Lonnie was one of the first published authors I met when I started writing seriously. We were both members of Sisters in Crime and she coordinated the critique groups. I was such a puppy then – so far as outlook, I had a few years on me otherwise. Anyway, Lonnie was a dream to work with and really put a lot of effort into helping other writers that she knew zero about. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her in person a couple of times, and she is just as lovely up close and real as she is in a virtual world.
Enough babbling from me, here’s the interview…(Oh, and a new format from now on, I’m starting with important personal data.)
Favorite Candy: Um, how much megabyte space do you have open for this one? Okay, okay, I’ll narrow it down. Peanut M & Ms, hands down. And did you know that they relieve PMS? Really! BUT I keep a sack of Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares, 60% cocoa, stashed inside my desk . . . for emergencies, when writing.
Favorite Cartoon Character: Hmmm. The Road Runner. AND the Coyote. Bless his little heart. Anything in the Peanuts line.
Super Power Most Covets: Ummm, not sure what this is. If I had super powers? Not flying, I’m afraid of heights. Maybe the power to right wrongs? Right when they happen? The ability to write a best seller, land at #1 on the NY Times list? Appear on Today and Ophrah? How’s that?
Now The Interview…
Q.) First tell us about your newest release, Fifty-Seven Heaven.
L.C.) FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN is about baby boomers Kitty and Jack Bloodworth and their ’57 Chevy, Sadie. Imagine their surprise when they enter Sadie in a local car show/contest and find the dead body of Kitty’s irritating cousin stuffed in the trunk. All of their nearest and dearest have solid alibis, so they could not have done it . . . yet one of them must have. It’s a light, fun read, because that’s what I enjoying reading.
Q.) You have another series too. One set in Metropolis, IL. Can you tell us a bit about it too?
L.C.) Sheriff Joe Dalton and his deputies solve fictional crimes in the real town of Metropolis, Illinois. Metropolis is a fun small town to live in, with a fifteen-foot statue of Superman at the courthouse, a Planet newspaper, and a chunk of kryptonite on a busy street corner. We draw tourists from all over the world.
Q.) What can readers expect to find in all your books-what tells them they are reading a book by Lonnie Cruse (besides the name on the cover (G))?
L.C.) The Kitty Bloodworth/’57 Chevy series revolves around retirees enjoying life with their car club buddies, attending car shows, tinkering with their antique cars, and solving murders. The Metropolis Mysteries revolve around life in the small town of Metropolis, IL.
Q.) What is the smartest thing you’ve done so far as advancing either your writing or your writing career? What is something you wish you had done differently?
L.C.) Smartest thing was taking online classes to learn the craft of writing and be able to polish my work. And joining online writer groups for help and support, to me and from me. Really helps! Wish I’d done differently? Hmmm. Found a bigger publisher for the Metropolis Mystery series. The publisher folded and I was left scrambling to keep my books in print.
Q.) Are you a plotter or a panster? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
L.C.) I start a book by clustering (put one word on a page, then write words around it that come from it) or I get a set of index cards, write the four lead characters on several cards, then just quickly jot ideas on them. Then I line them up, and a story line appears because I was letting my subconscious have at it. I learned this on Holly Lisle’s terrific website. Then I start writing the story, using the cards or cluster, but I’m not a slave to it. I write by the seat of my jammies. I’m mostly character driven, wanting to see how much trouble I can get my characters into, and how they will get out of it. Coming up with a sub plot is the hardest for me.
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?
L.C.) I’ve been so busy promoting FIFTY-SEVEN HEAVEN which will be released by Five Star this Wednesday, December 12th, that I haven’t done any writing for weeks. And the holidays do get in the way. And I’ve been polishing book #2 in the Kitty series, hoping Five Star will want to publish it. But I plan to start the third in the Kitty series at the beginning of the year.
Q.) Where can readers go to find out more about you and your books? Where can they buy your books?
L.C.) I have a website at www.lonniecruse.com which has info about the books and pictures of Metropolis. Signed copies can be ordered through my website. I also have a blog at http://www.lonniecruse.blogspot.com and I blog on Fridays at www.poesdeadlydaughters.com
Books can be ordered from Amazon or any book store.