Q: What are you working on next?
Along with more books in The Charlie Kingsley Mystery series coming out in 2022, I will also be releasing a new standalone psychological thriller/domestic thriller mystery set in Riverview (and will be a part of The Riverview Mystery series) called The Taking in July.
Q: Are there more books planned after that for the Secrets of Redemption series?
A: Yes. We’ll eventually be returning to Becca with book 6, that is tentatively titled The Room at the Top of the Stairs.
This one came to me as I writing The Evil That Was Done, because I kept wondering why so many things kept happening in that specific room. I finally realized there was a story to be told there.
In addition, there are still a few things about Becca’s family that really ought to be revealed (whether or not I reveal them in that book or in another book remains to be seen).
Q: Do you have to read the Secrets of Redemption series in order?
A: I would highly recommend it. The order is:
HOWEVER, you can also read it in this order:
A: The Third Nanny is a standalone psychological thriller/domestic thriller set in the Redemption/Riverview universe. It has a separate set of characters and a complete storyline.
Q: How does The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries series fit in time wise with the Secrets of Redemption series?
A: I get it that the timeline can be a little confusing especially if you’re new to the series, so here’s how the two series fit together chronologically:
The Summoning (Book 4 of the Secrets of Redemption series) 1989
The Reckoning (Book 5 of the Secrets of Redemption series) 1989
All The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries books (which can be read as standalones) 1990
It Began with a Lie (Book 1 of the Secrets of Redemption series) 2019
This Happened to Jessica (Book 2 of the Secrets of Redemption series) 2019
The Evil That Was Done (Book 3 of the Secrets of Redemption series) 2019
For more on how the two series fit together, check out this post.
Q: Do you need to read the Secrets of Redemption series before you read The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries?
A: No. If you love cozies and just want to focus on the cozy mysteries, you can just read The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries.
However, if you want the completely backstory of Redemption, I would recommend reading the full series and starting with It Began With a Lie.
Q: Is there an order to The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries?
A: While it’s true you can read the books as standalones, it would be better for the series and character arcs to read in order, which is:
The Murder of Sleepy Hallow
(There’s also a prequel short novella called A Grave Error you can download for free here.)
Q: What about The Riverview Mysteries? Is there an order to those books?
A: No. Each book is completely separate.
Q: Are all the series related?
A: Yes, all three series are interconnected. For more on the Redemption/Riverview universe, start here.
Q: What award did the Secrets of Redemption series win?
A: It Began With a Lie AND the complete series won an award from the Paranormal Romance Guild. (It Began With a Lie won first place and the series won second.) The Summoning also won first place for best book in 2020 from PRG.
BUT these books are NOT paranormal romances. PRG reviews books in all sorts of genres. My books are a mix of psychological thriller, mystery, supernatural, and romance.
January LaVoy, my super talented narrator who narrated the Secrets of Redemption books, won a 2020 Voice Arts Awards Best Mystery Audiobook Narration for her work on It Began With a Lie.
In addition, this series was also featured in USA Today’s book blog.
The first fiction award I ever won was a National Scholastic Award in high school for humor.
Q: Do you have book club discussion questions for your books?
A: I do. In fact, I have a number of articles and resources to help if you’re in a book club that you can find here.
If you want book club questions that are specific for cozy mysteries, go here. (Includes an easy, printable sheet you can download and take with you to meetings as well.)
If you want book club questions that are specific for psychological thrillers, mysteries or supernatural books, go here. (Also includes a printable sheet.)
Generic book club questions can be found here.
Q: How are you able to find the time to do all the writing you do?
A: The short answer is I don’t have kids (which helps).
The long answer is that this is who I am. I’m a writer. I taught myself to read when I was three years old because I wanted to write stories so badly.
Now, that doesn’t mean the writing journey has always been easy for me (in fact, I struggled with my fiction side for years—you can read more about that here). And I did have to learn how to balance all the different types of writing that I am called in my soul to do.
What helped me a ton is adopting the 15-minute rule, which is something my friend Samantha Bennett writes about in her “Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day” book. When I decided to recommit myself to writing books, I committed to working on my book for at least 15 minutes every day.
I know that doesn’t seem like a lot—or like you could EVER finish a book dedicating only 15 minutes a day to it.
But, it’s remarkable how much you ARE able to accomplish.
Even if you’re skeptical, I’d invite you to give it a try. (What’s the worst that could happen? You don’t get as much done as you’d like? Well, how much are you getting done now?)
Q: How are you able to switch between writing fiction, nonfiction, copywriting, etc.?
A: I like to think of it as a dance. Some days, writing fiction is the priority. Other days, I have to get a blog post done or a copy project completed.
I let the projects dictate how I plan my days with a couple of exceptions. (One of those exceptions is I must spend at least 15 minutes on my current fiction project. This is non-negotiable.)
Rather than focusing on how much I get done in a day, I try and look at my week. If I’m more or less on track over a week, I’m good. (I’ll never be completely caught up as there will ALWAYS be something else to write, which is also why I try to use the weekly “Am I on track?” self-check-in method for staying on top of things.)
Q: How do you come up with your fiction ideas?
A: I read a lot. And I read a lot of books that are outside of my preferred genre of writing. I also like combining different ideas that, on the surface, don’t seem to go together to see if I can turn them into a coherent story.
(But, quite honestly, that’s likely just my ego intervening, as if I have a say in coming up with ideas. I suspect a closer truth is that the “muse fairy” periodically visits me, and for that I’m very grateful.)
Q: How can you be taken seriously as a fiction author?
A: This exact question actually kept me from pursuing my fiction goals for years—this fear that, if I was open about writing fiction, it would somehow hurt my chances of being a successful copywriter, blogger, and nonfiction author.
Honestly, I haven’t found that to be the case. Most people are quite intrigued by the fact I write fiction.
Probably my biggest challenge is balancing all my brands and keeping everything clear in the marketplace, but this is an inherent challenge for anyone who is trying to grow more than one business or brand.
Q: How do you become a successful author in different genres?
A: First, you have to be able to write in different genres successfully. I would highly encourage you to work on mastering your craft, so you can create a high-quality product.
Second, you have to commit to marketing yourself. And, if you write in different genres, you have to commit to marketing those different genres.
There’s no question it’s more work. However, on the flip side, it can also make you more stable as an author. If you have multiple businesses and multiple genres, you have multiple ways of making money. So, if one genre tanks for whatever reason, you can rely on other genres to keep money flowing in the door.
Q: What are some ways you can market yourself as an author?
A: Blogs are an excellent way of marketing yourself as a writer. I would also recommend building an email list of readers as well as setting up a budget to regularly advertise your books in places like Amazon and Facebook.
Q: Where can I find more information about your nonfiction books?
A: At LoveBasedPublishing.com.