, the crayons, and we started writing and illustrating stories. I was hooked.
Fast forward through my post-college days as a reporter and then the birth of my two daughters and I decided to tackle my love for fiction-writing. It took me five years to write that first book (twenty minutes here, twenty minutes there while my youngest was occupied with a toy). I sold it to a small press. The book released (with a horrible cover) and was soon nominated for an Agatha (it didn’t win) and picked up for Worldwide Mystery’s book club (which meant new life with a big publisher and a far bigger audience).
Today, I have sixteen books out and another six under contract.
Tell us about your latest book, Assaulted Pretzel. (I love this series, by the way!)
ASSAULTED PRETZEL is the 2nd book in my new Amish Mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime. The protagonist of the series—Claire Weatherly—owns a specialty gift shop in Amish country. The local detective—Jakob Fisher—is former Amish. His ex-communicated status makes him the last people the Amish want to talk to. So when crime happens, and they have to talk, they prefer to talk to Claire.
This particular book has the head of a large toy manufacturer coming to Heavenly, Pa, to hire the Amish to build a new line of toys for his company. When he reneges on the deal and is found murdered, a number of people—Amish included—are viable suspects.
You write romances as Laura Bradford and mysteries as Laura Bradford and Elizabeth Lynn Casey. How many books a year do you write?
There was a year or two there when I was writing four books a year. That has slowed somewhat with the Berkley Prime Crime titles being moved out to a 12 month model.
So, at this time, two a year…unless I add in a romance…or a thriller…or a women’s fiction.
Do you have any advice on how writers can increase their productivity?
Just write. Set a word count goal for yourself and keep track. Seeing those numbers growing really helps motivate me.
How do you keep your various projects organized?
Since I’m writing two cozy series, I have an index card box for each. Inside, are cards for each character—what they look like, issues, background, etc. It helps tremendously when I switch from writing one world and more onto another.
What kind of marketing do you do for your books? Do you have any marketing advice?
- I send out postcards (my mailing list grows every time I do a signing/event).
- I send out an e-newsletter to the people who have signed up via my website.
- I keep up on my FB pages—one for each name.
- I try to tweet but I don’t find it as effective.I do a daily blog on my Elizabeth Lynn Casey website.
- I do contests on my FB pages as we’re closing in on a book’s release.
- I guest blog on various sites (maybe 3 or 4) during the lead up/first month of a book’s life.
How do you battle the Doubt Monster? We define the Doubt Monster as: the nagging feeling that your prose is terrible, your plot is silly, your characters are insipid, and no one in her right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.
I just keep going. Or I pout and then I keep going.
Do you have any pets?
Angus is the family pet. He’s a black cat. With seven toes/6 nails per foot.
What’s your junk food of choice?
I think just about any of my fans (at least the ones who frequent my FB pages) could answer this for me.
Unless I’m on deadline. Then it’s candy corn (with milk).
My next book release will be August 6th and that’s for the 8th book in my Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries Series (Berkley Prime Crime) written under my pen name, Elizabeth Lynn Casey.
In this book, one member of the Sweet Briar crew is convinced the death of an elderly local man is not what it seems…
You can keep up with Laura/Elizabeth here:
Laura Bradford AUTHOR page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Bradford/316744455035472?ref=hl
Elizabeth Lynn Casey AUTHOR page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Lynn-Casey/286853572181?ref=hl