We have author CJ Petterson visiting this week with an anthology of eight historical western romances, entitled The Posse.
Welcome, CJ! How do you take your coffee?
CJ: I drink my half-caf coffee (about eight cups a day) black, no sugar.
Ally: A gal after my own heart. While I pour, please introduce yourself to readers.
Author “cj petterson” is the pen name of Marilyn A. Johnston whose publication credits include two contemporary romantic suspense novels as well as non-fiction and fiction short stories that have appeared in several anthologies. Retired from corporate life and now living on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, she takes her pen name from her paternal grandmother. She is currently working on a mystery series that features private detective Jannicka A. Konnor…of course there is a touch of romance.
Something unusual not included in your regular bio: "I once out-shot my policeman (now ex-) husband on the police department gun range. Maybe that’s why there are guns in all of my stories." :)
Click on the links below to visit cj petterson:
Simon&Schuster Author Page
Amazon Central Author Page
blog at: www.lyricalpens.com
Ally: What made you want to be a published writer?
CJ: I started writing creatively after I retired from a job that required a lot of report writing. A couple of years into retirement I was bored and took a university night class called “Storming the Walls of the Publishing Industry.” I wrote my first seven pages, got gobs of positive feedback, and the ball rolled on from there.
Ally: Does your real life show up in your writing? In what ways?
CJ: There is a part of me, real or wished-for, and/or my personal adventures in all of my female protagonists. That’s especially true in one of my romantic suspense novels. I once spent five-and-a-half days white-water rafting in Colorado and also spent two days driving a doors-off, stick-shift Wrangler on a Jeep Jamboree off-road adventure in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The protagonist in my CHOOSING CARTER romantic suspense novel enjoys some of these same adventures.
Ally: Talk about the research you do.
CJ: I love to make deep dives into research rabbit holes and can get lost for hours chasing that Google rabbit. My first book, DEADLY STAR, was great because I learned about nanosatellites, genetically modified foods, DARPA, international politics. The next step was even more challenging and exciting: Using those facts to tell a story, keeping the author speak and info dumps of all my new-found knowledge off the pages. I do most of my research before I start the story, but as I create roadblocks for the characters, I’m always back at Google doing more. Occasionally, I do first-person interviews with law enforcement, or as when I wrote CHOOSING CARTER, with a white-water rafting group in Colorado.
Ally: What's your best marketing tip? What didn't work out for you?
CJ: Get your name, your brand out there. A good story introduces you, but you have to work at keeping your name on the top of someone’s mind when they look for their next story to read. What doesn’t work for me is any marketing tool/method that doesn’t give me a good return on investment. I haven’t found that Facebook “boosts” give me enough bang for my bucks.
Ally: What is your next writing project?
CJ: A final edit on a novella that I finished on Jan 8. A beta reader currently has it. The tentative title is “Ms. Jake Konnor, PI.” Jake Konnor moves from Michigan to Mobile, Alabama, to begin her new career as a private investigator. Her first big case is about a man whose reckless behavior in his teenaged years comes storming back to haunt him thirty years later. When his wife is murdered and his daughter kidnapped, Jake realizes she’s working one of the most complicated cases a fledgling PI can have. I’m planning to submit the story to the publisher within the next month and keeping my fingers crossed that they like it. Else, I’ll start working on my self-publishing skills.
Ally: We can't let you get away without trying a few quick answer questions:
- a. favorite book: Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, because it got me hooked on action, adventure, and historical fiction.
- b. favorite accessory: Pierced earrings
- c. Do you believe in love at first sight? Actually, yes…oh wait, maybe that’s lust.
- d. favorite song: “Amazing Grace” especially when played by a bagpiper.
- e. favorite quote: Mark Twain: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
Ally: Thanks so much for joining us for coffee, CJ!. Good luck with the anthology. Give us an idea of what we'll find inside the cover...
Short Story Collection (various authors)
Release date: March 15, 2017
“Bad Day at Round Rock” a historical fiction story is CJ Petterson's latest published work. It is written in overlapping segments about four people—one of whom is based on her maternal grandmother—whose lives are forever changed by a cache of twenty-dollar gold pieces that the outlaw Sam Bass stole in a train robbery. “Bad Day at Round Rock” is chock full of history, mystery, myth, greed, and love…as are the rest of the stories in the anthology.
Seven authors contributed short stories to The Posse. All are human interest tales with all the action you expect in a story about the Wild West.
Lyn Horner: The Schoolmarm's Hero
Frank Kelso: One Way or Another
cj petterson: Bad Day at Round Rock
Charlene Raddon: The Reckoning
Chimp Robertson: Headed for Texas
Jim Stroud: Savage Posse
Chuck Tyrell: Set a Thief
Bonus- Frank Kelso: Tibby's Hideout.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/0oo6YmUWwP4
99 cent EBOOK bargain!
Pre-Order/Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Posse-Historical-Western-Romances-ebook/dp/B06XCBBCS7