Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Interview with mystery author Rebecca M. Douglass

Today is the fifth interview in a series with the authors of

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

About the anthology:
The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
- Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

So far, we’ve had C.D. Gallant-King (on April 19), Gwen Gardner (on April 26), Jemi Fraser (on May 2), Christine Clemetson (on May 11), and now Rebecca M. Douglass is here to chat about her mystery short story called “The Tide Waits.”

After a lifetime of reading, and a decade or more of slinging books at the library and herding cats with the PTA, Rebecca began to turn her experiences into books of her own, publishing her first in 2012. That failed to quiet the voices in her head, but seemed to entertain a number of readers, so she wrote some more, which generated still more voices. Despite the unlimited distractions provided by raising sons to the point of leaving home (and preparing to move without forwarding address if necessary to retain that empty nest), not to mention the mountains that keep calling (very hard to resist the urging of something the size of the Sierra Nevada), she has managed to pen a total of 7.9 books (the 8th is due out soon).
For those who enjoy murder and mayhem with a sense of humor, Rebecca’s Pismawallops PTA mysteries (Death By Ice Cream and Death By Trombone, and the soon-to-be-released Death By Adverb) provide insights into what PTA moms are really like. If you prefer tall tales and even less of a grip on reality, visit Skunk Corners in The Ninja Librarian and the sequels Return to Skunk Corners and The Problem of Peggy. For those who’ve always thought that fantasy was a bit too high-minded, a stumble through rescues and escapes with Halitor the Hero, possibly the most hapless hero to ever run in fear from any and all fair maidens, should set you straight.
Why does Rebecca write so many different kinds of books (there’s even an alphabet picture book in the mix!)? We could argue that it’s because she has a rich lifetime of experience that requires expression in—squirrel!

Welcome, Rebecca. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
I enjoy writing short stories partly because they are a manageable size—you work on one for a few weeks and it’s done, unlike a novel! But I also enjoy constructing a story and making it fit into the smaller, tighter space. That’s a challenge and a good exercise. I also appreciate that short stories give me the freedom to play with genres I wouldn’t otherwise try.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
“The Tide Waits” is my first short story published outside of my own blog. I publish flash fiction there most Fridays, and have a wide range of stories from silly tales for children to science fiction and weird genre mashups (but never horror or erotica). I enjoy circling back to characters and settings that were fun and writing more about them, so that I have a number of mini-series about characters as diverse as Gorg the Troll and Xavier Xanthum, Space Explorer. Gorg will have his own book if all goes well, but most will remain bits of flash fiction.

What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
My published books fall into 3 genres: cozy mysteries (for adults), fantasy (for kids), and tall tales (for all ages). I am inclining more toward the mysteries, but I enjoy somewhat unconventional fantasy (as well as conventional fantasy), and will probably continue to write in several genres.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My big focus right now is my novel, Death By Adverb, which is due March 28. But I’m also working on a couple of fantasy shorts.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
About the time I first learned to write! I remember writing little stories from a very early age, and wanted to be a writer from childhood. I probably count myself “really a writer” from when I submitted my first novel to agents (for which I apologize to the agents). Even so, I don’t think I took myself seriously as a writer until after I published my first book, The Ninja Librarian. That was when I realized that I had to treat it like a job if I wanted to go anywhere with it.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
Here’s where I show that I’m not quite a pro: I don’t research markets. I write what I want to write, and hope that there are some readers who share my taste!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure I have any interesting quirks! I do struggle to write when anyone else is home—yet have no problem doing so in a crowded cafe!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer! Well, when I was in grade school I wanted to be a famous writer with a giant horse ranch.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love to hear from my readers, so drop me a line!


Thanks for being here today! Happy writing. 

Tick Tock links:

Purchase links:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iTunes


Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Thanks for hosting me today! I see I had my usual trouble with calendars and thinking ahead--that book that was "coming March 28" did make it, and is out there now :) It's exciting to have 2 books out at once, and I'm learning tons from the other anthology writers!

Gwen Gardner said...

It's so cool that you can work in different genres. Everything I write seems to turn into a mystery. LOL. I write cozies so Death by Adverb sounds interesting!

Thanks for hosting, Lisa!

Jemima Pett said...

Lovred the interview. Always good to know some authors write in totally different genres all the time!

cleemckenzie said...

I like the idea of circling around to write about characters again and maybe expand on what they do and who they are. Love the title of your book. Those adverbs do tend to strangle prose when over-used.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Gwen & Jemima--I guess since I read all over the spectrum, it's not so surprising I write several genres. Though my attempts at "serious" fiction have not gone well :p

Lee--oh, yes! terrible prose is a real killer! Coming back to characters in my flash fiction is kind of like writing a series, only in miniature :)

Yolanda Renée said...

I like writing in different genres too, but mystery will always be my favorite. I'd love to write a memoir but hate talking about me. LOL
And my biggest fail is the cozy. I just can't seem to find a niche in that. Although, I have been considering a blog called 'observations from the patio'. Too bad you can't solve a murder while sunbathing or maybe you can???? :)

Mary Aalgaard said...

I'm with you on the people being at home. They are distracting. But, a crowded coffee shop, it's like white noise, and I am motivated by the energy, and perhaps the coffee!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Yolanda, I might have to take that as a challenge--maybe a short story where someone solves a mystery while sunbathing. I'll let you know!

Mary--Exactly! And at the coffee shop, I can't see the stuff that needs cleaning, that laundry that needs doing, etc. I just write.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I bet those agents don't even remember.

Genre variety is good.