Lois writes historical cozy mysteries, the DI Carter-Hayes Mystery series. You can find her books wide in print and on Kindle Unlimited in ebook format. Her first book is now available and book two in this series is coming out this autumn.
Where is your favorite vacation spot? Beach, Resort or Poolside?
I’m a ‘pick n mix’ girl! Some days, I like to relax on the beach—I get lost in a book while my partner and his friends play ball (until they drag me into the ocean!). Other days, I prefer the poolside—I still read by the water, but I’m closer to the buffet! As long as there’s sun, swimming and cold drinks, I’m there!
Everyone takes a tote back with them when they head out for a day at the beach, what is in yours?
I’m the ‘mom friend’, so I end up carrying a huge tote with sunscreen, water bottles, towels and the kitchen sink! My personal essentials are: a cooling spray (for when the Floridian heat gets the best of this British-born gal); a paperback (I prefer my Kindle at home, but I don’t want sand in it!); and a big pair of sunglasses!
What makes your books perfect for a beach read? The setting, the story or the characters?
I’d like to think it’s a bit of everything! Even though Murder at Midnight Beach is a murder mystery, it’s a historical cozy, so it’s a light-hearted read. Personally, I prefer low-angst reads when I’m on vacation, so I’ve tried to capture that in MAMB and give my readers the fun of a mystery without too much nail-biting! Not only is MAMB a cozy, but it is set in Banksleigh, a small fictional seaside town on the south coast, with most of the action occurring in a beach hotel! Finally, it’s a shorter novel; at 220 pages, it’s a good length to finish while relaxing on a sun-lounger!
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting?
Don’t fear imperfection! No-one ever writes a perfect first draft, so please don’t worry about writing a masterpiece on your first attempt! Focus on telling the story first, then worry about turning it into a polished manuscript. If you attempt to write your final version on your first attempt, you will likely never complete the book. Write, edit, then edit some more. Most importantly, be kind to yourself!
What does writing success mean to you?
When I started writing, I had a very modest goal: I wanted one person to read and enjoy the book. I’m a naturally anxious person, so I always had this fear people would hate my writing, but I am pleased to say that I reached my goal within the first couple of days of publishing! To me, this is success. Honestly, that first 5* review made my week. It really empowered me and made the entire writing process worth it. To anyone who has ever left a kind review of a book, your words mean so much to the author, I promise you! Please keep reviewing because you are fueling dreams!
Are there any secrets from the book (that aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
I love sharing little-known lore! So, Midnight Beach is so-called for its beautiful nighttime views and an old tradition of locals (apparently) bathing naked in the moonlight on the beach during the full moon.
Tea or coffee?
I’m going to betray my British heritage and say coffee! Between me and you, tea is over-rated (though my MC, Michael, would vehemently disagree with me on this!).
How do you select the names of your characters?
As I write historical mysteries, I try to ensure my names are appropriate for the time period. I like to use public records of popular names in the time period, and then I read through until a name jumps out at me. Fun fact, Rosemary (a character in Murder at Midnight Beach) was called Amelia until the final draft. I just woke up one day and went, ‘this lady is not an Amelia’ haha!
And don’t forget, once you’ve read Murder at Midnight Beach, head over to Goodreads and leave your review!