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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Interview with Linda Weaver Clarke on Writing the Amelia Moor Detective Series by Ronda Hinrichsen

I'm always working on my writing craft, and one of the ways I do that is studying how other authors do what I'm trying to do and then incorporating that skill into my writing. With that in mind, and knowing her experience can help other writers, I've interviewed author Linda Weaver Clarke about her newest novel, The Mysterious Doll, and especially about her writing process.
Me: Thank you for joining me on my blog today, Linda. I'm sure your experience and insight will be a great help to readers. Throughout my career, I've found that one of the first questions aspiring authors ask me is where I get my ideas, so why don't we begin with that? Please tell us a little about your new novel and where  your idea for this book came from.
Linda: The Amelia Moore Detective Series is a cozy mystery that involves missing persons. So I try to create a story around a missing person and make it intriguing at the same time. I’m not sure where I get my ideas. I just think about an area that I would like to set my next story and then try to come up with a story that would fit that area. In this story, Amelia and Rick end up at Estes Park, Colorado in the famous Stanley Hotel that is supposedly “haunted.” I stayed at this hotel once with my husband and daughter and it was such a fun experience. And no, I didn’t see any ghosts while I was there. But I did see the famous Stanley Steamer Automobile.

In The Mysterious Doll, Pauline Jones is confused why her boyfriend took off without telling a soul where he was going. But that isn’t all. Sam Whitaker is accused of stealing a valuable porcelain doll from the museum. His disappearance makes him look guilty, but Pauline is convinced he is innocent. When Amelia finds Sam, she realizes they need to prove his innocence. Where is the antique doll and who has taken it?

Me: How do you put your stories together? Do you plot first, or do you begin with a nugget of an idea and let the story take you where it will?

Linda: I usually plot first because with a mystery you have to know the ending and help your characters get there Lwithout the reader knowing the secret. Afterwards I’ll add fillers to my story as I write. So in a sense, I guess I also “let the story take me where it will.”

Me: That's exactly what I do too. Great minds think alike--grin. Now, I know there are a lot of elements you "do right" in your books, but you would you please tell us what  one writing skill you consider to be your best? Hpw did you develop it?

Linda: Description is my strength. When I first began writing, my editor would tell me to add more description so my reader would understand what my hero or heroine looked like. Also, what kind of mountains were they looking at in the distance as the couple strolled along the path? With this encouragement, I worked at it until it became second nature to me. I made my weakness become my strength. How do I know this is my strength? Because I’ve had many reviewers comment that they could actually feel as if they were in the area my story took place because of my descriptions. I try not to overdo it, though. Just enough to help my reader imagine they are there.

Me: Along with that, what characteristics do you strive to include in every book by Linda Weaver Clarke?

Linda: I try to include humor, some romance, and intrigue. Those are my favorite types of books to read, so I want to include it in my stories.
Me: Finally, I believe it's important for writers to know what they hope readers will get from their books. What do you hope readers will get from The Mysterious Doll?

Linda: Fun and entertainment. If a reader loves romantic cozy mysteries, then this book is right up their alley. What is a cozy mystery? It’s a G-rated story. Usually the sleuth is an intelligent woman who must solve the case.  Most mysteries are about solving a crime, but this new series involves missing persons. 
Me: Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Linda, and Congratulations on your new book. 
Click here to purchase The Mysterious Doll from Amazon.

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