I sort of created this genre: Musical Murder Mystery. I’ve always been a fan of murder mystery and tried my hand at it. I love Jonathon Kellerman, Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Patterson, Cornwell, Evanovich. Murder in A-Minor was originally titled The Devil You Know, but when I was in the editing process, I started singing songs from the main character, Sam Wedlock’s, point of view. It meshed with the story, and so I incorporated the songs.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
In truth, I love the writing process. I love creating a world, building characters, guiding a story. It’s the editing process I could do without. Sometimes, I have passages that I’ve written that I think are brilliant, wonderful, amazing…but they don’t further the story and I know they need to be cut. So I cut them. But it’s painful. Someday, I want to release a book that’s entirely made up of those cut scenes. I think that would be a hoot.
When and where do you do your writing?
I write at home at my desk, generally wearing a pair of sweats that I should never leave the house in. I write when my kids are at school. I write when the kids are in bed. I write when my kids are watching a movie or doing tech. I write whenever I can. I carry a legal pad with me so that I can write at Starbucks or in the car or at the softball field.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
I have learned that I am not a good promoter. And I am not the best with social media. What I’m good at is writing books. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but the same thing can be said about releasing a book. It takes a village. A village of readers who like my writing and are willing to share their praise of my books with their following. I rely heavily upon savvy readers who like a good yarn and spread the word about me and my books.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I’m proud that I’ve written seven novels. Every time, from the moment I completed my first manuscript, I wondered, “Is that it? Can I ever write another?” But I have. Okay, so I’m not prolific, yet. I’m not Nora Roberts (love her!) with her 209 novels. But I’m on my way. Some of my novels will never see the light of day. Some will go big, I hope. But I’ll keep writing, whatever happens. I’m proud of that too. My mom, who was my greatest champion and who is gone now, made me promise to keep writing no matter what. I don’t keep writing because she told me to. I keep writing because I am compelled to. But I feel really good about that. And I know she would be proud.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
That’s tough. It’s a toss-up between Steven King and Janet Evanovich. I imagine that I would be laughing nonstop with Evanovich, and I cherish laughter as one of the greatest gifts human beings possess. But my favorite book of all time is The Talisman, followed by The Stand, and after that It. So having dinner with Steven King would be really cool. And probably creepy. And scary. And if he were hosting, the food might be grotesque, like something out of one of his books. But it would, no doubt, be an interesting evening!
Janis Thomas is the author of Murder in A-Minor, the first book in her Musical Murder Mystery series (available May 2016), as well as three humorous women’s fiction novels, Something New, Sweet Nothings, and Say Never, which was chosen by Chick Lit Central as one of the best books of the year. Janis has written over fifty songs, and two children’s books which she wrote with her dad. When she isn’t writing or fulfilling her PTA duties, Janis likes to play tennis, sing with her sister, and throw wild dinner parties with outrageous menus for friends and loved ones. Janis lives in Southern California with her husband, their two beautiful children and two crazy dogs.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/B0D31Y7QxY8
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TG8Prx