Can you share the inspiration for The Fixer Series? What was the research process like for getting into the world of theft and deceit?
The Fixer came at the e
nd of a very bad bout of writer’s block that had been a problem for quite a while. After a sleepless night, I had an idea of a young woman in a cat and mouse game with a very powerful man. She needed something from him (I didn’t quite know what) and was trying to negotiate to get it. I thought about who this young woman wa
s and what she might do for a living that this was happening. I had heard of the term “fixer” and I investigated a little more. Since there are already TV shows that deal with this profession, I decided to go with an origin series, to show how Katerina wound up in this line of work.
I love research! I enjoy digging in and looking up everything down to the last detail. The funny thing about research is the more you look up, the more ideas and questions it raises. So I wind up having a lot of material to pick and choose from. I use books, magazines, and the internet but I also have been so lucky to have found some wonderful individuals who are willing to talk to me and answer my questions.
I would love to tell you but I don’t want to spoil the surprise!! There will be a lot more revealed about MJM in future books so please be patient and all will be revealed.
Right now is there a plan for how long the series will be?
I am planning for roughly 10-12 books in the series but I’m working pretty loosely to allow flexibility for that to change.
Maybe it’s just me, but I felt sparks between Katerina and Alexander Winter. Potential love triangle? Friends with benefits? Am I completely off track?
You are exactly on track! There will be much more to come with Katerina and Alexander Winter. Stay tuned for more developments.
What can readers expect for the second book?
More of everything! The Killing Kind will have more assignments, more danger, and more mysterious men. The plotlines left open in The Naked Man will continue. Katerina’s situation will become more desperate and that will require her to take more risks.
I saw on your website that your mom is your editor. What is that process like, working with your mother professionally?
It works really well. My mom is amazing. She is incredibly smart and talented. Writers are always too close to their work. It’s not always possible to be 100% objective. When Judith edits, she sees the work objectively, makes suggestions, and will always ask the tough questions and tell me the truth.
Project Jennifer was my first book. It’s a chick lit romantic comedy that asks the question, “If you had a different name, would you have a different life?” Joan Benjamin loses her job, fiancé, and apartment, all in one week, all because of women named Jennifer. Convinced that Jennifers have all the style, charm, and grace, when Joan finds out she was almost named Jennifer, she decides the Universe made a mistake. Even if she can’t change her name, she’s going to change her life.
For Better of Worse was my second book. It’s women’s fiction, set in New York City. It’s the story of three friends, Elizabeth, Karen, and Emily and their relationships. I wanted to explore power structures. In every relationship, does one partner always have the upper hand? Over a one year period, I explore how the lives and relationships of these women change, with their men and with each other. I mixed humor, drama, and of course, romance.
For all the unpublished authors out there who are sitting on ideas for books, what tips would you give them? You earned your Masters in Literature and Creative Writing from Burlington College in Vermont, is this a path you would recommend for others?
My first tip would be to read as much as possible. Reading makes you a better writer. Then, write as much as you can. It’s tough to write every day because of commitments and schedules but do the best you can. Some days I would only write a paragraph because it was all I had time for, but I did it. Most important, don’t give up. If you love writing, pursue, practice, and persist!
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the path of a Masters degree. The Burlington College Masters program was great for me because it was an Individualized Program, so I had flexibility to help design and choose what I studied. I improved my grammar and spent time working on my essay skills. The Masters degree isn’t the only path and it’s not a fit for everyone.
What would be Katerina Mills Starbucks order? Her Netflix binge show?
Katerina is addicted to hot vanilla lattes with whole milk. That’s one thing she shares in common with the author. 🙂
I think her Netflix binge show would be a mix. A little West Wing for the quick dialogue, mixed with some classic romance like Moonlighting. Great question. I had to think about that!