Author Spotlight – Jeff Hecht

Jeff Pic

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Jeff Hecht, a freelance science and technology journalist for magazines, and author of nonfiction books and short science fiction stories.

Jeff writes nonfiction for magazines including New Scientist, Laser Focus World, Nature, IEEE Spectrum, and Optics & Photonics News. He has written several books on both the technology and history of lasers and fiber optics. He first covered laser weapons in the 1970s, when they were so big and complex that one wag said the only conceivable military use of one laser built into an airplane was “to drop it on the enemy.”  His latest book, Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon covers adventures from the times of Archimedes and Nikola Tesla to the present day, when industrial lasers are being modified to zap drones and insurgent rockets.

My first question for you, Jeff – Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!):

 Lasers, Death Rays, published by Prometheus Books, is available from Annie’s Book Stop right here in Worcester, and other fine bookstores. My nonfiction is available online in Laser Focus World, IEEE Spectrum, Optics & Photonics News, New Scientist, Nature, and other magazines. My short fiction has appeared in Nature Futures (accessible through Nature.com), Analog, and anthologies such as Extreme Planets and the NESFA Press book Conspiracy!

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 I am on Twitter @jeffhecht and also post on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffchecht/  My web site is http://www.jeffhecht.com

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Lasers, Death Rays?

 Lasers, Death Rays, describes our infatuation with the idea of directed energy, from the lightning bolts of the ancient gods to Nikola Tesla and modern military engineers. The concert inspired great enthusiasm, and some interesting scams, but even after the invention of the laser, the reality fell far short of expectations throughout the twentieth century. Only in the past decade has the giggle factor been overcome, and only for a few “easy” targets.

               Laser Book Cover

 What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 I spent a lot of time digging into old archives of death ray research, as well as talking with old-timers who built giant lasers in the 1960s and 1970s. I had a fascinating interview with the Air Force’s third female four-star general, Ellen Pawlikowski, who as a colonel ran the Airborne Laser Laboratory, and saw both the energy and enthusiasm of the researchers and the limits of the technology. The most interesting surprise came from digging into a report that an MIT professor who was an expert on high-voltage engineering wrote on Tesla’s death-ray proposals after his death in 1943, and managed to be very diplomatic in saying that they were useless. His name was John Trump, and one can only wish that some of his skills had rubbed off on his nephew Donald.

What was the inspiration for Lasers, Death Rays? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 I was inspired by the tremendous advances in solid-state laser technology over the last decade or two that took high-energy lasers from the level of vacuum-tube computers to the level of personal computers. We’re still a long way from Star Trek phasers, but the giggle factor is gone for laser artillery to shoot down drones or insurgent missiles

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why? 

Gordon Gould, the overage grad student who filed a patent on the laser and in early 1959 went to DARPA with his boss to apply for a $300,000 grant to try to build a laser. He so excited DARPA that they gave him a million dollars. But they also classified the project, and wouldn’t give Gould a clearance because he had been a communist.

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

 My favorite part about writing about the history of technology is learning what happened, making sense of it, and explaining it to readers. This means talking with interesting people who did interesting things, and putting together the pieces of what they know to understand the big picture. That often reveals surprising links and connections. The high-energy solid-state laser technology being developed to defend against rockets and drones relies on making lasers in optical fibers, a technology invented in Southbridge, Massachusetts at the old American Optical Company in 1961. It wasn’t ready then, but during the millennial technology bubble new technology made higher powers possible. The company that drove those high-energy fiber lasers is IPG Photonics, founded in 1990 in Moscow but now based in Oxford, Massachusetts.

 Thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions, Jeff! We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, June 9th  from 1 – 3 PM at Annie’s. I’m sure you have some more very interesting information to give us about Lasers, etc.

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Events Buzz Monday: Snazzy Bookbags & Nifty Swag!

bookbags

We here at our little bookstore that is bigger on the inside are so happy to be able to tell you about the exciting changes within our walls, rather than having to keep repeating the situation with the repairs outside, namely the parking lot and the driveway entances and exits.  It’s becoming the time of year for beach books and travel reads.  Thus lots of changing displays here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester! 

  • We’ve got the perfect totes for you for your bibliomaniacal needs… upcycled fabric bags made by our very own staffer Dot Woodcock.  They are washable and stand up to a lot of everyday wear and tear, since they are constructed out of repurposed jeans, skirts, and belts.
  • We have expanded our new mass market selections from one spinner to two… you will find “hot off the press” new releases as well as tried-and-true favorites in a wide range of genres.
  • In addition, we’re making our lists and checking them thrice… for your school summer reading titles, from pre-K through high school and beyond.  Many required titles are already in stock on spinners and shelves, with more titles arriving every day.  Please bring us your lists and let us help you get the best prices for your needs.

We want to thank all our author guests, as well as everyone who came out to meet them, for our fantasy and mystery extravaganza this past weekend with Benjamin Gamble, Walter H. Hunt, Julia Henry, Liz Mugavero [and Molly!], Lisa Shea, and Clea Simon.  If you were unable to make it here due to the ongoing road construction in multiple locations around the city of Worcester, fear not!  We still have an assortment of their titles on hand, both autographed and unsigned… see below for our Flash Sale!

As a reminder, the majority of our events here at ABSW are free and open to the public. Check out our page on SocialWeb.net!

A special note: there will be no DOCTOR WHO Meetup this month, due to the Memorial Day weekend scheduling.

Here’s our schedule of upcoming events for the remainder of May and a sneak peek at the month of June:   

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, May 25, 10AM-9PM –

Flash Sale! Mystery, Fantasy, Alternate History, & More!

Did the ongoing road construction all around Worcester keep you from coming out to meet our author guests on the weekend of the 17th through the 19th? Well, here’s your chance to pick up their titles at prices even better than our usually heavily discounted prices!

ONE DAY ONLY! 40% to 55% off titles by Benjamin Gamble, Julia Henry/Julianne Holmes, Walter H. Hunt, Liz Mugavero, Lisa Shea, and Clea Simon. Autographed and unsigned copies available.   

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 27, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, June 3, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday, June 9, 1PM–3PM – Science Talk with Jeff Hecht! Join us in welcoming science fiction author and technology writer Jeff Hecht for a far-out afternoon.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, June 10, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, June 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses Ardulum: The First Don by J. S. Fields. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month. All are welcome!

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, June 17, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, June 24, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

RECURRING EVENT: Sunday, June 30, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Monthly Meetup! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

Exciting things are happening at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside… more opportunities to serve the Worcester community… more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight – Liz Mugavero

liz pic

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Liz Mugavero, who writes as both Liz Mugavero (Pawsitively Organic Mysteries and the upcoming Full Moon Mysteries) and Cate Conte (Cat Cafe Mysteries.)

Liz is the third of our four Mystery Writers we will be bringing in to the store for our exciting Mystery Book Celebration on Sunday, May 19th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM. See below for more details.

So glad to have you here with us, Liz! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?

Of course. As Liz Mugavero, I write the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, the first of which was an Agatha Award nominee for Best First Novel. The seventh book in the series, Murder She Meowed, was released in January 2019. As Cate Conte, I also write the Cat Cafe Mysteries. The third book in the series, Tell Tail Heart, is coming this summer I live in Connecticut with my rescue pals.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

Cate Conte

www.lizmugavero.com

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Wicked Authors

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Write what you want to write. If you’re authentic in the way you share your words, you will achieve success. Don’t write what someone else thinks you should write, or what someone says will sell. People can tell when you love what you’re doing and naturally want to be part of that!

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

I have a new series coming out next year called the Full Moon Mysteries, which I’m very excited about! This series combines my love of woo woo with a witchy theme, and of course cats! The first book will be called Witch Hunt and I can’t wait for you all to read it.

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

As most people have figured out, I have a passion for animals and have done rescue for years. Currently, I have two rescue dogs (both puppies!!) and four rescue cats (all seniors!). My life wouldn’t be complete without furry friends, and they often inspire me. For sure, they all appear in my books at one time or another – like my other best friends Shaggy and Tuffy, who achieved fame in the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries. Sadly, they both passed on last year, but they will live on in the series.

murder, she meowed

 

Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that must be in the vicinity (or must be avoided) while you’re writing or editing a piece of work?

Potato chips and coffee….

Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?

Sisters in Crime, both National and your chapter, if you have one. I would not have gotten my first contract without SINC. Also, it’s critical to be part of an organization of like-minded people to whom you can turn for support and encouragement.

Liz, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.

Join Liz, Clea Simon, Julia Henry and Lisa Shea for a multi-author panel talk and book signing of their mystery titles on May 19th from 2-5 PM. They’ll be here to discuss their writing, answer questions about publishing, give insight into characters, and bring the world of mystery novels to tantalizing life! Light refreshments will be available. Come to Annie’s to meet these wonderful authors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Events Buzz Monday: Tar And… Snow Flurries?

This week’s Events Buzz blog is brought to you by the joyful news that asphalt for our parking lot’s refurbishment is being laid down even as of this writing.  An end is in sight for the long process of upgrades.  We are looking forward to better lighting and smoother entries and exits, as well as the relined and repaved surface at the 65 James Street Plaza.  We deeply appreciate your support, your understanding, and your patronage.

Thanks to everyone who came out for Saturday night’s book discussion of ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory, hosted by Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts.  We have the June discussion title, ARDULUM: THE FIRST DON in stock, for those who’d like to join us next month.

We hope all our friends at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside had a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday, despite the damp and chilly weather.

And speaking of weather… tomorrow’s forecast promises a May nor’easter!  Never a dull moment here in New England.

maynoreaster

We are fully stocked with great reads for your hunkering-down needs, as well as getting a jump-start on this year’s school summer reading titles.  We have set up our classics spinner and are making displays of this season’s required titles.

This coming weekend promises a lot of fun for fans of swords and sorcery, Victorian spiritualism and intrigue, and cozy mysteries.  Check out our links below!

As a reminder, the majority of our events here at ABSW are free and open to the public. Check out our page on SocialWeb.net!  

Until the parking lot is fully open again, Spinning Yarns, our crafts social held on Monday nights, will be on hiatus. In addition, there will be no DOCTOR WHO Meetup this month, due to the Memorial Day weekend scheduling.

SPECIAL EVENT: Friday, May 17, 7PM–9PM – Book Signing with Benjamin Gamble! Join us in welcoming debut fantasy author Benjamin Gamble, who will be reading and signing copies of DRAGONS SUCK.

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, May 18, 7PM–9PM – Book Signing with Walter Hunt! We are pleased to welcome back Walter Hunt, historian and author of A SONG IN STONE, ELEMENTS OF MIND, and HARMONY IN LIGHT.

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday, May 19, 2PM–5PM – Mystery Panel Talk and Signing with Julia Henry, Liz Mugavero, Lisa Shea and Clea Simon!It’s a multi-author mystery book celebration… four dynamic writers talk about their newest works and the publishing industry.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 27, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

Exciting things are happening at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside… more opportunities to serve the Worcester community… more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight – Benjamin Gamble

Benjamin Gamble Headshot

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Young Adult author Benjamin Gamble.  Born and raised near Charleston, South Carolina, Benjamin Gamble always had a passion for writing. He has previously worked as a camp counselor and as a waiter, where he encountered monsters far more terrifying than the ones in this novel. He recently graduated from Furman University, and his plans going forward are to be happy. However, if that doesn’t work out, he’ll probably just go to graduate school.

When asked about his writing, he said, “I studied History and Spanish, and took all the creative writing classes I could on the side. I’m a sucker for a good love story and for a healthy dose of sarcasm, and I like to think Dragons Suck achieves both.”

Thanks for being here with us, Ben. Our first question for you is, Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!) I know it won’t be coming out until May 14th.

I’d like to think “wherever books are sold” but I know as a debut novel that may not be in the realm of this reality.  It’s distributed by Simon & Schuster so it should not be terribly hard to find; But more importantly, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, and at Fiction Addiction (found here: http://www.fiction-addiction.com/si/9781682618578N.html)

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

We are still working on getting social media up and running, but until then, feel free to follow me personally on Instagram and Twitter @ benjamintgamble.

As for creepy ways, there’s some chest-high bushes across the street from my apartment.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Dragons Suck?

I would describe Dragons Suck as a classic, fairy-tale love story…and also the exact opposite of that. It’s how a “save-the-world, rescue-the-princess” adventure would go if the hero involved was a 21st century millennial – right down to the needless sarcasm and questionable work ethic. It’s a comedy that has a moment or two of being serious, and perhaps, once or twice, just even a little romantic.

Dragons suck cover

What was the inspiration for Dragons Suck? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

Going off my previous answer, I think a big inspiration was looking around at all sorts of young adult novels and fantasy stories where The Chosen One is a fifteen year old kid who suddenly steps up and becomes this altruistic, self-sacrificial, courageous hero. I don’t know any fifteen year olds like that! Not to say there’s anything wrong with those stories – or more nobly-minded fifteen year olds – but when I was fifteen, I would’ve passed off Saving The World to some other sucker as soon as possible, or maybe done it just so it would look good on a college application. You never see teenage heroes trying to use their magic powers to get into nightclubs or pull off get-rich-quick schemes or anything like that. My friends in high school would’ve put Excalibur on eBay right after it came out of that lake, you know?

So, going off of that, bringing it from an idea to a story was a lot of fun. I knew the ending from the get-go, but wasn’t really sure how to take it there. To that end, I mostly just wrote, and operated off the principle that if I could have Harkness utterly fail at any given opportunity, it would make the story better.

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

The answer is the same to both of those questions – Harkness, the main character and narrator. He is, like most teenagers (and myself at that age) trying his absolute hardest to show you how cool he is…but of course he wants to make it look like he’s not even trying. There are parts of Harkness I think are pretty loathsome – he’s manipulative, and self-serving. But I also think that he’s clever and is a good person deep down, even if he’s misguided. I think that’s more relatable than a squeaky-clean messiah of a main character, and more realistic. Nobody gets handed opportunities like that and handles them perfectly – although most people would probably manage them with more grace than Harkness.

(Also coming up with all the possible ways Aldric could misinterpret what was being told to him was a lot of fun).

Thanks very much for taking the time to answer our questions, Ben!

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Events Buzz Monday: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Here at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside, we are of two minds about the continued string of damp days.  On the one hand, it’s the perfect weather to curl up and read a good book, and we’re getting marvelous new titles and pre-read selections every day.  On the other hand, the string of rainy days mean that progress is slow on the parking lot upgrades.  We are looking forward to better lighting and smoother entries and exits, as well as the relined and repaved surface at the 65 James Street Plaza.

We deeply appreciate your support, your understanding, and your patronage during this lengthy process.

Mark your calendars – we’ve got some great events in the upcoming weeks.

As a reminder, the majority of our events here at ABSW are free and open to the public. Check out our page on SocialWeb.net!  

Here’s our schedule of upcoming events for the month of May:   

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 6, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, May 11, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month, usually on the third Saturday. All are welcome!

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 13, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

specficmysteryweekend

SPECIAL EVENT: Friday, May 17, 7PM–9PM – Book Signing with Benjamin Gamble! Join us in welcoming debut fantasy author Benjamin Gamble, who will be reading and signing copies of DRAGONS SUCK.

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, May 18, 7PM–9PM – Book Signing with Walter Hunt! We are pleased to welcome back Walter Hunt, historian and author of A SONG IN STONE, ELEMENTS OF MIND, and HARMONY IN LIGHT.

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday, May 19, 2PM–5PM – Mystery Panel Talk and Signing with Julia Henry, Liz Mugavero, Lisa Shea and Clea Simon!It’s a multi-author mystery book celebration… four dynamic writers talk about their newest works and the publishing industry.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 20, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Sunday, May 26, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Monthly Meetup! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, May 27, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

Exciting things are happening at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside… more opportunities to serve the Worcester community… more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight – Julia Henry

JH Authors by Meg Manning

Photo Credit by Meg Manion

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Julia Henry, the second of our four Mystery Writers we will be spotlighting on Author Spotlight Friday in the next month, and bringing in to the store for our exciting Mystery Book Celebration on Sunday, May 19th from 2:00 – 5:00 PM.

It’s a pleasure to have you with us, Julia! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?

I write under three different names. Julia Henry writes the Garden Squad series for Kensington. J.A. Hennrikus writes the Theater Cop series for Midnight Ink. And Julianne Holmes wrote the Clock Shop series for Berkley.

If you meet me in person, please call me Julie!

Here’s my first question to you, Julia:  Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)

Absolutely, support your local bookstore first and foremost. My books are also available through online retailers.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

My website is JHAuthors.com, and I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as JHAuthors. I also blog with the Wicked Authors (WickedAuthors.com) and Killer Characters (KillerCharacters.com). I also run YourLadders.com, an online source for artists who want to build their business skills.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from [newest release/spotlighted release]?

I write traditional/cozy mysteries. The focus of the books are the puzzle of the crime, and the characters in the book. My newest series, the Garden Squad series, focuses on Lilly Jayne, a 65 year old who lives in Goosebush, Massachusetts. She’s a recent widow, and is just starting to get back out into the world again. She and her friends, the Garden Squad, guerrilla garden around town. They “fix” gardening issues that need attention. They also solve crimes that come up in the meantime.

What was the inspiration for Pruning the Dead? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

My agent and I were talking about a new series, and he mentioned gardeners. We’d also been talking about older sleuths. I thought about them both for a while, and Lilly Jayne started to come together for me. I liked the idea of writing about someone closer to my age, and the community she’s built up for herself. My family lived in Duxbury, MA until I was in high school. It is a beautiful town, and inspired Goosebush for me. That said, I’ve changed the coastline and the town a lot.

pruning the dead

 

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I like traditional mysteries, and always have. Writing cozies, a softer subgenre, was a natural path for me. I enjoy building the world for my books. Creating characters that folks get to know over the series. Writing a puzzle that the readers want to figure out, and doing my best to trick them along the way. This genre also makes a promise to the reader–that justice will get served. These days folks need to escape, and writing fiction that provides a respite is a privilege.

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

I have worked in the performing arts for over thirty years, so the artistic path is not unfamiliar to me. And by path, I mean rollercoaster ride! Honestly, I love the entire process, though writing the first draft of any book can feel like walking through waist high jello. It took me fifteen years to be published. While I was impatient, I’m glad it took that long. My earlier books weren’t ready. My greatest lesson, and one that I teach my students, is to enjoy every single milestone on the journey. If you wait to celebrate until you’ve reached some level of success, you’ve missed the point. The journey is the point.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Take classes. Learn. Join organizations that will get you in the orbit of other writers. (If you’re a mystery writer, join Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.) Go to conferences, and start building your network. Don’t rush publishing, but also don’t stop working towards your publishing goal.

How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

Incredibly! All three of my series take place in Massachusetts. I may branch outside the state at some point, but why? We have everything packed into New England, which makes it the perfect place to set a mystery series.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

Tilling the Truth, the second book in the Garden Squad series, will be out in August.

Tilling the Truth

 

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

I have started an online resource for artists who want to build their business skills called Your Ladders. Supporting and empowering artists has been an important part of my career, and is a definite passion. Like many artists, I’ve always had to juggle two or three jobs to make my life work, and I’m grateful to include teaching as one of the ways I pull it all together.

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

Honestly, I’m going to say it’s been getting to know other writers. I blog with five other women on the Wicked Authors, and getting to know these women has been my favorite adventure so far. We are friends, cheerleaders, and a support system for each other. We all go on retreats together, meetup at conferences, and are in regular contact. I know that friendship doesn’t sound as fun as doing a drive around with a police officer (which I’ve also done), but friends make the journey a lot more fun, especially friends who understand your journey.

Julia, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.

Join Julia, Clea, Liz Mugavero and Lisa Shea for a multi-author panel talk and book signing of their mystery titles on May 19th from 2-5 PM. They’ll be here to discuss their writing, answer questions about publishing, give insight into characters, and bring the world of mystery novels to tantalizing life! Light refreshments will be available. Come to Annie’s to meet these wonderful authors!

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