Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with Linda Rawlins for a chat about her cozy mysteries.
Hi, Linda. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.
Can you tell us a little bit about your new book, Misty Manor and what gave you the idea for it?
Hi, my name is Linda Rawlins. My new book is named, Misty Manor. Misty Manor is the first of my new series, which takes place at the NJ Shore. I love being at the beach. It relieves my stress. I love the setting. The Grand Victorian homes are gorgeous and I often wonder what it was like to live there in the 1800’s. I believe many people go to the beach and ocean to relax.
Yes, the sea can be very relaxing, and the setting of you book sounds charming. I’ve enjoyed vacations on the Jersey Shore especially Cape May. I’m also a lover of Victorian architecture and featured one in my short historical romance story, “The Seashell and the Stone” that I recently published with a group of other authors in the Love, Always anthology that is available exclusively as a contest prize and giveaway in my newsletter and on my Facebook takeovers.
Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?
The most important advice I can give to writers is to write every day!! When I started writing, I spent time trying to make sure the first chapter was perfect before I went on to the next. I soon learned it was better to simply write the story. The initial story is similar to a rough stone. Through editing, you begin to polish that stone. With every level of editing, content, grammar, line, and copy, you continue to polish your manuscript until it is a sparkling gem. So just relax and write! You can add, subtract and edit later.
That is excellent advice. I have always written that way and know that editing is the tough part, but allowing the words to flow and the story to unfold initially without interruption is vital. What are you currently working on?
I have begun to work on the next book of the Misty Manor series. It can be read as a standalone, but will continue the story of Megan Stanford and Misty Manor. I like to read and write mystery fiction.
My other series, Rocky Meadow Mystery series, takes place in Vermont at a catholic retreat center. A trauma surgeon, Dr. Amy Daniels, flees to Vermont after she learns she saved the life of a man who killed her sister. There she meets a psychologist priest, Father Michael Lauretta, and together they solve mysteries while she works through her pain. They are helped by Tony Noce, a former NYPD cop, Katie Novak, rectory cook and housekeeper and Willow Davis, a millionaire teenager abandoned by her parents. The three books, The Bench, Fatal Breach and Sacred Gold can be read as standalones or in order.
Very nice. I also just signed a contract for the second book of my Cobble Cove novels that started with “A Stone’s Throw.” It can also be read as a standalone but will feature the same characters with some new ones, as well, with a different storyline and mystery.
Can you tell me how you got started in writing?
I always dreamed of writing a book and started my first mystery novel in fifth grade. I would write various things but was always pulled away by my day job. I finally dedicated myself in 2010!
I was a prolific reader as a child. I started by reading my grandmother’s books, written by Phyllis Whitney, Emily Loring and Victoria Holt. I had also read most of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy mysteries by the time I reached fifth grade and started to write my own mystery. Realizing my love for reading and writing, my fifth grade teacher allowed me to take a book, which he self-published, home to show my parents. I am sure that day was one of the most inspirational for my writing.
In addition to my studies, I continued to read as much fiction as I could through high school and won first place in a poetry contest. The novels I choose covered most genres – mystery, romance, sci-fi, horror and fantasy.
In college, I studied different forms of literature, reading American Classics and English Novelists as well as majoring in PreMed. During college, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov and Dr. Ruth. Over the years I’ve also met many writers such as Mary Higgins Clark, Donald Bain, Diana Gabaldon and others.
I studied hard and went to Medical School. I no longer had time to read fiction, but I did have the privilege of meeting many wonderful people. Working with them, they shared many wonderful, emotional, painful and special experiences and I believe it is a combination of all these personalities which helped to make up my characters.
Eventually, I was able to return to reading fiction and begin to write my own stories.
That sounds very much like my own experience. I was also an avid reader as a kid and, coincidentally, loved the authors you mentioned. I was a big fan of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I’ve been writing in one form or other since I learned how. My first published works were articles for my college newspaper followed by articles I published in pet magazines. I then advanced to a short story in a mystery anthology before self-publishing my first novel and then publishing “A Stone’s Throw” with Limitless Publishing. My new mystery, tentatively called. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” will be published by Solstice Publishing.
What are your hobbies besides writing?
My day job is that of a board certified family physician and I have met many wonderful people! I also love to read, sing, walk, hike in Vermont, and above all spend time with my family!
Those sound like nice and relaxing past-times, Linda. I’m a librarian so, of course, my main hobby is reading which fits right in with my writing. I’m also a big cat lover and have two of cats of my own that are part of my family that includes my husband and daughter.
Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?
I want to thank all my readers for reading my books. I love hearing from readers and am honored they have read my work.
I love all my novels and each is special in a unique way. However, I read to escape and I love to go to the beach to relax, renew and reorganize. Misty Manor is my favorite as I was able to visit my favorite place each time I started writing. I hope you will too!
Our days are never guaranteed. Always love one another and Happy Reading!
I feel the same way, Linda. I’m including your social media links, so readers can keep in touch with you. Thanks so much for chatting with me today. I am also reading Misty Manor right now and will post a review of it soon. So far, I’m enjoying it very much. It’s like I’m vacationing back on the Jersey Shore.
Keep in touch with Linda at: