Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q&A with Joni Folger

This week, Midnight Ink sat down with Joni Folger, author of Of Merlot and Murder (Tangled Vines Mystery #2).

Midnight Ink: When did you start writing?
Joni Folger: [I] started writing romance in the mid-1980s with a category romance that will never see the light of day! But that was followed by what eventually became Hidden Treasures, a romantic suspense that was published in 2012 (Story Vault).

MI: What influence have other authors had on your writing?
JF: Huge. I have very eclectic tastes. I read everything from horror to historical romance. Biggest influence for my writing: Stephen King & Nora Roberts! Both have motivated me in different ways.

MI: Who is your favorite mystery sleuth and why?
JF: [I] love Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, love Sherlock (in any form) and Martha Grime’s Richard Jury (and all his sleuthing friends). [I] also love BBC’s cozy mystery series Rosemary & Thyme and the Midsomer Murder mysteries by Caroline Graham. [And I'm a] huge fan of J.D. Robb’s In Death series—love the characters of Eve and Roarke.

MI: What was your inspiration for this series?
JF: It’s set in an area of the Texas Hill Country where I lived for several years. The town of Bastrop was my inspiration (and the quirky characters that live there). I made up the town of Delphine, but in my’s Bastrop.

MI: Tell us about Elise Beckett.
JF: Elise is headstrong, perky and inquisitive, with a huge heart and boundless affection for her family and extended family. She is kind and compassionate, but will defend those closest to her with the aggression of a mama bear defending her cubs, should the need arise. She’s funny, intelligent, and a romantic at heart.

MI: How does the Tangled Vines series compare to your other works?
JF: This was my first foray into the world of cozy mysteries. I usually write romantic suspense or paranormal romance (my first love). I’m all about the romance!

MI: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not writing or working?
JF: I LOVE working in my local theater, both on stage and directing. I also enjoy gardening and crafts.

MI: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
JF: Actor

MI: If you have a job outside of writing, what is it?
JF: Accounting Clerk for Dept of Community Development in Tillamook County, Oregon

MI: What food could you live off of for the rest of your life?
JF: Taco Bell! Also, if you put me in a vat of lobster, I would eat my way out...

MI: Do you have a pet? 
JF: Until recently, I had three little girls—cats. Unfortunately, I lost my oldest baby girl to cancer in July. Brindle had been with me for eleven years, and her loss is still very fresh with me. But I have two little goobers left: Spritie-Marie (really beautiful middle child and very naughty), and Isabeau (Momma’s little gray bear—sweet as honey).

MI: What is your favorite part about being an Inker?
JF: 1. The other authors that I’ve met. 2. Terri is awesome. 3. But mostly, MY BOOK COVERS!! I’m in LOVE with them.

 Of Merlot and Murder is available online and in bookstores now!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September 2014 Books Available Now!


Don't miss Midnight Ink's latest releases!

"A stylish noir voice."

Kirkus Reviews on Adobe Flats

"Readers will cheer for this avenging less-than-angel as she goes after some very bad people.
Publishers Weekly on Beauty with a Bomb

"Lively and entertaining . . . [a] well wrought whodunit." 
Publishers Weekly on Of Merlot and Murder

"[A] thrilling tale."
RT Book Reviews on Unraveled Visions

Now available from Midnight Ink, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and your local bookseller!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 2014 Books Available Now!

Don't miss Midnight Ink's newest releases! 

"Packed with thrills and high-octane action, Bitter Crossing is an impressive debut with a fearless heroine you'll want to follow for many adventures to come."
—Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles series on Bitter Crossing

"A classic country-house mystery, with modern day twists and turns adding to the fun."
Booklist on Murder at Midnight

"A lively debut."
Kirkus Reviews on Terminated

Available now from Midnight Ink, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or your local bookseller!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Burning questions

Ok, it's not really a quiz and there are no wrong answers, I just wanted to get you attention.  I am curious about a few things and hope you can help me out...
Question 1 - how do you browse for books? find books?
  • in bookstores
  • online
  • social media
  • blogs
  • mystery magazines
  • reviews/coverage in newspapers
Question 2 - if you are browsing in a bookstore, what formats are you looking at? Or what format do you prefer? Does the format deter you from buying the book?
  • mass market
  • trade paper
  • hardcover
  • ebook
Question 3 - when considering a book, what is more important - critical reviews from publications like Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, etc or author blurbs? Or is it the cover art? Back cover copy? Or do you just open it up and start reading?
Question 4 - do you partake in various promotions such as the Amazon Daily Deals, Goodreads giveaways, etc?
Final essay
If you had a publisher's undivided attention, what you would you want us to know?
Thank you!!

Next week I will put the names of all the commenters in a hat and draw a name.  That lucky duck will get a nice selection of MI books.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Wow.  Those are some stunning covers...
I would like you all to meet Mark Mallen. He's a junkie, but not just any junkie. See, he's a former undercover cop that started using drugs to help his cover. He thought he could just shoot some drugs and it wouldn't be a big deal. Wrong. Now, four years removed from police duty AND having left his wife and daughter behind, a chance for redemption comes knocking.
Mallen's old police academy buddy Eric seems to have fallen into the same dark hole as Mallen. Eric also became a junkie and landed a stint in jail. When Eric is murdered, the police find Mallen's number in Eric's pocket. As the prime suspect in Eric's murder, Mallen is forced to get clean and find the real killer. (SERIES AND AUTHOR DEBUT)

English copper Jim Grant is in Boston for a quick and easy assignment - to interview a suspect in some robberies back in the UK. But trouble seems to find Grant when he is almost blown up when he attempts to interview Freddy Sullivan. Never one to walk away from the case, Grant looks up associates of Sullivan. One public stand off and several bruised and beaten bad guys later, Grant is dubbed the Resurrection Man. And it's very clear that the Ressurection Man, an outsider on a mission, is the only one who can clean up the streets and political offices of Boston. (SERIES DEBUT)
Check out old Fiddlesticks cabin if you dare... Set deep in the Appalacian Mountains, Fiddlesticks cabin is the site of a decades old double homicide. When a group of college aged students decide to stay at the cabin for a night, one of the girls is violently murdered and the killer carves disturbing symbols into her body.
County sheriff Jerry Cochran is handling the investigation and all the evidence points to Nick Statton, a handsome raptor center specialist and the supervisor of the murdered girl. Nick turns to attorney Mary Crow for help and it's up to Mary to dig out the truth - about Nick, the girl, and Fiddlesticks. Page turning suspense that you won't want to miss. Trust me. (CONTINUATION OF THE MARY CROW SERIES PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED)

The wedding of a friend and fellow real estate agent brings Darby Farr back to her hometown Hurricane Harbor, Maine. Darby has barely stomped the snow off her boots when she learns that the police chief's assistant, Lorraine Delvecchio, slipped on her daily walk and fell into the freezing coastal waters, her body found by a local lobsterman. While everyone assumes it was an accident, the police chief doesn't buy it and asks Darby to do some poking around. Darby discovers Lorraine was far from innocent and the list of suspects is rather long.  Between real estate deals and wedding preparations, Darby needs to uncover a killer before she ends up the next victim. (BOOK FOUR IN THE SERIES)
Pretty good stuff, right?  Well, go out and get your copy now!  Print books are already in stores and ebooks will be available for download on April 8th.  And by all means, let me know what you think!  Feel free to post comments here or on facebook!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sales conference - Fall 2013

I think I might thrive under pressure.  I say that because this week, here at Llewellyn headquarters, we will be doing our Fall 2013 sales conference and I have been slow to get prepared.  For those of you unfamiliar with sales conference, it is a huge meeting where the acquiring editors showcase the fall titles for the sales, marketing, and publicity departments.  For each title, we create a document that gives those departments all the information it needs, such as:
  • release date
  • cover image
  • synopsis
  • author bio
  • physical book description (page count, sub-genre, ISBN)
  • who the audience is
  • a one to two sentence sound bite
  • three comparable titles with book description and life to date sales

We also create a powerpoint to go with the presentation.  During the presentation, I give a verbal summary of the book and often go deeper into why I chose the applicable comp titles.  I also talk a bit about the author, especially if I have personally met the author.
After each title presentation, I ask if there are any questions or other information to add.
Is it stressful?  Heck yeah.  The most stressful part for me is the question time, because I have no idea what might come up!
But in general, I find sales conference to be fun and exciting.  I acquire books that I love and often refer to them as my children.  And at sales conference, I get to whip all my baby pics!  I tell stories of hanging out with authors and getting to know them.  I might go on and on about how much I loved a manuscript.  I can talk about a series - where it has been and where it is going.  I also work in my vision of Midnight Ink.  Where we have been and where I see us going.
But alas, I procrastinate.  Which means I should be filling in my powerpoint rather than typing up a blog post.  By noon today, I will start feeling anxious and stressed out.  Tuesday I will probably be a wreck and finish up my powerpoint.  Wednesday starts the sales conference with nonfiction lines.  Thursday we do fiction.  I can't wait...  now to just finish this powerpoint!

I give a big shout out to Kelly Van Sant who did the heavy lifting on my onesheets.  And to Brian Farrey-Latz who put the bones of my powerpoint together.  :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Company You Keep by Shannon Baker

yep, I stole this from Inkspot...  it is Shannon Baker's post from last Wednesday.  But I couldn't not share it because I am so proud of the Inkers. 


The Company You Keep

What a great week to be a Midnight Ink writer. Actually, it’s way more than just a week but there has been an avalanche of good news crashing down recently.
Left Coast Crime conference, a gathering to celebrate mysteries that takes place in a different western city each year, announced finalists in their contest. What fun to see Midnight Ink writers on that illustrious list. Darrell James and Beth Groundwater are nominees in The Rocky category, which is a book set in the geographic area covered by Left Coast Crime. Jess Lourey is nominated for an award in the humorous category, The Lefty. And Catriona McPherson has a book in the Bruce Alexander Memorial Mystery, for historical novels.

Can you say, “Wow!”
And then it gets better.
Kathleen Ernst recently won the LOVEY in the historical category at Love Is Murder in Chicago.
And drum roll, please…
Gin Malliet and (twice now) Catriona McPherson are up for Agatha Awards given by Malice Domestic.
Alan Orloff had an Agatha nomination in 2010.
And last year, Darrell James won a Left Coast Crime award, The Eureka, for a first novel.
Now it’s going to get dicey because I’m going to forget a whole ton of other good news. But let me mention that Vicki Doudera got a great review from the world’s snarkiest review site. I know Alice Loweecey and Lois Winston have posted some terrific reviews, as well.
I’m tickled for all the recipients. I imagine their glow and it makes me plum happy for them. I’ve met most of the writers I just mentioned and to a person, they are warm, funny, smart, generous and all around amazing specimens. I can only imagine the others are equally superior humans.
But, as Ayn Rand was ever-so-fond of saying, “There is no altruism.”
While I’m truly happy for these M’Inkers, I’m downright giddy for me.
My father always told me, “You’re known by the company you keep.” Yes, he was a wise man, but I don’t think he made that up.
I would be surprised if I ever win a prestigious award and Kirkus may always hate me. But someone, somewhere, at one time,(Terri) thought I wrote a book good enough to be included on the roster with these stellar writers.
That thought swells my chest more than the Miraculous Uplift bra I got from Victoria’s Secret.
By the time of my next Ink Spot post, my first book in the Nora Abbott Mystery series will have launched. Readers may love it or hate it. But for right now, for this brief moment, I get to revel in the success of my publisher and the fine writers they’ve accumulated and believe I am one of them. 
I am just so darned proud of Midnight Ink and all these folks. (And sorta proud of me, too.)