I’m pleased to have author Lena Gregory, a fellow Long Islander, here again to speak about her writing and new release, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book. I chatted with Lena previously about Scone Cold Killer.
Hi, Lena. Nice to have you here again. For those who may have missed your first appearance here and those who need a refresher, can you please tell us what titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?
My first cozy mystery, Death at First Sight released on November 1, 2016 with Berkley Publishing. I currently write the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series (Death at First Sight, Occult and Battery & Clairvoyant and Present Danger) with Berkley Publishing and the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series (Scone Cold Killer, Murder Made to Order & Cold Brew Killing) with Lyrical Press.
Quite a big list. Tell us a little bit about those books and your new release.
My most recent book, Clairvoyant and Present Danger, Bay Island Psychic Mysteries book three, is due to release today, February 6, 2018 and follows the story of Cass Donovan and her small psychic shop on the boardwalk.
Scone Cold Killer, the first book in the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries series, released on January 23, 2018 and is about Gia Morelli, a woman from New York City who flees her home to move to Boggy Creek, Florida and open a café. Unfortunately, trouble follows.
Congratulations on your new releases.
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?
My biggest goal is to keep writing cozies! I hope to continue the series’ I am currently writing as well as start two new series’, one paranormal and one contemporary. As a cozy reader, which do you prefer?
Commenting for myself, I like contemporaries but paranormals can be interesting, too. My Cobble Cove series is a contemporary cozy. I hope readers will share their preferences.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I think people who enjoy cozy mysteries would be most interested in my books, people who enjoy reading about small towns and trying to solve the mystery along with the sleuth. I also think people who enjoy psychics, ghosts, and a touch of the paranormal will enjoy my Bay Island Psychic Mysteries series.
Both sound very interesting.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
I would say, “Never give up!” It’s definitely not an easy road, and there is plenty of rejection along the way, but achieving your dream is so worth it.
I agree completely and hope to have a large publisher myself one day.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I think figuring out what genre to write was my biggest hurdle. I originally wrote romance, and while I do enjoy some romance in my cozies, I’m definitely not a romance writer. It took me a little while to figure out what I’d be good at writing and enjoy. After romance, I tried fantasy and children’s books. I do have stories published in all of those genres, but it was tough. It wasn’t until I started writing cozies that I really found my niche.
I feel like cozies are my niche, too, although I have also written other genres.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
Unfortunately, not right now. I’d love to join some, but right now I just don’t have time. Between working during the day, freelance editing, taking care of the house, kids, dogs…I’m lucky I find time to write.
I hear you. I have a 13-year old daughter and a cat and work full-time as a librarian.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I love spending time with family. I’m a huge superhero fan, and I love watching superhero movies with my husband and kids. I also enjoy taking long walks with my dogs through the nearby nature preserve.
I love walking, too, although I don’t have a dog. I look forward to the spring when I can do more of it. I think it helps clear your head and inspires your writing.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I enjoy everything about being an author. I think the thing I enjoy most, though, is celebrating my releases with facebook parties. I love getting to know my readers and other authors and have made some great friends that way. My least favorite part is writing the first rough draft. I definitely struggle with that. My toughest challenge is finding the discipline to sit down and write every day.
Yes, reaching readers is a wonderful part of being an author, and finding time to write as well as market your book is definitely the hardest challenge in my opinion.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I really enjoy the recurring characters. Each time I sit down to write, it’s like visiting with old friends.
I feel that way, too. I’d love to sit in the Cobble Cove library with Alicia or have tea and muffins at the inn with Dora and Mac or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with John. Cozy characters really grow on you whether you read or write about them.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
This is from Clairvoyant and Present Danger. Bee LOVES Beast, just not when he’s covered in mud and poised to greet him, usually by jumping up on him:
Stephanie was probably still sleeping, but Bee might not have gone to bed yet. Since he worked on his designs all night, he usually didn’t go to bed until seven or eight. Definitely a better option than running into Tank and having to explain why she was so frazzled. She headed for Bee’s house.
He would not be happy to find her on his doorstep, covered in mud, at just past seven in the morning, but what else could she do? She hadn’t grabbed her bag or her cell phone in her hurry to flee the house . . . uh oh. She lifted her foot off the gas and slowed. What was she going to tell him? If he knew a . . . something had spooked her, he’d never agree to come over.
The drive over was not comfortable. The mud had started to dry and was tightening her skin, and the damp clothes were bringing a chill, but it was better than being alone at home. Of course, nothing was stopping the woman from materializing in the car. She started to look at the—hopefully empty—passenger seat, but thought better of it and kept her eyes firmly on the road until she reached Bee’s driveway and parked. What she didn’t know couldn’t hurt her. Probably.
“Come on, Beast.” She hooked the leash to his collar, stepped out of the car, and started toward the door.
Before she even reached the porch, Bee had opened the door and was doubled over laughing, gasping for air.
“Not funny, mister.” She strode toward him.
He bit back the laughter—sort of—when his gaze landed on Beast. His eyes widened, sending his bushy brown eyebrows straight up beneath his bleached, blond bangs. “Oh, no. Stay right there, missy. Don’t you dare come any closer with that animal.”
She kept walking toward him without slowing her pace.
“Did you hear me, Cass? I’m not kidding. You are not coming up here with that dog until he’s had a bath.” He squinted and eyed Beast more closely. “What on earth happened to you two?”
Cass finally stopped. “I need you to come home with me.”
He lifted a brow, and a smirk played at the corner of his mouth. “That is so not happening, honey.”
Cass held the leash in the air, keeping a firm enough grip so that Beast couldn’t escape—unless he really wanted to.
Beast wagged furiously, spraying mud everywhere.
She cocked a hip and propped her free, mud-covered hand on it. “Either you come home with me, or I’ll let him go.”
Bee’s mouth fell open. He snapped it shut and narrowed his eyes, pinning her with a glare. “You wouldn’t dare.”
She loosened her hold, letting the leash slip just a little.
Beast crouched, practically vibrating with the need to escape, barely able to restrain himself.
Wonderful, and you must ask Beast if he would like to chat with my cat character Sneaky on his blog one day.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books? ?
I enjoy getting to know my readers and can often be found on facebook if you’d like to say hello 😊
That’s great. I’m sure you’ll hear from them.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lena.Gregory.Author/?fref=ts
Thank you so much for having me!
Always a pleasure, Lena, and I’m including your blog tour and rafflecopter giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release.