Monday, March 1, 2010

Author Interview & Book Giveaway w/ J.R. Lindermuth

To help me kick off March Madness is multi-published author, J.R. Lindermuth. J.R. lives and writes in central Pennsylvania. A retired newspaper editor/writer, he is librarian of his county’s historical society. He’s the author of several novels and has published in a variety of magazines.

[Anne] Thank you for joining us today, J.R. Let’s begin with you telling us how you got started in writing? How difficult was your journey to publication?

[J.R.] First, I’d like to say thanks for this interview opportunity.

Like many writers, I was an early reader. Our small community had no library until I was in high school. But, fortunately, my dad had a good library with books ranging from the classics to mysteries and westerns. We also had two good indy bookstores (both long gone now) which over the years got a good share of my coin.

As I got older, I began to emulate some of the writers I admired. It was only later I realized how much I was influenced by my grandfather. Heart problems forced him to retire early and, as the only grandson, I spent lots of time with him, listening to his wealth of stories about earlier times, people he’d known and even some I’m sure he made up.

Later, the Army sent me to journalism school, setting the stage for 40-plus years in the newspaper business. Though I published in a variety of magazines during this period, none of the several novels I wrote sold. I suppose you could call it training.

My first contract for a novel was in 2000 with an e-publishing firm which shortly went bust. I then published that novel and another with iUniverse before landing a contract with Whiskey Creek Press in 2006 for the first of my Sticks Hetrick mysteries. I’ve now published seven novels and have a contract for an eighth.

[Anne] That’s great, congratulations on your success. Why don’t you tell us about your latest book.

[J.R.] I’ve signed a contract with Whiskey Creek Press for Being Someone Else, fourth in the Sticks Hetrick mystery series. Publication date is still to be decided.

In 2009 Whiskey Creek Press published my historical novel, Watch The Hour. Set in Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region during the turbulent 1870s when mine owners were in conflict with their laborers, particularly the Irish, over working conditions.

Ben Yeager is a police officer, sworn to protect property of the mine owners, which makes him the enemy of the Irish. And that’s the crux of his troubles, for Ben is in love with an Irish girl.

[Anne] Where did you come up with the concept for your story?

[J.R.] I grew up in the coal regions. Stories of the Molly Maguires, an alleged Irish terrorist organization, and the labor problems were familiar to me. Research helped fill in the blanks and my imagination did the rest.

[Anne] Okay, say you have this great idea for a book, what do you do next? How much plotting do you do?

[J.R.] I can’t do an extensive outline as some do. I have a general idea of the beginning and end, but I like to be surprised by the route my characters take getting from start to finish.

[Anne] In your opinion what are the most important avenues an author should take in promoting their works?

[J.R.] With all the competition today you’ve got to do the work yourself today to make your name and work known. That means seeking reviews, taking advantage of every opportunity for book signings and speaking engagements, utilizing the media and all the various on line avenues—Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Linked-In, etc., etc.—connecting in whatever way you can with readers and other writers.

[Anne] What is one of the most memorable thing’s that has happened to you since you’ve become a published author?

[J.R.] To me, the most exciting thing is when a reader—any reader—has liked something I’ve written enough to tell me. A big sale or a nice article in a newspaper is nice. But nothing beats having someone say something I’ve written has made their day a little brighter, entertained them or taught them something they didn’t know before.

[Anne] Now for a little fun! Do you have any unusual or not so unusual hobbies you’d care to tell us about?

[J.R.] I don’t know that it’s unusual these days, but I’m deeply involved with genealogy. I started out just doing my own family branches years ago. Since retiring from the newspaper I’ve been librarian of my county historical society where I help others with research.

I also enjoy reading, travel, walking, drawing and spending time with my children and four grandsons.

[Anne] What snack are we likely to see sitting next to your computer when you’re typing away on your next best seller?

[J.R.] Probably something with peanut butter. Love the stuff. Coat it with chocolate and it’s even better.

[Anne] Mummm, peanut butter and chocolate. There’s no better combination! Now let’s pretend you’ve been stranded on an island somewhere in the pacific. What are three things you would miss the most?

[J.R.] Aside from family? Probably access to books, movies and music. Oh, and peanut butter.

[Anne] What advice can you offer for any aspiring authors out there?

[J.R.] Keep writing. Believe in yourself. And keep sending out your manuscripts. Early on, I wanted to be an artist. I asked Thomas Hart Benton, the painter and muralist for advice on how to succeed. His reply was one word: “Paint.” I think the same advice can be applied to writing.

[Anne] Where can we purchase your books? And do you have a website we can visit?

[J.R.] My books are available from my publishers, Whiskey Creek Press,, Lachesis Publishing,; on Amazon, Fictionwise,, numerous other on line sources and, of course, signed from me.

I have two websites. My new one:, and the old one I’m still maintaining for the time being:

[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[J.R.] Again, thank you for this opportunity.

[Anne] Glad to have you! J.R. has graciously agreed to give away a copy of his book, Watch the Hour.  To be entered in the drawing, just leave a comment with your email address. Entry deadline is Sunday at noon (CST)!  See details of my March Madness Contest below.


Linda said...

Please count me in on the Watch the Hour giveaway. Sounds like a good book to read. Thanks.
desertrose573 at gmail dot com

Giada said...

The interview was very interesting! Thanks for the tips!
I can't wait to read this book!


fabgiada at

margaret blake said...

Great interview, John. I like your advice about just "writing" it's sound and the only way to get on, just do it. Like you I never plot, just have beginning and end. I wonder which genre you prefer, historical or your crime fiction?

Miss Mae said...

Ah, a fellow peanut butter lover! Please sign me up to win a copy of your book, please!

MissMaeSite at Gmail dot com

Anne Patrick said...

Thank you for your comments, ladies, your names have been entered into the drawing.

Shawna Williams said...

Great interview!I love that your grandfather was a big influence in your life. My grandmother just turned 90, so I've been reflecting a lot on the ways she's influenced me.

EA said...

JR congrats on the seven, almost eight published novels. It sounds like you're on a role. This novel sounds more than intriguing. Best wishes for your career.

Fantastic interview.

Gail Pallotta said...

An interesting interview. I'd love to find out what happens to Ben and the Irish girl, so sign me up.
Congratulations on all of your accomplishments.

Gail Pallotta said...

Oh, the addy is

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Shawna, EA and Gail. Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you stopping by.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi John,
Great interview. My sister is big on geneology too.Has done our family tree on both sides. I understand it becomes addictive. Good luck with all your projects.

booklover0226 said...

I really enjoyed this interview. J.R. Lindermuth is a new author for me and I look forward in reading his works.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Anne Patrick said...

Thanks for dropping by Tracy and Margaret. Your names have been added to drawing.

irenejacobsonrn said...

Thank you for another interesting interview, Anne.

Congratulations on your writing success, JR. Please enter me in your drawing.

marcusdweston said...

I'm not familiar with your work, J.R., but they all sound like good reads.

Please enter me in the contest!

Amanda Leigh said...

Great interview! I always love when I find new authors and this book sounds like something I would enjoy.


Diane Craver said...

Great interview with wonderful advice about believing in yourself. And I love peanut butter too.

Watch the Hour book sounds great. I'd love to win a copy - here's my email address:

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi John and Anne,
Enjoyed the interview and getting to know more about John. I love peanut butter especially wrapped in chocolate. The tip to just "write" is so important. Thanks for having me over.

Sarah E said...

I have ancestors who worked in the PA anthracite coal mines, and I'd love to read this book. Please enter me in this giveaway!

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Larry Hammersley said...

The interview with Mr. Lindermuth gave me pointers for being seen on the internet for pushing your work. Thanks J.R. and Anne for an interesting interview and info. Larry

Anne Patrick said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments. I'm sure John appreciates them. And you know I do:)

Your names have been added to the drawing. Good luck!

Lady_Graeye said...

Great interview. Please count me in to win. I would love to read it. Thanks.