An interview with Lea Wait

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lea Wait for several years and I find her work unique and entertaining. She’s a “mom” after my own heart and I thank her for coming to visit us today!

Hi, PJ – and thank you for asking to interview me!

PJ: How long have you been writing?

Lea: I’ve been writing all my life; the usual high school newspaper and poems and plays in college, and then I supported myself by writing executive speeches, corporate films, strategic plans and other nonfiction for many years. I didn’t turn to fiction until my mid-40s, and I started writing fiction full time in my early 50s.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

Lea: I was lucky early on. (Lucky after having written for years and studied writing, and reading everything I could when I wasn’t writing!) Although the first full book I wrote was turned down by 40 agents, the second book I wrote (an historical for children, Stopping to Home,) was bought by the first editor who saw it, a top editor at Simon & Schuster’s McElderry Books, and was lauded in book reviews. Then, a couple of years later, an editor at Scribner saw that mystery no agent had wanted (Shadows at the Fair), published it, and it was a finalist for a “best first mystery” Agatha Award. For several years I had both a new mystery and a children’s historical published, both by Simon and Schuster. I was getting good reviews from The New York Times. I wasn’t getting rich, and I was working like crazy, but I felt successful. I just kept pushing to try to make every book better than my last.

PJ: Wow, that’s quite a story! Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

Lea: That early success didn’t prepare me for the major changes that were coming in the economy and in the publishing industry. My editor at Scribner retired and, as a mid-list author, my series was retired with her. And when school and library budgets in the country were cut, so were publishing sales staffs who sold to them, and historical novels for children gave way to fantasy and vampires. My editor at McElderry was laid off.  So, in a large sense, after having had eight books published in five years with a major publisher, I was back to ground zero. I’d been naïve enough to think that the contacts I’d made and the reviews I’d had gave me a platform I could stand on. I was wrong.

PJ: Yikes! Would you do anything differently if you had to do it again?

Lea: Yes, I think so. First, while I was still at Simon & Schuster I would have asked more questions about what direction the publisher saw my mystery series taking. It turned out we disagreed about that, and no one told me until they ended the series. If someone had mentioned it earlier, that might have made a difference. Maybe not. But I would have liked to have known earlier that they thought there was a problem. After I left Simon & Schuster I wrote a literary historical mystery, but it didn’t sell, and I partially blame my agent for that, but I also blame myself for not pushing enough. I don’t think it was submitted to the right publishers. I should have recognized that earlier, and tried to move to another agent. And I should have written a mystery that was more marketable at that time: a contemporary with more suspense. Instead, I focused on writing more historical novels for children, which I loved to do – but which didn’t sell, for the same reason Simon & Schuster hadn’t published them. I don’t think my strength is in fantasy, but I should have shaken myself and realized that this is not the time for historicals.

PJ: What are you doing now?

Lea: I kept getting letters from fans wanting to know about the fate of the characters in the discontinued mystery series, so when a small West Coast publisher wanted to pick it up, I decided to do that. Last year Shadows of a Down East Summer was published, the fifth in the series, and next year Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding will be out. So that keeps my hand in the mystery world and my series alive. I’ve written a contemporary mystery for children, which my agent for children’s books is shopping now, along with those historicals which I still hope will some day come back in style. At the moment I’m not writing any more of them. I’m also in the process of changing agents for my adult books, finding someone who will be more pro-active, to work with me in re-inventing myself. I have several ideas in mind, for stand alones and for series’. In the next month I’ll be deciding which will be my next project. I’m very excited about starting in a whole new direction.

PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others? 

Lea: My characters and settings are my strengths. I take time with my writing; it’s strong, well-crafted, and evocative. Years of working in the theatre when I was in high school and college has given me a good grasp of dialogue. Most of my published books are set in the north east United States, from New Jersey to Maine, areas I know well, and they reflect the people who live there.

PJ: What do you do to promote your books?

Lea: I have a website (http://www.leawait.com) and I blog with nine other Maine mystery authors at http://www.mainecrimewriters.com . I’m a member of the speakers bureau of Sisters in Crime of New England; if you contact that organization they can arrange for one or a panel of mystery authors to speak at your group or library. I’m on Facebook (friend me!) where I post about reading, writing, and living in Maine. When I have a new book out I do signings and talks in New England, and sometimes beyond, and I make author visits to schools throughout the country. There’s more information about that on my website. If someone wants to know when my next book is out, I’ll either send them a postcard or an email. I’ll also visit book groups via Skype if they live a distance away.

PJ: What are your published books?     

For adults:  The Shadows Antique Print Mystery Series

1 – Shadows at the Fair

2 – Shadows on the Coast of Maine

3 – Shadows on the Ivy

4 – Shadows at the Spring Show

5 – Shadows of a Down East Summer

6 – Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding (2013)

For Children

Stopping to Home

            Seaward Born

            Wintering Well

            Finest Kind

Give us an elevator pitch of your latest title.

Shadows of a Down East Summer. Two young women posed for artist Winslow Home on the coast of Maine in 1890. What happened that summer; the secrets the women kept, the lies they told, changed their families forever. Now one of their descendants has been murdered, and Maggie Summer must find out which family myths are true before someone she cares about becomes the next victim.

Where can we buy it?

At any mystery bookstore; or order it at your local bookstore – or, of course, on Amazon.  In trade paperback or e-book.

What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody know about you and your work?

Sneaky question! But, OK! Each of my mysteries is a take-off of a classic mystery style.

Shadows at the Fair = Weekend house party in country;  suspects snowed in

Shadows on the Coast of Maine = gothic (and takes place in my house)

Shadows on the Ivy = academic

Shadows at the Spring Show = terrorist plot!

Shadows of a Down East Summer = something happened in the past resulting in

murder today …

Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding = wedding mystery (of course!)

Thank you for the chance to share some of my secrets and plans! Lea

    How very interesting! I never saw that. But these books are great – I hope everyone will go out and find one to read! Thanks Lea. Stop in any time!

An interview with Reed Farrel Coleman

Reed Farrel Coleman is one of my favorite hardboiled authors, and he’s a genuinely nice guy. I love the character of Moe Prager and look forward to reading anything Reed puts his hands to!

PJ: Reed, how long have you been writing?

Reed: I started writing poetry when I was thirteen and got my first thing published at fifteen. It was the usual angst-ridden, melodramatic stuff about unfulfilled love and death, but I guess I had a way with words. I always have. In my family, we were screamers and writing was another way for me to finally be heard and recognized. I continued writing and publishing poetry into my thirties. At some point I took a night class at Brooklyn College. That class was in American Detective Fiction. Within the first few weeks, I knew I had found what my purpose in life was. I was meant to write crime fiction. My first novel was published twenty-one years ago and I don’t see me slowing down anytime soon.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

Reed: When I was fifteen and my first poem was published. Taught me an important lesson. You have to judge success for yourself. Don’t ever let others or outside standards judge success for you. That’s a trap a smart writer stays out of.

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

Reed: It’s very different than I could have imagined. For one thing it is much more difficult. You work very hard for very little reward in terms of financial reward or notoriety. I refer to my previous answer in that you have to learn how to judge success for yourself. As I tell my writing students: If you’re going into this business to make millions and expect people to throw roses, forget it. That is not to say it isn’t an enormously rewarding life. That’s the flip side. I can’t imagine a life in which I would find a deeper level of satisfaction or accomplishment. Also, the people I’ve come to know, the community I’ve become a part of is simply amazing. I wouldn’t trade it in for anything. Plus, with the evolution in publishing, it’s become a very different business that offers new and exciting chances.

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?

Reed: My first advice to new writers is to marry up. No kidding. I’ve been fortunate to be married to a woman with a good career and great benefits. I have had some years that have afforded me a nice income and others where I have had to scrounge. This profession ain’t for the faint of heart. I guess I went into this not expecting to be rich. I went in expecting to be a good writer. No one should go into the arts as a way to make a fortune. It can be done. It has been done, but art should be your motivation, not wealth, not fame.

PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

Reed: By the end of this year, I will have published sixteen novels, like twenty short stories, numerous poems, essays, novellas, etc. I tech writing at Hofstra University and for Mystery Writers of America University.  But the thing that I’ve learned is that getting published isn’t the end of things, it’s only the beginning. Staying published, getting better, expanding your horizons … those are the things this kind of career is about.

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?

Reed: It took me two years to find my way to finish my first manuscript. It was published as my first novel—Life Goes Sleeping—in 1991. I was very lucky.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

Reed: No. I’m not a regretter or ruer by nature. It is silly to waste an ounce of energy on if onlys or should have dones.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

Reed: Fortunately, I’m at the stage where I have a very good agent to represent me. But even so, I believe that the vast majority of your energy must be spent on producing the best possible writing and work you can. To do less is pure foolishness.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

Reed: Hard question. Getting nominated for the Edgar for The James Deans was amazing, but winning my first Shamus Award wasn’t shabby either. I think when I saw Walking the Perfect Square reviewed in the New York Times was the most exciting.

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

Reed: That’s easy: losing my contract with Viking.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

Reed: Oh, I think we all have memories of signings where no one shows at the bookstore. You figure it comes with the territory and you carry on. My favorite was when Michael Connelly—one of the kindest, most generous people in the business—called me to ask if it was alright if he did a few signings with me. Like I was going to say no, right? Those were great signings.

PJ: With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

Reed: See, I try not to worry too much about that because we all have such limited control over it. I prefer to let professional marketing people figure that out. Fortunately, I have a small but loyal fan base and publishers who believe in marketing.

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

Reed: Here are my best pieces of advice: Write the best thing you can write every time. Fall in love with writing, not with what you’ve written. Editing and rewriting are as important as writing.

PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

Reed: I think blog touring is very cost-effective. When I have the budget for it, hiring an indie PR firm is also a good idea.

PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

Reed: I enjoy Facebook, but otherwise don’t enjoy promoting on social media.

PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?

The Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan, but I also have to mention Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis and wish them happy 25th Anniversary.

PJ: Both great stores! Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:

Dylan Klein Series:

Life Goes Sleeping

Little Easter

They Don’t Play Stickball in Milwaukee

 

Moe Prager Series:

Walking the Perfect Square

Redemption Street

The James Deans

Soul Patch

Empty Ever After

Innocent Monster

Hurt Machine

Onion Street (Tyrus Spring 2013)

Joe Serpe-Bob Healy Series (Written as Tony Spinosa)

Hose Monkey

The Fourth Victim

Gun Bunnies (Tyrus e-book 2012)

Detective Jack Kenny Series:

Bronx Requiem with John C. Roe (Hyperion e-book Fall 2012)

Stand-Alones:

Tower with Ken Bruen

Gun Church (Audible.com now, Tyrus Fall 2012)

 

Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

Gun Church:  Fight Club meets Wonder Boys meets Hunger Games with guns.

Where can we buy it?

Audible.com now or in bookstores and online in the fall of 2012.

Reed, thanks for sharing your time and your wisdom with us. I look forward to reading more of your work for a long time to come!

An interview with Karna Small Bodman

Karna Small Bodman started out as a journalist and was on the air for several years in the San Francisco Bay area. She then went on to the White House – quite a leap – and for several more years served as the National Security Director for President Ronald Reagan. Today, she’s as busy as she ever was and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to help her promote her novels. The fourth, Castle Bravo, comes out today! Here’s what Karna has to talk with us about today:

PJ: How long have you been writing?

Karna: I’ve actually been writing my entire career – first  I wrote news scripts when I was a TV Anchor in both SF and DC, then newspaper and magazine articles, then policy papers for President Reagan when I served in his White House for 6 years. But all those (obviously) were non-fiction and there was a “premium on brevity.” I always wanted to write a novel, so now I’ve been writing political thrillers for the last eight years.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

Karna: I was thrilled to receive a contract for my first thriller, Checkmate from Macmillan/Forge….it was a BIG day in my life!

PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

Karna: In the beginning it was quite a challenge when my editor wanted various revisions (of course, Tolstoy rewrote Anna Karenina  17 times so I figured I would just have to master this). Later when I “got the message” about  injecting tension into every chapter and ending each one with a “hook,” there were less and less requests for changes and hardly any edits in my third novel. As for the “writing life” – when I am in a “writing mode” (as opposed to “marketing mode” when a new book comes out), I have to admit that I write when the spirit moves me. I do not have a set schedule as some other writers do. But I was a bit surprised in the beginning to learn just how much marketing and publicity falls on the shoulders of the author, as opposed to the publisher, especially for new writers.  The majority of it is truly up to us! Some writers have told me that they spend about 25% of their time writing and 75% of their time marketing. Now that I think about it, that’s about right.

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?

Karna: Most writers are NOT wealthy! In fact, I read an article estimating that of the hundreds of thousands of authors, there are about 200 who actually make a good living with this craft. Most everyone else must have a day job.  Readers probably don’t realize that an author typically makes 10% of the cover price of a book. So if a hardback version of my novel is priced at a typical $24.95 – I make about $2.50. And it’s a lot less for e-books and paperbacks, of course. Just driving to give a speech to a group where I would hope to sell a few books costs more in gasoline than I would ever make on book sales that day.  But then – we write because we love the craft and there’s always hope for that breakthrough movie deal, great review or NYT bestseller list that would change everything.

PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

Karna: The focus is STILL on trying to write the best book I possibly can. And then the focus is on marketing.  With some 2 million books available on Amazon – plus the hundreds of thousands that have recently been added by authors who have simply self-published their efforts there – you can see that “getting noticed” and building a reader base is a gigantic challenge.

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?

Karna: Before I began writing political thrillers, I did endeavor to write two other light-hearted romantic novels. But after having received many rejection letters from agents, those two manuscripts are “under the bed.”  Then I got serious and wrote my first White House based thriller (since I used to work in The White House and had been encouraged to create a story with that backdrop).  I attended several writers’ conferences and finally met an editor at one of them. I pitched the story, she liked it, and she offered a contract. So it only took a few months from completion of that manuscript to connecting with an editor.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

Karna: I would have started writing thrillers much earlier.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

Karna: Hitting “#1 in Thrillers” on Amazon!

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

Karna: Receiving those first rejection letters from agents – when I was trying to sell those early endeavors, not my thrillers.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

Karna: Being on Rush Limbaugh’s show – 4 times actually. The reach of that show is incredible.  After my first interview where he kept me on the air for 20 minutes – through a commercial break – and he plugged my novel, Final Finesse and even put it on his website and in his newsletter with a link to “Buy Karna’s Book on Amazon” – I received hundreds and hundreds of emails from as far away as South Africa and Japan!

PJ: With more books being released each  month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

Karna: I know of only one other female author who served as a Senior White House official who is writing novels today. Yet, hers are more “personality driven” while each of my novels features a different threat to our country’s national security and each also has a romantic twist.

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

Karna: You never fail until you quit. Go for it!

PJ: I love that! What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

Karna: Probably radio interviews, reviews  and speeches to groups and conventions (I’ve done close to 300 across the country), —  along with personal contacts through emails and post cards (yes, labor intensive, but people appreciate a personal approach)

PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

Karna: Perhaps trying to line up reviews in major newspapers. They have cut way back on review space and book review sections, usually review more non-fiction than fiction and I’m sure those editors are inundated with Advance Review Copies (ARCs) from every publisher in the business. One reviewer for a major newspaper told me he received 200 ARCs a week!

The Book Stall in Winnetka IL

PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?

Karna:There are several who have been very helpful – but here are two special ones:

Sunshine Book Store in Marco Island, Florida

The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:

Checkmate

Gambit

Final Finesse

Castle Bravo

PJ: Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

What would you do if a shadowy group had the power to “fry” all of our electronics in a multi-state area? We’d have no electricity grid, no internet, cell phones, ATMs, refrigeration, transportation, aviation, sanitation…it would set us back to the year 1910.  Could it happen here? Read Castle Bravo and find out.

PJ: Where can we buy it?

Karna: First, go to my website: www.karnabodman.com where there’s a link to buy all my books in print, as e-books and some are also available as audio books.  And, of course, they will be available at book stores, on Amazon or other online stores, and hopefully in airports and other locations.

PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

Karna: I received a very nice hand-written note from President George H. W. Bush about my first novel, Checkmate.

Wow.  It’s always fun to learn how things work from an author’s unique perspective! Thanks for stopping in. Anyone have any comments or questions for Karna?

An interview with Betty Webb

Betty Webb is one of the most inspiring authors I know! She’s talented, creative, and definitely knows how to work hard at her craft. Thanks for taking time to talk with us, Betty!

PJ: How long have you been writing?

Betty: Professionally, I’d have to say something like 30 years, because that’s when I began as an advertising copywriter. My more “legit” career as a journalist began around 25 years ago when I was hired as a columnist.

PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?

Betty: Oh, ha. I don’t feel successful yet. Maybe I will as soon as I win the Nobel Prize for Literature. But probably not even then.

PJ: I’m surprised how many authors I’ve talked to have similar answers. Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?

Betty: Since I’ve always known writers (failed or otherwise), I received exactly what I expected. Oh, I take that back. I didn’t expect to work so hard. My uncle, who was a long-distance trucker, never worked the long hours I do.

PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?

Betty: Someone once told me that once you take into account all the hours spent writing, AND the hours touring and otherwise marketing your book, the average writer would made more flipping burgers at McDonald’s. I’d say that’s just about right.

PJ: That’s a scary thought, but probably pretty accurate! Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?

Betty: I’m a perfectionist, which makes for an uncomfortable life. Therefore, I want each new book to be better than the last and half kill myself to make it so.

PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?

Betty: The first novel I sent out got published. However, it went through 17 drafts on a Smith-Corona portable typewriter. Like I say, I’m a perfectionist.

PJ: Would you do anything differently if you had it to do over again?

Betty: No.

PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?

Betty: I begin writing at 4 a.m. every morning, and finally push myself away from the computer around noon. After that, I do “normal” things, such as shopping, having lunch with friends, emailing Hubby, etc. Around 3 p.m., I start with the marketing stuff. And as you may know, I’m also a book reviewer for Mystery Scene Magazine, so from 9 p.m. to midnight, I read the books I’m going to review. And no, I don’t get enough sleep. I’ll pay for that some day.

PJ: What is the single most exciting thing that’s happened to you as a writer?

 

Betty: First, I’m going to answer the “funniest thing,” okay? Yesterday I received a female fan email from Australia. She had just finished “The Koala of Death,” one of my cozies, and she wrote the entire email in the same impenetrable Aussie slang that one of my characters used. It was a riot. As for the “single most exciting thing,” it was being on a cruise ship near Alaska and reading in the New York Times that polygamist “prophet” Warren Jeffs (who I wrote about in “Desert Wives”) had just been arrested: it was my birthday. Nothing can ever top that.

PJ: What is the single most disappointing thing that happened to you as a writer?

Betty: Receiving a starred review in Publishers Weekly for “Desert Wind”, then having some of the other biggies hate it.

PJ: What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

Betty: Finding out first hand that David Morrell is one of my fans — and that Dean Koonz bought an autographed copy of one of my books.

PJ: Wow, that is so cool! With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

Betty: It’s probably the fact that I base each of my Lena Jones “Desert” books on real and ongoing human rights violations in America. And in the Author’s Note at the back of each books, I name names and share my research.

PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

Betty: Don’t give into feelings of defeat just because you haven’t been published yet. Continue to write at least two hours every single day (ideally, you should write between four and six hours every day). Keep doing that and you’ll eventually turn out a book good enough to be published.

PJ: What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

Betty: Touring, my fan email list (it’s up to 6,000 now), and as many social media groups as I can belong to — especially DorothyL, Murder Must Advertise, Facebook, and Twitter.

PJ: What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

Betty: Touring. I hate it. I am NOT a good traveler!

Poisoned Pen
4014 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale AZ 85251
480-947-2974

PJ: Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?

Betty: Absolutely. My “local independent bookseller” just happens to be Poisoned Pen, which — miracle of miracles — is within walking distance of my house. Talk about luck! All my books debut there.

PJ: Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:

THE LENA JONES BOOKS:

1 – Desert Noir.

2 – Desert Wives.

3 – Desert Shadows.

4 – Desert Run.

5 – Desert Cut.

6 – Desert Lost.

7 – Desert Wind.

Technically, there are 8 Lena Jones books, because I also have one Lena Jones novella — “Desert Deceit” — which was included in the “Desperate Journeys” anthology published by Worldwide Library. Although technically out of print, It can be purchased online.

THE GUNN ZOO BOOKS:

1 – The Anteater of Death.

2 – The Koala of Death.

3 – currently writing The Llama of Death.

PJ: Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

Betty: In “Desert Wind,” P.I. Lena Jones travels to northern Arizona to bail her Indian partner out of jail, but instead she finds herself in the middle of a town up in arms over the opening of a uranium mine near the Grand Canyon. When the mine’s PR flack is murdered, she discovers that the motive reaches back more than 60 years, to the local filming of “The Conqueror,” which starred John Wayne. And Wayne himself is a character in “Desert Wind,” first as a living man, then later, as a ghost. In “Desert Wind,” old sins have contemporary repercussions.

PJ: Where can we buy it?

Betty: Anywhere print books are sold. Desert Wind is also available on Kindle & Nook, and other forms of download.

PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

Betty: That I’m not Lena Jones. It’s important to say that, because at one of my recent signings, a woman came up to me and brushed away my bangs, looking for the bullet scar. I repeat — I am NOT Lena Jones and I have never been shot. (I am, however, a lot like Teddy, my zookeeper/sleuth in the Gunn Zoo mysteries, and I once even lived on the same boat she does).

Wow again. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m thoroughly enjoying these author interviews. Speak up! Do you have any comments or questions for Betty?