MEOW! On our last interview/blog before our move to Phoenix, AZ, my guest is author S.C. Perkins!!!!
S.C. PERKINS is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up hearing fascinating stories of her ancestry and eating lots of great Tex-Mex. Her first book, Murder Once Removed, was the winner of the 2017 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery competition, and an Agatha Award nominee. She resides in Houston and, when she’s not writing, she’s likely outside in the sun or on the beach.
R: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Hi! I’m S.C. Perkins and I write the Ancestry Detective series, about a professional genealogist named Lucy Lancaster.
I’ve been a writer—in journalism, mostly—since high school and I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I’ve worked at several journalism-related jobs in my career, but finally decided to start my dream of writing novels back in 2005.
Before writing my debut cozy mystery, Murder Once Removed, I’d written one mystery that is as yet unpublished and then I self-published a romance novel. It was at a writers’ conference in Austin, Texas, in 2013 where I first got the idea for my cozy mystery series about a professional genealogist, and Lucy was born.
After much editing and rewriting, I submitted Murder Once Removed to the Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Novel Contest in 2016. I was just about to start querying agents in early 2017 when I got the call that Murder Once Removed won, and with it came a publishing contract! Murder Once Removed officially debuted in March of 2019.
R: Tell us about your latest release
My next release is titled Lineage Most Lethal, and it’s book two in the Ancestry Detective series. I’m so excited about this one because the genealogy is centered around World War II and espionage, which are two things that never fail to fascinate me. In Lineage Most Lethal we also get to meet Lucy’s favorite person in the whole world: her grandfather, who is a World War II veteran and may or may not be harboring a secret!
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
My writing must-haves are tea—usually Darjeeling and/or Earl Grey—snacks (a lot of them), and a level of quiet. I can work in public places, so I don’t need complete silence, but I’m distracted by too much noise, and, unfortunately, by music—basically because I love music and I generally end up singing instead of writing!
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
While I don’t romanticize war and would never want to have another war again if at all possible, I would still want to go back to the World War II era and work for the Office of Strategic Services. I think I would have been an excellent codebreaker—back when code breaking was done by humans and not computers, of course. I doubt if I’d make a good codebreaker in today’s world, but back during the wartime years? Heck, yeah, I would!
R: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
I generally write cozy and/or traditional mysteries, and I absolutely love them. I also like thrillers, historical mysteries, and historical fiction, all of which I would definitely consider writing.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser, big time. However, since I’m still new to the publishing game, I’ve had to learn to write a detailed synopsis for other books I’m pitching to my agents and publisher, so I have a mild plotter side to me now as well.
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
You can find me at www.scperkins.com and at @SCPerkinsWriter on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Write what makes you happy! But also go to writing conferences, submit to contests, get critiques (and learn to accept them with good grace), and, most of all, hire a qualified editor who deals with your book’s genre to do a thorough edit for your book. This can cost a lot of money, but it’s worth it—and it’s tax deductible to one level or another (ask your CPA for sure). Regardless, hire a good editor, trust them, and get used to being edited.
Get used to revising, too, sometimes even to the point of pulling apart whole scenes to your entire book. Learn to be as good of a rewriter as you are a writer and that will help you immensely.
R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I think I’d like to be a historian, antiques dealer, or an archeologist.
R: Are there any writers in particular that have influenced your style of writing?
Of recent authors, Rhys Bowen, Kate Carlisle, and Carolyn Haines have all influenced my writing. The late Dick Francis was also a huge influence and his books are still some of my favorites.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? DAY
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) CAT, but I love dogs too! R: Good answer, heh heh
Beach or Pool? BEACH
Steak or salad? STEAK
Favorite Drink? TEA, iced or hot
Favorite Book? THE DANGER by Dick Francis
Favorite TV Series? THE BIG BANG THEORY and DOWNTON ABBEY
Favorite Movie? WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Favorite Actor: CHRIS EVANS
Favorite Actress: KEELEY HAWES
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? DIRTY MARTINI
Hawaii or Alaska? HAWAII
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be TINA FEY
If I had one wish it would be: My wish would be to help our world be cleaner by reducing unneeded plastic creation and usage.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be: I’m happy with myself and can’t say there’s anyone I’d trade with for more than a day, but there’s several actors, performers, and athletes I’d trade places with for 24 hours, just to enjoy being able to do what they do, at their level.
This list includes Tina Fey, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dame Maggie Smith, a couple of ballet dancers, several show jumpers, and many Olympic athletes.
You can find S.C. at www.scperkins.com and at @SCPerkinsWriter on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
SC will give away a paperback copy of Murder Once Removed, my debut Ancestry Detective mystery! To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments column. Winner will be chosen at random by Maxx on Friday, March 27th.
Due to the human’s move to Phoenix the last week of March, we will resume our blog reviews and interviews in mid to late April! Watch the human’s newsletter and Facebook for announcement!
See you soon,meow!!!!!!