ONE OF US
At 35, children’s book author Roxi Carlucci finds herself starting over again after her publisher drops her book series. With no income, she has to pack up her life on the California Coast, along with her pet rat Merlin, and move in with her cousin, P.I. Stephen Carlucci, who lives in Fresno, CA. The one redeeming factor is that Stephen lives in the Tower District—the cultural oasis of Fresno.
and now, ROCCO interviews Lorie Lewis-Ham!
- Tell us a little about your background-
Answer: My background in writing goes way back. I have been writing ever since I was able to write my first sentence. My first song and poem were published when I was 13, and I have published many short stories and articles through the years, worked for a local newspaper off and on, and have published 6 mystery novels-the latest of which came out in 2021. For the past 12 years, I have been the editor-in-chief and publisher of Kings River Life Magazine, and produced Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast for the past 4 years.
- Tell us a bit about your latest book
Answer: My latest book, One of Us, is the first in a brand new series called the Tower District Mysteries. Here is the back cover blurb-
At 35, children’s book author Roxi Carlucci finds
herself starting over again after her publisher drops her book series. With no
income, she has to pack up her life on the
Stephen talks Roxi into helping out with a community
theatre production, which is also a
fundraiser for a local animal rescue. Then someone is murdered during a rehearsal in the locked theatre, and now she and Stephen are hired to find the killer. Can they stop the killer before they strike again? The killer has to be one of Roxi’s new acquaintances since the theatre was locked at the time of the murder, but no one seems to have a motive. How can they solve a murder without a motive? Could the local gossip website hold any clues?
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
Answer: I start out with some basic ideas and then build on them as I work on the first draft—the characters kind of develop as the story does. My main character Roxi though I have been working on for years, she made her first appearance in the last book of my other series, “The Final Note,” which came out 12 years ago. I have several pages of information on her but that too grew and changed as I wrote the first book. The main character in my first series was a lot like me, I wanted Roxi to be different. So I’m short she is tall, and she is much braver and more of a risk taker than I am.
- How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
Answer: Definitely a pantser!
- Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
Answer: As a reader I think the main character is the most important—if I don’t care about them and find them interesting then I won’t keep reading in most cases. However, as a writer I would say they are almost equal. Even the best character in the world can’t carry a boring plot.
- What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
Answer: I am working on the second book in my series that I hope will be out next year. I don’t have a title yet but it is set at Halloween and involves a mystery book festival.
My hope is to keep writing Roxi books for some time.
- What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Answer: Well if they are new to my writing with this book (I took a 12 year break from writing mysteries) then they may not know that I used to be a gospel singer. I started when I was 12 and sang until about ten years ago. I also wrote most of my own songs.
- Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Answer: You can learn all about my book on my website. There are review quotes, links to purchase it and other info https://www.mysteryrat.com/
ROCCO’s Fast Five:
- What’s something that’s always in your fridge? Pepsi
- What skill have you always wanted to learn? Martial Arts
- What food do you wish was calorie free? Ice Cream
- What celebrity are you dying to meet (or have met)? Nathan Fillion or Jared Padalecki
- Where can readers find you?
Instagram @krlmagazine (I share it with the magazine)
Twitter @mysteryrat https://twitter.com/mysteryrat
On Facebook I can be found at KRL’s Mystery Facebook group
Thank you for a great interview, Lorie!
Lorie will give away an ebook copy of One of Us through Bookfunnel. To enter, leave your name and e-mail address in our comments section! Winner will be chosen at random. Contest is open to all and ends midnight, May 24.