Saturday, November 19, 2011

Poetry Corner ~ Calling all POETS

Hi everyone,

Poetry Corner is so much fun and I love it when people express themselves here on Mystery Writers Unite! Leave a comment with some of your poetry today :-)

Here is my submission this week:

The Eagle  

I recently came across an eagle that was wounded yet still very much alive.
I sat filled with sadness and sorrow as I watched it struggle; feeling guilty over my own knowledge and wisdom.
What I would give to be able to lend my stubbornness and strength but the eagle is too proud and turns its head in rejection.
The eagle's pain and yearning for flight are almost palpable in my own heart and I sit here helpless in helping.
The eagle could find strength in forbidden places, yet another struggle in which it fights off for a life of freedom in this thing we call life.
The eagle's keen eyes are watchful as it see's things it yearns for - love, freedom, acceptance, forgiveness - dangle just outside of its reach. 
In time, its broken feathers molt away revealing strong new bold layers of protection underneath; the outward delicate, dull appearance gone.
Healing all that is broken inside and out and finding unexpected reserves; sometimes in spite of its pride.
Like the stranger that shares some time, sustenance and balance for the mere pleasure of it...for example.
Until one day the eagle stands on that high perch, spreads it wings and moves onward and forward in spite of it all.

Friday, November 18, 2011

DECEMBER BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: Author Interview ~ Douglas Dorow

Mystery Writers Unite is PLEASED to be supporting the work of Douglas Dorow, author of THE NINTH DISTRICT (see below). 

Douglas Dorow is a thriller writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He recently published his first thriller, The Ninth District, and is working on the second in the series and a separate stand alone thriller. 

--- Interview

MWU: Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to let Mystery Writers Unite interview you. Now on to the good stuff (she says smiling)...aside from the main character in THE NINTH DISTRICT, who is your favorite and why? 

Douglas Dorow: Thank you for hosting/interviewing me! Aside from my main character, FBI Special Agent Jack Miller, I think my favorite character is his sidekick, the new agent he is mentoring, Ross Fruen, who Jack relentlessly calls Junior. They don't get along so great in the beginning, but by the end they're true partners. Ross is confident, young, open to learning and ready to move ahead on a long, successful career of bringing down the bad guys. 

MWU: What is one of your favorite chapters or scenes in THE NINTH DISTRICT and why is it your favorite? 

Douglas Dorow: One of my favorite scenes is near the end when Agent Jack Miller needs to go down into the sewers and tunnels that run below downtown Minneapolis in pursuit of The Governor. Jack needs to face his fear of enclosed spaces while he takes the reader into an underground world that few have experienced, that has its own dangers. 

MWU: Is there a character from THE NINTH DISTRICT that you feel like you could explore further and may like to go back to at another time and write about them again? 

Douglas Dorow: Readers have liked Agent Ross Fruen, aka Junior. I'd like to write a future thriller based on him in a new assignment, maybe Jack would come back and help. He's different than Jack. Ross is younger, single; it would be a different perspective. 

MWU: How do you “stay in character” when writing? 

Douglas Dorow: I just try to put myself in the shoes of the character I'm writing. The Ninth District is basically told from two POV's; Jack's and The Governors. I try to picture the scene and circumstances at the point I'm telling the story and tell it from their perspective. If I'm not feeling it for one, I'll move to a scene from the other's perspective. I've sat down before, ready to write a Jack scene and found I was in The Governor's head and had to write one of his scenes. I guess I was more in touch with my dark side at that time. 

MWU: Are any of your characters in THE NINTH DISTRICT based on you or someone you know? 

Douglas Dorow: None of the characters are based solely on someone I know, but there are pieces of people I know that have found their way into my characters. Ross Fruen is named after a real person who I don't know. To help raise money for my kids' school I donated a kindle loaded with books donated by many authors to be auctioned off. In addition, I auctioned off the naming of a character in my book. A man bought the item and named a character for a friend of his for his birthday and gave him the kindle.

MWU: How did you choose the title for THE NINTH DISTRICT? Did you decide on it right away or do you let the story brew for a bit and then choose? 

Douglas Dorow: When I first started the story I knew I was writing about an FBI agent solving bank robberies, but I wasn't sure where it was going. Then, Oct 2001, I read a story about urban explorers who liked to explore the sewers and tunnels under Minneapolis. They talked about how they were stopping their exploration of the sewers across the river from The Federal Reserve because of heightened security after 9/11. That was it! The bad guy was going to rob The Fed via tunnels that ran underground close to it. And The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis oversees The Ninth District. That's where the name came from.  

MWU: If you had less than a minute to tell a perspective reader what they could expect from THE NINTH DISTRICT (you are at a trade show and someone has stopped by your booth) what would you tell them? Go…. 

Douglas Dorow: The Ninth District is a fast-paced thriller featuring a veteran FBI agent partnered with a new agent who is trying to catch a serial bank robber/murderer. Besides going along for the ride while they try and catch a bank robber you get to see their relationship change as they go from teacher and student to true partners. The Ninth District is a quick read that I think you'll enjoy!  

MWU: I ask this question to every author I interview. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it? 

Douglas Dorow: I get writer's block sometimes. I work off of a high level scene outline, so if I get stuck, I move onto a different scene and try and figure out why I was struggling with the other. If I have writer's block it usually means there's something wrong with the story at that point and I have to figure out how to fix it or remove or replace the scene. 

MWU: I always ask a published author what advice he would give to those of us still working away at their first novel, first draft? 

Douglas Dorow: The best advice I've heard is; first, read in your genre, a lot. Get to know the flow, structure, what works and what doesn't. Second, keep your butt in the chair and write, writing is writing, writing isn't tweeting or playing games or emailing. Third, the best advice I heard from John Sandford and it's related to the second point; Finish the book. You learn to write by completing the project. Rewriting the first half over and over doesn't teach you how to finish a book. You need to bring the project to completion to learn how to wrap up the story, how to edit it, how to get to The End. 

MWU: What did you learn about writing and self-publishing through the development of THE NINTH DISTRICT? What advice would you give to someone just entering the self-publishing arena? 

Douglas Dorow: Know what your goals are. Why do you want to publish? To see your book on a store shelf, to see it listed on Amazon, to make sales, to make money? Once you know your goals look at the book you're going to present to the readers. Make it the best it can be. Writing is the first part, editing is the second, getting a good cover is third. And if you want to have sales you have to learn about marketing, price points, partnerships, and social media and see if you can make yourself a little luck. 

MWU: Is there anything you would like to say to new writers, new readers or current fans of your work? 

Douglas Dorow: Writers - write the story you want to write, don't write for the market. New readers - try out a new indie writer. In this new self-pubbing world there are a ton of great stories out there told by author you may have never heard of, at prices that you can't beat. Make use of the sampling features to read before you buy. Fans - Thanks for reading The Ninth District, I'm glad you liked it. Be patient, I'm working on the sequel and it will be out soon! 

The synopsis for THE NINTH DISTRICT: 

Jack Miller is an experienced FBI Special Agent working out of the Minneapolis office, whose specialty is solving bank robberies. He has been teamed up to mentor a new agent who is trying to catch a serial bank robber, who killed a person in his last heist, raising the stakes.  

The FBI agents discover this isn't a normal bank robber. They find themselves targets of the bank robber, who has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to achieve his goals, even if that means eliminating the agents who are hot on his trail. 

While they try to catch the bank robber, they always find themselves one step behind and under attack and leverage the FBI technical team, a group of computer geeks, for assistance. Jack's personal life, on the other hand, is unraveling.  His wife, tired of taking the backseat to his job, has decided to leave with the kids. Jack fears for his family's safety and wants nothing more than to solve this case quickly and convince his wife to come home. 

As the agents close in on the bank robber, they discover that the ultimate target has been The Ninth District Federal Reserve of Minneapolis. If he's successful in this heist it could have global implications.

As the city celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks above ground, Jack must face his own fears and go down into the sewers and tunnels that run below the city in pursuit of the bank robber to stop him before electronic transmissions from the Fed reopen after the holiday. 

This post is part of a DECEMBER BOOK LAUNCH EVENT ---->> Join DOUGLAS DOROW and 9 of his author friends at WoMen's Literary Cafe's Mystery Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DECEMBER BOOK LAUNCH EVENT: Author Interview ~ Russell Blake

Hi everyone :-)
Our December Book Launch Event continues....
Mystery Writers Unite is HONORED to be supporting the work of Russell Blake, author of FATAL EXCHANGE, THE GERONIMO BREACH, the ZERO SUM TRILOGY (KOTOV SYNDROME, FOCAL POINT AND CHECKMATE) and two non-fiction titles HOW TO SELL A GAZILLION eBOOKS IN NO TIME and AN ANGEL WITH FUR (see below).
Described as “A Dark Stain on the Writing Profession” and “A Noxious, Sub-Custodial F#ckwad Who Will Hopefully Die Soon From Something Horrible,” Russell loves little furry kitty cats, puppies, apple pie, moms, the flag, God and the children. Especially the children.

“Captain” Russell, 52, lives on the Pacific coast of Mexico, where he spends his time writing, fishing, collecting & drinking tequila, and playing with his dogs. He is currently hard at work on a magnum opus of indeterminate plot, topic or genre, tentatively titled The Messiah Cipher; The Delphi Chronicle, an international conspiracy intrigue/thriller trilogy based on the true story of U.S. sanctioned hit squads in Central America in the 1980s; a satire/parody about the battle of the sexes; and a panoramic, epic screenplay about…cartoon ninja beavers for whom this time it’s personal, tentatively titled Beaver Team Bravo.

--- Interview
MWU: Let me start by saying thank you for agreeing to let Mystery Writers Unite interview you. Now on to the good stuff (she says smiling)…out of all the books you have written, which one is your favorite and why? 

Russell Blake: Wow. Leading with a tough one right out of the gate. Of the thrillers, I'd have to say The Geronimo Breach. I got this idea to base a book on the most loathsome, reprehensible example of humanity, as the protagonist, and see if I could develop him so he stays true to his character, but the reader winds up rooting for him, and even liking him. That was such a challenge to pull off, and yet it worked. The other challenge was to sustain the mystery of the meat of the conspiracy until the last two or three pages, and have the reader not only surprised, but shocked and thoughtful. I like my conspiracies either so real they can't be distinguished from fact, or based on fact. I'll leave it up to your readers to decide which Geronimo is. 

MWU: Aside from your main characters in each of your books, who is your favorite character and why?

Russell Blake: I think my favorite secondary character in any of the books is Sergei, from the Zero Sum trilogy. He's just the quintessential sociopath Russian mobster, but also has so many very human traits. He's not all bad, or all good, but rather can be good but is really, really bad. But he's apathetic which he is, and is murderous just as easily as he is gracious. He was fun to write, that's for sure. 

MWU: What is one of your favorite chapters or scenes in each of your fictional books and why is it your favorite? 

Russell Blake: Well, in Zero Sum, I think it's the second to last scene with Sergei and the villain, Nicolas Griffen, because of the imagery and the nonchalant menace inherent in the situation. In The Geronimo Breach, it's the opening chapter - a dream sequence in a dream sequence where the evocative images drip off the page, and the narrative establishes just how low the protag, Al Ross, really is on the human scale. In Fatal Exchange, it's probably the opening torture scene, because I wanted to write something that made you want to crawl under the bed and hide, and that was graphic, so you were in the room as it took place and puckering up, but still drawn to watch it. Although the mystery element of the who dunnit in Fatal Exchange has countless scenes I love, it's that opening torture scene that makes you uncomfortable, which was the goal. If you aren't wincing through it, I didn't do my job. 

MWU: Is there a character from any of your fictional work that you feel like you could explore further and may like to go back to at another time and write about them again? 

Russell Blake:  Absolutely. Dr. Steven Cross (he changes his last name halfway through the book - long story) will get another book - I'm around 30K into that one as we speak. And I think Tess Gideon from Fatal Exchange could carry an entire series and deserves at least one more book. 

MWU: How do you “stay in character” when writing? 

Russell Blake: I work 12 hour days when I'm writing, so I remain immersed in the story. I write first drafts fast, so I'll do a first draft in a couple to three weeks, during which time all I do is write. It's easy to stay in character when you're that focused on just the story a short burst. Or at least it is for me. 

MWU: Are any of your characters in your fictional work based on you or someone you know? 

Russell Blake: Al Ross from Geronimo Breach is, but I can't say who or I'll never speak to him again. Or he'll never speak to me. 

MWU: Given that you have written both stand alone fiction and series fiction, I wondered which was easier to write and why? 

Russell Blake: Boy. I think the series fiction, because you already have the characters developed and don't have to bring the reader up to speed on who is who. The appealing part for me doing stand alone, which flies in the face of the whole, "Serialize a Character and Build Your Platform with Him/Her" mantra, is that I get ideas for books, and they generally wouldn't transition well to fit one of the earlier characters from my other books. So now I either have to change the story, which inevitably diminishes it, or simply express it as it comes to me. The latter is the purer form, so that's what I generally do. Having said that, The Messiah Cipher will serialize Dr. Steven Cross, because I sort of came up with the idea while imaging what happened to him after the adventure in Zero Sum ended... 

MWU: How do you choose your titles for your books? Do you decide on them right away or do you let the story brew for a bit and then choose? 

Russell Blake: Almost always, right away. Within the first day. And then I'll change it at least twice as I write. But mostly, it's the first idea that is the best one, even after all the massaging, and I generally revert to that. 

MWU: If you had less than a minute to tell a perspective reader what they could expect from your books (you are at a trade show and someone has stopped by your booth) what would you tell them? Go…. 

Russell Blake: Ah, the elevator pitch. I write complex, breakneck-paced suspense/intrigue/thrillers with richly drawn characters based on conspiracies, where the imperfect protagonist is battling for his life against impossible odds.  The conspiracies are so plausible they could well be fact, and I won't say which are or aren't, but by the end of my books, you're going "Holy Sh#t, could that actually be true?" while thinking, "The guy can write." Think Ludlum crossed with Forsyth with some DeMille seasoning and you've come close to nailing me. 

MWU: I ask this question to every author I interview. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it? 

Russell Blake: Not yet. I did once, on a non-fiction book I shelved, but thankfully once I'm in the story, it flows. 

MWU: I always ask a published author what advice they would give to those of us still working away at their first novel, first draft? 

Russell Blake: Don't worry about crafting every sentence as though it's gold. Get the story down on paper, and tackle the finer detail on rewrite and polish. Books are written in rewrite. And beware of echoes - those five or six favorite terms or words you seem to use every fifth page. And develop discipline. Writing is a habit, so if you're going to do it, be a writer and do it every day, whether for an hour or ten. 

MWU: Over time, how much has your writing process changed and in what ways? 

Russell Blake: Not a lot. I write a few paragraphs of "The Story" and then do single sentences for each chapter so I know how it's going to flow and where the beats will be, and then I write it. Although in my later stuff, the works in progress, I think my pacing has improved - I don't have to struggle as much on rewrite to get the beats to land where they should. 

MWU: Is there anything you would like to say to new writers, new readers or current fans of your work? 

Russell Blake: Yes. To new readers: the publishing world is evolving, and there are some articulate, compelling independent authors now self-publishing due to frustration with the established traditional model. Some of the stuff is awful, much is okay, but some is remarkable.  It's worth taking a leap on an indie author if the work seems interesting and well executed - you could be discovering the next Steinbeck or David Foster Wallace before the world knows about them. Part of the joy of reading is to be swept away by the work, and there's nothing as satisfying as discovering something truly great and new that hasn't been adulterated by a committee to make it conform to this year's marketing plan.
To authors: Write because you love to write, not because you aspire to commercial success. Most won't make a living at it, so if you're a writer, do it out of passion and love - and ensure your work meets or exceeds the highest standards you set for the genre, or shelve it and start over.
To my current fans: Thank you for making this journey so interesting thus far, and thanks for the over 100 overwhelmingly rave reviews and all the glowing book reviews (memorialized at my website, for my work to date. There's nothing better than hearing a reader loved your work. Nothing. So for that, thank you so much.

--- Fiction by Russell Blake 

The synopsis for Fatal Exchange:
Fatal Exchange chronicles the story of Tess Gideon, a female Manhattan bike messenger with an appetite for the wild side, who becomes embroiled in a rogue nation’s Byzantine scheme to destabilize the U.S. financial system.

From the sweltering streets of Seoul to the sex-and-drug-driven underbelly of Greenwich Village, attempts at silencing a leak in an international counterfeiting operation leave a trail of butchery that leads inevitably to Wall Street, and pits a counter-culture heroine against a ruthless state-sponsored assassination team that will stop at nothing to achieve its lethal ends.

As the body count climbs, Tess is assisted by Detective Ron Stanford, a NYPD homicide specialist tracking a brutal serial killer whose ritualistic cycle of murder and mutilation targeting bike messengers is escalating to fever pitch.

Tess’s battle to survive propels her into a deadly underworld where she must become judge and executioner, challenging her core beliefs about morality, justice and love. Characters include her musician boyfriend Nick, Gordon Samuels, a powerful commodities trader who will stop at nothing to join the ranks of the city’s billionaires, Saul Balinsky, a paranoid ex-Treasury Department currency expert, Duff, a former gang banger whose torso is stitched with bullet scars, and a cast of iconoclastic messengers living on the fringes of mainstream society.

Fatal Exchange is a genre-melding race of a thriller that’s sure to delight readers searching for an exciting new voice in the action/intrigue realm.

The synopsis for The Geronimo Breach:
The Geronimo Breach is a breakneck-paced thrill ride that pits the world’s most unlikely protagonist against the deadliest adversaries on the planet. From the corridors of Langley to the sweltering jungles of Panama, from the hills of Pakistan to the cocaine trails of Columbia, a clandestine scheme to preserve a terrible secret goes horribly awry, plunging a reluctant hero down a deadly rabbit hole of deceit and betrayal, while raising disturbing questions about the media, the war on terror and its linkage with the war on drugs, and the nature of reality in an age of sound-bites and photo ops.

Albert Ross is a malingering misanthrope – a boozing, chain smoking philanderer; shifty, lazy, cowardly, going to fat, and more prone to doing the wrong thing than any man alive. His purgatorial existence working for the State Department in Panama gets shattered when a routine errand becomes a race against the clock, battling adversaries for whom no price is too high to protect a secret that could topple the world order. As the body count climbs in a struggle with no rules, Al must face his own demons, as well as the myriad very real ones intent upon destroying him. The unexpectedly shattering conclusion of this richly drawn thriller is both topical and chillingly plausible, making for a roller-coaster action/adventure without parallel.

The synopsis for the ZERO SUM TRILOGY:

In this chillingly plausible scenario of a military/industrial/financial complex manipulating American companies for profit, Zero Sum pits entrepreneur turned investor Dr. Steven Archer against prominent Wall Street predator Nicholas Griffen in a conflict that raises troubling questions about our markets and our government. When ‘business as usual on the Street’ turns violent and deadly, Steven is forced to flee the U.S. and embark on a crusade to unravel a Gideon’s knot of intrigue.

As the body count climbs, Steven is plunged deep into a financial jungle populated by rogue intelligence agencies, Russian mafia factions, drug cartels, and corporate marauders. Assisting him in navigating the treachery are Antonia Donitelli, a passionate Italian publisher, Stan Caldwell, a heavyweight asset protection attorney, and a group of cyber-contacts with diverse clandestine and technology backgrounds.

Spanning the beaches of California to the boardrooms of Wall Street, from the hills of Umbria to the barrios of Buenos Aires, Zero Sum is a race against time for a man seeking revenge and redemption – whose survival jeopardizes a treasonous conspiracy at the highest levels of politics and finance.

--- Non-Fiction by Russell Blake

How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (Even if Drunk, High or Incarcerated) is a parody of all things related to writing, self-publishing and self-promotion. Featuring 59 Writer’s Tips running the gamut from selecting a blockbuster title to creating compelling narrative and dialog, Russell’s relentlessly evil humor mocks everything sacred to the writing profession. Described as “…the literary equivalent of Ebola” and “vicious, demented, reprehensible brain poison,” Blake’s book is sweeping the publishing industry and garnering rave reviews. A must buy for authors, friends of authors, and readers everywhere.

The synopsis for An Angel With Fur:
An Angel With Fur is the heartwarming true story of Lobo the miracle dog.

Rescued as a puppy from an animal shelter in Mexico, Lobo’s saga is a life-affirming romp chronicling his growth, adventures and challenges. Featuring forty photos from throughout his life, An Angel With Fur is a must read for pet owners and animal lovers everywhere, and invites you to celebrate and share in the journey of a remarkable spirit who touched everyone he encountered.

At times hilarious and heartbreaking, it is a unique biography of an incredible dog, unlike anything you’ve ever read.

This post is part of a DECEMBER BOOK LAUNCH EVENT ---->> Join RUSSELL BLAKE and 9 of his author friends at WoMen's Literary Cafe's Mystery Book Launch, December 13-15. Ten authors will discount their eBooks to just 99 cents. Buy 3 get 1 FREE!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SPECIAL Author Interview ~ Rebecca Forster

Hi everyone,

Mystery Writers Unite is honored to have the talented Rebecca Forster, author of numerous books including bestselling legal thrillers, the Witness Series and the USA Today top seller Keeping Counsel.

Rebecca wrote her first book on a crazy dare and that project proved to be her passion. She had never written before but was lucky enough to sell her first novel. Many books later, writing is still the most exciting thing she has ever done.

When this energetic woman is not writing at her favorite coffee shop, she is speaking to philanthropic and writers’ groups about the brave new world of publishing for Kindle, Nook and other e-readers, teaching at UCLA Writers Program or having a ball at middle schools teaching with The Young Writers Conference.

Rebecca is one of six kids; she has been married to her husband for 34 years, and is the proud mother of two grown sons; Alex and Eric.

--- Interview

MWU: Wow! You are awe inspiring; let me start with that! Congratulations on the success you’ve had with your writing. I’m going to start with a question I usually don’t ask until closer to the end of an interview. What are the best “words of wisdom” you could give to a new author that is struggling to complete that first book?

Rebecca Forster: Close your eyes and remember what story you wanted to tell. This isn’t necessarily the plot, but the story of your character. For instance, Gone With the Wind isn’t about the Civil War, it is the story of Scarlett’s struggle to survive and thrive. The plot of the troubles caused by the Civil War, drive Scarlett’s story. What is your character’s story?

MWU: You sold your first story but then began to self-publish your work. What was your motivation for going the self-published route (e.g. ease to market, more control over your work, etc.)?

Rebecca Forster: Actually, I worked with New York publishers for 26 years, and it was an awesome experience. Over the last few years, New York tightened up acquisitions, established author’s backlists were being brought out again and bookstores were disappearing. When New York wasn’t quite sure about “Before Her Eyes” – a book I really believed in - I jumped into e-publishing. It has been a wild and wonderful ride. I still miss seeing my books in print, but I love that a book I believe in can find an audience.

MWU: I’m about half way through your book “Before Her Eyes” and the writing is phenomenal, a great story and lots of action!! That being said, that isn’t what most intrigues me, as a writer, about the book. What intrigues me most is how the writing switches between the 1st person and 3rd person point of view. I’ve been told by other writers to avoid writing any part of my story in the 1st person ~ what are your thoughts on this?

Rebecca Forster: I will refer you to the question above, LOL. That was precisely why the editors who saw this book weren’t sure if it would work commercially. Yet, the dual point of view has intrigued readers. I knew it was a risk, but I loved this book and wanted “Before Her Eyes” to have a shot. I’m so grateful it has been embraced the way it has.

MWU: I noticed your earlier books were more in the Contemporary Romance / Romance Suspense genre…why the switch from one to the other? What spurred it?

Rebecca Forster: My editor was frustrated because I killed off characters before they fell in love and suggested I was in the wrong genre. I think I always knew that I wanted to write thrillers, but when I started I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. Sometimes takes a while for an author to find her voice and hit her stride.

MWU: What is the one piece of advice that you would give to authors that are e-publishing their first book?

Rebecca Forster: Know that success is a long-term proposition. Introduce yourself to readers, answer those who write to you, build a following. Listen both to their critiques and their kudos. Make friends. This is the wild west of publishing and we all need to watch each other’s backs.

MWU: I recently posted a piece on the $0.99 book price and wondered what your thoughts were on this subject? 

Rebecca Forster: I just read your blog, and I wish there was an answer to the question of whether $0.99 hurts or helps our efforts to attract readers. John Locke, Rick Murcer and C.J. Lyons have done wonders using that price point. I keep mine at, what I hope is a reasonable price, $2.99. I haven’t tried $0.99 yet, but I do offer Hostile Witness for free to introduce myself to readers. The nice thing is, if one price point doesn’t work, the author is now in control and can change it. I think that’s exciting. 

MWU: Another question I ask every author I interview. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you cope with it?

Rebecca Forster: I experience writer’s block all the time. My trick is to get physical. I play on a competitive tennis team, I quilt and sew and cook – and clean the house. I think when you live in your mind as many authors do it is good to focus on the physical for a while to clear the mind.

MWU: Do you have a favorite character in Witness series, aside from the lead character? If so, which one and why? 

Rebecca Forster: I love Hannah. She is a conglomeration of all the young girls I saw when my sons were in high school. They were beautiful, privileged, smart, sophisticated, young women and even their parents thought of them as adults. They weren’t. They were just kids. I hope I was able to blend Hannah’s fears with her bravery. I love that girl. I don’t know if I’ll ever age her.

MWU: Can you give us an example of a “hard” lesson learned in your writing career? How did you get through it?

Rebecca Forster: I’m learning the hard lesson now. E-publishing has removed the safety net of editors, agents, and artists. Now we’re on our own and I am struggling with technical gremlins. Sometimes scanning edits I am confident were fixed come back. There is a computer magic that is driving me crazy and I’m grateful readers let me know when mistakes are made.

MWU: What is the hardest part of writing the Witness series? What tools do you use to overcome it?

Rebecca Forster: Sometimes I find it difficult to stay ‘in voice’. Hostile Witness was supposed to be a stand-alone book. The editor who purchased it suggested a series. At the time I thought it would be fun – and it is – but there is also this strange sense of responsibility to the characters. I need to make sure they don’t stray from their voice or motivations. Does that make sense? To overcome the problem I go to the setting. You’ll often find me in Hermosa Beach just sitting in Pier Plaza, looking at the ocean and the pier or having lunch. That brings the voices back.

MWU: I noticed that you bend your husband’s ear to make sure that crucial scenes in your legal thrillers are authentic. Has there ever been a time where the scene just happened to be a case that your husband presided over? 

Rebecca Forster: Hostile Witness was written because of a case he had before him. When it was over, he had to sentence a sixteen-year-old boy to the men’s prison. The boy had killed three people and was tried as an adult. I saw how seriously my husband took that charge, and I began to wonder how I felt about trying children as adults. That led to Hostile Witness.

MWU: I know that you are working on the next installment of the Witness series. When is the next book due to be released?

Rebecca Forster: I’m hoping Expert Witness will be released at Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed.

MWU: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

Rebecca Forster: I would like to say thank you for all the things you do. When readers send a private message or post a review that is an incredible feeling. I know it takes time to do that, and the effort is greatly appreciated. I am honored that there are readers who have taken the time to become friends or simply to share a thought.

--- Rebecca Forster Earlier Books

When fortunes change, what happens to love?

If you like a little suspense with your romance...

Fall in love with glamour, intrigue, money and power!

Family Tragedy and Triumph!

---- Rebecca Forster Thrillers

The Witness Series