Thanks for joining us, Lois Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
I understand you have a new release coming out today, January 27, 2017. Congratulations! Please tell us a bit about it.
Tough Luck Lane is my debut novel from Solstice Publishing. It is a Cozy Mystery, the first in a series about bartender and all-purpose drunk wrangler Stacey Jennifer Longacre and her quirky compadres in the Key West-style Compound where she lives in Pompano Beach, Florida. New to the area from her beginnings in Lake Okeechobee – she was born in a trailer off Tough Luck Lane – she lands a job as a cocktail waitress in a dubious nightclub where unsavory goings-on are happening to some of the young girls working there. They seem a little “too” young and when Stacey stumbles across one of their bodies on the beach she is determined to get to the bottom of things. Likeable, but with a touch of sand, Stacey is an ordinary gal you’ll root for as she untangles webs of deception and puts herself in the middle to do the right thing, in spite of her Tough Luck attitude.
Next in the series is Indigo Hour: there is never a right time for a wrong call and Stacey gets that wrong call at the indigo hour one morning that turns her world upside down and inside out. The indigo hour is that time just before dawn and just after dusk when the sky is a deep, indigo blue and babies are born, old people pass, and anything can, and does, happen.
The Third Persuasion is the third installment in the series. Stacey’s at a Memorial Day Beach Picnic when a shot rings out and all hell breaks loose. Stay tuned…
Wow! Those all sound wonderful. As you know, since you’re a fellow Solstice author, I also write a cozy mystery series, the Cobble Cove mysteries that feature a librarian who is a co-author of a mystery series. I have currently also written three in the series with the first being reprinted soon and the third following shortly after. The second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was published in October.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I’m hoping to dovetail a successful writing career with the close of my successful business career in about five years. I’ve been a radio disc jockey and the first female club DJ in the state of Florida. Also did a stint as an evening anchor radio journalist. I held an FCC First Class Radiotelephone License with Radar Endorsement which allowed me to be a Chief Engineer for a Priority I broadcast facility at the end of my radio days. I’ve been a bartender, waitress, secretary, executive secretary and an executive, up to and including a couple of corporate Vice-Presidencies. My favorite job is Customer Service and today I work for a medical company helping to onboard and serve our clientele.
You certainly have a wide variety of interesting work experience. I’ve been a librarian most of my life and have also worked as a secretary. I have experience in journalism, too, when I volunteered as an editor on my college newspaper.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
This is, clearly, a beach read. If you’re not at the beach already, Tough Luck Lane will take you there. I’m hoping for readers who love a good story with lots of action and adventure as well as a quirky, offbeat and funny look at life. The series is not at all formulaic and the sidekicks will change with each story.
Sounds like fun. My cozies are a bit more serious. Although they take place in a small town and also feature quirky characters and a library cat and golden retriever, they border a bit on traditional mysteries especially the first, A Stone’s Throw, that features a bit of romantic suspense.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Keep going. Enjoy the journey! Sure, the goal is to get published and achieve the recognition you dream your work deserves – but the friends and colleagues you’ll make along the way are amazing!
A goal is a dream with a plan. Keep dreaming. Keep planning. Keep writing. Try everything! Especially when bringing your work to the marketplace. You never know what’s going to work.
Inspiration can strike anywhere so keep an open mind to new experiences and fresh ideas.
I agree completely. It takes time to build an audience and fan base, but meeting other authors and readers is a very worthwhile party of the writing experience. It’s also important to experiment and challenge yourself. I am publishing a romantic comedy novella in February, Jack Trumps Ace, that is very different from my cozy mystery writing. I also enjoy writing other genres and have short stories in Fantasy and Horror anthologies, as well.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I was sidelined for a couple of years with a chronic illness that is now manageable although a bit of a pain-in-the-butt now and again. The support and encouragement I got from my husband and very dear friends got me through the worst of the struggle and kept me writing or, at least, editing until I was well enough to pick up the reins again.
I’m sure that helped strengthen your writing. I’ve also found that writing can be very therapeutic.
Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.
I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a kid. I’d make up stories to share in class and took every English and writing class I could get my hands on. To this day, I attend as many workshops and classes as time and money permit on everything from writing, dialog, and conflict, etc. to marketing and developing a brand/presence. Florida is very good to writers and there are workshops galore.
Excellent. I’ve also been writing since childhood. We currently have a writing group at my library that I helped establish that is run by a writing teacher. I’ve also taken many online writing and publishing courses.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
Reading, of course! At the Beach! Or… At home with my husband, stretched out on our recliners with good books, warm blankets and Weeble our calico cat curled up between us.
My husband, John, is the bass guitarist for The Big City Dogs, a well-known local band. It’s fun to be a Rock Wife on weekends. All the band mates and wives are friends so we’re like a little family.
Nature walks in Fern Forest, our local woods, canoeing down the Loxahatchee River and traveling. Our favorite trip was to Muir Woods in Northern California where we enjoyed the beautiful redwoods.
Sounds relaxing. While I’m not a beach person, I do enjoy walking and nature. I also have a cat, two of them in fact. One is Siamese and the other a tabby, but I’ve had cats most of my life but never a Calico. I think they’re beautiful and would love to have one in the future.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love it all. Especially telling a good story. I’m all about the story actually, and will do anything it takes to make it entertaining and enjoyable.
The publishing business is new to me and I love the challenge of learning a new industry. Solstice has played a huge part in making it easy and fun.
I love writing, too, as well as being a librarian. Books have always been important to me. I’ve also found the staff and authors at Solstice are very helpful and talented.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.
Twitter: https://twitter.com.LoisCrockett @ LoisCrockett
Thanks, Lois. I enjoyed that interview and learning about you and your books very much and am sure the readers of this blog did, too. I wish you the best of luck on the release of Tough Luck Lane (sorry for the pun).