Thursday, March 22, 2007


I interviewed Lois Greiman, Winner of the LaVyrle Spenser Award, author of GET UNSCREWED, now in bookstores near you. She’s also the author of TEMPTING THE WOLF, a finalist for Romantic Times best Paranormal Historical, and author of UNPLUGGED--Finalist for RT's best Amateur Sleuth

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Here’s the interview in full.

When did you know you were going to be a mystery writer?
Most days I sit in front of the computer and STILL wonder if I'll ever be a real author. But I remember when I was a little girl I used to narrate my life. Such as....'she stepped into the harsh glare of the summer sun.' It took me years to figure out that while I 'stepped into the harsh glare' most folks just 'went outside.' I guess that should have told me something.

Tell us a little bit about your family background.
I grew up in North Dakota on a cattle and wheat ranch. Lots of space, lots of brothers and sisters. Lots of time to dream.

What is your educational background?
Well, I learned a lot when I was a professional horse trainer. Other than that...high school's all I've got. But I'm making my kids go to at least eight years a-piece to make up for my deficit.

What did you read as a child?
Tolkein. I'm a HUGE Tolkein geek. I actually cried when I saw Shadowfax (Gandalf's horse) on the big screen. Hmmmf....I need therapy, don't I?

Talk a bit about your present family situation.
My children have grown up. It's the saddest thing ever. They've been my best friends since the day they were born. I think I may not be a great mother, but I'm a fabulous friend. Mostly, my kids get their jollies by making fun of me. Travis, my oldest--now applying for med school--likes to throw me over his shoulder and run circles around the house yelling war cries. Come to think of it, he may be the cause for my need of therapy.

My younger son, Justin, got married to a brilliant and gorgeous vet student last summer. He's considering entering seminary or possibly the two of them will join the Peace Corps. They're determined to make the world a better place, and I have absolute faith that they will.

My daughter Tara is 17, a 4.0 student and the savviest young woman I've ever known. My husband (Scott--veterinarian) and I expect her to be queen of the known universe very soon.

What's your daily routine when you aren't touring?
I'm a morning person. If things don't get done by 4 pm it's not going to happen. I get up at six, get my daughter off to school, feed the horses (14 of them....anybody need a horse?) go running (I did a marathon with my son's a couple years ago and learned that 26 miles is indeed a long way), then work from about 10-4. Unless I'm filling out a questionnaire :)

How much touring do you do?
It varies drastically according to the amount of time I have between books and where my children are in their lives. In 2005 I did a coast to coast driving tour from L.A. to New York and stopped at about 200 stores. This is not something I would recommend for the faint of heart.

What's the hardest thing you've learned about being an author?
Sometimes the muse just doesn't show up on time. Stupid muse.

What surprised you the most when you became a published author?
The amount of work--other than writing--that's involved in the book business. I could spend 24 hours a day on promotion.

Not everybody in crime fiction knows you have published in other genres. What was your motivation to move into the mystery field?
My sons left home. Being they are my best friends it was terribly traumatic for me and I decided it'd be fun to commit murder. It was safer to do it fictionally. :)

If you could be anything else in the world, have any other career, what
would it be?

I'd like to be a to cook a pizza with a single glance.

Do you have any pithy (or other) words of advice for aspiring authors?
Don't let 'em knock you down. You just have to keep sluggin'. I dare anyone to collect more rejections than I have.

Who are the authors who you feel have had the most influence on your writing
Janet Evanovich, Julie Garwood and probably a hundred more I can't think of right now.

Where do you want your career to go?
I have a weakness for the New York Times list.

To what organizations related to your writing career do you belong?
RWA, Sisters in Crime, Midwest Fiction Writers--all invaluable

Do you think you'll change direction again or spread out a bit? If so, what
direction might it be?

I love doing what I'm doing, but I think change is necessary. I have some literary ideas floating around in my mind, but they're just percolating so far. On the flip-side, I've recently written a children's picture book.

Who is your publisher? And what's your current book?
Random House/Bantam publishes my mysteries. The current novel is Unscrewed. Avon publishes my historical romance novels.

Who is your favorite mystery author?
I have an ever-growing list, but Evanovich, JD Robb, Robert Parker, and Dick Francis would be up toward the top.

Do you like to travel? Where would you most like to go, if money and time
and family were not considerations?

Australia calls to me.

What's next for Lois Greiman?
A nap. It's almost 4:00.