I’ve been so lucky to come into contact with a wide range of mystery writers since I wrote my first novel. It’s been fun to watch Edith’s progress and her ultimate success in the publishing world. As you might have noticed, she also uses the pen name Tace Baker. Here she is in her own words:
1. Describe your writing routine and/or schedule?
First, thanks so much for asking me over, Kristi!
Because I hold down a demanding day job, I pretty much only write on weekends. My preference is always to get up early, put the coffee on, and start writing. But I also write well on long plane flights and love to take myself off for a long weekend self-retreat. I found a wonderful writers and artists retreat house a few hours drive away that is inexpensive because you bring your own food, but provides a lovely monastic room with a desk.
2. What do you do if you get writer’s block?
Ouch. Going for a brisk walk can help. But keeping butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboards is usually the best approach for me. Something eventually comes out of those fingers!
3. Who do you read, or recommend other writer’s read, in regards to craft?
I haven’t read Donald Maass’ books but I attended a day-long workshop he conducted and it greatly improved the book I was working on. Hallie Ephron’s Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel is also a great guide.
4. Who do you read for fun?
All my writer buddies! Lucy Burdette, Julie Hyzy, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Lorraine Bartlett, Kaye George, just to name a few. It’s hard to keep up.
5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Tell us about it.
I’ve always written, since the first grade. But it was my ex-husband (who wasn’t an ex at the time) who said to me, nineteen years ago, “You like to read mysteries so much, why don’t you write one?” It was the proverbial light bulb going on in my head. Well, duh! So I started.
6. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
First, just keep writing. Second, find a group or two. In person is valuable, and online is equally valuable, such as the Sisters in Crime Yahoo Group and the Guppies subgroup. Get feedback, get critiqued, learn the trade.
7. What do you think is the most important skill to have to succeed as a writer? Persistence. You just can’t ever give up.
8. What is your favorite food and/or drink? Avocados have been my favorite food since before I can remember (can you tell I grew up in California?). Sliced with salt. In a cheese sandwich. As guacamole. In a salad. And in any form with a glass of a nice hearty red wine.
9. Do you have a favorite book or movie? I’m a sap for chick flicks. “Dr. Zhivago” and “Bridges of Madison County” come to mind. As for books, any of the Louise Penny or Julia Spencer-Fleming books. I aspire to write like they do.
10. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share?
I am thrilled that I have a three-book contract with Kensington for a Local Foods Mysteries series. I recently sent in the first book, A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die, which features geek-turned-organic-farmer Cam Flaherty, a Locavore Club that belongs to her farm-share program, and death in the greenhouse. It will release in June 2013. That was the book I started to write 19 years ago and am so excited it will finally be in the hands of the reading public.
Edith Maxwell is the author of SPEAKING OF MURDER (Barking Rain Press, under pseudonym Tace Baker) featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics and is a member of Amesbury Monthly Meeting of Friends. The book was first runner up in the Linda Howard Award for Excellence contest
Edith also writes the Local Foods Mysteries. A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE introduces organic farmer Cam Flaherty and a colorful Locavore Club (Kensington Publishing, June, 2013).
A mother and technical writer, Edith lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats.
Find her at http://www.facebook.com/EdithMaxwellAuthor , @edithmaxwell, and www.edithmaxwell.com . Tace Baker can be found at www.tacebaker.com , @tacebaker, and http://www.facebook.com/TaceBaker