Monday, June 2, 2014

This week I'm participating in the My Writing Process blog tour. I'd like to send a big thank you to friend and author Pat Gligor for inviting me to participate.

Here are the four questions every author must answer on the tour. I hope you enjoy my answers.

1)  What am I working on?
    Right now I am trying to finish up CHOCOLATE CITY JUSTICE, the third in the Crescent City Mystery Series.   

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    My novels are influenced by real life cases I handled as a prosecutor and then as an appellate public defender in New Orleans. Having worked both sides in the exact opposite capacity gives me a different perspective into the prosecution of criminals.  In my current capacity, I get to see what the suspects are thinking, why they do what they do, and how they justify their choices. I also get to see when a suspect may actually not be guilty. As a prosecutor, I lived criminal procedure and criminal law so that I can write about it realistically and without having to even think about the nuances. So I think my work differs because it includes some things I've actually experienced, and because I can realistically write about both sides of the coin with the good guys and the bad guys from firsthand experience.

3)  Why do I write what I do?
    I have always been in love with scary things.  Mysteries, the supernatural, horror movies-- if it's scary, I've always been obsessed with it.  So writing mysteries was a natural fit.  I began writing the series when I was a prosecutor, so of course I decided to feature a female prosecutor.  When I began doing public defense, I realized I was gaining an insight to the whole criminal justice system in New Orleans I hadn't had as a prosecutor.  My theme revolves around the idea that justice is not always accomplished by following the law and the two are not necessarily the same thing, which is the underlying drive of everything I write. 

4) How does my writing process work?
    I get a very general plot idea, usually from something that happened in real life.  I then decide on the bad guy and a few other possible suspects. I outline the novel scene by scene, making sure to include the things that need to happen in certain chapters or scenes, such as clues that need to come out or red herrings that need to be planted.  I follow the outline until I come up with a reason not to, such as a plot hole or a better plot device. When that happens, I take a step back, re-outline, and add in or take out what needs to be added or taken out. I may do this process a few times before the book is finally finished.

Next week, the following writers have agreed to participate, so please check out their blogs on June 9th to find out more about their writing processes as well:

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Spirit Shapes from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Murder in the Worst Degree from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. 

Visit  her at and her blog at Blog Link:


John M. Wills is a former Chicago police officer and retired FBI agent. After his retirement from the Bureau, he spent more than eight years as a law enforcement and military firearms trainer for a private company headquartered in Seattle.

He is a freelance writer and award-winning author in a variety of genres, including novels, short stories, creative non-technical, technical and poetry. He has published more than 150 articles on officer training, street survival, fitness and ethics. Read some of John’s articles here:

John also writes scripts for a video production company in Atlanta, and  book reviews for the New York Journal of Books. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle , Public Safety Writers Association, and Virginia Writers Club.

For John’s photo of the day and interviews with authors, as well as posts about writing, visit his blog: JWills Books & Blog


Amy M. Bennett was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and has lived in New Mexico since 1988.  Her debut novel, “End of the Road”, won the 2012 Dark Oak Mystery contest, and launched the Black Horse Campground mystery series.  


The second book, “No Lifeguard on Duty”, was published in April 2014 and she is currently working on the third book, “No Vacancy”. When she isn’t writing, she works full-time decorating cakes at Walmart of Ruidoso Downs, part time slinging vino at Noisy Water Winery in Ruidoso, and enjoying life in general with her husband, Paul, and son, Paul Michael.


Denise Weeks (AKA Shalanna Collins) writes the edgy Jacquidon Carroll mystery series headed by the award-winning NICE WORK from Oak Tree Press and the Ariadne French paranormal mysteries kicked off with MURDER BY THE MARFA LIGHTS.  Writing as Shalanna Collins, she has just launched (via her second publisher, Muse Harbor Press) her Bliss Sisters Magical Adventures with APRIL, MAYBE JUNE, the 2010 Golden Rose grand prize winner.  Lucky Dog Books/Lochwood in Dallas, Texas, will host the Magical Mystery Tour Launch Party for APRIL, MAYBE JUNE on Saturday, June 14, from 11 to 1.  (Wine, cheese, appetizers, cupcakes, and soft drinks provided!  Belly dance interpretive dance!  Skits!  Come as you are.)

She loves trivia games and has worked as a software engineer, middling
pianist, and secondary school math tutor.  

Visit her website at
and her blogs and