An interview with author Josie Brown creator of The Housewife Assassin series

The Housewife Assassin's Handbook cover image

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook cover image

A few months back I read and reviewed the fabulous Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown. Today I’m thrilled to be welcoming Josie to the CTG blog to talk about the Housewife Assassin Series …

So tell me, how did you get the idea for the Housewife Assassin’s Handbook?

Wow, great question! And believe it or not, no one has ever asked me that before. Go figure. 

It was several years after 911. Still, as a mother, that event had such an impact on me–really, on everyone, parent, child or whomever–

So much so, that I felt…well, helpless.

When that happens, I figure a way in which to turn it around. In this case, I asked myself:  What could a parent–a mother–do to not only protect herself AND her children, but life she thought she’d secured?

That’s how Donna Stone* was born.

And what readers discover is that Donna doesn’t know how close the threat is to her.

Seriously, the day I came up with her and the plot for Book 1 — The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook  — I got chills. It was a hot day in August, and yet I got CHILLS. 

I called an author friend of mine, Karin Tabke, and I said, “Here’s a story I want to write…”

After I told her the plot, she said, “Oh my God. It’s the ultimate woman’s mission: to protect her loved ones–and the ultimate response. Now, write it.”

So I did.

But when I presented it to my first literary agent, he said, “I don’t get it.”

Immediately I got another agent. 

 

Your main character, Donna Stone, is fabulously dynamic and gutsy. When you created her, did you model her on any actors or people you know?

Ha ha! Personally, I feel there are several actresses who could play her. EMBRACE her gutsiness. I’m happy to say  a television producer feels the same way, and is currently shopping it around. She’s as excited about it as me. So fingers crossed, others will buy into Donna’s world. 

Tell us a little about your writing process, do you plot out the story events before sitting down to write, or do you dive right in and see where the story takes you?

I come up with an overall premise. And then I do the heavy lifting and actually do a full chapter-by-chapter outline. In doing so, I throw “plot spaghetti” at the proverbial wall. In other words, I do a lot of what ifs: 

How will Donna get out of this tight spot, or another?

How will her relationship change–and grow–with Jack?

What threat will the Quorum through their way?

How will Donna’s children survive a world that is more dangerous than anyone realizes?

I endeavor to move her journey forward in each book. I truly am honored when readers appreciate her story.

How do you organise your writing day: do you have a favourite time and place to write?

I write on a netbook, which allows me to roam all over my home and garden (I live in San Francisco, so I’m drawn to the sun, like a moth to a flame), or to a coffee shop, with one of my writer pals (COUGH! — Kate Perry — COUGH!)

What tips and tricks have you learnt that you’d like to pass on to aspiring crime and thriller writers?

I’m so happy to do so. Here’s the one that counts the most:

Don’t be afraid to write the book YOU’D want to read. You are the best judge of what you should be writing: not an editor, not an agent, not a trend, not your mother. Not even your best friend. YOU. 

During NaNoWriMo, I put up thirty-one tips, one for each day, for other authors, both aspiring and published. We all need to remember why we put in the hard hours–and our hearts on ours sleeves-as we scribble away. I wanted to share my thoughts on the industry, now some seven years and twelve books later.

And what’s next for you, have you got a novel in progress at the moment and, if so, when will we be able to read it?

Vacation to Die For cover image

Vacation to Die For cover image

This month in fact, I’ll be releasing a one-off The Candidate, a political thriller. Or as I put it: SCANDAL meets HOMELAND when a political campaign manager discovers that Washington’s power elite have embroiled his presidential candidate in a plot involving an imminent act of terrorism on US soil.

And of course, Donna is back in August, in The Housewife Assassin’s Vacation to Die For

Also I invite your readers to enter my contest (which is running only through August 2nd) for a $100 gift card from the bookstore of their choice. It’s my way of thanking readers for appreciating the fourth book of the series, The Housewife Assassin’s Relationship Survival Guide.

Thanks, Crime Thriller Girl, for sharing me with your friends and readers! — Josie

A huge thank you to Josie Brown for dropping by the blog, and do make sure you follow the links above to pop on over to her website and enter the fantastic contest that’s running to 2nd August. 

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