Gossamer Ghost, 12th in the Scrapbooking Mystery series, was released this month.
I’m delighted to welcome Laura Childs today
to share a few thoughts with us.
cncbooks: Do you carry on conversations with Carmela while you’re working on the story?
Ms. Childs: I do, but in a rather strange way. When I’m writing a scene, I’m able to visualize my gang of characters as if I’m watching a stage play. I can see exactly what they’re doing and hear what they’re saying. My job is to try and get it all down as fast as I can!
cncbooks: How much of you is in your character Carmela?
Ms. Childs: The entrepreneur side is there for sure. Like Carmela, I was just thirty when I launched my marketing firm, did pro bono ads, and started doing fund raising for nonprofits. Carmela’s a dear girl, but far more snoopier than I am.
cncbooks: What is the last book you read purely for pleasure?
Ms. Childs: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.
cncbooks: If you could spend a weekend with one fictional character not your own, who would it be and why?
Ms. Childs: I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Lucas Davenport, the main character in John Sandford’s Prey series. Besides being a hunky detective, Lucas could probably teach me some good investigative tricks. Oh, and Lucas drives a Porsche.
cncbooks: Who did you pretend to be as a kid?
Ms. Childs: I was obsessed with ghosts and monsters and invented countless playground games about them. Needless to say, I always grabbed the primo role as head monster.
cncbooks: How difficult is it to keep up with the rigors of three series?
Ms. Childs: Not so difficult. When I ran my marketing firm, my staff and I often balanced twenty or thirty major projects (TV, radio, etc.) all at once. You just have to be focused and organized. Writing novels is not a wild, creative ride or a calling from on high. It’s a business and you have to give it the same parameters.
cncbooks: What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author?
Ms. Childs: An anonymous amateur reviewer called one of my books boring. That comment is clearly the mildest thing anyone has ever accused me of in my entire career.
cncbooks: What has been the best compliment?
Ms. Childs: I’ve received many emails from women who praised my books as being very soothing and helpful in getting them through really tough situations like back surgery, chemotherapy, and loss of a spouse. Those are the comments that bring tears to my eyes.
cncbooks: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently in your writing career?
Ms. Childs: Buy more real estate. A lot more.
cncbooks: Is there one author (mystery or otherwise) who has really influenced your writing career?
Ms. Childs: I started out wanting to write like Stephen King, but never mastered his knack for the creepy. But his book, Stephen King on Writing, really helped me get a handle on dynamic openings, plot twists, and internal architecture.
cncbooks: What is your favorite scene in GOSSAMER GHOST and why?
Ms. Childs: It would have to be the big finale on the speeding Ghost Train. It’s a bucket full of suspense, craziness, and final justice.
cncbooks: What’s next for you?
Ms. Childs: I’m so glad you asked because I’m working on two books right now. The first is PARCHMENT & LACE, which is the next book in the Scrapbook Mystery series. And the other book is FINDERS CREEPERS, a hard-edged thriller series that I will write under the name of Gerry Schmitt.
cncbooks: Thank you for being here today and letting us get to know you just a little bit better. I confess I would never have guessed you’d have such an affinity for Stephen King (although I fully understand and agree) and—WOW—a 4th series! I can’t wait to read both PARCHMENT & LACE and FINDERS CREEPERS 😉