Q&A Thursday – Interview with Lois Winston

Today’s interview is with Award-Winning Author Lois Winston.

Thanks for joining us today, Lois!

Enjoy & Comment

What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
The worst thing I’ve ever written was my first book — a 50,000 word romance that spanned 35 years. Do I really need to say more? I learned how bad it really was when I joined RWA. No wonder I was receiving all those rejection letters! I learned two things from that experience, though. First, I learned that I enjoyed writing and wanted to keep writing. Second, I learned I had a lot to learn. Fast-forward through a decade of perseverance, education, and more revisions than I can remember, and that first book became the second book I sold.
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I’m published in three genres. My first published book, TALK GERTIE TO ME, was a humorous women’s fiction about a mother, a daughter, and the tied-too-tightly apron strings that bind them together. My second book, LOVE, LIES AND A DOUBLE SHOT OF DECEPTION, was a romantic suspense.
I’m now writing a humorous amateur sleuth mystery series. ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN is the first book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and came out in January 2011. There will be at least 2 additional books in the series (January 2012 and 2013) and possibly more.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I’m a very eclectic reader. I not only read in my own genre but in various other genres as well as some literary fiction. I try to read throughout the year, even when I’m writing, but deadlines often cut into my reading time.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
The middle of the book. When I begin a new manuscript, I know exactly how I want the book to start, and I know exactly how I want the book to end. It’s getting from that starting place to typing THE END that’s the killer.
If you could have the same type of career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?

J.K. Rowling definitely comes to mind. Janet Evanovich comes in a close second.

Author’s Biography: Lois Winston is an award-winning author and designer as well as an agent with the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. Her latest book, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN (January 2011), the first book in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist.  Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.

Teaser Tuesday! Featuring Lois Winston

 A normal day for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack involves juggling two teenage sons, a communist mother-in-law, a mother descended from Russian royalty, a Shakespeare quoting parrot, AND her dead husband’s loan shark.  As if that weren’t enough, she’s now the prime suspect in the murder of a coworker.  Anastasia must use both her wits and her craft skills to clear her name and find the killer before he finds her.

Copyright 2011 Lois Winston
I hate whiners. Always have. So I was doing my damnedest not to become one in spite of the lollapalooza of a quadruple whammy that had broadsided me last week. Not an easy task, given that one of those lollapalooza whammies had barged into my bedroom and was presently hammering her cane against my bathroom door.
“Damn it, Anastasia! Hot water doesn’t grow on trees, you know!”
Some people can’t start the day without a cigarette. Lucille Pollack, Monster-in-Law from the Stygian Swamp, can’t start hers without a sludge load of complaints. As much as I detest cigarettes, I’d much prefer a nicotine-puffing mother- in-law, as long as she came with an occasional kind word and a semi-pleasant disposition. Unfortunately, marriage is a package deal. Husbands come with family. And mine came with a doozie to end all doozies.
My mother-in-law is a card-carrying, circa nineteen-thirties communist. When she met me, it was hate at first sight. I bear the name of a dead Russian princess, thanks to my mother’s unsubstantiated Romanov link — a great- grandmother with the maiden name of Romanoff. With Mama, the connection is more like sixty, not six, degrees of separation, and the links are coated with a thick layer of rust. But that’s never stopped Mama from bragging about our royal ancestry, and it set the tone for my relationship — or lack of it — with my mother-in-law from Day One.
I suppose I didn’t help the situation by naming one of my sons Nicholas and the other Alexander, even if they were named after my grandfathers — Alexander Periwinkle and Nicholas Sudberry.
“My kingdom for a bedroom door lock,” I muttered. Not that I had much of a kingdom left. So it would have to be a really cheap lock.
“About time,” said Lucille as I exited the bathroom amidst a cloud of warm steam. “Some people have no consideration of others.” Raising one of her Sequoia-like arms, she waved her cane in my face. “Those boys of yours have been camped out in the other bathroom for half an hour doing what, I can’t imagine.”
Lucille always referred to Nick and Alex as those boys, refusing to use their given names. Like it might corrupt her political sensibilities or something.
“Three minutes,” she continued ranting. “That’s all it takes me to shower and all it should take any of you. I’m the only person in this house who gives one iota of concern for the earth’s depleting resources.”
She landed an elbow to my ribs to push me aside. Manifesto, her runt-of-the-litter French bulldog — or Mephisto, the Devil Dog, as the rest of the family had dubbed the Satan-incarnate canine — followed close on her heels. As he squeezed past me, he raised his wrinkled head and growled.
As soon as they’d both muscled their way into the bathroom, my mother-in-law slammed the door in my face and locked it. God only knows why she needs her dog in the bathroom with her. And if he does know, I hope he continues to spare the rest of us the knowledge.

Lois Winston
Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun,
an Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery
Publishers Weekly & Booklist starred reviews

Blog Tour Day Two! Featuring ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN by Lois Winston.

Lois Winston is both an award-winning author and award-winning designer. Her latest release, Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series (available now online at Amazon and B&N, in stores Jan. 8th), received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. PW said, “Crafty cozies don’t get any better than this hilarious confection,” and
Booklist stated, “Winston has hit a home run with this hilarious, laugh-until-your-sides-hurt tale. Oddball characters, uproariously funny situations, and a heroine with a strong sense of irony will delight fans of Janet Evanovich….” Kirkus Reviews called it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum. Funny, gutsy and determined, Anastasia has a bright future in the planned series.”

When magazine craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s husband permanently cashes in his chips at a roulette table in Las Vegas, her comfortable middle-class life craps out. Suddenly, she’s juggling two teenage sons, a mountain of debt, a communist mother-in-law, AND her dead husband’s loan shark. And that’s before she becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a coworker she discovers hot glued to her office chair. Anastasia now must add reluctant amateur sleuth to her job description in order to clear her name.

As if Anastasia weren’t busy enough, she and her fellow editors blog at Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. You can find it at http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/. Mondays through Thursdays one of the magazine’s “editors” blogs about her area of expertise — crafts, recipes, decorating tips, fashion, etc. On Fridays the blog hosts guest authors, many of whom give away copies of their books.

In celebration of the release of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, Lois is doing a blog tour throughout January. You can find the schedule on her website, http://www.loiswinston.com, and at Anastasia’s blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Everyone who posts a comment to any of the blogs over the course of the month will be entered into a drawing to receive one of 5 copies of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun. (If your email isn’t included in your comment, email Lois privately at lois@loiswinston.com to let her know you’ve entered.)