Thursday

Kindle Author Interview: L.L. Bartlett

L.L. Bartlett, author of Murder on the Mind, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about Murder on the Mind?

L.L. BARTLETT: It's the first book in the Jeff Resnick mystery/psychological suspense/paranormal series. After a brutal mugging in Manhattan leaves him with a broken arm and fractured skull, insurance investigator Jeff Resnick reluctantly agrees to recover at the home of his estranged half brother, Richard. At first, Jeff believes his graphic nightmares of a slaughtered buck are just the workings of his traumatized mind. But when a local banker is found in the same condition, Jeff believes the attack has left him with a sixth sense—an ability to witness murder before it happens.

Piecing together clues he saw in his visions, Jeff attempts to solve the crime. His brother Richard is skeptical, but unsettling developments begin to forge a tentative bond. Soon, things that couldn’t be explained by premonition come to light, and Jeff finds himself probing into dangerous secrets that touch his own traumatic past in wintry Buffalo—and the killer is ready to eliminate Jeff’s visions permanently.

DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

L.L. BARTLETT: They come to me—not usually fully formed, but with some kind of mission to tell their unique stories.

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?

L.L. BARTLETT: Someone with an open mind. Slapping a book with a paranormal label can be a turnoff to some readers, but I like to think that the way I weave it into my books makes it feel a natural part of my protagonist, and that he would be less without his psychic abilities.

DAVID WISEHART: What was your journey as a writer?

L.L. BARTLETT: Many years of rejection. But I've found great success as a New York Times bestselling cozy mystery author under the name Lorna Barrett, and this month am launching a new cozy mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime (The Victoria Square Mysteries—A Crafty Killing, Feb. 1st), as well.

DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing process?

L.L. BARTLETT: It seems to differ with every book. I wrote Murder on the Mind (and the second book in the series, Dead In Red) straight through. My current work in progress has been written as a series of unconnected scenes that needed to be joined in a coherent manner.

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?

L.L. BARTLETT: Those who take risks, and are even willing to change genres to satisfy their muse.

DAVID WISEHART: What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?

L.L. BARTLETT: I don't think I can answer that  I've read so many marvelous books it would be impossible to choose.

DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted your work?

L.L. BARTLETT: Primarily through the Internet via social networking sites, my web sites, and blogs. I send bookmarks to conferences, etc. I don't fly (got no wings) so most face-to-face promotion is not an option for me.

DAVID WISEHART: You've been traditionally published. What are your thoughts on the state of the publishing industry?

L.L. BARTLETT: It needs to change—and fast. Especially the prices on ebooks. I understand that costs must be recouped, but offering an ebook at the same or barely discounted rate as a print book is ridiculous. Apart from formatting and uploading, what are the costs associated? Paying authors twice a year is antiquated as well. With computerized inventory, etc., why make anyone wait 6 months to a year to receive payment? No other industry pays its employees in this fashion, which is one reason why publishing on Kindle is so attractive. Authors need to eat, too. (We're not all earning the kind of money of say a Nora Roberts, John Grisham, or Stephen King.)

DAVID WISEHART: Why publish on Kindle?

L.L. BARTLETT: My Jeff Resnick books were originally published by a small press with limited distribution. I'm crossing my fingers that via Kindle the books will find the audience I'd always thought they deserved.

DAVID WISEHART: What advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on Kindle?

L.L. BARTLETT: Make sure the work is the absolute best you can make it, which means professional editing. Publishing a book before it's ready will tarnish your good name and cause readers to stay away from your work in droves.

DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your books.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L.L. Bartlett honed her characterization and plotting skills as a frequent writer for romance magazines before being published in novel length with the Jeff Resnick Mysteries. She also writes cozy mysteries under the names Lorna Barrett and Lorraine Bartlett, and writes a life of crime in Western New York.

As Lorna Barrett she writes The Booktown Mysteries; as Lorraine Bartlett she writes The Victoria Square Mysteries; as L.L. Bartlett she writes The Jeff Resnick Mysteries.

Visit her websites at LLBartlett.com, LorraineBartlett.com, and LornaBarrett.com.

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