A nice, dry champagne with very tiny bubbles, please, and a little Brie to go along with it.
I’m now singing Tiny Bubbles as I head to the fridge. That sounds delish, I have some crusty bread to go with it. 🍾 While I pour, tell us, have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp. Tell us about your camping or if you’re not the camping type. How about your favorite adventure or vacation. What made it special to you.
Several years ago, okay, lots of years ago, I belonged to a scuba diving club, and on weekends, we camped and dove together. One of my favorite places was the west side of San Juan Island in Washington State, where I now live. The water is cold and clear, and the current runs fast, so there is a lot of life that you never see from the surface.
When we put our regulators in our mouths, tucked, and dove, we immediately arrived in another world. It was always a moment of surprise, exhilaration, and joy. Rocky walls cascade downward, home to plants and animals alike, anemones, starfish, crab, abalone, many types of fish, seals, and even, at times, the majestic orcas. In the evening, we pulled a string of picnic tables together and cooked fresh seafood of all types; whatever we had captured that day, and shared the bounty of the sea. Ahh! The good old days.
That sounds wonderful. I’ve snorkeled but never dove. Camping near water- nothing better. Can you share with us about your latest project, and what’s on the horizon.
My debut novel, Murder Unrehearsed, came out last fall. I loved writing it because in the world I created, justice happens. The good guys find strength they didn’t know they had; because they do, they win, and the bad guys get their just desserts. I only wish it happened that way all the time in real life.
I’m hoping to finish polishing my second book this month. It’s a suspense novel rather than a mystery, and I can’t decide whether to call it Murder Unsuspected or Murder Undetected. As you might guess, it’s a black widow story. It takes place in the south of France, in a little hilltop town where everyone knows everyone else’s business, but no one suspects a thing.
I’ve begun a third novel, set in Paris, my favorite city. It’s going to be a heist or caper if I ever figure out the difference between the two and how to write it.
People are always interested in how long it takes and author from conception to publication?
From start to finish, twenty years. For the first twelve years, I was working full time, building a house on weekends, and taking care of elderly parents, so I didn’t have a lot of time to write. And often Murder Unrehearsed lay dormant while I focused on other projects, including a children’s book, two historical romances, and a historical fiction novel. (None of those are finished, BTW.) Also, I write a monthly column consisting of a short personal essay and a recipe for Pacific Yachting magazine, which is published in Vancouver, Canada.
Do you have a tagline? Life Motto?
Life is too short to drink bad wine.
Are there any mentors, authors, or books you would like to give a shout-out to?
My good friend Jeffrey D. Briggs, author of the Seattle Waterfront Mystery series, has been a long-time supporter and critique partner, and especially when I began to write, made me write better. My critique group and many, many others have goaded, encouraged, and cheered me on, including Patricia Tennison of Paris Café Writing, an extraordinary teacher. Along with the rest of my Paris scribe tribe, all beautiful writers, she inspires me to write better than I think I can.
What does literary success look like to you?
Actually finishing and publishing a book. After that, writing beautiful prose as quickly and flawlessly as Leilani Barnett, author of Sacred Journaling: Ten Ways to Use the Power of Words to Craft Your Ideal Life.
Roxanne, do you have any tips, tricks, or anything you specialize in that you would share with others. I’m also interested in how you have been managing your life and writing with COVID-19.
The biggest thing for me was to set aside time everyday to write and not to let anything interfere with that. I began doing this seriously in 2016 after attending a nonfiction seminar, Paris Café Writing, in Paris with Patricia Tennison, and now I generally spend 4 – 6 hours a day writing and marketing.
Since I am retired, the main effect of COVID-19 is that I have more time to write. I do miss having friends and family come to visit, cooking and enjoying good wine together, and I get tired of Zooming, but it is a small price to pay for health.
Now the fun questions
If they made a movie about your life, what would the title be and who would play you?
The Late, Late, Late, Very Late Bloomer. Goldie Hawn.
Do you have a special object like a piece of jewelry or keepsake of some sort? Can you tell us what makes it special to you?
My great-grandmother gave me a necklace her mother had given her. Made of pressed rose petals and acquired from a group of plains Indians in exchange for some medicine back in the mid 1800’s, it still smells faintly of roses.
What is your favorite mug or teacup if neither T-shirt with graphic or Meme.
Mug: I dream my life is the same as it is now, only I have well-behaved hair and I live in Paris.
Your go to cookie.
Matt McCrae’s double chocolate sandwich cookies. Matt is the hottie lawman in Murder Unrehearsed. His favorite way to relax is to bake all day.
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The Hallelejuah Chorus by Handel.
Favorite childhood book?
Last movie you saw?
Roxanne, Thank you for joining us today. Heidi is in my top 10. Could you leave us with a little more about your book and if folks want to find out more about you and your work where they can go?
The pain of betrayal. The price of truth. The mystery of love.
Matt stopped. His mouth hung open for a few beats. “What are you doing here?”
The darkest parts of me, those that I kept stuffed way down inside surged to the surface. My face burned with indignation. I was Kate the Shrew at her best. “How dare you! You and your pretty little Live Like King Tut fable. You kiss me and tell me you liked it. You say you are my biggest fan. You pretend to bare your soul. You think I can’t figure out what’s going on? All you want is for me to believe that you’re a good guy, so you can leave me hanging out for a pack of wolves. So I can end up as dead as Mariella. Well, damn you all to hell!”
Slick as spit, Matt reached out and took my hands. “It’s not like that.”
Where you can get a copy