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.

The Strategies of Authoring

I've been at this for a while now, and I've seen the publishing world undergo drastic changes. When I got my first contract with a traditional publisher, that was the way to go, because books published by an author in what was then called "vanity publishing," were expensive to produce and almost certain to fail.

That changed when two things happened: a few brave authors (e.g. Hugh Howey) began working to understand and use the system to their benefit and Amazon made it (fairly) easy and definitely cheap to publish books.

My time with traditional publishers was extremely valuable. I learned about the need for good editing, good cover art, and good resources for promotion. On the downside, I learned I had few options once I signed a contract, and the financial reward for my work was a long time coming and not nearly as much as people imagine when they plop down $26.00 for a hard cover book.

Now that I'm sort of independent (I've stuck with one of my publishers so technically I'm what they call a hybrid author--which sounds kind of science fiction-y but isn't) I'm learning how books sell in the times when hundreds of thousands of books are added to the possibilities readers are offered each year. Some are tossed into the world like a monkey throwing mud at a canvas, with the naive belief that someone will call it art. Others (like mine) are the result of hard work, dozens of revisions, and many people's input, both paid experts and wonderful volunteers.

All that to say this: One of the ways independent authors attract notice for their books is by giving them away. In this time of free books everywhere, it's hard to get a reader to pay for a book if they haven't read an author before or heard good things about her from someone they trust. Authors like me give away the first book in a series in order to entice readers to buy Book Two, Three, etc.

The Dead Detective Agency is now free through all Draft2Digital outlets, including B&N, Kobo, and the like. I've notified Amazon, so they will eventually price match, though I can't predict when that will happen. If you haven't met Seamus (pronounced shay mus) and don't mind a light-hearted mash-up of mystery and the Afterlife, try the e-book for free, then go back for the rest of the series at only $2.99 each.

Seamus Meets the Mackinac Bridge

Seamus Joins a Theater Group

Seamus Investigates His Own Murder


Oh, and what I'm reading now: Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis. Great scenario, but he'd better not disappoint me when I get to the truth!

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