Death of an Heiress
by Anne Louise Bannon
It is my pleasure to welcome Anne Louise Bannon
to Escape With Dollycas today!
Hi Anne Louise.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve always been a writer. I’d make up stories in my head and eventually, the characters would start “talking” to me. Finally, I needed an excuse to do all the daydreaming I was doing, so at age fifteen, I wrote my first novel. It pretty much stank, but I got it down on paper. I’ve been practicing my art ever since.
I’m also insanely curious about everything – one of the reasons I eventually became a journalist. I remember when I was first working as an office assistant at a major urban daily and got a chance to write a few stories. All my life I’d been chided for asking too many questions, and there I was being told that I needed to ask more. I was in Heaven!
It’s always been about the stories. I love telling/writing them, whether based in fact or only real to me. I’m eclectic as all get out, so you’ll never see me doing just one or even two things. It’s all grist for the story mill, and I love asking all the questions my brain comes up with and seeing where my imagination goes.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It all depends. When I first began the Old Los Angeles series, I did several months (possibly a year) of research because the Nineteenth Century was a little on the new side to me. I mean, I was more familiar with the 1920s, as I’d done a lot of research on that for my Freddie and Kathy series.
I, of course, read a lot. But I’ve always preferred looking at what are called primary documents – the docs that someone wrote up originally, such as city council minutes and tax records. The stories and conclusions people draw from them are called secondary documents. Technically, newspaper accounts are secondary docs, but I cheat if I’m looking at the papers from the time I’m researching and call those primary docs.
I’ve often found that tourist literature from a period is extremely helpful, especially because it describes the ordinary things in a locale that the locals didn’t write down. We had a terrible time finding out how the sluice gates worked on the zanjas, or irrigation ditches, in Los Angeles until a Los Angeles Public Library history librarian found an account of the system in an article written for tourists coming to the area.
While I don’t have to do a lot of research on Nineteenth-Century L.A. anymore, research is unending. I seldom know what all I’m going to need to know until I write the story, itself, and believe me, there is often that last second look up in Wikipedia for a date or factoid. Even after the story is written, I’m still checking things out.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?
Even as prolific as I am, I do get Writer’s Block sometimes. One good thing about being trained as a journalist, though, is that I get over it quickly. You don’t get blank spots in newspapers – you have to come up with something.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Develop the art of tenacity. You’ll need it to get your project written. You’ll need it to get through the editing process. You’ll need it to get it out there, whether you with traditional publishing or do it yourself. Then, you’ll need it to publicize the project.
When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I sew. I read. I sometimes make soap or bread. In fact, the running gag in the household is that my husband and I make the things most sane people buy.
Did the COVID pandemic affect you and your writing?
Oh, dear. I’m the only person I know who got more writing done during the Lockdown. That was probably because I was hiding in my fictional world rather than dealing with what was out there.
I was also able to work masks and other COVID elements into a couple of short stories, one of which will be appearing in the Jacked anthology this summer – but it’s not a cozy, so…
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
There are so many places. I’m curious about everywhere. Okay, maybe I don’t need to actually go to Antarctica, but that’s about the only place I could skip. It’s like I mentioned above, I’m insanely curious and while I love visiting my old faves, there is so much of the world that I haven’t seen yet, and I want to see all of it.
What is next on the horizon for you?
I’m continuing to work on the Operation Quickline series, which I put out as a fiction serial on my blog, https://annelouisebannon.com/blogs. I’ve got book eight in the series, A Little Family Business, running now.
Operation Quickline is basically a cozy spy series or a romance with espionage intrusions, and currently, my characters Lisa Wycherly and Sid Hackbirn are trying to work out how to be a family while searching for the person hiding a cache of stolen weapons.
I’m also starting to plan book five in the Old Los Angeles series, which won’t be out until December 2023. And in June 2023, my contemporary techno-(I hope)thriller, Running Away to Boston, should be out.
Frankly, I’ve always got a lot going on, and all of the above is subject to change. The best way to keep on top of it is to sign up for my newsletter, which you can do by going to my website, https://annelouisebannon.com.
Thank you Anne Louise for visiting today!
Now keep reading to find out about Anne Louise’s new book!
About Death of an Heiress
Death of an Heiress
4th in Series (Old Los Angeles)
Setting – California
Healcroft House, Publishers (June 14, 2022)
Paperback : 306 pages
ISBN-10 : 1948616211
ISBN-13 : 978-1948616218
Digital ASIN : B09W5NLMT8
When the unmentionable stalks the pueblo
It starts when the inheritance that Lavina Gaines was to receive is stolen by her brother Timothy. Then an old Indian healing woman is murdered. Winemaker and physician Maddie Wilcox wants to find the person responsible for Mama Jane’s death, but is also occupied with another killer – the measles.
When Lavina’s friend Julia Carson dies trying to rid herself of a pregnancy, Lavina asks Maddie’s help finding the man responsible for Julia’s child. Soon after, Lavina is killed and her murder bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Mama Jane’s. The only motive Maddie can find involves Julia’s death, which is not the sort of thing one talks about. Not only that, Lavina’s nether garments are missing.
It’s a difficult challenge, but Maddie rises to it, searching among the many men of the pueblo, including some of her dearest friends.
How does a proper lady in 1872 get the answers she needs to stop a killer determined to stop her first?
More About Anne Louise Bannon
Anne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age 15. Her journalistic work has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Wines and Vines, and in newspapers across the country. She was a TV critic for over 10 years, founded the YourFamilyViewer blog, and created the OddBallGrape.com wine education blog with her husband, Michael Holland. She is the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons, with Serita Stevens, as well as author of the Freddie and Kathy mystery series, set in the 1920s, the Operation Quickline series and the Old Los Angeles series, set in the 1870s. Her most recent title is the current stand-alone, Rage Issues. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters. Visit her website at AnneLouiseBannon.com.
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