Please welcome Donna White Glaser, author of The Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery series.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
My idea of a perfect day would be the simultaneous occurrence of energy, time, and solitude. I never get all three. Because I have fibromyalgia, energy is the most elusive of the trio, but with school-age kids and a family run business, the latter two are in short supply, too.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
My mother’s side of the family are Norwegian and we eat a dish called crub. Crub is a type of dumpling made from beef broth and flour, stuffed with suet, salt and pepper, and boiled for an hour and a half. Legend has it that the Vikings would take crub on their raiding journeys, although they used blood instead of broth. Personally, I’m glad we evolved to beef broth. Needless to say, crub is an acquired taste. Most people like it the next day when we slice it up and fry it in oil. Basically, it’s a combination of all the bad things we aren’t supposed to eat—white flour, salt, fat, and more salt.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Phyllis A. Whitney: Her book, Guide to Fiction Writing, was the first how-to writing resource that I’d ever read. Her system for using a 3-ring binder is genius. I still use her system, although I’ve incorporated it into Scrivener.
Mrs. Williams: a very proper, slightly scary English teacher who took me aside one day and told me I had talent in writing. It took nearly two decades for me to believe her, but she planted the seed.
Sisters in Crime: It’s kind of cheating to use a whole group of people, but SinC was the first writing community I discovered and the years of encouragement, advice, and support helped me turn a dream into a reality.
Do you listen to music when you write?
No music. I’m a word girl and have never been able to write to music.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
A basic, everyday Hershey bar with almonds. My main character, Letty Whittaker, is down-to-earth and a little nuts.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I started writing Letty’s story after it occurred to me how well AA’s 4th Step list would work as a suspect list. In AA, the 4th and 5th Steps focus on listing anyone who we have hurt or who have hurt us during our drinking years. It’s also called the list of resentments.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Redemption and rebuilding are the primary themes that Letty faces in all of her adventures. She knows first-hand how messed up we can make our lives.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Letty grew up in an alcoholic family that, like most families with addiction issues, grapple with secrecy and shame. As a psychotherapist, she continues the legacy of secrets, but as a tool for building people up rather than tearing them down.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Letty could be the love child of Kinsey Millhone and Alex Delaware, with a little Stephanie Plum thrown in.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Joe Konrath, Steven King, Sue Grafton, Hugh Howey, Agatha Christie, and Jeffrey Deaver
What’s next for you?
In Book 4, The Blood We Spill, Letty infiltrates an Armageddon-style cult in search of a friend’s daughter who “disappeared” in its midst. I’m hoping for an early spring release, but a ferocious muscle spasm in my left shoulder has kept me from much writing in the last few weeks and has thrown a jumbo-sized wrench into my work. I’ve got the cover designed, though, so that’s exciting.
Donna White Glaser is the author of The Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery series. Like her main character, Donna is a psychotherapist and lives northwestern Wisconsin. As if that weren’t enough, she and her husband own a residential construction company where it’s Donna’s job to deal with any overly emotional, what-do-you-mean-you-can’t-put-roof-trusses-up-in-a-thunderstorm? clients. Strangely enough, she often comes up with ideas for creative murders and hiding bodies during business hours. Currently she is at work on the fourth Letty Whittaker 12 Step Mystery. Donna would love to hear from you via her website at www.donnawhiteglaser.com.