Please welcome Lea Wait, author of the Antique Print Mysteries and the Mainely Needlepoint Mysteries.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A day in which I write at least 2,000 new words on my latest manuscript, temperatures are in the low 70s, my husband and I are both in good health …. and we have time to sit outside on our porch overlooking the river and talk, sip beverages of choice (maybe my artist husband sold a painting and we celebrate with champagne!) and read a chapter or two in new books by favorite authors. Right now I’m reading the latest Sharon McCrumb, and Bob’s reading the latest Linda Fairstein. Perfect!
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?
My favorite saying is “Destiny is not a matter of course, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan wrote that. My kids would say my favorite expression is, “Keep your options open!” Meal? Cheese fondue, or any seafood.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
So many. Sharon McCrumb’s Appalachian series, for sure. Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott was my go-to book as a child, and in some ways I patterned my life after Jo’s. And I love the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman.
Do you listen to music when you write?
No. It distracts me and interferes with the rhythms of my sentences.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Very dark chocolate filled with nuts … and a marshmallow filling. In Shadows on a Morning in Maine antique print dealer Maggie Summer moves to Maine to start an antiques mall with her beau, and finally gets an adoption referral. She’s thrilled and excited, of course. But there’s a bitter side. The girl who may become her daughter doesn’t want a mother, harbor seals are being killed, her guy tells her a dark secret … but, yes. There’s a sweet finish.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Maggie Summer, my protagonist, is a college professor (I’m not) and an antique print dealer (I was for years.) She’s a widow (not me) and wants to adopt as a single parent. (I did, four times.) There’s a special guy in her life, but he doesn’t want to be a father. (Been there.) So – in some ways Maggie’s story is mine. Plus – she moves from New Jersey to Maine! I did that, too … a move I’ve never regretted.
What themes do you regularly revisit in your writing?
The search for family, and for the place that is right for you. That’s a theme in both my adult mysteries and my historical novels for young people.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Maggie is as serious about her business as the heroine in the movie You’ve Got Mail, and has the same sense of humor. She wants to be a mother, and is prepared to reorganize her life around that goal, like Angelina Jolie did. (But without Angelina’s money!) And she’s sensitive and interested in young adults (who appear in many books in “her” series) as well as children, like Jo March was in Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Wow! So many choices! I’d bring together Agatha Christie, Louise Penny, Mary Stewart, Kate Morton, Anne Perry and Lisa Scottoline. Very different writers, but all women who share some of my own sensibilities regarding families and history.
What’s next for you?
A busy fall! This month I celebrated the launch of Shadows on a Morning in Maine, the eighth in my Shadows Antique Print mystery series, and on October 26, Dangling By a Thread, the fourth in my Mainely Needlepoint series will be published. I’m currently writing the sixth in the Mainely Needlepoint series, and am researching an historical mystery that may or may not be a stand-alone. Not bored, for sure! Thank you for hosting me! You have a great blog.
USA Today best selling author Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine, where she writes the Shadows Antique Print mystery series, the most recent of which is Shadows on a Morning in Maine, and the Mainely Needlepoint series. Dangling by a Thread, the next in that series, will be published in late October. Lea adopted four older girls as a single parent, and is now married to artist Bob Thomas and the grandmother of eight. To find out more about her, see www.leawait.com or friend her on Goodreads or Facebook.