It Adds Up To Murder by D.A. Featherling
Our guest blogger is D.A. Featherling, author of It Adds Up To Murder. Dorothy writes in several genres including mystery, romantic comedy, futuristic suspense, and romance. She has published two books to date and has several more in process. She co-founded the CenTex Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and served as its president for four years.
Welcome, Dorothy. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a native Texan who’s lived in Central Texas for most of my adult life. I took early retirement and decided to try my hand at writing full time. Life intervened, but I continued to write up until several years ago when I became a small business owner. I’ve owned a home staging and design business for over 4 years, but recently decided to make the writing a priority. I have one super grandson about to go into 3rd grade. He and I collaborated on a book this summer – I wrote and he illustrated “Danger in Dax.” I know it will be a treasure for years to come.
What fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself that we don’t know?
When I was a child, I always wanted to be a spy. Perhaps that’s why I like writing mysteries now.
I’m a recovering shopaholic (well, sort of recovering
I always wanted to backpack through Greece.
Please describe yourself with three words.
Independent, determined, humorous
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I love to cook, especially for friends and family; I do craft projects; and spend time with my family. Most of all I love to read.
How did you become involved in writing?
It was actually rather cool. A number of years ago, I read an article in Reader’s Digest. It posed a question to ask yourself – if you could do anything in the world (regardless of education, experience, finances, etc.) what would it be? My immediate answer without thought was…I’d write books. A year or so later, I began my first novel on my lunch hour at my last ‘real’ job. That was the start.
Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room?
I actually have an extra bedroom that I use as an office. It has standard computer/printer capabilities, a desk, couple of filing cabinets, etc. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from any office. But I can be a bit cluttered if I want to (and I still tend to let the filing stack up).
Do you always know the title of your books before you write them?
Always! Always! Always! I cannot write a book without knowing the title first. I have no idea why, but that’s the way it is. Once I have the basic premise and a title, I’m ready to write.
Please tell us about It Adds Up To Murder.
I write in multiple genres (mystery, romantic comedy, futuristic suspense, romance) and wanted to try my hand at a mystery just to see if I could do it. Turns out I could…and loved it. It’s what I read and what I like to write, although the humor is also a favorite thing to write.
The book is the first in the “It’s Murder at the Office” series. I hope to start book 2 soon. My heroine, Abby Newhouse, loses her regular job through no fault of her own and decides to be a temporary worker to pay the bills. She encounters murder on her first long term assignment and it sets the pattern for future books in the series. Every time Abby changes jobs, a murder (or murders) will follow. Lieutenant Nick Vaughn, homicide detective is the hero and he cringes whenever she changes jobs.
Each book in the series will feature an office machine or office procedure as the means or reason for the murders.
What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading this book?
My goal in writing is to provide a few hours of escape from the realities we all face in our lives. If, when a reader finishes one of my books, s/he is smiling, I feel I’ve done a good thing.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
My last job was as the administrator for a physics research center at a major university. I started thinking…what if a woman had what looked like a secure job, and then lost it and turned to temporary work? The murder weapon in It Adds Up To Murder was also a legacy from my time in state employment (‘nuff said – read the book).
Did you have to do any research for this book?
The only research I really needed to do was to ascertain how being a temporary employee worked, plus I talked with a homicide detective to be sure of procedural things.
How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I’ve been writing for about 10-12 years. This first book was published this year (but I had 7 books ready to be published).
What advice would you give to writers who have been writing a few years but still haven’t interested an agent or publisher in their novel?
These days there are so many authors and so many possibilities for publishing. Decide whether traditional or self-publishing will work best for you. Be aware that both require a lot of marketing and learn something about it. Bottom line? NEVER give up! NEVER! God is perfectly capable of matching you up with the right house, the right agent, at the right time. The timing is key.
What are you working on now?
I’m editing the first book in a new mystery series, Staged for Murder – a series that will feature home stager Ari Ames. Book 1 is Murder Outside the Box. I hope to have it published early this fall. I’m also preparing to publish Book 2 in my romantic comedy series Second Time Around. Book 1 – Sauce for the Goose is available now on Amazon. Book 2 – Kissing Frogs should be published within the next month.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Read, read, read…what you want to write and anything else you can get your hands on. See how the best writers do it and then learn how to write properly. Read books on writing, attend conferences or 1-day seminars when you can, basically learn the craft. If you don’t, you will never succeed.
Please tell our readers where they can get your book.
My books are available on Amazon.com – or through a link on my website.
Please tell our readers where they can find you online.
My website is: www.dafeatherling.com
Facebook is: https:www.facebook.com/D.A.Featherling
Any parting comment?
Follow your dream. If God has given you the dream, He intends for you to pursue it…even if it takes longer than you’d like and takes you down unexpected paths. Never give up.
Dorothy, thank you for this interesting interview. One of my commenters will win a copy of It Adds Up To Murder in a random drawing. Thank you for graciously offering a copy of your book.
The winner of last Monday’s blog post for a copy of Speaking Confidence by Lisa Heidrich is JanetE. I'll email you to get your mailing address and we’ll get the book out to you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.
Till next time … keep on smiling.