About Linda Crowder:
I grew up in Loveland, Colorado which was a very small town at that time. It was a place where everyone knew their neighbors and watched out for them. This ensured I behaved myself as a child because if I was where I shouldn’t be, sure enough someone would see me, know I shouldn’t be there, know who I was and where my mother worked and call her to let her know what I was doing!
I’ve always been a reader. Over the course of several summer reading programs, I read every book in the children’s section of the Loveland Public Library! They kicked me out of the reading program and sent me downstairs to pick out adult books – with the guidance of a caring librarian. I’ve loved mysteries from the Secret Seven and Nancy Drew to Rita Mae Brown and my favorite, Agatha Christie.
With a lifelong love of mysteries, it’s not surprising what type of books I would write!
What inspires you to write?
This is probably going to sound strange to anyone who isn’t a writer, but my characters let me know what they’re doing, especially my little Ghost Cat, Ringo. He always insists I stop writing about Jake and Emma to write about his latest exploit. With my mysteries, I am drawn to the next chapter because I love these characters and I want to see what happens in their lives. I’m challenged to create a story in which all of the clues are there, but readers don’t figure out who the murderer is before I’m ready to let them know. I want my readers to slap their foreheads (gently, please) and say, “Oh how could I have missed that?” because the puzzle is so well crafted.
Whether I achieve that, you’ll have to let me know.
Tell us about your writing process.
I know the major developments that will happen for my main characters several books in advance, allowing me to build those relationships in a way that supports those arcs. In my first three, I completely solve the main mystery in each book but I leave a mystery sub-plot that travels throughout and is finally resolved in the third book, though I am not planning to do that with future books.
I don’t outline my plots, but in the fourth book, which I’m working on now, I did have the main “who killed who and how” plot in mind. As I write, I’m able to weave in red herrings, blind alleys and multiple suspects so the reader will have plenty of potential killers to choose from.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to them but I do hear them talking to each other. As I write, the scene is playing out in my mind and I feel as though I’m just reporting what happened. I will say that there is one character I’d planned as a minor part of one of my books. The plan was to introduce her, give her a little interaction, then she would become one of the victims of my murderer. Except that she refused to die! Twice I tried to kill her off and twice she stubbornly refused to die. I gave up and let her live. She’s a minor character now who flows in and out of the story as needed but she’s still kicking.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing! Like any skill, you get better the more you do it so get in there and write. Don’t self-edit until you’re done, then go back and edit, edit, edit and edit again.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-publish and I really enjoy it. It was tough at first because I really had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve joined author groups on Facebook and have found it very helpful in learning the business that goes with writing if you ever expect to sell any books. I continue to self-publish because I like having full control and because small press publishers, God bless them, are still going to require me to do the lion’s share of promotion so I decided I could hire an editor and cover artist, then I’m able to keep the royalties. With most books selling a few thousand copies, those royalties give me a comfortable income but only if I don’t have to split them with an agent and a publisher.
I do have an agent who is marketing my audio publishing rights. I could self-publish the audio and if she isn’t able to find me an agreeable contract, I suppose I will but right now, I am too busy writing to master the learning curve that is audio.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think ebooks will continue to outpace the sales of hard and paperback books. I think that readers will be able to interact with authors on Twitter and Facebook, making them more loyal to authors they like and building a readership base that will help support that author as they continue to write more books. I think small presses will continue to die off and the large publishers will continue their trend of only picking up books “written” by people who have already built a platform and are more of a “guaranteed sell.”
I’d like to see bookstores leave a shelf or two open for indie published books, especially by local authors. There’s no thrill like seeing your book on the self of an actual bookstore.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Cozy Mystery, Middle Grade Short Stories, New Adult Inspirational Short Stories
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.