Yesterday I was honored to be a guest on Sylvia Dickey Smith’s Blog Talk Radio show, “Writing Strong Women.” She has interviewed authors from all over the country, and I’ve now joined the list as an author based in both Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The “Writing Strong Women” link is one to bookmark for fascinating interviews with a multitude of authors.
You can look forward to her interview with another Las Vegas author, Wendy Mazaros, in the future. I’ll also be visiting her again next year to talk about Flossie Silver, the feisty eighty-year-old mother of the Silver Sisters and how the next Silver Sisters Mystery, Vanishing Act in Vegas (due for release later this year), shows off her strength in a fun way.
Sylvia and I are both published by L&L Dreamspell, a small but growing press located in Texas. In keeping with the theme of strong women, it takes a strong woman to follow the dream of becoming a publisher in today’s market. L&L Dreamspell founders Lisa Smith and Linda Houle have proven that working smart, attracting excellent authors and moving with the market is the way to do it.
It is no surprise that Sylvia launched a blog radio show about strong women. Born in Orange, Texas, she returned to the U.S. and earned her degrees in sociology and psychology after living on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, W.I. for six years, balancing studies with raising four children. That’s a feat in itself. Her business focused on management effectiveness training, marriage counseling and assertiveness training for women.
President of the Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime chapter, like me, belongs to and is active in multiple writer’s groups. As a novelist, her fiction wins the hearts of readers everywhere. True to the theme of her show, she creates strong, memorable characters that readers can easily identify with because they struggle with issues and timely situations like those faced in everyday life. Her most recent release, A War Of Her Own, has received many 5 star ratings. Set in 1943, it traces the life of a woman who must be strong—must fight her own battles against a no-good husband, the prejudice facing women in the workplace, and the mysteries of her own past. A vibrant woman of her times, Bea embarks on a journey to discover who she really is.
Sylvia and I chatted about how I came to write Devil’s Dance and The Devil’s Due featuring a protagonist far different than Bea. It was an important topic, because those books are dedicated to all the young girls who have been kidnapped and/or raped—those that survived and those that didn’t. She skillfully directed the conversation to an understanding of what it took for Jen Connor to transition from a terrified teen kidnap and rape victim to a confident woman fully in charge of herself.
As we talked, the issue that rose to the top was one of trust. The danger of trusting the wrong people and the ability to trust the right ones. I found myself telling her a person must not be afraid to ask questions if things don’t seem right. To listen to the entire half-hour, click here. Even though there are gaping cracks in the glass ceiling in this day and age, often women still have to go the extra mile for survival, credibility and achievement. Sylvia has interviewed a long list of authors who bring them to life in books we love to read.
MORGAN ST. JAMES writes Spotlight, every Tuesday in the Las Vegas edition and Wednesday in the Los Angeles edition, featuring profiles or interviews with local or visiting authors, events, organizations and special topics.
Read Writers Tricks of the Trade every Thursday in the Las Vegas edition and Friday in Los Angeles for tips, tricks and techniques for aspiring and published writers. Writers Tricks of the Trade: 39 Things You Need to Know About Writing Fiction, a handy information-packed book, is targeted for release later this year. Watch for the announcement. If you don’t want to miss these columns, click the SUBSCRIBE button and Examiner will send you a notice when new columns are published.