Monday, July 09, 2012

Scene of the Crime with Author Janet Bolin!

Back in April, I had the pleasure of reading the first Threadville mystery, Dire Threads, and I knew that I'd be asking author Janet Bolin if she wanted to be interviewed. This talented writer has wanted to sew, embroider and write since she was seven, and her very first book shows her love of all three. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in her series, Threaded for Trouble!

Janet Bolin with Laddie and Lacy

Before we get to that interview, I thought I'd share some links with you so you can learn even more about this week's featured author:

Now let's get to the fun part-- the interview!

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

Illustration from The Adventures of Benjamin Pink
The Adventures of Benjamin Pink by Garth Williams. It was an improbable story about a rabbit who went fishing, had a bunch of adventures, and ended up at home with his patiently waiting wife, sort of the Odyssey for little kids. What impressed me about it probably had nothing to do with the story itself.  I loved discovering that I could read an entire book with lots of chapters and very few pictures, all by myself. I was in second grade and felt very grown up! Who cared if I wasn’t very good at coloring between the lines . . . ? ? ?

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

Lots of things! Reading, sewing, machine embroidery (natch), eating (notice I didn’t say cooking),  going on long walks with my dogs, laughing with family and friends.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

A beach on Lake Erie

All of the beaches around Lake Erie can be interesting—especially in cold weather when there’s almost no one else there.

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

I don’t know. I fear she would need to be a comedienne.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

Vicky Bliss from books by Elizabeth Peters. I love her humor and the situations she gets into—and out of.

Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The suspense is incredible.

How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published? What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

I was in a car on my way to the Malice Domestic Conference when I was offered a three-book contract. I danced around the parking lot of the gas station, didn’t sleep at all that night, and then celebrated all weekend with friends at the conference. The timing was perfect!

The first time I saw Dire Threads on a shelf in a bookstore, I gasped and staggered backward, hand to heart. I had the same reaction when I saw it in a library, and when I saw someone carrying a copy to the cash register in a bookstore. It’s all very exciting, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite get used to it.

I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?

For Howard

His videos are hilarious, aren’t they?

I attended a session in which we were supposed to pitch librarians. Not physically pitch them, but talk to them for two minutes about our books. We had partners, and circulated from table to table. There were twenty tables.

At the eighteenth, I had a coughing fit. My partner, Howard Schrier, who is not only a super author but an actor as well, smoothly finished the pitch he’d heard from me seventeen times. I owe him.

What's the best thing about eBooks? What's the worst?

The best is how quickly one can buy a copy and start reading. The downside for me as a reader is that e-readers don’t smell, look, or feel like books. I suppose I can get used to that. Meanwhile, I have a lot of real books to read!

On Sale Now!

Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Janet. We appreciate the chance to get to know you a little better!

May your book sales do nothing but increase!


  1. Thanks for the interview. In case you're wondering, I'm making that face because my doggie just got me with that tongue.

    1. I've had some very special dogs in my life, and I recognized that facial expression, Janet! :-)

  2. I adore Garth Williams! His images were such a big part of my childhood (and I always get angry when I see what Walt Disney at al. have done with the same stories).

    Nice interview!

    1. Just looking at one of his illustrations gives me the warm fuzzies. Many of the best books I read as a small child were illustrated by him. When I think of Little House on the Prairie, I no more think of Michael Landon than I do of the man in the moon-- I think of Williams' wonderful art!

  3. Janet Bolin sounds like "just folks," a person I could talk and laugh with easily. I've put her on my list of authors to look for. Anyone whose dogs love her so much must be a winner!

    1. I agree, Barbara. I'm glad you've put her on your list!

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth. Thanks for stopping by!


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