Guest Interview: Donna Walo Clancy

Wow! Are you in for a treat! This post is an interview with a very talented Cozy Mystery Author Donna Walo Clancy. I have read many of her books and enjoyed them. My favorite of her series is the Shipwreck Cafe. The series is a bit different from most cozy mysteries, as you’ll find out from my questions and Donna’s answers. So, sit back and enjoy the interview.

Tell us a little about yourself; your hobbies, interests, and anything else you might want to share with us. 
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I turned the big 60 this year! Cape Cod is where I call home for now,  and I have three grown children in their mid to late 20’s. I am happily divorced. For many years I was a wedding planner and then a floral arranger. I finally got back into writing eight years ago as my children were older and working on their own.

My dog, Zumiez, is a black and white Papillon and the most spoiled dog on earth. 

I do many types of crafts and love to paint (but I never show anyone but my kids the finished products). I read all the time, many types of genres, and am in the process of starting up a small publishing company, DWC Books, this fall. 

I love yard sales, flea markets, and metal detecting. 

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I would like to ask you about one of your series in particular: The Shipwreck Cafe Mystery series. Why this series?

I think in one of my past lives that I must have been a lighthouse keeper. I have always had a fascination for them and what better subject to write about than something that you enjoy. I also belonged to a paranormal hunters group years ago and have always loved to follow the ghosts.  

You have chosen a great location for the series- is it similar to a special spot you may know?

Living on Cape Cod, I am surrounded by beaches and lighthouses. The stories surrounding sea lore and ghosts are plentiful, so it is easy to draw inspiration from the area. My favorite is Nauset Light which has been moved back from the edge of disaster twice now. The ocean is constantly changing the shoreline and eating it away. The lighthouse still stands with its beam constantly rotating, day and night, shining over the waters of the Atlantic that it has cheated out of its demise.

Your main character is unusual in the Cozy Mystery Genre: it a male character. What was it like to write in a male voice and was it difficult for you?

The first manuscript of Death by Chowder was given to ARC readers, and the repeated comment that I received from them was that Jay cried too much. I had to start thinking like a man instead of a woman and toughen up his character in my writing. But I still wanted Jay to have a soft side for family and animals but not be mushy about it. I still have to go back after I have written a chapter and think about whether a guy would react that way. It is getting easier with each book I write in the series, but it was difficult at the beginning.

You have also included the character of a ghost (I love this!). Did you find any limitations using this character?

Not at all! Ghosts can do anything. They can shimmer in and out and be anywhere at any time. Roland is unique as he has attached himself to the Jay’s family, especially Jay’s mother, Martha. 

He cannot move on as his guilt over a shipwreck that happened at the turn of the twentieth century keeps him at his post on the catwalk of the lighthouse. He is a wonderful character who maintains feelings and actions just like any living human would have. He also has a humorous side, scaring customers at the café when he feels like causing a little havoc.

Tell us what’s next in your writing schedule

My writing schedule is full for the next two years, God willing. I have 20 books laid out ready for writing. There will be additional books in The Shipwreck Cafe series and in The Jelly Shop Mysteries series. I am also starting a new series, Inks. It is set in a tattoo parlor in the small town of Dexter with many interesting and zany characters.

I also have quite a few stand-alone books ready to be written. Daddy’s Last Wish will be out this Christmas, The Book Juggler, a YA book, will be out in January. Mother Earth Murders, Letters in the Rolltop Desk, and the sequel to Keep the Faith, Ellen McGuire, Be Careful What You Wish For, Ellen McGuire will be released in 2020.

I will be writing full time starting in October of this year.

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How can my readers find you and your books?

All my books are on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
 I am on almost all social pages out there including:

https://www.facebook.com/dwaloclancy

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonnaWaloClancy/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/267663097515708/

https://www.amazon.com/Walo-Clancy-Donna/e/B00C401RS8?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1565105492&sr=8-1

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/donna-walo-clancy

https://twitter.com/dwaloclancy

I hope you enjoyed reading about one of my favorite writers. It’s always great to find out more about what is going on behind the printed pages, isn’t it?
3D cover MAA#2, ereader  Keep an eye out for my next book in Mrs. Avery’s AdventuresFinal Delivery will be released on August 31, 2019.

Victoria LK Williams

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It can be a lonely world out there for an indie writer. You can be lost or overwhelmed easily, but we have resources at our fingertips that can help us along. One writer went to the extreme to help other writers. I’m pleased to introduce Kathryn Bax (Pen name Kathryn McMaster) as my guest blogger for this week.

 I’m going to let Catherine tell you a little bit about her story and about the great website that she’s put together for writers and readers alike. I’m proud to be part of this website and of course you can find all of my books there. But it’s not just my books; there’s a vast number of writers from different genres. So, you be sure to go to the website and start picking out some great books to read.

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One Stop Fiction for Readers and Writers

We all like to read free and discounted books, don’t we? Who doesn’t like a bargain? I co-founded One Stop Fiction for two reasons. The first was to provide readers with quality books at discounted rates, the other was as an author I was frustrated at the lack of places I could be seen, other than my own author Facebook pages and website. How could I make sure that my book was on a permanent website, rubbing shoulders with books from my peers? Along came the idea for the website.

However, 9 months ago, the idea hadn’t even been born yet. I was still frantically trying to finish my first novel. Once I was nearly finished I realized that I needed some ideas on how to market it. There was no point in writing a book that nobody would see.

So I paid a squillion to join a course on book marketing only to be bitterly disappointed. It had not stated on sign up that the course was primarily for non-fiction writers. I took very little away from the course and felt rather disgruntled. I was not the only one. Other fiction authors were very unhappy too.

So, being the rebel that I am, I decided to break away from the group and start my own Facebook group where we could all learn from each other and share marketing ideas. The group soon grew to well over 1000 members. However, after listening to the feedback from the new group, there seemed a need to provide a platform where writers could connect to readers and vice versa.

I had built and run several websites of my own before this. I was no stranger to HTML and website jargon. However, I knew that we needed a site that would be more than a ‘mom and pop’ venture. We needed something slick and professional, easy to use and attractive to look at.

In the previous disgruntled group were two very special people; Shaun Griffiths, a Young Adult author who would become our Content Manager, and Alex Okros; an author of short stories (still unpublished) and the published author of a time-management book.

We fast became Internet friends. One day I said to Alex that I was thinking of starting up a website for authors. He said that he too had had the exact same idea. I said that it was all very well and good to have lofty ideas but website platforms did not come cheap. Who would we get to build it? He started to chuckle and said, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? I am a computer programmer and my girlfriend designs websites.” Sometimes, some things are just meant to be.

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http://www.onestopfiction.com

 

The website was released to the public on 8/8/2016 which we hope is an auspicious date – not that we are at all superstitious! Already hundreds of books have been added to the site and we are thrilled to see how many people have entered our monthly competition to win a Kindle eReader Paperwhite worth $119. The competition is open to all, no matter where you live. There is no joining fee, and to say thank you for your subscription you have a choice of 30 free e-books to read.

So please come and join us, have some fun, and be prepared to find some great books!

 By Kathryn Bax (Pen name Kathryn McMaster)

Co-founder and Business Development Manager

http://www.onestopfiction.com

 

about the pictures
logo and head-shot provided by Kathryn Bax
Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_flynt’>flynt / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Things have sure changed!

When I was a little girl I had three women that I admired. They were all fictional characters, but I thought they were awesome. I wanted to grow up to be just like them.
The first one was going to be pretty impossible; Wonder Woman’s a hard act to follow and I knew I wasn’t up to the task. Of course in my own way I guess I could claim to be a wonder woman-I’m a mom with a career and a home to run. (Okay, maybe not  that sexy outfit, but I would love those great golden bracelets.)
But the other two characters that I loved were a bit more  realistic, and I let myself dream of the possiblilites…
The first was Nancy Drew. She was my hero when I was younger. She was the cool girl; she had best friends that stuck by her side,  a gorgeous boyfriend and she solved mysteries. Her dad was pretty cool, too. What more could a young preteen hope to be when she grew up?
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But, as I grew older, I realized Nancy Drew never  grew older college age.   I began to dream about what kind of job/career I wanted, so I set my sights on Brenda Starr— investigator reporter. With her gorgeous red hair and trench coat, she was an inspiration. I can remember walking around with a pen and paper pretending to take interviews– the same way that I used to look for clues when I pretended to be Nancy Drew.
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Recently I was asked to give an interview about my writing and it brought back thoughts of my earlier aspirations. But there was no one coming to my door to ask questions, no microphone put in front of me, and there was no cameras snapping pictures. Instead my interview was done on-line, in a new age of investigative reporting.
I was sent a series of questions and it was up to me to answer them how I wanted. It was up to me to make sure that they said exactly what I wanted; with correct spelling and grammar.  Gone was my vision of a star reporter with a microphone and trench coat. Instead I stared at my monitor and wrote my own answers.
And this gave me control over what I said. A big plus is you can think about your answers, you can go back and change the wording. You can control the impression that you make much more than with a live interview.
I think some of the questions were a little bit more intense than a casual interview as well.  Over 200 questions were sent and I had to pick 20 of them to answer. This turned out to be fun, and it really made me think about my answers. Some of the questions were nothing like what I would have expected.
 I’ve included the link to the interview below, for you to read.
So now  I can see that my heroes and aspirations as a young girl had to change with the times.  I no longer wish to be Nancy Drew or Brenda Starr, but I still think it’d be pretty cool to be Wonder Woman.