Wednesday, July 16, 2014

5 SECRETS (What No One Knows About My Book) with Lois Winston

Our guest author today is Lois Winston, who is going to share some tidbits about the writing of her book that no one knows--until today.

Award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.


5 Things You Don't Know About Definitely Dead
1. Definitely Dead, the first book in my new Empty Nest Mystery series, pays homage to Dashell Hammet’s Thin Man movies of the 1940’s, starring Myrna Loy and William Powell. However, with a wink and a nod to the characters of Nick and Nora Charles, I’ve put a modern day twist on things by having a female amateur sleuth with her husband as her sidekick.

2. On the outside Gracie is a bit of a ditz (okay, maybe more than a bit.) But she’s actually quite smart. She just sees the world through her own unique, totally right-brained perspective. I came up with the idea for Gracie (and her name) after reading a book about George and Gracie Burns. As it turns out, Gracie Burns was nothing like the ditzy character she played in the movies and on television. She was actually quite brilliant and an astute businesswoman.

3. The Empty Nest Mystery series is set in the same town as my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series. Gracie’s husband Blake even makes a reference to Anastasia at one point. And who knows? I just might have Gracie and Anastasia cross paths sometime in the future, perhaps even teaming up to solve a mystery. Frankly, I never know what my characters will do until they do it.

4. Gracie is a fledgling romance writer, bound and determined to become a bestselling author. She’s absolutely convinced this will happen relatively soon. There’s only one minor problem: She hasn’t actually completed a manuscript.

5. I turned down a traditional publishing contract for The Empty Nest Mystery series to bring Gracie and Blake into the world through independent publishing.

Blurb from Definitely Dead

When her career is outsourced to Asia, fledgling romance author and empty-nester Gracie Elliott wants a job that will allow her time to write. So she opens Relatively Speaking, becoming a wing woman to the senior set. Since her clients need several hours each morning to find their teeth, lube their creaky joints, and deal with lower GI necessities, and they always turn in after the early bird specials, she has plenty of time to pen her future bestsellers.

Gracie deliberately avoids mentioning her new business venture to husband Blake until after she signs her first client. Blake joins the company as a not-so-silent partner, tagging along to make sure Gracie doesn’t cause a septuagenarian uprising. When Client #13 is found murdered in the parking lot behind the Moose Lodge, Gracie knows, no matter how much Blake protests otherwise, she can’t wait around for the police to find the killer if she wants to save her livelihood.

To Buy Definitely Dead go to:

You can find visit Lois/Emma at
Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Twitter:

Thanks for checking out Lois and her secrets. If you have any comments or questions, Lois will be around to answer them today.
And don’t forget to check back next Thursday to find out even more author secrets about their book. 


  1. Great 5 points - being completely right brained, I htink I'd love your heroine. And I totally respect turning down the contract to indie pub. Keep the control and power. Best of luck with this book and all your future endeavours.

  2. Thanks, Victoria! I hope you'll get to know Gracie. I had a blast creating her.

  3. It sounds like a fun series with fun characters. Can't wait to see it!

  4. Thanks, Bobbi! Hope you enjoy it.

  5. I just had to come over here and comment because I absolutely loved this book! I can't wait for the next one so hurry up, Lois.

  6. Thanks, Cindy! I'm writing as fast as I can, but Anastasia is demanding that I write another one of her books first.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful story! I love the cover. I can't believe you turned down a traditional publishing contract to indie publish. :)

  8. Melissa, not only did I turn down a contract for this series, I turned down a contract for more book in my other series--for very good reasons. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was one I felt I had to make.