Today I’m excited to welcome Lois Winston for an author spotlight.
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
Twitter at https://twitter.com/Anasleuth
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Author Interview Questions:
- Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I write the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, and there’s quite a bit of me in Anastasia. She’s the crafts editor at a women’s magazine. In my day job I’m a designer of crafts and needlework for kit and product manufacturers, craft book publishers, and magazines. I also spent seven years as a craft book editor.
Anastasia’s communist mother-in-law is an unwelcome permanent houseguest. I had the unfortunate experience of living with my own communist mother-in-law for six very loooong years. My sense of humor enabled me to get through those years, just as Anastasia’s sense of humor helps her.
- Do you prefer cats or dogs?
Tough question because I’m allergic to both. I did have a dog when I was in high school and two cats for a few years in my early twenties. Then I discovered they were the reason for my constant headaches and sinus problems. So now I just write about both.
Anastasia’s mother, who claims descent from Russian nobility, also lives with her, along with Catherine the Great, her white Persian. Anastasia also shares her home with her mother-in-law’s French bulldog. Both mother and mother-in-law are forced to share a bedroom. They get along as well as their pets—which is to say, not at all. Ralph, the Shakespeare-quoting parrot, rounds out the menagerie. (Did I mention these are humorous amateur sleuth mysteries?)
- Do you prefer to cook or to bake? Why?
Definitely baking! Baking is fun. Cooking is work. I have to cook every day, whether I want to or not, in order to put food on the dinner table. I bake when the mood strikes. Of course, given my sweet tooth and chocolate addiction, the mood strikes quite often.
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 6
Crafts and murder don’t normally go hand-in-hand, but normal deserted craft editor Anastasia Pollack’s world nearly a year ago. Now, tripping over dead bodies seems to be the “new normal” for this reluctant amateur sleuth.
When the daughter of a murdered neighbor asks Anastasia to create a family scrapbook from old photographs and memorabilia discovered in a battered suitcase, she agrees—not only out of friendship but also from a sense of guilt over the older woman’s death. However, as Anastasia begins sorting through the contents of the suitcase, she discovers a letter revealing a fifty-year-old secret, one that unearths a long-buried scandal and unleashes a killer. Suddenly Anastasia is back in sleuthing mode as she races to prevent a suitcase full of trouble from leading to more deaths.