Today, Maine Crime Writers introduce you to a debut Maine author, L.C. Rooney. Her post below talks about her journey to publication of her new mystery, Secrets & Lies.
L.C. Rooney: After a years-long writing journey, it scarcely feels possible that today is Pub Day’s Eve for my debut novel, Secrets & Lies.
Like many (most?) first-time novelists, I took full (read: too much) advantage of the luxury of not having a deadline while writing this book. In my defense, however, what I knew about writing when I began had the approximate weight of dust. Writing Secrets & Lies was a labor of love, sure, but also a master class in making (and learning from) every possible fiction-writing mistake. Funny thing, though: every one of my fellow authors–including names that regularly appear on various best-seller lists–tells a similar tale. There’s a reason writers often refer to pub day as a “book birthday.” They recall all too vividly the long, hard, sweaty labor that went into bringing that book into the world.
For me, that consisted of writing my first novel “by the seat of my pants.” (I hear your groaning all the way over here in Bar Harbor…) I don’t know if it was the pantsing or the fact that it was my first novel, but it took way longer than my naïve, ridiculously optimistic newbie self would have ever imagined. Did I mention I started writing it in 2013? And that pub day is tomorrow? You do the math.
Anyway, I decided maybe I should plot the second book in the series so those waiting for Book #2 wouldn’t have to wait an entire presidential term or two for it to drop…except when I attempted it, I realized it’d be less painful to just poke my eyes out with a stick. Try as I might, that extensive outlining thing is just not for me. Faced with the prospect of pantsing another novel (Noooo!!!), I started exploring other options. The writing gods were smiling upon me; it was pity, surely, but who was I to be picky about their motives? I found the elusive middle ground: Jane Cleland’s Plotting Road Map! If you haven’t read her book, Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories That Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats, you can find it here [link to https://amzn.to/3fbRz1l]. The Plotting Road Map is worth the price of the entire book. Discovering this tool was like having the heavens part to reveal the secrets of the universe. Or at least like finding an unopened bottle of your favorite tequila hiding behind that horrible stuff your spouse drinks. And after years of pantsing, there may have been some tequila drinking. Just sayin’.
So, Book #1 is out tomorrow, and I’m happy to say I have a few sales under my belt. And not all of them are my mother. If you’d like to order a copy, you may do so at https://tinyurl.com/secretsandlieslcrooney. You can find an excerpt from Secrets & Lies that provides a view into Riley’s life and how everything’s about to change for her here [link to https://lcrooney.com/secrets-lies-excerpt]. I’d be honored to have you read it and leave your comments.
I count myself fortunate to have such a caring and supportive community around my writing, and the writers and readers of the Maine Crime Writers blog is high on that list. I’m so glad you’re here to help me welcome Riley Russell to the world as we celebrate her (our) book birthday.
P.S. Although I promised you secrets and lies, there are no lies in this post. I swear, even the part about my mother is true.
About the Author
L.C. Rooney’s professional career began by convincing her first boss to pay for her paralegal training. She still considers that to be the most fun she’s ever had working-until she began writing fiction…about a paralegal. While there may be some similarities between the author and her protagonist Riley Russell, the latter is savvier, younger, and more willing to confront danger than the former. Let’s face it: there’s a lot to be said for only having to think, dream, and write about criminals rather than face down the real thing in dark places.
Ms. Rooney currently calls an island off the coast of Maine home, but, like Riley, she is and always will be a Jersey girl at heart.
L.C. (Linda) Rooney’s debut novel Secrets & Lies, is out on May 19, 2021 in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon [link to https://tinyurl.com/secretsandlieslcrooney] and other online retailers. Linda’s website/blog is https://lcrooney.com, where you will also find links to connect with her on social media and subscribe to her blog posts. Follow her Goodreads Author page at https://tinyurl.com/lcrooneygoodreads.