Can you give us a little bit of information about your publishing history?
I write two series for the Penguin Group. My eighth Dead-End Job mystery, “Killer Cuts,” is published in May and got a good review in Publishers Weekly. For that book, Helen Hawthorne works in a high-end beauty salon. I’ve also written four Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper books. The latest in that one is “Murder with All the Trimmings.”
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
After it was finished. A lot of writers are told they only need three chapters and an outline, but that’s old school advice. Too many took the money and never finished the book. Now, it’s a three-stage process. New writers have to finish the whole book, and then look for an agent, who looks for a publisher. I’d recommend an
What has been the best part about being published?
Holding my new book. I take time to admire the cover, the type and other handsome features. I pray it doesn’t fall open on a typo.
What do you wish you had known when you first started out as a writer for publication?
Writing is a business as well as an art. We need to write well, but we also need to know things like “sell-through” and “stripping.” Professional organizations are important. I belong to Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. I also wish I’d attended the genre conventions the year before my first book was out. For mysteries, my favorites are Malice Domestic, Sleuthfest, and Bouchercon.
Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
It’s been a roller coaster ride. My first series was published by the sixth major
That experience became the basis of my Dead-End Job series, which NAL, a division of Penguin, bought in 2003. The first book in that series, “Shop Till You Drop,” is now in its twelfth printing. “Murder Between the Covers,” which is set at a bookstore, was the second book in the series. The eighth Dead-End Job book, “Killer Cuts,” will be published in May, 2009.
How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?
Promotion is important, online and off. I blog for The Lipstick Chronicles with five other women writers, including Nancy Martin, Sarah Strohmeyer, Michele Martinez, Kathy Sweeney, Lisa Daily and Harley Jane Kozak. Our back bloggers come to many of our signings. (www.thelipstickchronicles.typepad.com)
I’m also with the Femmes Fatales, which includes Charlaine Harris, Donna Andrews, Kris Neri, Toni L.P. Kelner, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Saums, and Dana Cameron. http://www.femmesfatales.typepad.com/
We’re thrilled that Charlaine has seven books on the New York Times bestseller list. She’s one of those rare people who deserves her success.
When “Killer Cuts,” my latest Dead-End Job novel is published in May, the launch will be at the Malice Domestic Convention, May 1 to 3, in
Where can readers find a copy of your book?
Most chain and independent bookstores carry my mysteries. I have links to several sources at www.elaineviets.com If you’d like a free signed bookplate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Killer Cuts: A Dead-End Job Mystery Elaine Viets. NAL/Obsidian, $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-451-22686-0
Near the start of Viets’s hair-raising eighth Dead-End Job mystery (after 2008’s Clubbed to Death), Helen Hawthorne, who’s working at Miguel Angel’s high-end beauty salon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., assists Miguel in fluffing and buffing Honey, the pregnant fiancée of Kingman “King” Oden, a notorious gossip blogger and cable TV star. After the couple exchange “I dos” at King’s