Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spend your Sunday with Laura Alden

Happy Sunday ! Grab a cup of coffee or some tea and help me welcome Laura Alden!!!!

Good Morning Laura, thank you for joining us this morning.

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in a part of Michigan where the prime agricultural products
are blueberries and Christmas trees. Back in the day, kids could work
in the fields picking berries at age 12, so the day after I turned 12,
off I was sent.

The main thing I learned from those summers was that sitting in a
classroom isn’t so bad compared to standing in the blazing hot sun for
eight hours. The other thing I learned, thanks to my local library’s
summer reading club, was that while Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were
fun, there was a whole world out there filled with books by authors
such as Dick Francis, Josephine Tey, Ellis Peters, and John D.

I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a B.S.
in geology and spent 25 years in the surveying and civil engineering
field. Due to being laid off in 2009, my day job is now serving as a
municipal clerk.

Except for a year in Connecticut, I’ve lived in Michigan all my life.
Currently, my husband and I share our house with two very strange
cats. When I’m not writing, I’m working at my day job, reading,
yanking weeds out of the garden, or doing some variety of skiing.

How did you come up with this series and the titles?

A bare bones outline of the first book, Murder at the PTA, was given
to me by my editor. PTAs can be full of tension and conflict and
wildly different personalities – an excellent setting for murder. The
titles…well, let’s just say coming up with titles isn’t my strong
suit. Luckily, my editor, her intrepid assistant, and the marketing
department are much better at titles than I am!

What are you working on next?

I’m *this* close to finishing PTA #5, tentatively titled Poison at the
PTA. (My editor has been pushing for this title for three books, but
this is the first time there’s been any poison around.)

Plus, I have a new series! Lending a Paw, the first book in the
Bookmobile Cat Mysteries, will be released on December 3. This series
is written under the name Laurie Cass and features a brand new
bookmobile, a young librarian named Minnie, and Eddie, a cat with
serious attitude issues. From the back of the book: With the help of
her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a
bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she
better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy

And, since I clearly don’t have enough to do, I’m working on an idea
for a suspense/thriller.

What was the hardest and easiest thing about writing this book?

The hardest thing? Hmm. For a long time I was having a hard time with
the Big Scene at the end, the scene where my main character confronts
the killer. Something was missing and I didn’t know what it was. I
stewed over this for days, then finally asked some writer friends. One
of them offered up the brilliant suggestion to add another character
to the scene. Bingo!

The easiest thing? Hmm. As I recall, the outline for this book went
together without too much pain. I knew who the victim would be, and I
knew who killed him, and I knew why he was killed. Having that in my
head made a nice solid framework for the rest of the story.

If you could have a dinner date with any character from any book who
would it be and why?

Wow, that’s a tough one. I’d like to say Sherlock Holmes, but I’d
probably be afraid to open my mouth in front of him. While I’d like to
meet Jack Reacher, I’m not sure what we’d talk about, and the same
goes for Kate Shugak. So I guess I’ll say…dinner with Miss Marple.
What a treat it would be to listen to her talk about St. Mary Mead!

Thank you for visiting with us today Laura. It was wonderful getting to know you!


  1. Shelley, thanks for interviewing me - fun questions!
    Laura Alden

  2. I think I might be afraid to dine with Miss Marple. Besides the problem of people dying in her vicinity, she could probably tell too much about me. She's quite perceptive.

    A suspense/thriller? Sounds like something different--and fun! Good luck!


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