Do you have a writing routine or ritual?
I like to get up early, have my coffee and then get right to work. That’s what works best for me. I’m the most creative and alert early in the day. As far as marketing and promoting goes, afternoons work fine for me. But, seriously, you don’t want to read anything I’ve written (not even an email) after dinner; that’s my time to relax and, believe me, my brain knows it.
Do you use an outline or just begin with an idea and write toward a conclusion?
I’m one of those people who thrives in an organized environment. I have to have a plan. Here’s an overview of my writing process. Of course, it starts with a single idea, which I immediately jot down. Something has inspired me or aroused my curiosity. In my Malone mystery series, it started with me going for a walk and spotting an old Victorian, which made me wonder what those walls would say if they could talk. From there, bits and pieces of characters, plot and setting slowly evolve and, as they come to me, I write them down. Finally, I write an outline, which will eventually become a chapter by chapter outline – all before I write a single word.
Until a few days ago, I had the advanced reading copy of Unfinished Business on my desk waiting for my final approval, several sheets of paper filled with lists of the things I still needed to do for my book launch event and stacks of emails and notes for the Mystery We Write Blog Tour. I knew that, before I could make any progress, I needed to organize everything.
If you saw my desk today, you would see a stack of colored, labeled folders. For example, “Posts sent to me” and “Posts I sent out.” I finished checking the ARC for my book this morning so it’s been filed away and I’ve managed to condense the sheets of paper with things I still need to do to only one sheet. Yes, I still have a lot on my plate but, now that it’s organized, I can function.
About Unfinished Business
The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes.
Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday, Christmas. Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce that the Westwood Strangler is responsible.
When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?
Leave a comment below to win a copy of Unfinished Business. Winners will be announced on Dec. 11. Also be sure to visit Jean Henry Mead's blog today at this link for my guest post about how a tiny street on Paris' right bank became the epicenter for my novels in The Venus Trilogy.