I'm part of a 25 novel collection trying to hit a list on the week after Christmas. You can preorder the collection for $0.99. For the next month I'm spotlighting all the great authors in this collection with me. Today's author is J.D. Winters.
ART: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Pasadena, California, grew up on islands—first Balboa Island in CA, then Guam in the Pacific. Back to CA for college, married a Geology student and followed him to Washington DC while he did 5 years in the Army. I worked at the National Geographic while there, came back to CA while my husband finished his degree in Geochemistry, began a degree myself in Library Science, but got preggers and began to focus on babies. Much more fun!
ART: Was there a certain time in your life you knew you wanted to write?
I’ve always been a writer, one way or another. I didn’t begin making it my full time endeavor until I had young children and wanted to find a way to make a decent living and yet be able to stay home with my four little ones. Romance was selling—isn’t it always? And after a lot of reading and a lot of writing, I began to sell my stories, first to Jove’s Second Chance at Love, then to Harlequin, Silhouette, Bantam, Dell—anyone who would have me! I got some rights back to old books about three years ago, left traditional publishing, rewrote those books and self published them.
ART: What are you currently working on?
Now I’m writing cozy mysteries. I’ve got three different series going. It all began with Mele Keahi, my half Hawaiian amateur sleuth who sees ghosts and is searching to find out what happened to her mother long ago. My second series features Haley Greco, newly returned to life after a mysterious accident in order to help save her community and town of oddballs, vampires and gremlins of all sorts. Number 3 began as an experiment in shorter stories, hoping to get them out more quickly, but somehow I have the feeling the length is just going to grow on its own. Three sisters are left a magic tea shop along with a black cat familiar by their grandmother and must deal with the animosity of a pair of evil witches who run a competing coffee shop down the street. Fun stories—fun to write!
ART: Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
I love them all—but whatever I’m writing now is always my favorite.
ART: What books have most influenced you as a writer?
Anything by Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Dorothy Sayers, John Galsworthy.
ART: What do you find to be the most challenging part of writing? And the most rewarding?
The hardest part is finding the time and solitude to immerse myself in the world I need to visit in order to write the story. The most rewarding is to see people enjoying that world almost as much as I do.
ART: What book is on your nightstand?
Right now, I’m reading the Haunting Danielle series of mysteries by Bobbie Holmes. Once you read one, you have to read them all!
ART: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’m hoping to branch out to more mystery series—have a few ideas percolating.
ART: Is there anything you’d like to share with your readers?
The joy of reading! I have a grandchild who’s just discovered it and it has changed her world.
This book is in a series which is being co-written by the illusive Dakota Kahn, who helps with outlines, gives me jokes and explains to me how magic works. Without Dakota, I’d be stumped.
J.D. Winters is a pen name for Helen Conrad, an award-winning, USA Today Bestselling Author of more than 100 romances published under various pseudonyms with Harlequin, Silhouette, Loveswept and others–as well as the extensive series, Destiny Bay Romances. Cozy mysteries are a new venture, less romance, but more fun!
Facebook Link (author page) http://jdwinterscozy.com/
Twitter Link @HelenMCon