Welcome, LynDee! Tell me about Front Page Fatality...what was the inspiration for the book?
I missed writing, and I missed the newsroom. So my brain, in the efficient way that brains can, made up and presented me with a reporter heroine, in quite a bad situation. I tried for a few days to ignore the idea, and when it didn't go away I started writing. Eventually, that book became Front Page Fatality. I'm thrilled that Nichelle's story is going to be a series, because I love her and her world, and I have many more of her stories to tell.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Oh, there's more than a little of me in Nichelle. I was an only daughter of a single mom, and we were ridiculously close. I still miss her every day. I always wanted to work at the Washington Post, until I met my prince charming and decided I couldn't leave him behind (it worked out well for me, though. We've been married for twelve years and I have a wonderful, blessed life). I also tried to be courteous when dealing with sad situations as a working reporter, and I had some great sources I'm glad to call friends many years after I left the business. Nichelle can run in her awesome shoes, though, when I can barely walk in them, and she's way better with snappy comebacks than I am.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Always. Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be some kind of writer. I adored the news business, but reporters work crazy (and long) hours. It wasn't a good fit for me when I became a mom. I have always loved books, though I never thought I could write one until I finished Front Page Fatality. Being an author is more than a dream come true for me. It's a dream I didn't even dare to have for a long time come true. And that's amazing.
I do! I have a toy pomeranian dog who is remarkably like Darcy, in fact. She's a great dog. And I'm not biased—every time I leave her with anyone, they ask if they can keep her when I get home. She was my baby before I had children, and she's been great with every non-fur baby. Though she did look at me like "Really? Another one of these things? Is it going to pull my hair, too?" when I brought the younger two home.
What do you do in your free time?
I wrangle children, read, cook, try to work out ... and every once in a while I clean. When I have to.
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
Oh, my: for the past few years, one of those was to have a novel published. Let me think ...1) Go to Australia
2) Figure out my mother's cornbread recipe
3) Take my great-grandchildren to Disney World
Favorite literary characters?
Scarlett O'Hara, though I think she was hopelessly stupid about men. V.I. Warshawski, Jaine Austen, Nancy Drew, Hermione Granger, Miss Marple ... I could go on for pages. I love smart, strong women who can laugh at themselves.
What are you working on now?
I'm in edits on Nichelle's second mystery, BURIED LEADS, which will be out October 15, and writing a novella for a Christmas anthology with works from Terri L. Austin and Larissa Reinhart, which goes on sale in early December.
Thanks so much for having me, Melissa!