My first book, The Deep End, released in February, 2015 from Henery Press. The Deep End began the Country Club Murders series. Shadow Dancing, my latest book, is book seven.
I’m also working on a new series, The Poppy Fields Adventures, about a Hollywood IT girl. In the first book, the heroine, Poppy Fields, finds herself pitted against a drug lord.
That sounds like quite an impressive workload.
Tell us a little bit about your new release and its series.
The Country Club Murders are set in Kansas City (write what you know) in the mid-1970s. I picked the 70s because I was more interested in researching history than I was in researching CSI-type things.
Ellison Russell, the heroine, is a widowed artist who is also part of the Country Club set. She was raised at a time when the expectations for girls were simple—grow up, get married, and have children. But, in the 70s, times were changing. As Ellison solves mysteries, she also tackles women’s issues.
I try (Lord, do I try) to include a laugh-out-loud moment in each mystery.
Shadow Dancing, the latest of Ellison’s adventures, it released on June 19th.
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 goals as a writer are to write the best books I can write and to make a living.
Writing isn’t a static skill—at least not for me. I love learning how I can improve and am a big fan of podcasts on the craft of writing. Also the craft of marketing (that whole making a living goal).
Not easy making a living off your writing these days, but I agree that it’s important to keep improving your skills as a writer and to study marketing, as well.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I have some younger readers, but most of the people who enjoy the Country Club Murders were alive in the 70s. They enjoy the nostalgia and the humor and they don’t mind a mystery that addresses societal issues.
As for the new series—I’m hoping readers who love Ellison will also love Poppy.
Time periods and characters are big draws for readers.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
I wouldn’t dare give advice to other authors—the path is different for all of us. That said, I’ve seen a lot of talented people, who want to be published, release their books too soon. If you’ve sent out your manuscript to more agents than you can count and none have nibbled, it might be time to take a look at your book not self-publish.
That’s an interesting answer and one that I haven’t had before at an interview but have read in publishing articles.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
When I finished the first book I ever wrote, I thought it was marvelous. It wasn’t.
I thought the second book was even better—only so far as it wasn’t quite as dreadful as the first.
With the third book, I found myself a critique group. I listened (to podcasts and my critique partners) and learned, and made massive changes.
That third book got me an agent but the book didn’t sell, and didn’t sell, and didn’t sell.
While it wasn’t selling, I switched genres and wrote The Deep End.
The rest is history.
Great story that is a lesson in itself for aspiring authors.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I’m a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.
I belong to Sisters in Crime, too. It’s a great group for women mystery authors.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I spent ten years getting up before the crack of dawn to write before I went to work, writing at kids’ soccer practices, writing at night, writing over lunch hours.
Now that I’m a full-time writer, my interest is losing all the pounds I gained over the past decade. I’ve become a dedicated walker, love barre classes, and adore yoga.
That rings a bell with me. I, too, get up very early to write. I still work full-time, though, and try to fit in walking which I feel helps clear my head to write (and also manage my weight).
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
There are days when the words are simply not there. Those are not good days.
That happens to all of us.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
What I love about mystery series is getting to know the characters so well they feel like friends. In the Country Club Murders, Ellison, Grace, Aggie, Frances, Anarchy, and even Max, the Weimaraner who wants to rule the world, all feel like family. Writing a Country Club Murder means spending time (a lot of time) with some of my favorite people.
Yes, characters certainly grow on authors as well as readers.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I love hearing from readers and the best e-mail I ever received was from a woman who was laughing so hard when she was getting chemo that everyone wanted to know what she was reading. If I’m feeling discouraged, I hold onto the fact that I brightened a very difficult day.
I know exactly what you mean.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc.
Website – www.juliemulhernauthor.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern
Thanks so much for the interview, Julie, and I wish you the best on your new book and future publications. I’m also including a link to the rafflecopter that’s part of your blog tour for those who wish to enter your giveaway contest: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792731/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0