Thursday, July 10, 2014

Today’s Guest Blogger Is Lois Winston

Lois Winston
I recently attended a family reunion for my husband’s maternal side of the family. Most of the attendees had multiple, higher-education degrees from Ivy League colleges. Some were classical and jazz musicians. One was a composer. Another, an award-winning movie and TV producer and writer with a gazillion credits to his name, including Emmys and a Peabody award.

I had never previously met many of the attendees because my husband’s aunt, who had organized the shindig, had also invited people from her ex-husband’s side of the family. So there were lots of introductions being made at the onset of the banquet.

I’ve found there’s a segment of the population that is always more interested in telling you about themselves than asking anything about you. Many of these people fell into that category. After I politely listened to much bragging (covering up my boredom with a fake smile pasted across my face and the occasional nod of interest,) someone finally turned to me and asked, “And what do you do?”

With a completely serious expression I said, “I kill people for a living.”

Jaws dropped. Sideways glances were exchanged. Dialogue thought bubbles popped up above people’s head, reading, “Is she kidding?”

Eventually, I explained that I wrote a mysteries. Now these are Jonathan Franzen-type people, the kind who only read literary fiction. But to the credit of a few, I was asked about my books and even had a couple of people pull out their smart phones and jot down a title or two. Would they eventually buy one of my books, or were they simply being polite? I’ll probably never know because chances are slim I’ll ever see these people again.

However, you never know. Maybe…just maybe…that award-winning TV and movie producer/writer just might want to pick up the option on one of my series. Hope springs eternal…

Award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, 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.” Definitely Dead, the first book in her new Empty Nest Mystery series, was recently released.
Gracie Elliott-New Empty-Nester Series 
In addition, Lois is a literary agent and 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 and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, Follow everyone on Twitter:

Definitely Dead
Book One in the Empty Nest Mystery series

An homage to Dashell Hammet’s Thin Man movies with a modern day spin on Nick and Nora Charles

When her career is outsourced to Asia, fledgling romance author and empty-nester Gracie Elliott wants a job that will allow her time to write. So she opens Relatively Speaking, becoming a wing woman to the senior set. Since her clients need several hours each morning to find their teeth, lube their creaky joints, and deal with lower GI necessities, and they always turn in after the early bird specials, she has plenty of time to pen her future bestsellers.

Gracie deliberately avoids mentioning her new business venture to husband Blake until after she signs her first client. Blake joins the company as a not-so-silent partner, tagging along to make sure Gracie doesn’t cause a septuagenarian uprising. When Client #13 is found murdered in the parking lot behind the Moose Lodge, Gracie knows, no matter how much Blake protests otherwise, she can’t wait around for the police to find the killer if she wants to save her livelihood.

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Susan said...

Lois, I love the way your mind works. I've been using that 'I kill people' line for years and just love the results. Eyes widen, some take an involuntary step back - it's great fun. Except for the time a man very seriously asked me if he could talk to me about doing some work for him. He was creepy. Susan, aka Janis Patterson

Rose Anderson said...

lol that's cute.

Kathye Quick said...

Since I am getting "up there", I may need Gracie myself - LOL

Sounds like a great series, Lois. Mega sales to you.

Jackie King said...

Lois, Thanks a million for being my guest blogger today. I smiled all the way through this post. And we're all looking forward to meeting Gracie between the pages of your latest mystery.

Susan Oleksiw said...

I loved your response at the party. I'm now retired but when I had a hard day at work I once said, I'm going home to kill someone. The president of the board of directors heard me and had the appropriately shocked look on his face. Now he tells everyone what I said. It does jolt people back to reality. If your series is as funny and clever as you, we look forward to your great success.

Lois Winston said...

Susan, you should have taken him up on it, then called the FBI. He probably hired someone else.

Rose, thanks for stopping by!

Hey, Kathye, do I need to remind you that you're married??? ;-)

Thanks for inviting me, Jackie!

Susan O., I think I became a mystery writer because there were so many people I wanted to kill. Doing it on paper is a lot safer. Keeps me out of jail! ;-)

Angela Adams said...

Great story.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Angela!

Lois Winston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marja said...

Thanks for brightening my morning, Lois. I'll have to borrow that line once in a while. I hope the movie guy takes a chance and reads one of the books. You never know what could happen. : )
Marja McGraw

Janice Seagraves said...

LOL. That's funny.


Susan Sundwall said...

Oh, I just love this. I'll borrow that line, too. I'd steal it but since you're an admitted killer that's probably not the way to go. When do you want it back?

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Marja. I'm not holding my breath re the movie/TV guy. He's 93 and retired. But you never know...

Glad I could give you a laugh, Janice. Thanks for stopping by.

Susan, you're welcome to borrow the line any time. I promise I won't shoot. ;-)

Unknown said...

Hey Lois,
Love that line. I tell people at work who annoy me I am going to create a character with there name and then give them a slow painful death :)
Being an author is such fun!
Best wishes

Lois Winston said...

Janet, I have a shirt that says, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel."

ElaineCharton said...

I love that line! I may have to use it.
I had a supervisor once who told everyone if they get me angry they'd end up in my book. I smiled sweetly and added, usually dead.

Good llluck with the new series, can't wait to read it.

Lois Winston said...

Feel free to borrow the line, Elaine. And thanks for stopping by. Hope you enjoy the new series. I had a blast writing about Gracie.

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