Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Ohio, number eight of nine children. Married my high school sweetheart, I have 2 grown children and 4 adorable grandchildren.
We traveled a lot as hubby was in the Air Force, and I've lived in Taiwan and Saudi Arabia. I'm a rabid Dallas Cowboys fan, although I love all sports. As a retired RN, I started writing about 15 years ago.
How did you come up with this series and the titles?
I chased the romance market for a lot of years with my first book, Shattered Dreams. It’s a story about a nurse who finds herself in the middle of a botched kidnapping attempt, and as she bends down to help an injured man in the Costa Rican airport, she's taken hostage. After they use her to escape, they plan to dump her body on the side of the road, and the only reason she's kept alive is because they need her nursing skills for their injured leader. Smuggled into Colombia, she's taken to a remote camp in the rain forest. Although this manuscript never sold--I laugh now because it has guns, dead bodies, etc--it landed me my first agent. She couldn't sell it, either, since we targeted the romance market. When she left the agency I was handed down to her partner (my current agent) who took one look at my writing and convinced me that I was not a romance writer. This was the start of my mystery writing career. So, I wrote a story about 5 sisters, one of whom dies and comes back as a smart mouthed ghost to help solve her murder. My agent sent this one to Berkley where the editor loved it--read it twice and even quoted some of the ghost's outrageous lines. Unfortunately, she was acquiring cozy mysteries and wanted to know If I could write a series for her, specifically a foodie. Of course, I said "Absolutely," then followed it with "What’s a cozy?" And then I panicked. After a little research showed that the foodies were about gourmet foods, wines, and cheeses--none of which I liked or knew anything about--I came up with the idea of a food critic who ended up as a culinary expert for a local Texas newspaper. Her problem is that she can’t cook a lick and lives on bologna and fast food. Three chapters and a synopsis later, I had a three book deal for the Clueless Cook Series. And FYI, the Colombia story is coming out in March as SHATTERED, and the ghost series was picked up by Midnight Ink. The first book of A Dead Sister Talking Mystery, HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE, debuts this May. This series, written as Lizbeth Lipperman, is considered a soft boiled mystery and is not a cozy.
What are you working on now?
I am currently ready to release a romantic suspense titled MORTAL DECEPTION in print in the next few weeks. I'm also putting the final touches on SHATTERED and doing copy edits on HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE. And I'm also writing book two of the ghost series, tentatively titled JAIL HOUSE CROCK which releases in May of 2014. Aren’t you glad you asked??
What was the most fun thing about writing this series and the worst thing?
The most fun is writing the characters and seeing how much trouble I can get them into. The worst thing is meeting the deadlines. I am a pathetically slow writer and the queen of procrastination. Consequently, I am always in psycho mode when the deadline begins to close in on me.
What are the first 5 books of your to be read pile?
Truthfully, there are at least 100 books in my TBR pile as I buy all my friends' books. Unfortunately, I can't read for pleasure when I'm writing. I tend to get all caught up in someone else's characters and then can’t get back into my own easily. It's murder (pun intended) on my writing. Since I've been under one deadline or another for the past 2 years, the only time I get to read is on vacation.
Shelley, thanks so much for having me. I love talking about my books.
It was great having you here today Liz. I look forward to what you have in store next!
LIVER LET DIE, BEEF STOLEN-OFF, and MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT (cozies) Berkley Prime Crime
CHICKEN CACCIA-KILLER (cozy) Story Vault October 2013
MORTAL DECEPTION (a Lizbeth Lipperman romantic suspense) Story Vault
HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE (a Lizbeth Lipperman soft boiled mystery) Midnight Ink May 2013
SHATTERED (a Lizbeth Lipperman romantic suspense) Story Vault March 2013
SWEEPERS: DIE ONCE MORE (a Lizbeth Lipperman special ops romantic suspense) Story Vault December 2013