Posted in Author Spotlight, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery

Author Spotlight of Charlie Donlea, Author of Don’t Believe It

I’m pleased to have authorCharlie Donlea here from Chicago, Illinois, to speak about his writing and new novel, Don’t Believe It, which is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.

How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

I broke into publishing in 2016 with my first novel Summit Lake, and followed with The Girl Who Was Taken the next year. Both novels were international bestsellers. Don’t Believe It is my third novel

All of my books have been published by Kensington Publishing.

Prior to Summit Lake, I wrote three full-length manuscripts that were rejected by more than 100 agents and publishers.  

Impressive. You’re an example of the determination that all writers need to succeed.

Tell us a little bit about your books.

Don’t Believe It will be released late May 2018 and can be pre-ordered now. It follows a true crime documentary filmmaker who produces a hit television series that chronicles the details of a gruesome crime from ten years ago. What starts out as a careful retelling of a haunting story turns into a race for the truth, and some chilling discoveries along the way.

Sounds intriguing.

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’ve been on a book-a-year pace for the past three years, with my fourth book due to be released in the summer of 2019. My goal is to keep churning out thrillers at the same pace. I plan to reach that goal by putting my butt in a chair, and my fingers on the keyboard in order to beat my deadlines.

Good plan.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Thriller and suspense readers. Readers who like to read fast-paced stories with great twists, and surprise endings.

Sounds like some of the readers I’d like to reach with my standalone mysteries that are not part of my cozy series.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Don’t listen to the naysayers. If you concentrate on how difficult it is to break in, you likely won’t. Pick out a few of your favorite (and successful) authors, and study their careers. Remember, before they had any success in publishing they were trying to break in just like you.

For me, that writer is John Grisham. He tells a story of going to a bookstore as an aspiring writer, looking at all the books on the shelves, and wondering what he’d need to do to stand out from all the other writers. I’d say he figured it out pretty well.

Excellent advice. As a librarian, I’m well aware of how long it took many well-known authors to become big names. Your example is inspiring.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Lots of rejection. I wrote three manuscripts that were rejected by more than 100 agents and editors before I broke in.

I’ve been querying two unpublished manuscripts right now and haven’t sent those many out yet but have had my share of rejections.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?

I belong to Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers.

But as far as writing groups, I’ve always been a solo writer. I have never been part of any critique groups.

I’m also a member of International Thriller Writers as well as Sisters-in-Crime. I’d love to join Mystery Writers of America but am not yet eligible. I agree with you that critique groups aren’t for everyone. Our library has a writer’s group, but it focuses on writing lessons rather than critiques.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

First drafts are my greatest challenge. And I’m sure my writing deadlines are causing cardiovascular issues.

It’s important to pace yourself, although I know that’s hard to do. I work full-time, so I have to limit my writing time but still write every day.

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. so readers can connect with you.

Thanks so much for the interview, Charlie, and best wishes on the blog tour and your new release.

Join the Rafflecopter for the blog tour here:






I'm a retired librarian and the author of the Cobble Cove and Buttercup Bend cozy mystery series and other novels, short stories, poems, articles, and a novella. My books include CLOUDY RAINBOW, REASON TO DIE, SEA SCOPE, MEMORY MAKERS, TIME'S RELATIVE, MEOWS AND PURRS, and MEMORIES AND MEOWS. My Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing consists of 6 books: A STONE'S THROW, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, WRITTEN IN STONE, LOVE ON THE ROCKS, NO GRAVESTONE UNTURNED, and SNEAKY'S SUPERNATURAL MYSTERY AND OTHER COBBLE COVE STORIES. My new Buttercup Bend series published by Next Chapter Publishing includes THE CASE OF THE CAT CRAZY LADY and THE CASE OF THE PARROT LOVING PROFESSOR. I've also written a romantic comedy novella, WHEN JACK TRUMPS ACE, and short stories of various genres published as eBooks and in anthologies published by the Red Penguin Collection. My poetry appears in the Nassau County Voices in Verse and the Bard's Annual. I'm a member of Sisters-in-Crime, International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writers' Association. I live on Long Island with my husband, daughter, and 2 cats.

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