A guest blog from my agent and friend, Lois Winston. You’ll see that we share a lot more than what’s discussed at business meetings.
My mother never should have had children. However, she was of a generation where it was expected that married couples produce two, three, four, or more offspring, and she did. Unfortunately, none of us was ever wanted. My mother’s birth control would mysteriously fail every time she suspected my father of having an affair. Being an “honorable” sort (and I use that word in the loosest of terms,) my father would then end the affair—until the next time. I was a rather precocious child, and I figured all of this out myself by the time I was ten years old.
Consequently, my siblings and I grew up in a home that was nothing like what was depicted on family sitcoms of the sixties. In a time of great prosperity in this country, my father lost one job after another because of his temper and arrogance and often took his frustrations out on us. When he was working, he spent most of his money on his girlfriends. My mother was so bent on keeping him from walking out on her that we children often went to bed hungry so that she could afford to serve him steak dinners. Love wasn’t in short supply in our family; it was nonexistent.
I’m not telling you all of this to garner sympathy. My childhood made me the person I am today, and for that I have few regrets. I took the adversity of my childhood and rose above it. I also took my life experiences and channeled them into my writing.
Those of you familiar with my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series may be wondering how that could be. After all, I write humorous amateur sleuth mysteries, and there was nothing humorous about my upbringing. Humor has great healing power, though. Scientists have discovered a direct correlation between laughter and the release of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones of our body. The more we laugh, the better we feel. I choose to laugh, and I choose to write books that I hope will make other people laugh because whether you had an upbringing like mine or not, there’s so much crap going on in the world right now, that we all need as many feel good hormones coursing through our bodies as possible.
I’ve also discovered the cathartic power of revenge—not actual revenge that could land me in prison, but the kind I can produce on the pages of my books. Basing villainous characters on certain family members has a healing power all its own. In my novel world, unlike the real world, the bad guys always wind up paying for their crimes.
One such character is one of the murder victims in my recently released A Stitch to Die For, the fifth full-length book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series. If you’ve read any of my interviews or guest blogs over the last few years, you know that Lucille, Anastasia’s communist mother-in-law, closely resembles my own communist mother-in-law. However, several of the antagonists that have populated my books, both my mysteries and my romances, are drawn from people who were less than kind to me throughout my life. I’m just keeping mum about which characters and which books. You’ll have to figure those out for yourself.
A Stitch to Die For
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 5
The adventures of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack continue in A Stitch to Die For, the 5th book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Lois Winston.
Ever since her husband died and left her in debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan, magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack has stumbled across one dead body after another—but always in work-related settings. When a killer targets the elderly nasty neighbor who lives across the street from her, murder strikes too close to home. Couple that with a series of unsettling events days before Halloween, and Anastasia begins to wonder if someone is sending her a deadly message.
Bio: USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Follow everyone on Tsu at www.tsu.co/loiswinston, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anasleuth, and onTwitter @anasleuth. Sign up for her newsletter at https://www.MyAuthorBiz.com/ENewsletter.php?acct=LW2467152513