Monday, March 7, 2016

D.E. Ireland - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author D.E. Ireland, the pseudonym of award-winning authors and Anglophiles Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. They collaborate on the Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery series.

Author Genre: Historical Mysteries, Humor And Comedy, Mystery

Website: Welcome to D.E. Ireland
Author's Blog: D.E. Ireland Blog
Twitter: @DEIrelandAuthor
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
D.E. Ireland is the pseudonym of award-winning authors and Anglophiles Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta - collaborating on the Eliza Higgins and Henry Higgins cozy mystery series for St. Martin's Minotaur. Book 1, WOULDN'T IT BE DEADLY, was nominated for an AGATHA AWARD. MOVE YOUR BLOOMING CORPSE is the second book of the series.

Both Meg and Sharon live in Michigan and are big fans of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, Sherlock Holmes, classic and contemporary cozy mysteries. They prefer reading and visiting tea rooms to housework.
Meg Mims

Author Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers, Romance

Website: Meg Mims
Author's Blog: Meg Mims
Blog: D.E. Ireland Facebook
Twitter: @megmims
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Award-winning mystery author Meg Mims -- also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Agatha-nominated Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series from Minotaur Books -- lives in Southeastern Michigan with her husband and a sweet Malti-poo. She loves writing novels, novellas and short stories, both contemporary and historical. Meg also earned a Spur Award for Best First Novel, a Laramie Award and an M.A. from Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction program.

She's loved reading mystery, western, historical, romance and other genre fiction since first grade's adventures of Spot, Dick and Jane. She has published hundreds of freelance articles. Meg enjoys gardening, crafts, watercolor painting, with housework last.

Sharon Pisacreta

Author Genre: Mystery

Website: Sharon Pisacreta
Author's Blog: Lake Effect Living
Twitter: @Spisacreta
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Google+: Check Out Google+
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Sharon Pisacreta is an award-winning author who lives along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Michigan. She declared herself a writer at age nine and hasn't looked back since. Published in romance, mystery, fantasy and nonfiction, Sharon is a former archaeologist who loves to read and write about history. Her work appears under the names Sharon Pisacreta, Cynthia Kirk and - most recently - D.E. Ireland. She has teamed up with friend and fellow author Meg Mims to write a mystery series as Ireland for St. Martin's Press starring Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. WOULDN'T IT BE DEADLY is the first book in the series with a release date of Sept. 2014.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Get Me to the Grave On Time. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

It’s an Edwardian version of Four Weddings and a Funeral…but with several murders thrown in. As for Book Three’s timeline, our agent is in discussion with several publishers at the moment so we may be switching houses.

Do you do any book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances together? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

We will both be appearing at Malice Domestic conference at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland from April 29-May 1, 2016. Readers should also check out D.E. Ireland on Facebook and Twitter, and at

Has the advent of ebooks changed anything in your writing, getting the book to your readers and the relationship with your readers and fans?

It merely gives readers the choice to read print or read digital. We both love that. Our Kindles are like a ‘virtual library’ and it makes our TBR list longer. Plus the digital versions stay “on the shelf” forever, when print copies are not available. A win-win for authors!

Several of your novels have been converted into audio books. What has been the impact on your regular sales? Has the audio books gained a new audience for D.E. Ireland?

Because we’ve had great feedback from readers who loved the audiobook versions, we hope this has resulted in expanding our audience. That’s hard to gauge, though. At this time it seems most readers still prefer a print book or an iPad, Kindle, or Nook in their hands.

I like the idea of Authors working together. You have authored a couple books together. How did the relationship start? What was the impact on your other sales since both of you write separately? What was the main objective of writing together? How does the communication work?

Friends since college, we have always supported each other personally and professionally. Although we’ve each had novels published on our own, we knew we’d eventually collaborate on something. When Meg came up with the idea of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins solving mysteries together, both of us realized it was the perfect team project…especially with Sharon’s knowledge of British history to help pull it off. Because we’ve been friends for decades, a shorthand already exists in how work with each other. And brainstorming is now twice the fun. We share in all the writing, marketing, and promotion, and our success with this series has also enhanced our individual careers. Last year, we each sold a contemporary cozy mystery series to Kensington Books under the new pen names ‘Sharon Farrow’ and ‘Meg Macy’. How’s that for writing serendipity!

Between your book writing, blogging, marketing, family and all the other things that can get in your way, how do you manage your time? Do you have a set schedule or do you sort of play it by ear?

Given our writing schedules, we need to be organized and disciplined. Even with a detailed outline to work from, there are times we come to the climax of a book during first draft and discover that we missed something important, or a character has developed in such a way that elements of the story must now change. Indeed, characters “take on” their own voices and direct the plot at times. So while everything is planned out advance, we’ve had to handle several unexpected twists on the way to final draft. But it all works out in the end.

What writer support groups do you belong too besides each other? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

Sisters in Crime helps women authors in the mystery/thriller field which is still often dominated by men. D.E. Ireland is also one of eight “historical” authors in Sleuths in Time, which has a presence on Facebook.

How do you start your book launch process for a new book? Give a brief outline of the steps you go through to get your book to market. What methods were the most successful?

Our publisher handles the book launch process by sending out multiple advance review copies. As soon as it’s available, we post the new cover on social media. We always participate in extensive blog tours within the first few weeks after publication to help spread the word. And we maintain a daily presence of Facebook and Twitter by posting and tweeting about our books, writing, and all things British. Both the blog tours and the reviews seem to be the most successful at alerting the readers about our new book.

With both of you writing, how do you manage your plots, characters and timelines to keep your stories going? Do you use any software to keep track of your books?

Our detailed outline is a godsend, and we basically ‘write to spec’ for the first draft. George Bernard Shaw gave us the marvelous characters of Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins, Colonel Pickering, the Eynsford Hills, Alfred Doolittle and Mrs. Pearce, along with appendices to explain them. We tweaked these characters, fleshed them out a bit more, then gave them rein to ‘go their own way’ in our books. We’ve added characters, of course, and have had great fun writing the series. As for software, we don’t use any beyond Word for Mac

Do you maintain a reader list? What are the methods you use to find your readers and create the list and the relationship? Do you use social media, forums, newsletters and/or support groups to build your list?

We reach readers through our blog, on Facebook and Twitter, and Sleuths in Time. We don’t maintain a reader list or put out a newsletter, since we’re also writing other mystery series. The best marketing is an entertaining follow-up book for the series, and we’re hoping Get Me to the Grave on Time gains us even more fans.

Author's Book List
Move Your Blooming Corpse - Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery Book 2
In the second book from talented writing team D.E. Ireland, famous literary characters Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins once again come to life as a hilarious investigative team. Move Your Blooming Corpse explores the Edwardian racing world and the fascinating characters who people it, from jockeys to duchesses, in this delightful traditional mystery that will appeal to fans of British mysteries.

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are at the posh Royal Ascot, the biggest horse racing event of the season. Eliza's father is the new co-owner of a champion racehorse, and Eliza and Henry are excited to cheer the Donegal Dancer on to victory. However, their idyllic outing takes a serious turn when a victim is trampled during the Gold Cup race and someone is found murdered in the stables.

With time running out before the upcoming Eclipse Stakes, she and Higgins investigate jealous spouses, suffragettes and the colorful co-owners of the Donegal Dancer. But can they outrace the murderer, or will there be another blooming corpse at the finish line?

Published under the pen name: D.E. Ireland by authors: Meg Mims + Sharon Pisacreta

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Wouldn't It Be Deadly - An Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery
Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball--where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins' bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess--Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard's prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck's pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor's name is to discover which of Nepommuck's many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

This reimagining of George Bernard Shaw's beloved characters is sheer pleasure. Wouldn't It Be Deadly transports readers to Edwardian London, from the aristocratic environs of Mayfair to the dangerous back alleys of the East End. Eliza and Henry steal the show in this charming traditional mystery.

Published under the pen name: D.E. Ireland by authors: Meg Mims + Sharon Pisacreta

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
HBS Author's Spotlight
eBook Author’s Corner
Top Shelf Author Advice
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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