Wherein Laura Childs interviews herself and asks all those pressing questions she’s dying to answer.
Okay Laura, tell us how you got started in writing.
I wrote a short story called George the Ghost when I was six, then kind of went on from there. I told campfire stories, wrote plays and poetry, worked on school papers. After college I was a writer/producer at several national ad agencies and then took the big plunge and headed my own ad agency for 20 years.
But what about fiction writing?
Since I’d written so many radio and TV scripts in the ad biz, I started writing screenplays. When that didn’t pan out (I was optioned but never produced), I switched to writing novels. Kaboom – they took off like wildfire.
Oh, absolutely. Once you create a cast of characters and a fun place for them to inhabit, you want to keep expanding your concept. Case in point, I’m writing my 13th Scrapbooking Mystery and outlining my 17th Tea Shop Mystery.
When you start a book, do you always know the title and the basic plot?
Always. If I don’t have a title and key character names figured out, I can’t start the book – I’m totally befuddled. And I always create an extensive outline. First on a large sheet of paper (with suspects color coded), then I transfer it to my computer and take it to about 85 pages.
How do you feel about the term “cozy mystery?”
I love it. Because that’s exactly what my books are – sort of bloodless, feel-good mysteries that you can curl up with and enjoy. But I have to say, I’ve long since been sneaking in much faster pacing to my novels, and incorporated double murders, multiple plot lines, and elements of thriller writing. I even coined the term “thrillzy,” which has been picked up in interviews I’ve done with Publishers Weekly and several major newspapers.
What’s next for Laura Childs?
A 4th series – a brand new sharp-edged thriller series that I’m writing under my real name of Gerry Schmitt. The first book is titled Finders Creepers and features Afton Tangler, a single mom and Outward Bound enthusiast. As a liaison for the Minneapolis Police Department, Afton gets pulled into a bizarre, high-profile kidnapping.
Believe me, it’s a nail biter.
Thanks so much, Laura.
Thank you, Laura.
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Watch for Gossamer Ghost, Laura Childs’ brand new Scrapbooking Mystery with an October 2014 release. And watch for Scorched Eggs, her new Cackleberry Club Mystery coming December 2014.
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