FELICIA WATSON – Life Long Writer

Felicia Watson, author of the ground-breaking romance Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela and the award-winning sci-fi novels, The Lovelace Series, started writing stories as soon as they handed her a pencil in first grade. She’s especially drawn to character-driven tales, where we see people we recognize, people who struggle with their mistakes and shortcomings, acknowledge them, and use that knowledge to grow into wiser human beings.

Where No One Will See:  Lucia Scafetti, a Philly private eye, has tried to move out of the shadow of her infamous crime family. But her life is upended when her notorious hitman father disappears while in search of the diamond he stole from his last victim. Lucia races to unravel the mystery of her father’s disappearance before a crooked and powerful cop beats her to it. Though Lucia’s allies are scanty and her enemies numerous, she tries to resist the questionable help on offer from her Mafiosi family. It looks like Lucia must finally decide on which side of the law she truly belongs, knowing the wrong choice could send her to prison – or an early grave.

Where No One Will See won Gold in the 2023 CIPA EVVYs, Mystery/Crime/Detective Category. The CIPA EVVYs are one of the longest-running book award competitions on the Indie publishing scene, running for nearly 29 years. The annual contest is sponsored by the Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA), along with the CIPA Education and Literacy Foundation (ELF).

Do you write in more than one genre? I’ve written in three (romance, sci-fi, and now crime/mystery) genres. I read voraciously, almost every genre except horror, so I’m prompted to write in more than one genre.

What brought you to writing? I’m a born storyteller and love reading, so writing was a natural outcome of that. As soon as I started reading books in first grade, I couldn’t wait to tell my own stories, and I’ve been writing ever since.

Tell us about your writing process: I’m the plotiest plotter who ever plotted. My process is to ruminate on the story until I have my MC, their motivation, and a theme. From that, I write out a short plot summary. I do my research and then write a chapter-by-chapter outline. If scenes or snippets of dialogue come to me, then I stick them into the appropriate chapter as I outline. Next I make a calendar and plan out the plot beats on it and make sure the timing makes sense. Then, I write character sketches for all major characters and draw maps for important locations. Finally, I start to write. As I write, things always change, so I go back and update the outline and calendar, always saving copies of past versions.

What is the most challenging part of your writing process? I tend to under-write my first draft. Especially when it comes to visual description. I’m big on dialogue. I hear my characters more than I see them, so my first big edit involves fleshing out a lot of details.

What are you currently working on? I’m putting the finishing touches on the sequel to ‘Where No One Will See‘ and starting the process for the 3rd book in the Scaffeti mystery series.

Who’s your favorite author? I have three very different authors I love: Ursula K. Le Guin, Jane Austen, and Hunter S. Thompson. If forced to choose, I’d pick Le Guin.

We hear of strong-willed characters. Do yours behave or run wild? They generally behave, but there have been times when I’ve tried to write a character doing or saying something that goes against their nature (to serve the plot), and I always get bogged down in those scenes. Once I figure out the problem, I have to re-write because if you know your characters, staying true to that knowledge is essential for portraying well-rounded people.

Do your protagonists ever disappoint you? No, but I did have a secondary character who did. I initially wrote him as the support for my MC in a moment of deep anguish before realizing he’d actually be angry at her and had no support at all in that moment. One of my beta readers even said he was disappointed in the character but felt the scene was true to his nature.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew to enjoy? That’s such a great question. One for me would be C. J. Cherryh. I think I was a little too young when I first tackled ‘Brothers of Earth‘ and found it slow-going. I wrote her off until ‘Downbelow Station‘ won the Hugo Award in 1982, and I decided to give her another chance. I had matured enough as a reader to be enthralled by her emphasis on character rather than action. In fact, Cherryh probably paved the way to my appreciation for Le Guin.

Looking to the future, what’s in store for you? I plan to finish my 3rd mystery novel and then return to my sci-fi series. There are so many stories left to tell there.

Do you have any advice for new writers? My advice is the same as, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Practice, practice, practice. There’s nothing like practice to improve your writing. Find a low-stakes arena (a class, a writing group, fanfiction) and experiment with everything: tragedy, comedy, erotica, slice of life, thrillers, all dialogue, no dialogue, drabbles, short stories, novels. Get feedback on everything you produce and listen to that feedback.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and your books? I love hearing from my readers! Comments, questions, concerns, or complaints – hit me up!

Contact info is:
e-mail: feliciatheauthor594@gmail.com
website: https://www.feliciawatsonwrites.com

Buy links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Where-No-One-Will-See-ebook/dp/B0BRYFJPNX
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/where-no-one-will-see-felicia-watson/1142863199
Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/p/books/where-no-one-will-see-felicia-watson/19574693
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/where-no-one-will-see/id6445343642

 

5 Comments

  1. carol willis

    I am encouraged that you write across genres. I’ve also written everything from psychological thriller, mystery, and romance, to sci-fi and everything in between. And I agree with you: There are so many stories to tell! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Felicia Watson

      That’s great to hear, Carol. I think there are a lot more of us multi-genre authors than people realize. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Reply
  2. Felicia Watson

    George,

    Many thanks for featuring me on your blog!

    Felicia

    Reply
  3. Felicia Watson

    Thanks, Michael – good to hear from a fellow plotter!

    Reply
  4. Michael A. Black

    Your writing process sounds a lot like mine, Felicia. Congratulations on the new book and best of luck to you. I’ll keep an eye out for your stuff.

    Reply

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ERICA WYNTERS – Marriage and Family Therapist – Romance Writer

Erica Wynters is the author of Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder, the first book of the Camelot Flowers Mystery series. She’s also written four novellas making up the series Alexandra Briggs Mysteries. She may have lived most of her life in the frigid Midwest, but now she spends her time in the warmth and sunshine of Arizona. She loves hiking, hunting down waterfalls in the desert, reading (of course), and napping. Can napping be considered a hobby? When not weaving tales of mystery with plenty of quirky characters, laughs, and a dash of romance, Erica works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, helping others find their Happily Ever Afters.

Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder: Gwen Stevens will do just about anything to prove she’s ready to take the reins of the family business Camelot Flowers. But when Gwen stumbles on the dead body of a high school friend, everything else in her life suddenly takes a backseat. Between a corpse, an attraction to two different inconvenient men, and a slew of suspects, can Gwen find the killer…before they have her pushing up daisies?

Do you write in more than one genre? I write cozy mysteries and romantic suspense, but all of my books share some common themes. There is always a love story, there is always some crime committed that must be solved, and there is always a happy ending. I love the combination of romance and mystery or suspense together. I wouldn’t want to write one without the other.

What are you currently working on? I’m writing the second book in my Camelot Flowers Mystery series. It was an exciting day when my publisher contacted my agent to ask if I’d be interested in writing a second book in the series. I immediately said yes. Without giving too much away, this book has all the charm and fun of the first book, Marigolds, Mischief, and Murder. There’s development in the love triangle between Gwen, Finn, and Chris. There’s a murder to be solved, and as always, someone Gwen cares about is the main suspect, which drives her to become involved in the investigation.

Has an association membership helped you with your writing? A month after finishing my first novel, I discovered the Romance Writers of America. I was so new to writing that I hadn’t even realized I’d just written a romance novel. So many of my preconceived notions were around historical romances with bare-chested men on the cover. At the time, I had no idea so many wonderful subgenres of romance existed. Joining my local chapter of Romance Writers of America was a game-changer. I met many generous authors who shared their wisdom, gave me advice, and cheered me along on this journey. It’s also where I met my first critique partner. I always tell new writers how important it is to find a writing community. I believe it’s hard to grow as a writer without feedback, and it is discouraging to walk the journey of being a writer alone. We need critique partners and cheerleaders; if those two roles can be combined, then even better.

How long did it take you to write your first book? I wrote my first book in just three weeks! I hadn’t even intended to write a book. The night before, I’d had a dream that I couldn’t get out of my head. By that night, I was still thinking about it. So, with my husband and my kids in bed, I sat down with my computer and told myself that I was going to write out the dream. It seemed like a good idea for a book, but I had no intention of doing anything more than getting that dream out of my head. Three weeks later, I had a finished novel. I spent every free moment I had writing, including too many late nights. It’s impractical to write a book that fast all the time. It takes me about three months now, but it was a fun experience and got me hooked on the excitement of watching a story unfold on the page.

Looking to the future, what’s in store for you? The second book in my Camelot Flowers Mystery series will come out next spring. I also have a romantic suspense set in New York City with a publisher, and it will hopefully come out in 2024. I’m also working to get a four-book series published soon. The series is romantic suspense and follows four best friends living in Chicago. Each friend has her own book, love story, and dangerous situation she has to overcome.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and your books? Besides being an author, I am a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in codependency and trauma. Because of that, all the romances in my books are healthy representations of relationships. It doesn’t mean couples never have problems, but those problems are never dealt with in a toxic way. Sometimes romance novels can romanticize, for lack of a better word, behavior that is fundamentally unhealthy or toxic. I don’t believe that’s necessary for a compelling romance. I want my books to show a healthier path to love.

Book Link: http://bit.ly/43yWzEe
Website: www.ericawynters.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ericawynters
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ericawyntersbooks

 

6 Comments

  1. Juliet

    I loved Marigolds, Mischief and Murder. Very excited for the next book in the series and excited to hear about all the other books coming. It’s wonderful she uses her expertise to write about healthy relationships.

    Reply
    • Erica Wynters

      Thanks, Juliet. I’m so glad you loved the book!!

      Reply
  2. Michael A. Black

    Congratulations on your success, Erica. Writing a book in 3 weeks is awesome. Keep it going.

    Reply
    • Erica Wynters

      Thanks, Michael! I didn’t do much else during those three weeks but write. My family was incredibly understanding!

      Reply
  3. jill amadio

    Erica Winters is commendable for usinf her books to send a message. Readers can take heed of her characters’ situations. As a therapist, Erica is in a great position to offer advice in her subtle way.

    Reply

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