My Writing Life – L.L. Bartlett
When did you first discover a love of writing?
I started out by writing Star Trek fan fiction, but I got my love of reading from my mother who encouraged me to read her favorite genres: mysteries and romantic suspense.
Where do you get your story ideas?
The news. Staring out the window and wondering about various things. Observing life and people. Story ideas are always all around me..
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Write. Rewrite. Rewrite again. Repeat!
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
No. But real life does get in the way of writing sometimes. I’ve gone through periods of time where I haven’t done a lot of writing, but that’s because personal things cropped up (the death of a loved one, etc.), but that never stopped the flow of ideas. I have ideas for hundreds more books, and not nearly enough time to write them all.
If there was one writer (alive or deceased) that you would love to meet, who would it be?
Dick Francis. It would have been fun to sit down with him and ask him how he built his characters. He had a way of really drawing you into the story so that it blotted out everything else and kept you reading through the night. My favorites are Straight, To The Hilt, and all the Sid Halley books.
What’s your favourite literary genre?
Mystery, but I like to read (and write) sweet romance, too. I’m a sucker for books with a happy ending, or a bit of a cliffhanger if it’s a series. My guilty pleasure is cookbooks. I’m afraid my living room floor may one day crash through to the basement because of my collection of cookbooks. (Oddly enough, I don’t do a lot of cooking. Too busy reading cookbooks.)
What made you decide to self-publish?
I was with a small press and my print runs were less than 1000 copies. I decided I could do better on my own. Now I not only write the words, but I am an art director, and am not at the mercy of a Marketing Department. I’m currently a hybrid author; I have two cozy mystery series with Penguin/Random House, but being self-published is far more fulfilling.
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share?
Reader engagement is my top priority. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Tumblr (although there aren’t enough hours in the day to use them all all the time; Facebook is probably where most of my promo time is concentrated).
The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put L.L. Bartlett’s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent — whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s).
L.L. Bartlett has done it all–from drilling holes for NASA, to typing scripts in Hollywood. She has also been a copy editor, an MSDS coordinator, a data-entry clerk, a secretary, a used-book seller, an antiques dealer, and an Administrative Assistant. You can find her books on Kobo.