Let me start the day with a special thank you for inviting me to your blog. Readers, be sure to join in with any questions or comments you may have. One lucky commenter will win a $25.00 Amazon gift certificate at the end of my Sizzling Hot Blog Tour.
Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?
Mal: Way back when, I was born at my grandmother’s house in Beloit, Wisconsin. I haven’t strayed far from my birthplace, having spent four years across the border in northern Illinois when I was first married, and then it was back to southern Wisconsin. You’ll notice blustery Wisconsin winter weather and prominent Milwaukee locations in my debut novel Shadow of Deceit as well as in my free short story Danger Zone, available on my website or at amazon.com.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?
Mal: My childhood vocational aspirations haven’t affected my writing career as of yet, but perhaps they will spark a vocation for a character in one of my future stories. While I was growing up, I had numerous career aspirations: movie actress, lawyer, astronomer, to name a few.
Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
Mal: My latest book is my debut novel. Shadow of Deceit is a romantic suspense filled with non-stop action, hot and sexy characters, betrayal, smokin’ romance, and a thrilling plot. On the two-year anniversary of a car accident that robbed Shannon Riedel of her husband and infant son, a gunman breaks into her office and accuses her husband of swindling a half million dollars from him. When FBI agent Tony Crazaniak, an ex-Delta Force Operative with demons of his own, shows up to investigate, sexual heat sizzles. They collaborate to unearth secrets Shannon’s husband left behind—secrets connected to a terrorist leader Crazaniak has vowed to take down. With danger surrounding them, two emotionally wounded souls bond, but can they put their demons to rest and trust in love? Can they survive long enough to find out? ~ My work in progress is another RS involving a Lieutenant Deputy Sheriff and his “off limits” new recruit. Too Sexy For His Stetson is set in the mountains of Idaho.
Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
Mal: Yes, I often get the spark for a story from news articles. Many of you will recognize an article that set my creative juices into motion for my free short story Me and Brad, a feel-good romance with a canine twist.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Mal: Writing is hard! Every aspect is challenging for me because I want to do everything right. Plotting a good suspense story that has no holes is at the top of my list of challenges.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Mal: Never give up. To quote J. A. Konrath: “There’s a name for writers who never give up. Published.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Mal: Not heavy-duty- can’t-think-of-a-word-to-put-on-paper-writer’s-block. But sometimes I’ll get stuck on a scene or where to go with the plot. Then I move to something else for a while like editing previous chapters or working on promotion.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Mal: If I have to pick one favorite, it would be Suzanne Brockmann. Love those SEALS, and she was the first author (that I discovered) to write about our beloved Navy heroes. No one creates characters like Suzanne Brockmann.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
Mal: After feeling dejected and questioning if I should continue to write, I tell myself all of the things that support groups point out: There are many reasons why an editor rejects a book. Don’t give up. Learn from any feedback they may give you.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Mal: I need my computer, and some inspiration—as in, reading just a couple of passages from a book that’s brimming with fresh writing. That gets me going in the morning.
Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
Mal: I don’t have any preset lines. My own personal comfort level usually dictates. I don’t write erotica, however, I like to make the romance in my stories hot and spicy, but tasteful.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
Mal: This may not be weird, but it was an adventure. I took a twelve week Citizen’s Academy course with my local Sheriff’s Department, which included (to name a few): hands-on target practice with a Glock 22, participation in scenario training with real live deputies acting out a situation in which I had to decide: Shoot or Don’t Shoot, a visit to the morgue, the courthouse, the jail, communications center, evidence storage area, a demonstration by the SWAT Team, the K-9 unit, and the Dive Team. The entire program was an awesome experience, and it helped me breathe life into the law enforcers that show up in my stories.
Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
Mal: My website: www.malolson.com ~ To find Shadow of Deceit, in paperback of ebook, go to TheWildRosePress.com or amazon.com. Also available at most ebook publishers.