My Books!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Last week I had the good fortune to have Beth Trissel stop by the blog, and today I have a fabulous group of authors called MurderX5. The ladies in the group are Nancy Lindley-Gautheir, Norma Seely, Marie Held, Billie Williams, and Linda Suzane.

How'd they get that name? I'll let them tell you.

Thanks for reading!
Elaine Cantrell
Hope. Dreams. Life... Love

1. I understand that you are all working together to promote
your books, how did that happen?

LINDA: I sent out a request on a writer’s loop for help on
promoting. Nancy was one of the authors that responded. I
noticed from her sig line that she had a book coming out in
September, just as I did. I wrote her and we decided to work
together if possible to promote our books. Then we emailed
our editor to find out if there were any more mysteries being
published in September and it turned out that there were 5
of us, so we started emailing back and forth. We debated
about what to call ourselves and finally decided on

MurderX5 included Nancy Lindley-Gautheir - Offshore
Threat, Norma Seely - Maze of Secrets, Marie Held -
Savannah’s Secret, Billie Williams - Ancient Secrets, and
Linda Suzane - The Murder Game

2. Today Norma, Linda and Billie join us. Tell us a bit more
about MurderX5.

LINDA: We are a very varied group. Marie is a new writer,
Savannah’s Secret is her first book. As Billie says, she is
probably the most prolific author, most experienced at
promotion. Norma has been published for a long time with
major publishers, Doubleday and Avalon. Maze of Secrets is
her first book with an ePublisher. Nancy and I have several

While we are all mysteries, we vary there as well.
Savannah’s Secret and The Murder Game are romantic
mysteries. While Maze of Secrets is definitely a cozy. And
Offshore Threat is a suspense thriller. Ancient Secrets is a
paranormal mystery. Maze of Secrets and The Murder
Game both take place on the West Coast and involve old
mansions. Offshore Threat and Savannah’s Secret take
place of the East Coast and involve sailing. And Ancient
Secrets goes to deepest and definitely darkest Africa. I
thought it was interesting that three of the titles include the
word secret. We tried to think up a clever slogan and came
up with “Secrets, not a Game, definitely a Threat, one
Secret leads to more Secrets. Wings September Mysteries:
Maze of Secrets, The Murder Game, Off Shore Threat,
Savannah’s Secret, and Ancient Secrets.” Not really catchy,
but. . .

3. Did you always want to be a writer? How did you actually
get started?

NORMA: The first thing I remember writing was a play
performed in the 4th grade. As I recall it had something to
do with a missing pearl. The first step I took toward actually
being what I considered a writer, was to take a
correspondence course in writing.

BILLIE: I always told stories and made up scenarios for
playing games etc. I didn’t start writing seriously until I took
some college courses later on in life and found out I wasn’t a
grammar/creative writing failure after all. {smile} I had my
first piece of work published in 1998- Dandelion With Angel
Wings about my youngest daughter. Then I wrote Death by
Candlelight and got it published in 2001 – since then I have
twelve books with Wings ePress as well as others with other
publishers and a dozen or so more under a pseudonym I
use for romance writing.

LINDA: No, I didn’t always want to be a writer. It wasn’t until
after I was in college and married that I began writing. As a
child and young adult, I spent hours in my fantasy worlds.
Once I was married, in 1968, I thought I was too old and
mature to waste time just fantasizing, but writing legitimized
what I really enjoyed doing. When my husband was in
ministerial school, I started writing nonfiction and had my
first article published in Unity Magazine. Then after my
daughter was born in 1978, I began thinking about
becoming a professional writer, focusing on writing
romances, but the first novel I finished was a Star Trek
novel, The Addonian Affair, in 1983.

4.For you, what's the hardest part of writing? What's the

LINDA: Copy editing is probably my least favorite part of
writing. Since I am a perfectionist, it takes me a really long
time to finish the book and by the time I do, I am sick of it.
Easiest is when the creative flow takes over and the story
almost writes itself. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does
it is absolutely a wonderful experience.

BILLIE: I can’t say that any part of writing is hard –
marketing is hard for me because I’m intensely shy – but
writing I love it. I love to be paid to do what I love. Deciding
on characters to people my stories and doing their character
charts is the most fascinating part and my stories have a
tendency to hinge on them as much as, if not more then, plot
itself. So that is probably the easiest part, because I enjoy
doing it so much.

NORMA: The hardest part of writing? Sitting down at the
computer and not being side tracked. What's the easiest?
Telling stories.

5.Who are some of your favorite authors? Did any of them
influence your writing?

BILLIE: I have so many authors I admire for different
reasons. Stephen King is the world’s best at characterization
– and making you believe this person would do this thing.
Dorothy Branden, Elizabeth George, Marcia Golub, and
others make the how to of writing seem easy; Rachel Ballon
PH D shows you how to breathe life into your characters;
Patricia Cornwell, gets you to understand how a body
trauma reacts in time and space, Mary Higgins Clark will
show you a killer trail and make it an easy read, Dean
Koontz – shows you how to crank up the fear equation, Jude
Deveraux will give you an appreciation for the beauty of the
written word. As I said there are so many authors I love to
read that give me a handle on the craft of writing. And all of
them have influenced my writing to one degree or another. I
think the single best writing instructor is reading other
authors; the good, the bad, the downright ugly.

NORMA: So many of my favorite authors are long dead.
D.E. Stevenson, Agatha Christie, Clifford Simak. After just
having seen the Lipizzaner stallions perform I'm re-reading
Mary Stewart's "Airs Above the Ground". Did any of them
influence your writing? Both Christie and Stewart, because
I like to write both cozy mysteries and romantic suspense.

LINDA: Wow. I recognized some of the names, but not a lot.
More authors to go explore. For me, Frank Herbert’s DUNE
was one of the books and authors that most influenced me.
DUNE was the first adult book, the first science fiction I ever
read. The power of the writing created the world of Dune
and made it so vivid, so real. That has always been my
writing goal, to create worlds that the reader feels they are
living there and they don’t want to leave. Anne McCaffrey is
another world creator that I love. The Murder Game is a
case of trying to write about what I know, building the story
world through reality. I explore how we deal with grief and
disillusionment, as well as how to writer a murder mystery

6.Everyone thinks writers live glamorous lives. Describe
you typical writing day.

LINDA: As I spent a 6 year hiatus from writing due to ill
health, I am just trying to find a working pattern. My daughter
and son-in-law and 2 grandchildren live with us. Draven is 9
and Adrianna is 2. Unfortunately, that means I do a lot of
babysitting. And even when I am not actually babysitting,
since my so-called office is a corner of what used to be the
dining room, there is the constant noise of kids. I am finding
that earphones and loud music is my life savior. Because of
the pain of arthritis, my computer time is limited. Some days
are much better than others. The major problems is the pain
medications I must take. They numb my mind and stop my
ability to think or create. So when I have an arthritis flare up,
I can’t think to write, so I focus on tasks that don’t require
creativity. It is all a balance act. There is no way to plan,
there is no typical writing day. And it definitely isn’t

BILLIE: Up at 5 a.m. to write first in my journals, then on my
current WIP until 8 or so when hubby gets out of bed. Then I
fix breakfast for him. He goes and picks up the mail and I
spend half hour to an hour going through it. Then I type up
the writing I did long hand in the wee morning hours. Then I
check email; do laundry or whatever household or garden
chore needs to be done. By then it’s lunch time. After lunch I
usually spend more writing and marketing time on the
computer. Until about 3 or 3:30 when I take a break and
watch Judge Judy and the news and do supper/diner.
Evenings are more writing or marketing since I have several
publishers I need to spend time on those author’s loops,
chats, marketing and promotion for each. It takes the rest of
my day. I’m an early to bed person so by 10 p.m. if I didn’t have
to go to work that day I’m in bed. I work part time which can
be from 41/2 to 40 some hours a week.

NORMA: Breakfast, walking the dogs, 45 minutes of
exercises to keep me mobile and then I sit down at the
computer and write. That is on the days I don't work part

7.What genre do you write in? What are you working on

NORMA: What genre do I write in? Mostly mystery.
Although I'm currently polishing a children's fantasy and a
non-fiction article on ghost-hunting.

LINDA: Right now I am focusing on learning how to market
myself and my books. I had just gotten my 3 books
published when I got sick six years ago. I did no publicity
and as a result the sales of the books were dismal, so
dismal my two other publishers dropped my books, so I
approached Wings ePress about reprinting them. THE
MURDER GAME is my first romance, and probably my last. I
don’t like having to fit into the strict romance mold, although
I enjoy writing about romantic relationships and I’m pretty
good at sex scenes. But I definitely like writing mysteries.
EYES OF TRUTH is a fantasy mystery, one of a series of
stories based in an oriental style fantasy world, the Kingdom
of Naj, and will be reprinted in January 2009. CAPTIVITY,
DARKHOUR VAMPIRES VOL 1, also published by Wings
ePress, is the first in a series of vampire novels. I have just
begun working again on the second in the series.
FREEDOM is pretty close to being finished and hopefully
will be accepted for publication by Wings ePress, too.

BILLIE: I write in many genres, from mystery/suspense, to
adventure, YA, Poetry, Romantic Suspense, paranormal
suspense non-fiction — I haven’t tried Sci Fi or Fantasy yet
though I admire writers who can do that whole world building
thing and I would like to write a children’s book. Right now
I’m working on two novels. Mansfield Park Secrets for my
secrets series with Wings, as well as a book 5 in the Zodiac
series for Wings both of these are mystery/suspense. I am
working on the second book in the Purple Feather Murders
series, a Romantic Suspense with a bit of sizzle for

LINDA: I would classify Ancient Secrets as fantasy, what
they call urban fantasy, which deals with magic in the
modern world. The necklace in Ancient Secrets is definitely
magical as is the Goddess Ebony. So you can’t say you
don’t write fantasy. But I admit, it doesn’t have any dwarfs or
dragons or sword fighting.

8. Tell us more about your books. Do include a buy link for
your new release.

All 5 books can be bought from They
will eventually be available from and But buy them direct from Wings ePress.
They cost less and we poor authors don’t have to split our
royalties with middlemen.

Nancy Lindley-Gautheir
Offshore Threat (Thriller)
A coast guard officer must find who killed a young girl
as well as protect national security. Mysterious adventure on
the high seas.

Norma Seely
Maze of Secrets (Cozy)
Irmajean Lloyd, volunteer gardener at historic
Rosewood Estate, thinks there's nothing more deadly in the
garden than black spot on the roses. The murder of the
estate's director soon changes her mind.

Marie Held
Savannah’s Secret (Romantic Suspense)
Curiosity about an explosion in an old house in
Savannah leads Serena to do a title search which draws the
deadly attention of others.

Billie Williams
Ancient Secrets (Paranormal Mystery)
Sorcery, jealousy, legends rivaling an Indiana Jones
tale drags three unlikely adventurers to the South African
jungles, where there is no guarantee of survival.

Linda Suzane
The Murder Game (Romantic Mystery)
Gwen loved creating murder mystery games until
someone used her game to commit a real murder and left
her the prime suspect.

6.Give us your links so we can find you on the web

You can find MurderX5 at On Wings of Murder

Linda Suzane’s homepage
Billie A. Williams homepage
Norma Seely homepage
Nancy A. Lindley-Gauthier homepage
Marie Held homepage (none)

Ladies, thanks for stopping by. I think it's great that you're doing promotions as a group, and I'm looking forward to reading your work.


Tamara B. said...

Thank-you for the wonderful links to the other authors on your posting on 9/26/08. Very interesting how they got their name MurderX5. Also enjoyed reading the reviews of Purple Heart Congratulations on another excellent book! Love the train case :)

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tamara. MurderX5 has some really great authors in it.


Vicki M. Taylor said...

Hi Elaine, I stopped by your blog to see you. Loved your interview of the MurderX5. Very thorough. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Unknown said...

Thanks Elaine for allowing us space on your blog it was great fun - even though I have a new pseudonym - I will have to create some news around her - that evasive Billie Newman person.
Thanks again