Q&A and Giveaway with L.J. Sellers!

Today’s featured author is L.J. Sellers, author of The Sex Club {A Detective Jackson Mystery}!

Read below to discover more about L.J. and her writing… and enter the giveaway – Five Frugal eReaders will win an eCopy of The Sex Club! Just leave a comment on this post for entry!


See the bonus entry details after the Q&A!

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Thank you for spending some time with us Frugal eReaders! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Eugene, where I’ve been since earning a journalism degree from the University of Oregon. So I’ve worked as a journalist and editor most of my career, including a long stint on a pharmaceutical magazine, where I learned a lot about drugs. :)

Personally, I have a lot of energy and I’m very physically active, despite spending most of my day at a computer. I love to bike, dance, swim, skate, and go for walks with my husband. We have three grown children we spend a lot of time with too. And as my bio says, I’ve been known to jump out of airplanes, go parasailing, and venture up in a hot air balloon. You could say I’m an adrenaline junkie.

When did you first know that you wanted to write? What inspired you to start?

Even as a child, I loved to write stories and reports for school. In college, I stopped writing fiction, thinking I wasn’t creative enough for it. But I continued writing nonfiction and made a career of it, even earning the Grand Neal for a magazine feature. Of course, I’ve always loved to read fiction, and one day I was reading a particularly bad novel and thought: I could write a better story than that. So I challenged myself to give it a try. And I loved it! Writing that novel was like coming home, and I knew it would become my life’s passion. As soon as I finished the first story, I started another and have been writing novels and improving my craft ever since.

How would you describe the style of your writing?

Because I’m a journalist, my prose is rather lean and straightforward. But my stories are complex, action-packed, and filled with tension. I also write from a variety of points of view to keep the story interesting for myself and my readers, and I like to include unusual characters, so readers never quite know what to expect from me.

The Sex Club is the first in your Detective Jackson Mystery series, and includes some powerful themes. How did you come up with such an intriguing premise?

I wrote the story in 2005 when I was upset with the White House at that time for its decision to waste money teaching abstinence-only sex education. And I’ve always felt that suppression of sexuality usually backfires and creates more problems than it prevents. I had also read a couple of news stories about bizarre sexual practices of young teens in the Midwest. All of those ideas came together for me, and I kept bouncing them off each other until the plot fully developed. I knew when I was writing it that it was a provocative story. Sometimes I would laugh out loud and think: No one will ever publish this. But thousands of readers have bought it, and hundreds have contacted me to say how much they liked it.

What were the challenges of writing this novel?

The biggest challenge was finding the right balance between portraying the issues and keeping the novel true to the mystery/suspense genre. I didn’t want the story to seem preachy, so in the second draft, I cut out half of the political stuff. Most of my readers think I found the right balance, but conservative readers disagree, and I expected that.

So recently, to be more inclusive of all readers, I decided to rebrand the Detective Jackson series and pull The Sex Club from its position at the top of the list. When I wrote it, the story was intended to be a standalone. Then years later when I finally had time to write again, I decided to base my next story on the same character. Secrets to Die For is really the first book I wrote intending to launch a series, and it’s now listed as Jackson’s debut. Of course, readers can start the series with either book.

What was your favorite part of writing The Sex Club?

I loved writing the ending and coordinating the timing of all the different events that come together in an explosive climax. I still like reading the ending too. It may always be my favorite conclusion.

You have several novels outside of the Detective Jackson Mysteries. How are these similar or different than your series? Do you have a favorite?

Almost all of my novels are set in Eugene, so my thrillers have that in common with my mysteries. Detective Jackson has a cameo in all my thrillers too. But compared to my police procedurals, my thrillers are unusual stories with unusual settings that make readers say, “This story was unlike anything I’ve read.” Picking a favorite novel is impossible, but in some ways, The Baby Thief will always be special to me because I worked on it for two years and eventually landed a great agent. It was the first novel I wrote that made people in the industry take notice of me.

What is your creative process for determining the final title and cover for your novels?

The title of the story usually comes to me when I’m writing it. I consider other possibilities and sometimes ask beta readers what they think, but I usually end up with the title that came to me during the creation. As for the cover, I spend hours and hours looking at images until I find a few I really like. Then I send them to my graphic artist and get her opinion. From there, we collaborate to create the final design.

Any advice to those who hold the dream of becoming an author?

Keep improving your craft through workshops and reading articles. Writers Digest is a great magazine for that. Then send your work to people in the industry or to professional evaluators for feedback. If they say you have talent, then never give up until your stories are published. At this point, I don’t advise anyone to send their manuscripts to agents or editors, but I don’t discourage it either. Everyone has to create their own path. For writers who have already been through that submission process and gotten nowhere with it, I advise them to invest in self-publishing and learn everything they can about promotion.

I know we’ll see more Detective Jackson mysteries, and you’re currently working on the 6th book in the series. Would you like to share anything about that upcoming release, or anything else you’re working on?

My new Jackson story will be released late next month and it’s titled Liars, Cheaters & Thieves. Each of my stories is unique with different crimes, different kinds of victims, and different POV characters, and this one is no exception. Here’s the back cover copy:

Thursday night, a young veteran’s throat is slashed in a parking lot. Friday morning, an older women dies of a heart attack when she realizes her bank account has been cleaned out. The homicide-scene evidence points to the man’s cheating wife, but when Detective Jackson finds bizarre materials in their home and a link to a phony charity, the case gets complicated. When another man is killed, Jackson and his team decide to follow the money—but can they find the trail before anyone else is murdered?

What is one of your favorite passages from The Sex Club?

My favorite passage is near the end, but I can’t share much of it without giving away the mystery. But this paragraph always give me a little jolt:

The bitch. She was trying to make them leave. Right after lying about not knowing the names of the kids in the sex club. Rachel decided Kera Kollmorgan could not be trusted.

Thank you so much for taking the time to let us learn more about you and your book! I wish you the best!

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The Sex Club

When a bomb explodes at a birth-control clinic and a young client turns up dead, Detective Jackson is assigned both cases. But are they connected? Kera, the clinic nurse who discovers that the girl’s Bible group is really a sexual free-for-all, thinks they are. But confidentiality keeps her from telling the police, so she digs for the truth on her own and becomes the bomber’s new target. Soon another girl is murdered. Can Jackson uncover the killer’s shocking identity in time to stop the slaughter?

“A thrilling, eye-opening read.” —Mystery Scene magazine

“A well-plotted suspenseful tale with a pulse-pounding ending.”—Midwest Book Review

 

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The characters were compelling, the procedural work was dead-on, and the story was enthralling. Definitely recommended.”—Michelle Gagnon, author of Boneyard

 

“The Sex Club is a must read!”—Seattle Mystery Bookshop

 

 

Click here to read more about and purchase The Sex Club from Amazon for $2.99

Connect with L.J.:

http://ljsellers.com
http://readersrule.org
http://crimefictioncollective.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/ljsellers
https://twitter.com/#!/LJSellers

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How to enter the Take The Sex Club Giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post!

Bonus Entries {leave an additional comment for each one!}:

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Comments

  1. Katie Bynum says:

    Looks like something I would enjoy!

  2. Brandon says:

    Here is my entry. Thank you.

  3. Raquel says:

    would love to win this book

  4. Ashley says:

    Enter me! Thanks!

  5. Christle says:

    I would love to get this one, it sounds really interesting!

  6. Debbie R says:

    I enjoyed reading the Q and A. Thanks.

  7. Carla says:

    My entry to this give away.

  8. Mati says:

    pick me, pick me..:)

  9. Digna S. says:

    Thanks for the chance to win

  10. Krissie says:

    Yay..My kind of book. Thanks a lot!!

  11. Krissie says:

    Liked this in my Facebook for another chance

  12. Debbie Bo says:

    Please count me in. I would love to win a copy

  13. LJ Sellers says:

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping in. I appreciate your time and your interest in my work.

  14. CaliSue says:

    Sounds good! I’d love to win a copy.

  15. CaliSue says:

    shared on Twitter

  16. Josie says:

    I’d like to read this one…sounds pretty interesting.

  17. Josie says:

    ‘Liked” on FB for another chance to win

  18. Josie says:

    Shared on FB for another entry

  19. books4me says:

    Looks like a great series!

  20. books4me says:

    GFC: books4me

  21. books4me says:

    FB: Wendy Dee

  22. books4me says:

    I am a newsletter subscriber:)

  23. Carmee Ross says:

    Looks like an interesting read, thank you, Ms. Sellers for the giveaway.

  24. Carmee Ross says:

    “Liked” on facebook for another opportunity to win this great title.

  25. Jean Cundick says:

    I’d love to win-thanks for the opportunity!

  26. Jean Cundick says:

    Liked the post on facebook for another chance to win. Thanks again!

  27. Debbie Griffith says:

    This sounds really good! Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  28. Debbie Griffith says:

    I “shared” on Facebook :)

  29. Debbie Griffith says:

    I also “liked” on Facebook!

  30. Debbie Griffith says:

    I am already a newsletter subscriber. I love your site, I’ve found some really great books here that fit in my budget! Thanks for all the great frugal finds and also the great giveaways you offer! :)

  31. Carrie Havlik says:

    Would love to have this!

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