THE PERFECT WRITING ENVIRONMENT

At book talks, I’m often asked when I like to write. Well, there’s no set schedule. I typically write each morning, although I’ve gotten plenty of great work done at night and on weekends. And yes, there are times when I wake up in the middle of the night with what I think is a killer idea and go right to the computer.

As to my preferred writing environment, I have a home office. Back in 2004 when my second novel, Dead Air, was brand new, Gary Pettus of The Clarion Ledger interviewed me and described the office as “…bristling with posters and memorabilia linked to Lee’s Muses, including the Three B’s: the (Mississippi State University) Bulldogs, the (Atlanta) Braves, and the Beatles.”



I had the paper football goalposts up in case interviewer Gary Pettus ran out of questions. Photo taken by Joe Ellis.


I was told once that such an environment was NOT conducive to “good” writing, whatever that is. Well, forget that. My advice: write in a place where you’re comfortable. I like my office. There are pictures of my family in here, stuff on the walls I enjoy looking at, and my computer is in here. There are folks who write on their laptops and blackberries and iPhones. Not me. I do my best work at my computer, in my office, with my Bulldogs and Braves and Beatles posters and memorabilia on the walls, as well as other trinkets and artifacts that I’ve collected over a decade of writing and publishing books.

Our latest addition to the Dogwood Press team, Valerie Winn, has crisscrossed Mississippi in recent weeks and has sold oodles of copies of her fantastic debut, Forsaking Mimosa. In addition to being a quality writer, Valerie is a gifted artist and a talented photographer. She asked if I had any preferences when she went to stores to do book signings, and I always tell our authors to be ready to hand out brochures and bookmarks. As to decorating her workspace, I told her to have fun with it, and she does, as you see here.



Valerie’s signing table at Miner’s in Ocean Springs, MS, on May 26

We’re still getting great mileage from Valerie’s interview with Marshall Ramsey on Super Talk 97.3 FM in Jackson on April 3, the day she was in Jackson for her Lemuria event. Super Talk is statewide, and Marshall, in addition to being a fantastic talent himself (he’s the award-winning editorial cartoonist for The Clarion Ledger and his work is syndicated in newspapers all over the country), is a really nice guy. That was one of Valerie’s very first interviews, and he made her feel at home and did his usual great job.



Testing…one, two, three…is this on?

And we had our usual fun time at Cajun Fest, which takes place each spring at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Madison, MS. I have the Dogwood Press tent out there each year and always enjoy visiting with folks and selling a few books. The challenge for me is to keep from spilling any of the delicious food on my books!



Of course I’ll sign that for you. And if you buy all the books, you get the table free!

 The next Dogwood Press title is my new novel, the suspense thriller Last Chance Texaco. It’s Volume IV of my Oakdale series and will be released at the beginning of October. I’m very excited about this one, and we also can’t wait for the next John Floyd collection of mystery stories, Deception. Watch for that one in spring 2013.

Finally, I want to recommend a book I edited for a couple of friends of mine. Noraine Moree and Dave Berry have teamed up to write White Shirts, which is a non-fiction account of the tragic Kenneth Tornes workplace shootings which took place at Central Fire Station in Jackson, MS, in April 1996. This book will be available in mid-June and is a very powerful story of tragedy and forgiveness. For signed copies and/or a way to contact the authors about speaking appearances, visit http://www.cannon-ridge-publishing.com/. 




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