What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hi, Jean, it's great to be here today. I'm Mal Olson. Born in Beloit, WI, I haven't strayed far—I live about seventy miles from my home town. Wisconsin and Milwaukee have been popular spots for locations in my stories.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I have my own freelance landscape design business. But now that I'm published, I have the feeling I'll want to concentrate even more time on writing. I think I'm already an excessively compulsive writer.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Shadow of Deceit, a romantic suspense, is my debut novel. In less than 20 words: Shadow of Deceit is an adrenaline-kicked, action-packed romantic suspense filled with sexual tension and emotion.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
The wonderful people at The Wild Rose Press published Shadow of Deceit. I self published two short stories, which are free for my readers on my website: www.malolson.com. And both of the short stories (Danger Zone and Me and Brad) are also listed free at amazon.com and most other ebook retailers.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Adrenaline kicked romantic suspense is my niche. I'm working on a series centered around a CIA undercover counterterrorism team, as well as another stand alone romantic suspense that features a female rookie sheriff, her field training officer, and a Belgian Malinois working dog—Too Sexy For His Stetson.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
First and foremost, my oldest daughter is my critique partner. She's an excellent editor as well as a fantastic writer. Every chapter, every short story goes to her numerous times during the process of completing a project. My youngest daughter and her writer/husband also critique for me, as well as my husband and several friends. The more readers who edit, critique, and proofread ahead of time, the tighter and better the final product.
How do you come up with the title and cover designs for your book/books? Who designed the cover ofShadow of Deceit? Do you choose the title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I started out with a working title, but after some major revision, Shadow of Kilimanjaro became Shadow Chasers, and evolved to Shadow of Deceit before I submitted it to The Wild Rose Press. Everyone at TWRP is great to work with, and they let me keep the title I wanted. Then during the publishing process I was given a choice of several cover artists, and was allowed to make suggestions as to what I'd like on my cover. Rae Monet did a fantastic cover—I've loved it since the minute I set eyes on it. Again, my daughter did the covers for my short stories.
Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I still love the feel of a paperback book in my hands, and enjoy seeing my favorites lined up on a bookshelf. Not to say there aren't a lot advantages with an ereader—portability of a large number of books, price of books (many are cheaper than paperbacks), and there are certain books that I want to read which simply aren't available except in e-format.
What are you currently reading Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I'm reading several. A thriller by J.A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson entitled Exposed. Yes, I'm enjoying it and sitting on the edge of my seat as I was in the first book of the (Chandler series). This one is only available as an ebook. I'm also just finishing Linda Howard's Veil of Night, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That one was a paperback purchase.
Are there any new authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and why should we watch out for them?
I love Trish McCallan's debut Forged in Fire. Not only was it a great story but the writing was tight and very fresh. Can't wait for her next book (me and many, many others.)
What do you think about book trailers?
Trailers are so much fun to make, as if I made mine myself. But I chose the music, wrote the script, and picked out the pictures, then my critique partner/daughter and my granddaughter worked the techno part. I love how it turned out, but I'm not sure how effective trailers are as a marketing tool. You'll find mine for Shadow of Deceit on my website and youtube. If you watch it, make sure you have the sound on, that's what makes it.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Never give up. In the words of J.A. Konrath, "There's a word for writers who never give up—published."
If you could invite three favorite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Greg Hurwitz, Suzanne Brockmann, and Linda Howard—but I'd send the girls home early with carry out dessert so I could keep Greg to myself for a while. I've met him in person, and he's not only a brilliant writer, he's cool, and he's cute—so what if I'm old enough to be his ... older sister ... lol
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
www.smashwords.com (for short stories)