Sisters In Crime/Hawaii: What led you to a career writing fiction?
ROSEMARY MILD: When I met Larry I was fifty-one, divorced, and out on a blind date. As he was driving me home, he announced: “When I retire, I'm going to write a novel and I want you to help me.”
I chirped, “Okay!” What was I thinking? I'd never written a word of fiction and neither had he. And I'd only known this man four hours! I was a career editor and journalist. Larry was an electronics design engineer writing technical papers. It didn't occur to me to say "Forget it" because in a matter of minutes we had become soul mates. It was chemistry, folks, and I'm convinced I knew him in a previous life.
We married the following year, but it was seven years before we started writing together. Larry retired and, with his typical gusto, wrote the first draft of the novel he’d dreamed about. It’s our thriller, Cry Ohana, Adventure and Suspense in
(Ohana is “family” in Hawaiian). Then
he handed me his 450-page manuscript and said, “Your turn.” Hawaii
Yikes! It was truly the halt leading the blind. This is the book on which we cut our fiction teeth. We subjected it to two critique groups, three different titles, and umpteen drafts. After twenty years as snowbirds in
we're steeped in local color and cultures, which gives Cry Ohana its authenticity. Recently we waved goodbye to Severna
Park, Maryland, and moved here permanently to be with our daughters and
Sisters In Crime/Hawaii: Why did you choose to collaborate in a short story anthology?
ROSEMARY MILD: We already had a stable of stories under our belts, many of them published. We've had a series of eight stories featuring a "soft-boiled" detective named Slim O'Wittz in MYSTERICAL-E, an on-line magazine. We were thrilled that Gail and Laurie created the project Mystery in Paradise. An anthology has a lasting quality, and our fellow contributors are excellent writers. It's an honor to be included. We lucked out getting a second story in it when one contributor backed out.
Happily keeping our Maryland connections, we're members of both the Chesapeake and Hawaii chapters of Sisters in Crime. This fall, we'll have a Valentine's Day story in the "Chessie" chapter's anthology Chesapeake Crimes: Homicidal Holidays.
Sisters In Crime/Hawaii: What is one phrase that reflects you as writers?
ROSEMARY MILD: Larry and I are cheerful partners in crime. We have a great time thinking up well-deserved punishments for characters that our readers love to hate. In general, mystery writers are placid, genial folks, because we can take out our aggressions on our villains.
Our titles in Mystery in Paradise are "The Joss at Table Twelve," based on an ancient Chinese legend: Where lions and dragons prowl, six strangers take a chance on fate; and "Adrift on Kaneohe Bay": Captain Rick's glorious day-sail takes a tack into a deadly enigma.
Larry and I have coauthored two novel series: the Paco & Molly Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. They have food titles because one of the sleuths is a gourmet cook—and because Larry is an incorrigible punster. The night we met, he slipped a pun or two into our dinner conversation. I retorted: “I bet you pun in your sleep.”
“Sure,” he said. “I was born in the Year of the Pun. That’s the thirteenth sign of the Zaniac.” (I still laugh. I’m pretty sure our marriage depends on it.)
Our newest series begins with Death Goes Postal, A Dan and Rivka Sherman Mystery. Rare fifteenth-century typesetting artifacts journey through time, leaving a horrifying imprint in their wake. The
risk life and limb to locate the
treasures and unmask the murderer. Not quite what they had in mind when they
bought The Olde Victorian Bookstore. Shermans
Sisters In Crime/Hawaii: What is your current project?
ROSEMARY MILD: Death Takes a Mistress, the second Dan and Rivka Sherman Mystery, is our work-in-progress. Woefully behind schedule, I admit; I'm the villain here.
The way we work is this. Larry says he's more devious than I am, so he conjures up our plots and writes the first draft. I come behind him, tossing and dressing the narrative salad and breathing life into the characters. Then we "negotiate" to be sure the writing comes out seamless, sounding like one author. Larry has tremendous drive. He depends on me to keep pace with him. But I don't.
I also have a writing life of my own in nonfiction—essays and memoirs, and I tuck my projects in between our fiction. For months at a time! My new book is Love! Laugh! Panic! Life with My Mother. (It's on Kindle now; paperback coming soon.) I recently published Miriam's World—and Mine, my second memoir of our daughter Miriam Luby Wolfe, whom we lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Still, I love working with Larry. He's the Energizer Bunny—only cuter.
All our books are available on Amazon, Kindle, and Nook. Or from us. Visit us at www.magicile.com or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for including us on the Sisters in Crime/Hawaii blog.