Summer Blog Hop - My Writing Life

I've been asked to participate in a summer blog hop. The assignment is to answer questions about my writing, then select other authors to answer the same questions on their blogs within the next couple of weeks. Be sure to see the links to their blogs at the end of this post and find out more about these wonderful writers. A special thanks to Brandy Heineman for inviting me to join in.

What are you working on? I write mysteries. Currently, I am working on several short stories for the next Virginia is for Mysteries. My short story, "Washed up" is part of the first Virginia is for Mysteries anthology.

I am also working on a novel about a Private Investigator from Richmond, VA. PI Delanie Fitzgerald receives an assignment from a tell-all author that sends her on a search for a former rock singer who may be hiding in plain sight. Many of the clues have gone cold in the almost thirty years since the fiery crash that purportedly ended the promising career of Johnny Velvet of the Vibes.

And if there weren't enough dead ends in the hunt for the flamboyant rocker, the PI lands another high-profile client willing to pay large sums for information. Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouth, strip club owner, wants her to uncover the mayor's secret life. Chaz's antics eventually land him in jail for the mayor's murder, and he needs more of Delanie's help to clear his name. She uncovers a murder suspect, but he keeps popping up in her other investigation. The intertwining of the two cases causes Delanie to intensify her efforts to find the connection before another murder occurs.

How does your writing process work? I start out plotting and outlining my work. I want to make sure that the humorous moments, crimes, and action scenes are spread out through the chapters. Then when I start writing, I tend to go where the characters take me. It takes quite a few editing sessions and my wonderful critique group to put the finishing touches on my manuscript.

I am a full-time IT manager. My team is responsible for technical writing, training, software testing, business continuity, and records management. I try to squeeze writing time in at lunch, evenings, days off, and weekends.

Why do you write what you do? I write a lot of different things. I blog. I write and edit technical and business writing during the day. But I have loved mysteries since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. My friend Katrina and I raced through all the mysteries at our school and public library in Virginia Beach. So when I'm not writing, I'm reading mysteries and thrillers.

What advice do you have for new writers? Keep writing. You can always edit later. And find a good critique group to help you with your writing and to keep you motivated. I love my group. It's a great mix of writers/readers and published/pre-published. We all write some form of mystery, so the group understands the genre and its "rules." You also have to be willing to listen to the criticisms and make changes to improve.

And always take lots of pens with you to your book signings. At our book launch, I left my purse in the car. I took one pen, and it died on me when I started signing. That is one lesson that I will always remember. Thank Goodness, my mom was there with a spare.

Tag. You're it! Check out Brandy Heineman's blog to see her advice for writers.

Brandy Heineman

Brandy Heineman is a Christian novelist infusing her stories with family history and faith. She's a graduate of Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia with a degree in Business Administration and Communication. She is also a first-generation Southerner who occasionally gets caught saying things like, "Y'all want some pop?"

Brandy is a member of ACFW and a Finalist in the 2014 Genesis contest. She's represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency, and her first novel is contracted with Elk Lake Publishing. You can find her on Twitter as @brandyhei or like her on Facebook. You'll find her answers to the blog hop at