I met Joelle when I entered the Mystery/Suspense category of the Daphne du Maurier’s contest run by RWA’s Kiss of Death chapter. She was so friendly and outgoing. We both love to read mysteries, we had mutual friends and we shared several laughs – even after I missed placing in the contest by two points! Oh well…. I loved Joelle’s first book, Skating Around the Law, and am looking forward to Skating Over the Line. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed, Joelle!
1. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET PUBLISHED?
Getting published turned out to be easier than landing an agent. That took me several manuscripts and a lot of years. I actually wrote SKATING AROUND THE LAW (my first published manuscript) in 2006. It was the first mystery I’d attempted to write and I loved every minute of it – probably because I didn’t think it was actually going to get published. I didn’t know much about the mystery market even though I loved reading them. After I was done revising it, I sent out a few queries, but then stopped when I had my son. About 2 months after my son was born, my father was rediagnosed with cancer and for the next 9 months I watched my father fight and lose his battle. I stopped writing during that time. It wasn’t until about 6 months after my father passed away that I started querying again. Which turned out to be great timing. I found a brand new agent who just left her job as an editor for a major house and sent her a query. Nineteen days after I sent it, she signed me. She did a line edit of the book (which was really cool!) and started submitting the book about 6 weeks after we partnered up. Three weeks later we had an offer from St. Martin’s Minotaur.
2. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT RELEASE ABOUT (feel free to expand on a blurb, an excerpt or whatever you’d like to share.)
That feels like a trick question since my current release is my only release:) But I do have another book, SKATING OVER THE LINE, hitting shelves on Sept. 27th. Both books are part of the Rebecca Robbins mystery which involves a woman who goes back to her home town in rural Illinois to sell the rink she inherited from her mother only to run into complications like a dead body in a rink toilet, or in book 2 a car theft ring that turns deadly. The more unusual characters you’ll meet are Rebecca’s lothario grandfather, Pop, and a hat wearing camel named Elwood. And of course, there is a handsome large animal vet that temps Rebecca to put aside her sale of the rink and stay in town.
3. WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUPPORTER IN YOUR WRITING JOURNEY?
I’m really lucky to have a lot of supporters. My family, friends and even the voice students I teach have all been fabulous cheerleaders. But if I had to pick one it would be my husband. From the first day I started typing out a story, he has encouraged me. He is also my first reader on everything I write. We have both grown as reader and writer from the experience and I count on him to help me figure out when my stories have gone off the rails or tell me that I’m not insane for writing something new and different. I am certain I would never have been published without him.
Check out Joelle Charbonneau’s two fast and funny cozy mysteries! Skating Around the Law is out now, and Skating Over the Line will be released on September 27, 2011, by St. Martin’s Press.