Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I've had the pleasure of getting to know Diane Dimond, acclaimed journalist and author, recently.  We enjoy spirited games of "Words with Friends" on Facebook.  She was kind and generous enough to agree to an interview.  Thank you, Diane!!

I remember first seeing you on Court TV and wonder how you got your start.  Did you always want to be a journalist?  
I started in the business in Albuquerque, NM. My best friend’s dad owned the local CBS radio and TV station and I got a job there answering the phones on the week-ends in high school. I naturally gravitated back to the newsroom because that’s where all the action was! 

Ultimately, I became the morning newscaster on the radio – and in the afternoon I covered the cops beat. I won a big award (American Bar Assoc’n Silver Gavel Award) for revealing corruption within the local Sheriff’s Department – and THAT helped me get a job at National Public Radio in Washington, DC.  I was the newscaster on the program, ‘All Things Considered’ for many years. Then, missing being a reporter (who wants to be stuck behind a desk, right?) I jumped to the RKO Radio Networks and became the Capitol Hill reporter. I also covered the White House, Pentagon, national political conventions – you name it.  Stayed there about six years and then figured if I was ever going to try TV I better snap to it.  I was 27 years old, a single mother and I was flabbergasted that WCBS-TV in New York offered me a job. I covered New Jersey for the station.

Next stop was a very short stint at Fox TV (it wasn’t even really a network then) where I did a pilot for a 60-minutes type show. That never got picked up but I was under contract so they put me on “A Current Affair” with Maury Povich. I liked the longer pieces I was able to produce there and when the boss jumped ship to launch “Hard Copy” he took me with him. 

We spent most of the 90’s living in Hollywood, California. My husband (yes, I re-married) is a radio anchorman at CBS in New York - and when we moved to Ca. he worked for station KFWB. While at “Hard Copy”, in late 1993,  I broke what was my biggest story:  The Michael Jackson molestation case. I also got to travel the country interviewing crazy inmates like James Earl Ray, Kenneth Bianchi (Hillside Strangler), Pamela Smart, Richard Allen Davis and Jeffrey McDonald. 

 In the late 90’s Geraldo called me and lured me to come back East to do a nightly newscast with him on CNBC called “Upfront Tonight.” After two years he lost interest and NBC transferred me to MSNBC where I anchored day-time hours, hosted a crime show called “Missing Persons” and ultimately was assigned to cover Al Gore during the disputed Presidential race. (I stood outside the Vice Presidents mansion in DC for 33 days waiting for that damned chad recount!)  

After that I was exhausted and decided to take some time off.  The only thing I did was a little freelance at Court TV, sitting in for Catherine Crier when she took time off. Shortly thereafter the tragedy of 9-11 happened – and I didn’t work for any bona fide news department anymore!! It was maddening.  But my old acquaintance Roger Ailes called me and asked if I would come fill in as an anchor on Fox News as he was sending all of his anchors overseas to cover the American response to the 9-11 attacks.  I did double duty at Court TV and Fox for about a year.  Then Court TV hired me – and well, you know the rest.  It was there I re-broke the Michael Jackson molestation story.  I had a duel contract with Court TV and NBC (The Today Show & Dateline) during the run-up to the trial and for about a year beyond.  You can see my full resume at my web site – www.dianedimond.net

Who were some of your favorite correspondents and anchors that you’ve worked with along your career? 
As a kid in Albuquerque I was inspired watching Liz Trotta cover the Vietnam War. I thought….wow! A woman as a war correspondent, I’d like to do that! Interestingly, when I went to Fox after 9-11 I got to meet Liz and she and I are fast friends. I’ve worked with so many great people … Josh Mankewicz, Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie (we covered the Jackson trial together) – Mike Wallace and Douglas Edwards  gave me wonderful pep talks along the way. So did Pauline Fredricks at NPR (she was the UN correspondent)  Brian Williams and I were quite a pair when he covered New Jersey for the CBS station of Philly and I covered for WCBS in New York.  He is hysterically funny off the air. Matt Lauer was always very nice to me – for a time we had the same agent. Ann Curry is a magnificently kind person and I hated to see what happened to her at the Today Show.   

You have a weekly column – how do you come up with topics?   Is it difficult to write every week?  
 Sometimes I get a bit stumped for a topic but not very often. I write about things that raise my hackles or touch my soul somehow.  I like to write columns that, after they’ve been read, the reader says, “Gee, I didn’t realize that!” or “I never thought about that topic that way…”  We are a society of laws and rules and when those start to crumble, or if there is unfairness in the system I think we need to pay attention to that.  Note: the Halloween column which will be posted this Monday or the TSA column I wrote recently or the one about the young woman who is doing LIFE IN PRISON for accidentally killing four people.  I like to introduce people to others they might never know about – like the Mother who fought for the right to see her son’s rapist/murderer be put to death (can you imagine that?!) or the woman who dedicated her life to trying to get the hundreds of thousands of old DNA rape kits tested after she’d learned her evidence kit had just sat there for 7 years!  There are so many great crime and justice stories out there…. 

What made you want to become an author?
 I had so much information crammed into my head about Michael Jackson – from 1993 to 2003 (when cops raided Neverland for the 2nd time) – that I just had to dis-gorge it from my brain! Plus, no one had ever written a non-laudatory book about Jackson.  I wanted to put everything I’d learned into some perspective.  The book, “Cirque du Salahi” came out of me getting pissed off that the media started and then kept up such a stupid, silly for so long.  I had covered the White House. I knew you couldn’t “crash” the White House.  So I did an autopsy of the media coverage and unmasked the whole saga as being over hyped and senseless. (it started with 2 gossip columnists at the Washington Post on a slow Thanksgiving holiday – and all other media outlets pounced on it because, well….hey – it was the WASHINGTON POST reporting it and there was hardly any other news)

Did you experience any difficulties getting your first book published?  Any challenges?
Yes. The Jackson fans wanted to kill me already (seriously) because I dared to report what the police thought their idol had done.  Publishers did not want to venture into anti-celebrity waters – but finally Simon & Shuster/Atria books bought it.  The fans think I made a mint off the book. But, sadly, I did not.  The biggest challenge was trying to finish the book while I was still covering the Jackson trial. I would work at the Santa Maria, Ca courthouse all day – then go to my hotel room and write until I, literally, fell asleep at the computer.

P.S. to this day I still get about half a dozen death threats a month from Jackson fans  worldwide. Most are young kids who have no idea what the truth about MJ was.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Depends. I was so fired up over the stupidity of the White House Gate Crasher saga I think it took only about 6 weeks….and some of that time was spent doing research with the Salahis at their home in Virginia.  P.s. – despite what the haters say the Salahi’s did NOT have any editorial input into the book and they got no money from it….or me. Ever.

What things do you love & hate about writing? 
I love the feeling when I finish a piece. I hate the fact that sitting so long hurts my bad back.

From personal experience, I know you’re a mean “Words with Friends” player.  What else do you like to do when you’re not writing? 
I love to garden, tend my roses and my vegetables. I love spending time with my daughter and my three grandchildren. (Jenna and her husband and kids live about 2 hours north of us) I love to cook, listen to live jazz and go to comedy clubs. Believe me after writing what I write about all the time – one needs to take time out to LAUGH! Besides Words With Friends I find I’m very competitive in all sorts of games – we have a pool table (I usually win) and a dart board (hubby Michael usually wins) in the house. We have mean Monopoly games with the kids…
Oh, and I love my two fat cats, Miles and May.

Any suggestions or advice to help those of us that want to become published authors?
Take a class or course in how to write a good book proposal. Publishers are so shy these days about buying ANY new work – they are that spooked about the E-book craze. So, if you want to sell what you write you have to sell your idea FIRST via the book proposal.  My literary manger, Sharlene Martin, has written a book called, “Publish Your Non-Fiction Book” you might want to pick up.

Do you have another book in the works?
Not one that I’ve been able to sell.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor or inspiration?
Honestly, I just do what I do. I don’t try to pattern myself after others. Love John Grisham’s writing but I will never be able to write like him.  Scott Turow,

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
My pals Stacy Dittrich and John DeDakis

When reading for fun, what are your favorite genres?
Crime, crime and crime …. Oh, and I just finished “50 Shades of Gray”

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Diane Dimond....Journalist, Reporter, Anchor, Author....My interview with her coming this week!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Life After Death..."

I just finished reading "Life After Death" by Damien Echols.  If anyone has heard of the "West Memphis Three," he was one of the boys convicted of murder.  A mystery remains as to whether they were guilty or not, and it's a controversial subject.

After watching all three documentaries entitled "Paradise Lost," I came to believe they were innocent and that one of the victims' stepfather is the real killer.

Damien was the only one to be put on death row, and remained there for 18 years.  Rather than going into the entire story, he was just released last year and wrote this book, which I was anxious to read.

A lot of his prose makes him sound like a true poet at heart.  It was insightful and gave the reader a glimpse into his soul and his experience in prison.

I did have a hard time swallowing some of his talks about how badly prisoners are treated, because while he may have been innocent, the higher percentage of prisoners are guilty and belong tucked away from the rest of society.

If you're interested in this case and his story, I would highly recommend it.  My ratings range from 1-5, with 5 being the highest.  I rate this one a solid 4.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Being a "Pantser".......

Okay, there are two kinds of writers – “pantsers” and “outliners.”  I’m a “pantser,” which means I fly by the seat of my pants.  I don’t outline a story…I can’t…I just sit and write.  My characters tell me where the story should go.  It’s a freeing experience; however, when it comes to editing after you’re ‘done,’ it’s a bear.

This is why it’s taken me MONTHS to re-write and edit…removing parts that don’t need to be there…changing scenes around…adding scenes where they need to be, etc.

I like the feeling of just being able to write, but I DON’T like the re-writes.  So, those of you still eagerly awaiting my book, please don’t give up on me.  I’m still plugging away at it!  It’s difficult when you still have a full-time job, because it seriously hampers the writing time and entire process. 

Thank you for your kindest wishes and encouragement along my journey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"In Death....."

I'm a huge fan of the JD Robb "In Death" series.  Most of you may already know that it's Nora Roberts' alter ego.  Funny, I'm not very fond of her books under that name, as they tend to be romance novels, which aren't my cup of tea.

I'm usually not fond of the futuristic genre either, but the "In Death" series is absolutely engaging!  It's set in a not-so-distant future, where cars can float about in the air, and regular coffee is a rarity.  However, the core of each book is the same - following a tough, no-nonsense cop in New York City.  She's married to a billionaire, but the money doesn't impress her.  She doesn't wear fancy clothes or even fancies socializing.  She's amusingly awkward in social situations, but one heck of a cop!

Because each story mostly centers around her and her quirky friends and co-workers, along with a good, old-fashioned murder mystery, I was sold after the first book.  I've followed it ever since, all through the 35 books that have followed, and continue to do so.  They're full of rich characters that quickly become comfortable.

I suggest starting with the first one, "Naked in Death."  You'll thank me, because you'll be hooked as happily as I am.

You can find the entire series at the link below.  I use this site religiously, as you can search for any author and see their books in order.  Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


To my writer friends out there...if you feel your manuscript is 'ready for primetime,' please check out 9 Muses Publishing.  They're a boutique publisher interested in many genres.  I wouldn't steer you wrong, these are people that know the business and have been in the author, writing, and publishing world for several years.  They are trustworthy and open to great writing.

Currently, they're even running a query contest until Friday!!  Let me know what you think and if you have any questions...good luck!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Ego...

Egocentric & Grandiose...Psychopaths have a narcissistic & grossly inflated sense of themselves.

Their sense of entitlement is boundless, and they see themselves as better than the rest of us.  As a result, they feel justified in living according to their own twisted rules.  Naturally, they'll come off as arrogant and opinionated.  They enjoy having control over others and will disregard your opinion if it doesn't square with theirs.  Most times, it probably won't, since they live in their own special world.

Drew Peterson, for instance, seems to fit in this category.  He married four times, probably killed his third wife, and no doubt the fourth, who's been missing for years.  He has the ego, the sense of control over his wives, and the arrogant self-importance.

Adolf Hitler is another example.  His ego was off the charts, and we all know he thought he was better than most.  He was SO awful that he felt the need, not to mention, entitlement, to exterminate fellow human beings.  He also managed to sway others to that opinion with the infamous charm these people can possess.

Lack of remorse or guilt will be next.which stands to reason.  Everyone realizes that psychopaths/sociopaths don't have ANY remorse over their deeds...stay tuned.

Friday, August 31, 2012

'PSYCH 101' .....

Since I write about psychopathic killers, I’ve decided to read several books on the subject.  My current one is Without Conscience” by Robert D. Hare.  The first thing I learned is that ‘sociopaths’ and ‘psychopaths’ are really the same thing.  There’s no distinction.  Researchers and clinicians use the term interchangeably.  Sometimes sociopathy is used because it’s less likely than ‘psychopathy’ to be confused with psychoticism or insanity.  For believe me, sociopaths/psychopaths are NOT insane.  They know exactly what they’re doing and just don’t care.  They're not all killers, though.  They are serious con artists.

Let’s start with one of the traits and continue the subject in another post.   The first one is Glibness and Superficiality.  They can be witty and quite articulate.  They can be funny and great conversationalists.  They can weave stories that cast themselves in a good light.  They’re very often likeable (i.e. Ted Bundy and Jeffrey MacDonald).  You may already know they prey on the weak...those that may not see through their guise.  Others may view them as too slick or smooth and won’t fall for what they’re ‘selling.’  They can hone in on those that won’t question them, bilking them out of money, house, and home, and not even flinch.

Jeffrey MacDonald, the military doctor who killed his entire family, still proclaims his innocence.  Yet, the biggest twist in his tale was the fact that his own biographer, who came to write about HIS side of things, had his eyes opened by the callousness and disregard he gave to his dead wife and three daughters.  All he did was talk about himself.  When he spoke of the murders, he was glib and utterly detached – devoid of emotion or  empathy.  That author wound up writing a book that portrayed MacDonald as he truly is – a cold-blooded killer.  (Joe McGinniss, “Fatal Vision”).

Next time, we’ll talk about another sociopathic trait – Egocentricity & Grandiosity.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review...Lisa Scottoline's latest!

I just finished another entertaining book by Lisa Scottoline.   Her latest is "Best Friends, Occasional Enemies."  It's a collection of essays written by Lisa and her daughter, Francesca.   There are mother/daughter topics and 'every day' topics that everyone can relate to.

I listened to the audio version, so I had the added benefit of listening to each of them tell their own stories.  There's something about an author reading their own book that lends itself to the authenticity for me.  Every inflection, every smile and joke comes through.

I suggest getting ALL of these books for a glimpse into the life of a best-selling author.  She has the same dilemmas as we do.  Personable and approachable, you'll hear about "Mother Mary," which is what Lisa calls her Mom.  She's a character in herself!  And "Brother Frank," her brother.

Whacky and wonderful subjects such as toenail clippings, falling trees, driving in the middle lane, and the love for their dogs (which is ALWAYS a good thing, if you ask me).

My review system goes from 1-5, and this one is definitely a 5!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Review...Ryan O'Neal's book

I've just finished   "Both of Us: My Life with Farrah"   by Ryan O'Neal.

In the audiobook, he narrated himself.  While not the best narrator, tending to pause at the wrong spots in a sentence, it's still nice to hear his book in his own voice.  You can hear & feel the raw emotion.  He's seemingly very candid, and having read both of his daughter, Tatum's, books, I'm sure the truth of their relationship lies somewhere in the middle.

This leaves me with the certainty that his tumultuous love story with Farrah Fawcett outlasted time and even death  For all his faults, the love and devotion he felt for her never wavered.  It seeps through every sentence, every paragraph.

She was much more than feathery hair and a bright smile.  She had such grace and  wisdom.  Her intelligence and savvy were never fully realized to the public.  I also watched her documentary, during her last years, fighting for her life.  She had the guts to insist on filming her struggle to shine a light on the darkest side of cancer and bring it to the fore.

Ryan's story is one of the joys of eternal love laced with the pain of his loss for the one true and constant loves in his life.

In my rating system, I give it a 5 out of 5.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Return of Oscar...or is it Felix??

So, after several weeks of not seeing my little furry, gray companion squirrel, he made an appearance today.  In fact, he always seems to appear in my life to signal a great shift.

I was sitting in my car, turned to my right, and noticed him through my window.  Up at eye level, laying down, frogger-style, on a platform that next to my car.  Oh, how he made me smile.  Just chilling out and relaxing, as if bathing in the sun.

Indeed, once again, he brought with him a sign....I've finally started submitting letters to agents for my suspense novel.  The procedure is usually to email a letter, outlining your book and credentials, along with the first chapter.  

Today, I got my first request for the full manuscript.  A terrific thrill!  At once, my heart sings with promise, while at the same time, bracing myself for a possible rejection.

If all the planets align, I will be heading in the right direction.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Book Review..."Winter Garden"

I've just completed "Winter Garden," another good book by Kristin Hannah.  Anyone who likes the massively talented Jodi Picoult might like Kristin as well.  She writes in a similar style...providing in-depth character development to the reader.

"Winter Garden" tells the story of two sisters that adore their father.  Growing up, he was their main source of love and attention, as their mother was cold and off-putting.  She was Russian born, and the only time she came alive was when she told them a fairytale about a prince and black knight.  It wasn't the kind you could find in a book, but from her imagination...or so they think.

When their father dies, he makes the mother promise to tell the WHOLE fairytale.  On his deathbed, he begs one of his daughters to hold their mother to the promise.  They're both well into adulthood.  One sister doesn't care anymore about the fairytale, as she's accepted the fact her mother never loved them.  However, the other is insistent and continues to press their mother to continue the fable.

It took me a while to get into this, but once they finally got the mother to start weaving her tale, and you realize the story is NOT a story, but rather how her life was in Leningrad during the war, I was swept up in the 'fairytale' as well.

It drew me in, so from that point on, I was hooked.  Out of my 5-star system, I give it a 3.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Do Serial Killers KNOW What They Are?

As I've mentioned before, I write about serial killers, but mine don't even realize they're serial killers.  In one novel, the killer does it for a distorted view of love.  In another, the killer does it for revenge, and also to rid the world of animal abusers...a noble thing, but I digress.

I wonder how many serial killers don't realize what they are either.  People like Ted Bundy must have known, because he was way too smart and crafty NOT to.  Others actually DO it for the notoriety, like the Zodiac killer, who was never caught, even managing to taunt the authorities for decades.   

Another one that comes to mind is the diabolical Henry H. Holmes, who  built a hotel specifically for his murderous deeds, if you can believe it. (Henry H. Holmes)  

This guy knew exactly what he was doing, even taking some of his own employees as victims.

Do YOU think most serial killers know exactly what they are?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let's Play "Analyst Armchair"....

Are we fascinated with serial killers?   I know I am...I write about them.  Granted, mine are fictional, but still.  They've been around since the 1800's, starting with Jack the Ripper.  In truth, they were probably around even earlier than that, but it wasn't widely known or reported to the public.

They kill with wanton abandon...without consequence...without mercy.   Perhaps we envy their ability to have no conscience?  They stalk their prey, always for their own twisted reasons, but still we wonder.  We want to know how they tick.  Did they have a dysfunctional childhood?  Is that really an acceptable fallback anymore?  Honestly, to some degree, we all have those.

Has it grown worse in the last few decades?  Are we "producing" more?  Or does it merely appear that way, thanks to 24/7 news coverage?

Hollywood even gets into the act with movies about them..."American Psycho," "Silence of the Lambs," "Seven," and the popular franchise, "Saw."

Do we sympathize or vilify?   Maybe we do both...we try to understand the all important question...WHY do they do it?  Is it compulsion?  A need they're trying to fulfill?  Two examples would be Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy.

My 'analyst armchair' says Dahmer had a need for people not to leave him.  Was it due to his parents' divorce?  He didn't want his victims to leave...he kept their hearts (and other body parts) in his freezer.

Ted Bundy was cunning and shrewd.  He was the 'everyman.'  The guy that appeared honest...who needed help since he pretended to have broken limbs in order to gain the trust of his victims.  He had a sense of entitlement.  He was smart and outwitted police for some time.

Sit in the 'analyst armchair' and tell me YOUR thoughts and diagnosis.....


Friday, July 27, 2012


I must start this interview by saying I've gotten to know Marcia better over the last week, and she is one great lady.  She's down to earth, funny, and very generous.  I'd like to thank her for taking the time to stop by.

Marcia Clark, a former prosecutor who gained fame as the head prosecutor in the OJ Simpson murder case, added the title of author to her resume several years ago.  She writes a series of successful books based on the character, Rachel Knight, who happens to be a Deputy District Attorney.  I've had the pleasure of getting hooked.  I recommend you begin this series with the first one, "Guilt by Association"

What made you want to become a writer?  Where did the idea of Rachel Knight come from?

I’ve always wanted to write fiction, and specifically crime fiction, ever since I was a kid and found myself addicted to Nancy Drew. But I didn’t have the confidence to take the plunge and try to make a living at it. In hindsight, I think my addiction to crime stories probably had something to do with my decision to practice criminal law. I knew that was what I’d do from the first month in law school. Then I joined the D.A.’s office and well, you know…

I didn’t revisit my childhood dream of becoming a novelist until I’d done some writing for television. I think that experience gave me the confidence to give it a shot. 

The idea of Rachel Knight came straight out of my life as a prosecutor. The life of a real prosecutor, the one I had before the insanity of the Simpson trial. I wanted to relive – and share with everyone – the incredible experience of being a prosecutor in the Special Trials Unit in Los Angeles. 

How long did it take you to write the first book?

There were actually a few “first” books before I got to Guilt by Association.  I took a lot of runs at it before I got to the point where I had the right mix of characters and plot. But once I put that mosaic together, it took me about nine months. I think it would’ve taken a lot less time had I not been carrying a full case load at the time. I do court appointed cases on appeal, which is all written work, no trials. The good news about doing appellate work is that you can write your own hours. The bad news is that the hours total about eighty per week. So I did a lot of midnight to four a.m. sessions on the book.

Where do you get your character inspirations come from?

They all came from Rachel. I envisioned her first, then built outward from there, asking myself, “who would she be friends with?” And, in the course of the story, I always plot it out based on what would really happen next, and who might Rachel and Bailey run across as they investigate. I also had to figure out where Rachel lived. A character’s living situation is an important means of showing who he or she is. So I asked myself, “where would Rachel live?” Rachel has close friends, but she acquired them slowly, over time. Her early childhood trauma left her guarded, wary, and desirous of anonymity. 

Taking those traits into account I…well, wait, true confession time: there was another consideration that came into the mix. My own fantasy. I am not a big fan of housework and cooking, so I thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if she lived in a five star hotel?” That seemed like a realistic fit for Rachel, given her “issues” and so I found a way for Rachel to live at the Biltmore Hotel, which is a landmark hotel in downtown L.A., close to the courthouse. In the second book, “Guilt by Degrees,” I gave Rachel an upgrade to a suite, so she could have her best friends, Detective Bailey Keller and fellow prosecutor, Toni LaCollette, crash with her after a night of partying.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

For the first draft, I make myself sit and write nonstop for at least six hours a day, six to seven days a week. I write continuously so I can keep a feel for the pacing and stay inside the story. Once I’m through the first draft, I take as much time away from the book as I can before I do the first rewrite so I can bring fresh eyes.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?  If so, do you have some tips to break the spell?

I never have writer’s block. Ideas flow freely and constantly and all I have to do is dip a ladle into that stream for the next book or story. Doubling over with laughter now. Hold on, I’m still laughing, I need to take a second.

Okay, I’m back. Do I ever have writer’s block? Every single day. I don’t have any magical answers for how to break through. My way is simple and painful: I make myself sit in front of the computer and bang out every stupid idea that comes to mind until something decent falls out. I won’t necessarily stay with whatever I land on, but that “system” seems to get the juices flowing. Eventually.

Can you tell us about any challenges getting your first book published?  

I traveled a weird and backwards road to publication. When I finally finished writing “Guilt by Association,” I realized I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t have an agent, didn’t know any publishers – in fact, didn’t know anything about the publishing business. All my professional writing experience had been in television. So I asked my dear friend, Lynn Reed, an avid reader who had been involved in book clubs and blogs, for advice. She introduced me to award winning literary fiction writer Katharine Weber, who introduced me to then-Random House editor, John Glusman. And John really liked the book. He told me I had to have an agent and set me up with interviews. I got lucky and scored the best agent in the universe (let me tell you, those interplanetary interviews are a bitch), Dan Conaway at Writer’s House, and Judy Clain at Little, Brown/Mulholland Books, the best editor in the universe (again, lots of space travel involved). Though I didn’t wind up with John Glusman, I really loved him and would recommend him to anyone looking for a terrific editor.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for aspiring writers?

The best advice I can give is the advice Stephen King gave in his fantastic book, “On Writing:” READ. Read every day, read everything, read the good as well as the bad. He’s right that you learn more from the bad stuff than the good. And of course, write. Write every day. Don’t worry about whether it’s Proust, just put pen to paper or rather, hands to keyboard, as long as you can, every day. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do, but don’t expect writing to be an easy ride to fame and fortune. In the years before I got published, I spent more nights than I want to remember working away until three and four a.m., wrapped in a blanket, bleary-eyed and wrung out, and wondering whether anyone would ever read a single word I’d written. Writing is lonely, hard work. At the time I figured it was probably just me, that the people who made a living at it could bang out books blindfolded, with one hand on the keyboard. I’ve since learned – after reading what those authors said, and I don’t think they’d lie about it – that it’s hard work for everyone. That was comforting. I guess. 

What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not busy?

Mainly read. Though lately I’ve also discovered the joys of Twitter. When marketing director Miriam Parker first signed me up and gave me tweeting tips, I didn’t really get it. I just couldn’t figure out what I’d have to say that would be interesting to anyone else. Eventually, I decided not to worry about that. Laughing. And it’s been great fun meeting people there, hearing what they’re doing, what they’re thinking. In many ways, it’s what we get from reading books: the ability to experience things vicariously and discover new ways of seeing the world from our living room.

What project are you working on these days?

I just turned in my third book, “Killer Ambition.” I’m starting work on a short story, due out next spring, and my fourth book. And TNT has just optioned my books for a one hour drama series – very exciting! I’m attached as an Executive Producer and Dee Johnson, Executive Producer and Showrunner is writing the pilot script even as we speak.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your attention?

I can’t think of any “debut” authors, but one of my recent finds is Sean Chercover. His latest book, “The
Trinity Game,” comes out July 31st, and I got to read an advance copy. It’s sensational! I loved it

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you so much for reading my books, and for your support. And I’d love to hear from you on Twitter (thatmarciaclark) and Facebook (thatmarciaclark), so come on over any time! And Dawn, thank you for this interview!