September 27, 2013
Hello, Everyone! I’m Lois Winston, and I’d like to thank Donnell Bell for inviting me to guest blog here today. For those of you who don’t know me, I write romance, romantic suspense, and mystery, both as a traditionally published author and an indie author, under my own name and my Emma Carlyle pen name.
I love the name of this blog! However, I’d make a little tweak and say that Everybody Needs a Lotta Romance. I feel this way every time I open a newspaper or turn on the TV lately. To counter what’s going on in the world, I need happy endings to get me through the day. I’ll bet you do, too. That’s why all my books, no matter the genre, will leave you smiling. My heroes and heroines live happily ever after, the good guys triumph, and the bad guys get what’s coming to them.
Often, though, no matter how pretty a bow I’ve used to tie up the ending of a book, readers ask for more. I currently write the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, a humorous series about a reluctant amateur sleuth. The great thing about an ongoing series is that I can keep writing the characters for as long as reader want to keep reading about them.
But what about stand-alone books? The advent of indie publishing has allowed me to solve that problem by writing novellas and novelettes about the secondary characters in those books and also take some of my protagonists on side adventures.
The first book I ever published was humorous women’s fiction (formerly known as chick lit.) Talk Getie to Me was the story of a mother, a daughter, and an acerbic imaginary friend. Although the book came out in 2006, I still receive mail from readers who want more of Connie, Nori, and Gertie. So I wrote Elementary, My Dear Gertie, taking Gertie, Nori, and boyfriend Mac home to Ten Commandments, Iowa for Christmas. Mac is in the middle of proposing to Nori when—well, let’s just say my mystery side kicked in and created a romantic mystery novella.
Hooking Mr. Right is a contemporary romance that I published under my Emma Carlyle pen name. The manuscript won many awards but never sold to a traditional publisher. So I published it myself. Last month I was invited to take part in a Valentines anthology that will be available January 1st. (I’d tell you the title of the anthology, but it hasn’t been decided yet.) For my contribution, I wrote Finding Mr. Right, a novelette sequel to Hooking Mr. Right, because readers wanted to know what happens to Thea’s editor Grace. Come January 1st, they’ll be able to find out.
I’ve also been writing mini-mysteries, novelettes that take place in-between the releases of the full-length Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. Some readers have asked me what happened to fashion editor Erica Milano at the end of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. In Crewel Intentions I have Anastasia traveling to western Pennsylvania because Erica is being stalked, and for reasons that will become apparent if you read the novelette, she can’t go to the police. She calls on Anastasia for help because Anastasia owes her big time.
This past spring my husband and I traveled to Europe where I fell in love with Barcelona. I wanted to feature the city in a book, but Anastasia’s financial situation precludes luxury European vacations. So I came up with a way to send her and boyfriend Zack off to Spain for three days. In Mosaic Mayhem, because I always have to put Anastasia in some sort of trouble, I have her kidnapped within hours of stepping off the plane. So much for a romantic getaway!
And for those of you who love a deal (and who doesn’t?) come on over to the launch party for Romance Super Bundle on Facebook October 7th. Ten romance authors have gotten together for a fabulous boxed set of ten full-length contemporary and historical romances and romantic suspense. There will be prizes!