Monday, October 4, 2010

Interview with Mystery Writer Linda Faulkner

Author Linda M. Faulkner loves a good mystery. She says her middle initial stands for Mystery, with a capital M. In addition to writing mystery novels, Linda does freelance writing and teaches writing workshops. Second Time Around was an Award Finalist for best Mystery/Suspense fiction 2010 EPIC.

Hello, Linda. It’s so nice to have you on my blog. Please tell us about your new book, Second Time Around.

Second Time Around is a mystery set in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana. Timmie Campbell asks herself what she’s going to do when the dead body she stumbles across winds up belonging to her father, the father she thought abandoned her in infancy. Turns out her mother has been lying for years: about her father’s abandonment, about him not contacting them, about a lot of things. Unfortunately, Timmie can’t dwell on her mother’s deception because bodies begin piling up and she needs to stop the killer before he wipes out her entire family.

Whoa! This book sounds like a “page-turn.” Where did you get your inspiration for your novel? Do you get your ideas from real life experiences?

The opening scene of STA was inspired by a real-life event. My husband and I, who live in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, were walking our dogs down the driveway. We heard a rustling in the trees alongside the driveway and my imagination went into overdrive as the dogs went on alert. “Wouldn’t it be neat if a dead body rolled down the hillside?” I asked my husband and the pooches. Stephen thought I was nuts. The dogs were used to such hypothetical questions: they knew I was imagining all sorts of murder and mayhem. In MY life, I much preferred the whitetail doe who pranced into view. In my fiction, the dead body worked out better.

As far as other ideas go, they come to me in a variety of ways: in dreams, when I’m driving or taking a shower, listening to the news, reading a newspaper or magazine article, and—here’s the best one: when eavesdropping in public places. I suppose it’s not eavesdropping when you’re in a restaurant and the couple in the booth next to you is talking loud enough to wake the dead, but you know what I mean, right?

That’s hilarious! Some authors I’ve interviewed have said they get a lot of good stuff by listening to people talk while standing in a line at the grocery store…but in your case, sitting in a booth. A reviewer wrote that your book was "a wild and complicated tale of revenge, years of lies, romance, and, of course murder. More than one!" Your book sounds like an intriguing mystery. Tell me your thoughts about this review.

Aha! That sound like Carl Brookins’ review. It was the first I’d ever received and I was thrilled. As far as I’m concerned, if the reader/reviewer likes the book and couldn’t put it down, that’s far more important than any flaws they might have noted or the number of “stars” they give it. (Isn’t that why we write—for the reader?) If I recall, Carl rated the book 4 of 5 stars and said he’d be willing to read more of my fiction. The review worked for me!

How about your family? What do they think about your writing?

My family is terrific. Before she died twelve years ago—well before I’d ever published anything—my mother was my biggest supporter. She encouraged me to keep submitting my work, to switch genres, to try something new. All her advice panned out, too! My father, who is 80, passes out marketing post cards all over the place: at the casino, at the doctor’s office, wherever he goes. He’s more impressed with my non-fiction and technical writing, but read STA from cover to cover in one setting and really enjoyed it—terrific praise from him. My sister and my three kids have always believed in me, always knew I’d be published, and are also a great help in the marketing department. And my husband good-naturedly takes a back seat to my writing—especially now that I’m published and earning money. All kidding aside, he thinks it’s terrific that I can work at something I love and have it not feel like work. Oh, and the puppies and kitties think it’s terrific—because I do most of it from home, rather than at the office. 

Hey, it sounds like you have some great support and you’re spoiling the cats and dogs, too. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Although I currently have two dogs, one of whom is a German Shepherd, and used to have two Rottweilers (they’ve both passed on), I’m afraid of dogs. I was so scared of them when I was a kid that a barking dog—even on a chain, inside a fenced yard—terrified me to the point I’d wet my pants. If I’m out and about and a dog I don’t know (regardless of breed or size) comes running at me, I hide behind the closest person—even if it’s my own kid. Which is incredibly embarrassing. Mothers are supposed to protect their kids—even if they are adults. There. My secret’s out. 

This is hilarious. I can’t stop laughing for the life of me. What a great story! Now we know the real you, an author who is afraid of dogs and owns several of her own. Don’t worry about hiding behind your kids. Since they were raised with dogs, they have no fears. In fact, most kids usually aren’t afraid of anything. That’s what scares us mothers!


Yvonne said...

This sounds wonderful. Great interview.


Marjorie said...

This would be a super book to read and I enjoy the review.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Hifam said...

This book sounds really fun. I'd love to read it. Thanks for the interview.
hickenfam at hotmail dot com



Thanks for interviewing me. And thanks for the kind comments, ladies!

barbjan10 said...

Linda, I am relieved to learn I'm not the only person who eavesdrops on conversations around me in restaurants and elsewhere, I hear the most interesting and curious tidbits. You have quite the lively imagination and I think your book will be quite entertaining to read. Thanks for the giveaway and to our host, thanks for the chance to win this book. I hope I do!!

Sharing God's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interview and the chance to win a book.

Helen Kiker

Linda Kish said...

I also had a horrible fear of dogs until I rescued one 10 years ago (to make my son happy). Now, I prefer dogs to cats and most people.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Andrea I said...

I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds great. I like a good mystery.

DarcyO said...

Thanks for the interview. It's nice to know others eavesdrop, too. I imagine you do hear some great story ideas that way.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net


Thank you for making me feel "normal" by admitting to eavesdropping. As we writers know, we are just a wee bit off from the rest of the world!

Thanks, also, for all your kind words and comments.

pennyt said...

Having moved from NY to Idaho, then to Wyoming and Oregon, I love mysteries set out west. This sounds like a great read.

pennyt at hotmail dot com

Maureen said...

Great glad that you can accept Love from your own dogs!
Love the idea of this book! Please include me!



Maureen, I've found that most dogs and cats are far better at loving than most human beings are. :) Perhaps that's why I have 3 cats and 2 dogs! They don't care whether I wear makeup (which I really need these days), they don't ask me to speak more softly, they don't care how much I write (it gives them a lap to sit in!), and they like me as I am (so long as I feed them on a regular basis). What's not to love about them?

Anonymous said...

Would love to do a review of your book. I just reviewed 'Dark Road to Darjeeling' by Deanna Raybourn and am itching for another good mystery to fathom. Also, agree wholeheartedly about the cats and dogs. So companionable and non-judgmental! accblog at earthlink dot net

Alaina said...

This sounds like a very intriguing book! I would love to read it!

Molly said...

Molly said...
Loved the interview!

Thanks for the chance at winning this awesome sounding book! My mom and I would love to read it.

Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

Emma said...

Great interview. Second Time Around sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win this book. augustlily06(AT)aim(DOT)com.

karenk said...

a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com


Thanks for all your kind comments!

I have a new book coming out in January. It's titled TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF BUSINESS, a non-fiction book that helps people solve mysteries in the business world. Not nearly as entertaining as a fiction novel, but helpful nonetheless.

Cindy W. said...

Ooh, a mystery in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. Sounds enticing. Would love to be entered to win a copy. Thanks for teh chance.

Cindy W.


Cathy W said...

Sound really great. Thanks for the review.
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Debbie F said...

Please include me! thanks!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net


Thanks to everyone for your interest!

Charity23 said...

THis soo sounds like a book for me! Love mystery novels and I'm due for a new book!! Thanks for the chance!

charity-23 at hotmail dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. It was fun getting to know Linda Faulkner and find out what kind of books she writes. The winner of this new book is Emma. Congratulations!