Please welcome Barb Schlicting, author of The Whitehouse Dollhouse Store mysteries and The First Lady Mysteries series!
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
I love being able to get up refreshed and get in a nice walk down by the lake. I start at the park next to the campus and walk to town along the lake. It’s so beautiful. I love to see the ducks, loons, all the wildlife. The air is clean and fresh.
After the walk, get a good cup of coffee, a chocolate, and sit and write until noon. The rest of the day free and clear for other activities.
How did you get started writing?
I have had a penpal in England for 55 years. Chris is like my best friend forever. My BFF. Ever since we began writing, we’ve told each other our secrets from our first dance to first kiss and first time making love. All the emotions of a young teenage girl would have, we both poured into our writing. We’re friends on FaceBook, of course, and keep in touch that way, however, three years ago, I spent two weeks with her, and we’ve decided to go back to writing letters. It’s great. I’m usually the delinquent and have to be reminded to get in gear and write. Writing emails or typing letters just doesn’t cut the mustard, as it were, long hand is the way to write.
I believe that because of my good friend, I became interested in writing. I’ve always loved to read, but writing is different. I learned to spin stories and express myself through the process of writing. I also learned that I had a knack for telling stories.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
I fell in love with the First Ladies since I was a little girl. I absolutely adored Jackie Kennedy and felt so sorry for her and the children. I was in sixth grade at the time of the assassination, which made an impact on me. I also loved Betty Ford, Barbara Bush and Michelle Obama. I fell in love with them all. That being said, I got a ‘bee in my bonnet’, and sent a letter to each of the presidential libraries requesting an autographed photo of each one.
The first one to respond was Rosalynn Carter. Barbara and Laura Bush sent a photo of which they’d calligraphy their signature. Barbara Bush also sent me a note. I received a signed photo of Nancy Reagan which is similar to a Christmas card and it has the presidents picture on it, also. It was more difficult to receive Hillary Clinton’s because they kept wanting to send me her photo as Secretary of State. I finally told whoever it was, that I’m not a moron, just send the picture. I received an envelope full. Betty Ford died when I realized she had been alive so I screwed up with her. However, here’s the big one, Michelle Obama sent me a letter on White House stationery plus the signed photo. I’ll be her fan for life.
Now, I don’t know what to do with them. I’m afraid of something happening to them, so they’re in the banks safe deposit box.
This story leads me to my First Ladies Mystery series.
Tell us a bit about your new book.
Edith Wilson: Fourteen Points to Death is the first in a White House Dollhouse store series. A horrible murder of a First Lady Edith Wilson actress generates backlash from cast members. Liv, the store’s owner, takes on the role and does her own investigation. Little did she know that the death sentence stems from one-hundred year old resentment for the treatment of the Suffragists.
This is the first in the White House Dollhouse Series. I’ve decided to publish the series under my own imprint. The series is a great way to learn bits and pieces of history without being tested!
I’m a First Lady fanatic which is why I write the First Ladies Mystery Series.
My high school was Theodore Roosevelt in Minneapolis so I was bound to be a history nut from the start. My dad graduated from the same school. I should’ve paid attention to karma and majored in American history instead of elementary and special education.
I have three First Ladies mystery books, one historical fiction mystery, a new White House Dollhouse Store mystery, and two picture books. A recently published picture book features the first few days in New York City with First Lady Martha Washington. I also write poetry and have a published book. I live in Bemidji with my husband and walk outside, weather permitting, by the campus and along the lake Bemidji boulevard.