Today I am with Lyla Fox (in spirit). I feel like I know her from her fun posts and remarks on facebook, not to mention her wonderful mysteries, "Murder on Cinnamon Street" and "Snoop" A Small Town Gossip Mystery.
Lyla knows how to put her readers smack into Small Town America where things are not quite as innocent as they seem. Here is a typical review of Lyla's "Snoop"
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious reading
Lyla, was there someone, something or an event in your life that set you on the road to being an author?
When I was very young I read the Nancy Drew series. I so fell in love with Nancy and her “boon companions” that I wrote Carolyn Keene. I actually got a letter back and treasured it. I think I carried it around with me and showed it off for six months. In the letter she said something to the extent that I was a good writer and should keep it up. Over a decade later, when I learned that there was no actual Carolyn Keene, the damage was already done. I’d been convinced that a writer was within me.
Please tell us what you like about writing and what bugs you about it?
I don’t like the beginnings, the creation of what is to come, knowing that it probably won’t show up in the final product. For me, beginnings are merely a jumping off point, something I may change entirely once my book is underway. What I love is getting into the story, finding out who the characters are and what they’re up to. Many writers have outlines and I envy them. For me, though, the elements of surprise and discovery are what make my mysteries worth doing.
How long have you been writing books and what other writing do you do?
It seems like I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been walking, but probably my first serious, completed manuscript was a book for the 8-12 year old reader that I completed in my thirties. It was almost bought by Scholastic and won an honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest. I knew I was getting somewhere when the rejections were handwritten and encouraging, not boilerplate, and I had plenty of those. I have done a lot of nonfiction writing for ACT and SAT tests, regional publications and national magazines like Newsweek, Forbes, Business Week, and many others. Sadly, they are rapidly morphing into online journals which, for me, are in no way comparable to their predecessors.
Lyla, please tell us about your protagonist. Is she a lot like you? What are her assets and weaknesses?
I have two series out now. My first book in the Small Town Detective Series is Snoop whose protagonist is Samuels (Sam) Harper Hayes. She’s an independent young woman who has gone to the small town of Cotter’s Corner to live with her reprobate father. Like me, Sam is a writer, but that’s where the comparison ends. She is gutsy and I admire her willingness to flee her snobby mother’s tony Chicago digs to go to the small town where her summers were casual and reality-based. She believes in true love and that is probably like me, too. Oh, and Sam loves tabloids so I guess there’s a third connection to me. I would never buy a National Enquirer, but I have held up lines in grocery stores as I try to find the scandalous article that the cover relates to.
A friend in Japan just read both Snoop and the second book I wrote titled Murder on Cinnamon Street. My friend asked the same question, “Is one of the characters based on you?” Perhaps Elizabeth Clary (E) is a bit like me. She is dubbed the shaky detective because she’s had panic attacks. The murder at the beginning of Murder on Cinnamon Street throws E into a panic. I know that feeling. E is not naturally as brave as Sam but she can’t keep her nose out of the murders happening all around her.
She is a writer, but that’s where the comparison ends.
Lyla's wonderful books, published by Cozy Cat Press, can be purchased from Amazon
Thank you, Lyla, for taking the time to share your story
Happy writing everyone