Evelyn Cullet is the author of Once Upon a Crime
Since I don’t usually have an outline for the story until after I’ve written the first or second chapter, I have to start at the beginning and move forward. I know there are writers who do work backwards, but I find that a little too difficult. Although I do sometimes write chapters out of sequence.
I assume you enjoy reading mysteries. What type (locked room police procedural, cozy, female detective, etc.) do you prefer and why?
I love to read cozy mysteries, mostly with female detectives–Sherlock Holmes being the exception–because there are no gory, repulsive or graphic descriptions of crimes or of crime scenes. I don’t like to read them and I don’t enjoy writing them.
What has been the biggest surprise to you in terms of the ‘business’ end of being a writer?
The biggest surprise to me is how time-consuming and expensive marketing is.
What web sites help you with your research and writing in general?
There are many wonderful websites I’ve used for writing and research over the years. I couldn’t possibly mention them all, but here are a few:
Sisters In Crime is great for everything that has to do with writing.
Jeni Chappelle, writing coach and editor, has a wonderfully informational website.
The “She Writes” website has many good articles on writing and book promotion.
I did a great deal of online research for my second novel, Masterpiece of Murder, and the best place I’ve found for that is Google.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you have received?
The best piece of writing advice I have ever received was to use a professional editor. I know first hand what an experienced editor can do to make a good story into an excellent one.
If you were to write a letter to yourself of five years ago… what would you warn, or encourage yourself about, or tell yourself to do differently (personal or professional).
Five years ago I would have told myself to join a writers group to get feedback on my writing. And not to rush into submitting to publishers until my novel was as clean and error free as it can be. If I would have taken that advice, I’d have saved myself a lot of heartache and rejections.
What’s next after Once Upon a Crime?
My next novel will be titled, Ever After. It’s the final novel in what I like to call,” The Self-appointed Sleuth Series.” In it, I’m planning to tie up all the lose ends and give every character a happy ending.
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