Friday, October 7, 2011

Guest Post author Janet Bolin

How/why did you start to write?

I began telling stories as soon as I could talk and found an audience, usually other little kids. My favorite friends tended to be very gullible.

I wrote my first poem when I was 7 and passed it around at the family Thanksgiving celebration. The poem was about my cat, only I didn't own a cat and I never had owned a cat. I thought the aunts and uncles were chuckling because I'd written the contraction "he'll" and it looked like a word I wasn't supposed to say or write. Much, much later, I re-read the poem and understood the laughter. I'd written this about "my" cat: "Then he'll have kittens."

How did you become an author?

Probably by finding it very difficult to stop writing.

What was your first published piece?

An article about what was going on in my junior high.

Where was it published?

A small community newspaper. I was school liaison and wrote that column several times.

How long ago?

Last century.

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

Before seriously attempting fiction, I worked in office jobs, mainly with numbers. But there were people, too, and people always give a writer insight into character and motivation.

What inspires you?

Everything. If I go to a museum or a fabric or yarn shop, I come home wanting to paint or create, which usually takes the form of sewing and/or embroidery. If I'm stuck on something in my writing, I'll think through the problem while going for a walk, shoveling snow (!), knitting, or sewing. Usually, though, the best thing is to sit at the computer and actually write.

Please share one of your successful marketing techniques

Marketing? I asked my editor for marketing advice, and liked what she told me: "Do whatever's most comfortable for you." Mostly, when it comes to marketing and promotion, I run away screaming. I do occasionally wander into bookstores and introduce myself, and no one has thrown anything at me, yet. Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin USA) has been very helpful with marketing and publicity--in its first week, Dire Threads made it onto three mass market paperback mystery bestselling lists in the U.S.

Will there be more books in the series?

Yes, the second book in the Threadville Mystery series, working title Threaded for Trouble, comes out in June, 2012. It features a killer sewing machine. The third book is scheduled for June, 2013. I'm writing that one now.

Parting words

When writing, picture your audience. Write to entertain those folks.


Threadville has everything -- a fabric store, yarn shop, notions store, quilting boutique, and Will Vanderling's brand new shop, In Stitches, a hit with tourists eager to learn embroidering in the latest way, with software and machines.

But when the village's bullying zoning commissioner picks a fight with Willow and turns up dead in Willow's yard, the close-knit community starts unraveling at the seams.

Will must stitch together clues and find the real murder, or the next thing she embroiders may be an orange prison jumpsuit...