February 24, 2014

Denise Swanson - Author Interview and Book Spotlight

Welcome to the next installment of my author interviews. I must apologize for not getting these interviews out as soon as I wanted but I caught the sinus bug and was down for a week. Now on to the interview.

I would like you to meet Denise Swanson. She is a great cozy mystery writer. So sit back and enjoy the interview. 

What made you decide to write cozy mysteries?
When I first started writing back in 1995, I had never hear the term cozy mystery. I enjoyed reading Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, and Earlene Fowler and wanted to write novels that were similar in tone and structure to their books.  

How do you come up with the names of the characters for your books?
Naming characters is one of my favorite parts of beginning a new book. I have several baby naming books, but the two I use the most are The Baby Name Personality Survey and Beyond Jennifer and Jason. In order to get names with the right age feeling to them, I use the social security site that lists popular names for a certain year. 

Who designs your covers? Do you get any influence on them?
My publisher's art department handles both of my series covers and although, I am always asked for suggestions, those suggestions are not always taken or interpreted the way I would like. Still, I have liked most of my covers. 

I know this question is asked a lot but where do you get your ideas for your books and how long does it take you to do your research?
Most of my ideas come from my own experiences. I also a inspired by news and magazine stories. I generally do research as I write, so it's mostly a few minutes here and there. I write mostly about things I know so no really intensive research is required. 

What keeps you focused when you are writing?
Deadlines are great motivators. 

Who is your favorite character and why? How about your least favorite character and why?
In the Scumble River series, Trixie Frayne is my favorite character and in the Diie Store books, Poppy Kincaid is my favorite. Both for the same reason, they can do and say things that my sleuth could never get away with saying or doing. 

What can we expect from you in the future?
I plan to continue writing both the Scumble River series and the Dime Store books, as well as begin to publish some contemporary romances. For the latter, I have one completely written, a fist draft of a second, and about 75 pages of a third. Once all three are finished, I will look into getting them published. 

What is a favorite book or author you like to read or would like to recommend to your readers?
Charlaine Harris is one of my favorite authors. She has written four series that very from cozy to extremely hard edged, and is working on a fifth which I can not wait to read. I f you love cozies, Charlaine's Aurora Teagarden series is fantastic. 

Who or what influenced your love of books?
Probably being an only child growing up on a farm is how I started being such a voracious reader. y parents limited my TV watching to a couple of hours a day, so I read a lot. 

Is there someone who encourages you most in your writing? Who is it and how do they influence you?
My husband encouraged me to try and keep going. Even after 270 rejection letters for agents, he would never let me give up. 

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I like to cook and play mahjongg.

List five random things about yourself.
I am a school psychologist
I love cats and dogs
I prefer vanilla to chocolate
I love reading zombie books and watching zombie movies or TV
I am not a natural blond

Scumble River Series

Dime Store Series

You can check out Denise's website (click here) to read more about Denise and her books. Dead Between the Lines comes out this coming March so be sure to get your copy pre-ordered. 

Denise Swanson lives in Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr and their cool black cat Boomerang. Unlike her protagonist Skye, Denise realizes she can never really move very far from her hometown. But several times a year she and Dave sneak away for a little adventure. 

Thank you for stopping by. 

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