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Q & A Tag: The Debut Novel

Do you all remember when I ‘interviewed’ lesfic author Niamh Murphy a month or so ago? Well, she’s back…sort of! This time, she’s challenged me and some of her other author friends to play Q & A tag and answer questions about our debut novels. You know me, I’m game for anything! Here’s Niamh’s own debut novel post and below is mine.

This is a ‘Tag’ post, so if you’re an author yourself, check out the end of the post to see how you can get involved!


Relic: The Morelville Mysteries - Book 1What is the title and genre of your debut Novel?

Relic: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 1 – It’s the first book in my lesfic themed mystery/romance series set in and around the fictional village of Morelville, Ohio near the very real city of Zanesville in the very real Muskingum County.

It features County Sheriff Melissa ‘Mel’ Crane and Customs Special Agent Dana Rossi with cases that collide forcing the two reluctant women to work together.

What gave you the idea to start writing it?

I’ve been a mystery lover ever since I could read. When I discovered fan fiction and later self-published fiction, I knew I just had to try my hand at writing fiction myself.

How long did it take you to finish?

It took about five months to write Relic, total. I got the basic story down pretty quickly…or so I thought. I ‘pantsed’ it which is writer speak for, I wrote it without any sort of an outline. It was all about Mel, her case and her family life among her extended family. She lives with her sister and her sister’s two children. I found that she got into some nice family dust-ups but the mystery portion of the story was completely lacking. There just wasn’t enough there.

Late in the second month of my debut writing venture, I started a complete rewrite. I kept Mel’s family and her basic case but I added Dana and her case into the mix.

What was the biggest challenge you had when writing it?

Keeping the story plausible. Federal agencies like Customs don’t typically work with local law enforcement on a case…not without a lot of red tape right up front and a long timeline. Dana has a short timeline in Relic so I couldn’t drag out the two agencies getting together and making it all work and have a story that didn’t drag. I made up for that by dragging out a little the coming together of Mel and Dana on a personal level.

I was still taken to task by more than one reader who felt law enforcement wasn’t being realistically portrayed. It’s fiction. What else can I say?

How did you get it published, Indie or Trad?

All of my books to date are indie published. That’s changing in the near future but that’s all I can say, for now. Stay tuned!

What was the most important thing you learned from the process?

Where do I start? Compared to editing, formatting, publishing, and marketing; writing is the easy part! I think the most important thing I learned and that I can share with other aspiring authors is to get help. Whether you want to self-publish or find a traditional publisher, you need help. For example, an author friend (Thanks, A.R. Fiano!) turned me onto formatters on Fiverr when my first attempt at uploading to Amazon for the Kindle turned out to be a mess to read. It just went on from there.

What are you working on right now?

The Conjuring Comedienne CoverI’m doing final revisions on the third book in my Morelville Cozies series, The Conjuring Comedienne. I expect it to be out sometime in September. I had planned another cozy for this year but time is bearing down on me so that probably won’t happen.

The cozy series has been slow to roll out but fun to write, nonetheless.  I’ve paid more attention to my original series, The Morelville Mysteries. That stands at nine books and I have an outline for the tenth, Sullied Sally. I’m really hoping to have that out before Christmas but ‘Conjuring’ has taken a lot longer than I planned.

There are other plans in the works including an all new cozy series featuring witches…with a few twists. One character in The Conjuring Comedienne will appear in at least the first of those books but they’ll otherwise stand completely alone from both of the Morelville based series.

I really hope you enjoyed this quick Q&A, if you have any other questions about my writing, just ask me in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer!

If you’re an author, why not play ‘Tag’ and write about your debut novel? Just cut and paste these questions into your own blog with a link back to me, then provide your own answers to the questions. Drop me a comment below with the link to your blog and I’ll check it out and give you a little promotion for your post.

As with Niamh before me, I can’t wait to hear about all your debut novel journeys!