I’m excited to welcome JQ Rose to our blog today. I’ve read her newest book, Deadly Undertaking, which I found both suspenseful and quite amusing.
Today we will talk to her about her books and her writing. I’m thrilled to have another mystery writer to introduce to our readers.
Before we begin, JQ. Readers love to know more about the writers they love. Tell us a bit about that lady driving that flashy car…
JQ: Glad to, Joan. And, thanks for hosting me on your blog today. Here’s a little something about me.
After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, I entered the world of fiction. My published mysteries are Sunshine Boulevard, Coda to Murder, and Deadly Undertaking. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep me out of trouble. Along with my husband, Gardener Ted, we spend winters in Florida and summers up north camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with our four grandsons and granddaughter.
Joan: My readers are always curious about the way we write and how our stories emerge. Describe how you go about writing, more pantser style or outlining?
JQ: I write using a combination of pantser and outlining. I like to scribble out an outline with scene ideas from the beginning and close to the end. I say close to the end, because many times, after getting close to the end, the story has taken an unexpected turn so I throw out the outline and go where the characters take me. Often there is more than one possibility for the ending. I have fun playing with fictional characters and situations.
Joan: I love the way you say you “throw out the outline,” because the characters take you in unexpected directions. That’s one of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction. Speaking of the writing itself, tell us about your writing routine? Do you write a certain number of words a day? How do you distinguish between the writing and the editing?
JQ: While writing Deadly Undertaking, I learned to set aside time after lunch for writing. I tried to write for an hour plus every day. When I sat down at 1 pm, I didn’t look at Facebook or check emails until I had written out that part of the story swirling in my head. Once I got in the habit of writing after lunch, I looked forward to it and felt cheated if I missed my hour of writing. I don’t determine a word count. I write for the hour, but if I’m wound up about the story, I’ll go longer if time allows.
As far as editing is concerned, I edit along the way, not for content so much, but for clear sentences and spelling. I usually read over what I wrote the day before so the story flows from one section/chapter to the next to make sense. My critique group is a lot of help when it comes to content and editing.
Joan: That’s very interesting. I wish I had a good critique group. It’s very hard going it alone. And, I like the idea of writing for a specific length of time. I may give that a go instead of writing 500 words a day as I’m currently doing.
I really liked Lauren, your main character. She’s very feisty. What would you say are her strengths—the things readers will enjoy about her?
JQ: Lauren Staab is a strong woman who has had to overcome the loss of her fiancé and deal with watching her mother disappear into the depths of Alzheimer’s disease. The strength of her love and loyalty to her family is evident when she returns home to care for her mother and to help her father in the family business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home.
Joan: I thought it was very ironic setting your mystery in a funeral home. That made me smile. Dead bodies among the dead bodies. What made you select the funeral home as your setting?
JQ: The sage advice for writers is to write what you know. I know about the funeral business because my dad and two brothers were funeral directors. I grew up setting up the chapel for a funeral service, dusting caskets, and placing floral arrangements to display around the casket and/or in the church.
Joan: Ah, so that explains a lot. But, I have to say, as a reader, the funeral home was perfect. Talking more about Deadly Undertaking, when readers pick up your book, what will keep them turning the pages? (besides the unique setting).
JQ: Excellent question.This is the whole crux of writing a mystery, isn’t it? Why will readers keep turning pages or tapping their screens?
- They’ll be curious to find out who committed the murder and why the killer decided to place the body in the garage of the funeral home.
- Henry, the shadow man, plays a big part in the story. Lauren can’t find a reason for him to be there interrupting her life at the most inconvenient times.
- The book is a romance too. Lauren is looking for love because the only men in her life are her dad and brother. Will she find her true love?
Joan: And, for those exact reasons, I kept tapping my screen! But, I won’t give anything away.
Most writers are voracious readers. Tell us about the books you read and how those books have affected your writing.
JQ: I decided to write mysteries because I read and enjoyed Sue Grafton’s mystery alphabet series– A is for Alibi and H is for Homicide to name a few. Then I read Janet Evanovich’s humorous Stephanie Plum mystery series with titles like One for the Money, Two for the Dough, etc. They opened my eyes to incorporating humor into mystery. I still enjoy reading mysteries with surprising endings, but I also read books on writing. I’m never too old to learn something new to improve my storytelling.
Joan: Indeed, your flare for the humor and storytelling definitely come through in Deadly Undertaking.
Give us a taste of this latest mystery and tell us about your other books and how we can find them.
JQ: Thank you, Joan, for the opportunity to list my books. My latest mystery Deadly Undertaking, was released by Books We Love in October. Here’s the blurb that will give you a taste for what it’s about:
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life. Welcome home, Lauren!
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/1Gz1utF
Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/1H72tvV
Books We Love Bookstore http://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2395820
Books from MuseItUp Publishing—
Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.
Detective Cole Stephens doesn’t want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.
Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?
MuseItUp Publishing http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/now-available-in-ebook/coda-to-murder-detail
kobo.com and major online booksellers.
Who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard? Follow Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds who annually migrate to Florida for warm sunshine, fun, and games in snow-free winters. However this season, Jim Hart, a volunteer First Responder in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge, is drawn into the investigation of the mysterious deaths. Even in the midst of the unfortunate demise of the residents on Sunshine Boulevard, the Harts try to enjoy the winter with friends. They don’t realize that their friends are getting together for their own kinds of affairs with each other. The neighbors are in a dither over the deaths, but perhaps more intrigued by the gossip about the affairs and why the naked lady was found lying in the geranium bed.
The e-book is available at
Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore
Kobo Books https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/sunshine-boulevard
Romance and Mystery Authors on Writing
Joan and I join thirteen authors sharing tips on writing, publishing and marketing.
Amazon link- http://amzn.to/1OFAczz
Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
JQ Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4
If you enjoyed this interview, check out all the author interviews on my blog.
J.Q. Rose says
Good morning, Joan. Thanks so much for hosting me today. Looking forward to meeting your readers.
Joan Curtis says
Hi JQ! Thank you for visiting us today. I appreciate your great comments. Good luck with your new book!
J.Q. Rose says
Great interview. I just started reading Coda to Murder. I’m looking forward to reading your other books.
Joan Curtis says
Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the interview. And, thanks for sharing your love for JQ’s books!