Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

"Gee, You Write a Lot of Books!"

Yes, I do.
I'm not Alexander McCall Smith, who writes a book every two months, but I do okay. Some people get all huffy if an author publishes more than one book a year, but there are some reasons why that's possible, even desirable.

First, we might have written a lot before we got published. While a lot of early work is practice and  should never be seen by the eyes of the public, other bits are worthwhile. Maybe a good book idea got shifted to one side because of deadlines and never got finished or re-worked or ended (It's taken me years to figure out how the sequel to MACBETH'S NIECE is supposed to go. I think we're close.) Maybe an author's worked on it a bit at a time for years and it's finally ready to go into the queue.

Second, some of us haven't got much else going. We're retired, so work isn't distracting us. We're past the age where a night of bowling or even a day of shopping tugs us away from the work.  We don't have a lot of family demands. Yes, we still do stuff, but we're at a point in life where we have lots of hours to fill as we want.

Which brings us to the third point. Writing is what we want to do. Though I still like things like travel and theater and long walks, my head is planning, improving, or polishing plots even as I do those things. It's a bug I couldn't shake if I wanted to. Not only do I like writing, I like editing, preparing to publish, and even promotion--sometimes. Naturally one gets more done if she spends more time on it.

That's why some of us are, or at least seem, more prolific than others. I admire my friends who write in slices, working around jobs, family, and other distractions. It's killer, and they often can't get more than one book ready per year. I'm lucky enough to have a lot of time to write. It doesn't matter if it takes two years of working two hours/day or six months of working all day most days. Putting in the time to make it right is what counts, not how many titles are listed under your name.

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