Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Judith Lucci - An Author Interview at the HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Judith Lucci. She is a Mystery, Thriller & Suspense writer. Judith is the the Best-Selling author of the Alexandra Destephano and Michaela McPherson Thriller/Crime series.

Author: Judith Lucci

Author Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Website: Judith Lucci
Author's Blog: Judith Lucci
Twitter: @JudithLucci
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description:
Judith Lucci is a Wall Street Journal and Amazon Best Selling author who writes what she knows.... Hospitals, Medicine, Crime and Art. She adds suspense along with well-constructed plots, vivid descriptions and memorable characters. Very few readers can put down her medical and crime thriller novels once they start reading them.

Ms.Lucci is a Gold Medal Winner for Best Sleuth 2017 for Dr. Dude, the first book in the Michaela McPherson Series and Best Political Thriller 2017 for Viral, the third book in the Alexandra Destephano Novels. She has contributed to five anthologies which are currently available on Amazon. She has recently claimed the prestigious status of a Wall Street Journal Best Selling author. Her Cozy Mystery series, Artzy Chicks, debuts this summer and takes place at Massanutten Resort where she and five ditzy authors solve mysteries that occur at the resort.

Dr. Lucci is the author of the Alexandra Destephano Series, true-to-life medical thrillers set in New Orleans and the Michaela McPherson crime series set in Richmond, Virginia. Lucci's thrillers are a fast-paced, riveting reads that offer readers believable drama, memorable characters and true suspense.

Judith was born and educated in Virginia where she holds graduate and doctoral degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. She is also the author of numerous academic and health-related articles and documents.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Congratulations on your book: The Case of the Man Overboard. Rumor has it that you have a book set on the horizon called Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

James, thanks so much for including me on your blog. Yes, the Case of the Man Overboard released a while back and has done very well. It even earned an Amazon Best Seller’s badge! Overboard is the third book in my Michaela McPherson crime series. Another book in that series will release later this year.

On 24 July, a limited collection of 12 never-before published Mysteries by 12 of the Best Cozy Authors around releases. Summer Snoops and Cozy Crimes: Mysteries for the Dog Days of Summer will release. The authors that are part of this set are excited and a review of the blurb will let you know that each author is quite eclectic in her writing. Another thing the Snoops authors are that all of our profits will be donated to Animal Non-Kill shelters. We have specifically selected Anicara, a non-kill shelter in Virginia, and the Jefferson Parish SPCA, a non-kill shelter outside of New Orleans. We’re proud to be able to help these Shelters in their efforts to find homes for dog and cats.

You have a good following on twitter. Since you started before the social media buzz, what impact has social media relationships had on your current success? How did you build your following in your niche? How much has it changed your book launch process?

I do spend a fair amount of time on social media. I have quite a few Twitter followers and Facebook followers. I'm also have a small presence of Instagram and Pinterest. I know social media platforms have certainly given my books visibility and helped build my reader base. My book launch process is greatly affected by using my social media relationships. Critical to my success is my mailing list that I've worked hard to build over the last few years. I believe a combination of personal appearances, social media and mailing list followers are part of what every author needs to build their author platform and be successful.

You do a lot of book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances. When and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I've been fortunate to grow my reader base by being the Writer-in-Residence at the five-star four-season Massanutten Resort in the Virginia Mountains. I'm generally there every Monday afternoon at the Conference Center where I meet resort guests and sign books. I also sign books one other day a week, usually Wednesday afternoons at the Artisan Galleries on resort Drive in the Massanutten Resort complex. I truthfully believe the access to these people from literally all over the world has helped me grow as an author. I'm also always at the Suffolk Mystery Writers Conference each year as well as Killer Nashville. I try to get to Boucheron but something miss it. I keep my personal appearances on my (well, at least I try to!)

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Thank you for noticing my book covers! They are designed by Margaret Daly of Margaret Daly Designs. Margaret and I seem to share the same concepts as they relate to my books. The medical thrillers include several symbols that identify the medical profession, the caduceus, a mask and an EKG rhythm strip. Hopefully people will recognize this series as a collection of medical thrillers. My Michaela McPherson mystery/crime series always have canine Angel, Mic’s retired police dog, a star in the series, on the cover. Generally, I tell Margaret what I want and she sends it back. Every now and then it takes us a few tries before we get it back. I wouldn't trade her Margaret and her design gifts for anything.

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 you? Do you recommend new authors going this route to get more exposure?

My first three medical thrillers have been converted to audiobooks. I'm ashamed to say that I've been so busy, I haven't marketed them very well in audio format. I've sold some, but it's been the luck of the draw. I do recommend that authors consider having their work available in as many formats as possible. My goal this fall is to learn how to better market my audio books.

Besides the Suffolk Mystery Writers, what other writer support groups do you belong too? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?

I’m always delighted to go to the Suffolk Mystery Writers event. I have folks that come to see me over and over and have watched me grow as an author. I listen to what they tell me, what their ideas are and what I do right and wrong. Reader’s opinions are valuable to all authors. I’m also remember of the Shenandoah Valley Writers Group, the Virginia Writers Club and several other writing organizations and support groups.

I have tons of fantastic writer friends and we share information and ideas all the time. I believe Indie authors are the best folks out there. We all want each other to succeed and will to the limit to make that happen. We’re a tight network.

What is your primary genre? What has been your best marketing approach to this group?

My primary genre has been medical thrillers and crime mystery. I currently have the first four books of a cozy series, Artsy Chicks I plan to publish in the next 5 to 6 months. My first cozy, Gawd Almighty and the Corn, appears in Summer Snoops. I’ve found that writing for the cozy market is different than writing for the thriller folks. What's wonderful as I can now do both! Well, hopefully! We’ll see how people like Gawd Almighty.

What has been your experience in giving your books away free? Have you been involved in any other type of giveaways and how did that work out? What was your main goal in doing this? Did you run into any obstacles?

I used to hate to give away books. However, over the years I've gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me as much as it used to. Giving away books for free works. Most of the books I get away for free go to my mailing list. I feel a need to reward the people that have been loyal to me over the years and generally, they'll leave me a review. Sometimes they're not the review I'd hoped for but nevertheless it's an honest review of their perceptions and opinions of my work. Nevertheless, I think readers sort of expect free books and don't want to pay more than $.99 for a book. I think we as indie riders have perpetuated this thought. My main goal in giving away books is to gain new readers and honest reviews. I use Amazons marketing platform and Insta freebie and my mailing list as my primary vehicles for free books.

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?

Yes, I have a reader list and I've spent years building it. I give away my first medical thriller for free when someone joins my mailing list. I also offer free books infrequently on social media. Most of my free books are gifted to readers that follow me on my mailing list. I use my mailing people, better known as The Lucci Mob as barometers of my work, beta readers, reviewers and in my launch process. I have used mailing list builders to gain supporters.

You have a great blog. You do a great job keeping readers informed, marketing your books and helping other writers gain exposure. What is your primary goal? And where in the world do you find the time to create great novels, take care of the social media and maintain your blog?

My blog originally began as author 911 and was conceptualized as a resource for folks needing medical information to write it right! There's nothing worse, in my opinion, then reading a book that's medically incorrect. Over the past few years, I haven't had time to keep the blog up today so now it pretty much is used for marketing, either myself or other authors.

Finding time to write, market and use social media is almost impossible. I wish there were more hours in the day! I stick to a fairly rigid schedule. I write every morning when my mind is fresh, from nine to about one in the afternoon. I'm an artist and in the afternoons I either paint or teach art classes. Then I post in marketing groups and on social media. In the evenings I limit myself to 90 minutes of marketing or editing. If I don't, I find I lose my creative energy. I post in facebook groups almost every day and that help’s my sales.

I like the idea of Author bundles. You are a part of a novel collection called Love Under Fire with twenty other authors. What a great group of outstanding people. (Many have been interviewed on this blog). What was the main objective of bundling your works with other mystery authors? According to one of the other authors, you are one of the 'mucky mucks' in Love Under Fire. How did you put something like this together? How do you communicate?

I love working in author bundles and boxed sets. I've done two cozy author bundles parens one release last December and the second in July. I am currently involved with Love Under Fire, a 21author bundle of unbelievably great, never published romantic suspense. Each of these collections has a management team who meet periodically to examine where we've been and where we need to go. I would never purport to know everything about publishing a boxed collection without the help and wisdom of the set authors. It's a group endeavor and a group project and authors have an incredible amount of wisdom and saavy. We take each authors skill sets and put them to use for the good of the collection. For instance, if your strong suit is developing graphics and you want to do that, we're happy to oblige. If you have great expertise in Facebook or Bookbub ads, we're happy to place you there. It's sort of like a division of labor when you develop these sets. Everyone does what they do best and learn during the process.

Recruiting the authors takes a tremendous amount of time but it's a lot of fun because you get to meet new people. My primary reason to do box sets is to meet people, learn how other authors are doing things, share my knowledge and gain new readers. This always happens. Plus, if you happen to make a bestseller list, that's even better!

Probably the very best thing about these author bundles are the friendships. The authors in Love Under Fire have been fantastic about sharing Summer Snoops on their blogs and in their mailing list. In return, the authors in Summer Snoops have done the same for Love Under Fire. In my mind it's a win-win relationship. Plus, I've learned so much from the Romance writers my head spins. They’re the savviest bunch of marketers I've ever worked with and I'm gonna take that knowledge and use it to market my thrillers.

That's about all I know, James and I hope it's helpful to someone. I love to communicate with everyone so feel free to contact me at Come join my mailing list, AKA The Lucci Mob I'll share my knowledge to make any author’s journey a little less difficult.

Author's Book List
The Case of the Man Overboard - Michaela McPherson Crime Thrillers Book 3
Two Murders, A Man Overboard, And A Run-in With Big Pharma And Organised Crime

After an intense year of solving crime in their home town of Richmond, Virginia, Michaela, Dottie and retired canine Angel, travel to Europe to spend much needed leisure time at the Borghase Estate outside of Rome. Unfortunately, their plans are upended by a series of catastrophes.

??? A Vacation From Hell

A luxury cruise around the Mediterranean culminates their trip and becomes a nightmare as Mic and Dottie investigate an American pharmaceutical company's release of a 'dirty' drug. The threesome meet up with lethal, dangerous and heinous criminals from their past and the cruise becomes a living hell.

How do you commit murder on a cruise ship while at sea and get away with it when there's nowhere to run?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Evil: Finding St. Germaine - Alexandra Destephano Book 5
For Fans of Robin Cook, Tess Gerritsen, Patricia Cornwell, Michael Palmer

Alex returns to Wyndley Farm, her childhood home in Virginia, to await the birth of her baby. An urgent call from Crescent City Medical Center compels her to return to New Orleans to investigate cruel, questionable incidents and heinous patient deaths. Digger Stildove returns from Yemen where he has searched for Jacob Stark. Michaela McPherson travels from Richmond with police dog Angel to consult with Commander Francoise in his search for St. Germaine. Events unfold as the evil continues and the hospital attempts to safeguard patients and staff.

Order the Book From:

The Case of the Dead Dowager - Michaela McPherson Crime Thrillers 2
A Team Of Serial Killers Is On The Loose, Hunting Children, Women And The Elderly

Retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase team up again”"this time to match wits with two serial killers stalking children, women and the elderly.

When Dottie Borghase's friend Camilla Rothrock collapses at a lunch gathering of old friends, the countess's only concern is to dial 911 for help. But Camilla's subsequent death has authorities buzzing about international safety and retaliation, because her son is decorated U.S. Army General Stuart Rothrock.

??? What Price Must The City Pay To Keep Its Citizens Safe?

As other restaurant patrons in Richmond meet similar fates, Michaela and Dottie join forces with the Richmond Police and the FBI to track down the pair of heinous murderers. But in order to catch the killers, they will put their own lives and the lives of others in in serious jeopardy.

??? Will McPherson and Borghase make it out of this one alive?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Case of Dr Dude - Michaela McPherson Mysteries Book 1
Someone Is Kidnapping And Trafficking Women

When a young woman disappears after a job interview at a well-known dentist’s office in Richmond, Virginia, retired homicide detective Michaela McPherson and Angel her retired police dog are pulled into a crime that goes far beyond a missing person case. With the help of her close friend, the aging Countess Dorothy Borghase, and Richmond police, McPherson dives in.

??? Could Human Trafficking Really Be A Problem In The United States?

This case pits McPherson and her companions against evil and greed armed with tentacles that span continents and generations. Russian mobsters are in America, kidnapping girls to auction off to the highest bidder in the international black market. Is there any hope of stopping an underground operation that extends so far and wide?

??? The Case of Dr. Dude is a thrilling ride that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

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Toxic New Year: The Day That Wouldn't End - Alex Desephano Series 4
The party of the year in the rural Virginia countryside turns into a day of horror as the enemies of Alex's grandfather, Congressman Adam Patrick Lee, bring the war to his Virginia estate killing, maiming and destroying every thing in their path.

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Viral Intent - Alexandra Destephano Book 3
With POTUS and members of Congress in the Big Easy for a political convention, an unidentified killer virus in the Crescent City emergency room has physicians baffled, hospital staff frightened, and the CDC on their way to assist. When the first death from the mysterious virus is a Secret Service agent guarding the President, a terrorist attack is feared. Matters get worse with the murder of a prominent politician in the French Quarter. Alex and Jack must learn to play well with the CDC, FBI, and Secret Service and enlist the help of the enemy to save the streets of New Orleans from disaster.

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The Imposter - Second Book in the Alexandra Destephano Medical Thriller Series
From the Queen of New Orleans Medical Thrillers...


It is hotter than hell in New Orleans and newly promoted Police Commander Jack Francoise is battling horrific crime in the Vieux Carre. At the Psychiatric Pavilion, nurses are doling out Thorazine Slurpees to the criminally insane and viciously psychotic patients in the South. Alexandra Destephano, legal counsel for the hospital is troubled by safety issues and is working hard to protect patients and staff. The violence escalates and brutal beatings and murder becomethe order of the day as life in the Big Easy becomes Uneasy.

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Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center - Alexandra Destephano Book 1
Alex wanted a new life

She really did,
But getting that life
Almost Kills Her
Medical Thrillers that Chill the Heart
Chaos at Crescent City Medical Center

“Move over Robin Cook – The Queen of New Orleans Medical Thrillers is here!”

I couldn't put it down! A fast paced edge of your seat thriller with a very real protagonist, Alex Destephano, who is trying to get her own life on track while still involved with the hospital where her ex-husband presides! I love medical mystery thrillers and have been a fan since I first read Robin Cook! Author, Judith Lucci does not disappoint! The detail and her personal knowledge about all things medical is evident from the beginning, set in New Orleans complete with its culture, voodoo and mob. Her descriptions are so detailed you feel you are right there inside the story! I loved this first book in the series and I am destined to continue with the series for as long as Lucci writes it! ~Merry At Vero Beach

Do you love the Big Easy? You may feel uneasy when you learn about the City’s sinister underground…

It's Mardi Gras season in post-Katrina New Orleans. Thousands of tourists have flocked to the city, paralyzed traffic and jammed the French Quarter with drunken crowds and garbage. City officials expect record crowds and the biggest boost to the Crescent City economy since the big storm. Alexandra Lee Destephano, legal counsel for Crescent City Medical Center, is anticipating her third Mardi Gras season and her date with dashing art historian Mitch Landry to the biggest Mardi Gras Ball in New Orleans. Things change. Alex is stat-paged to the hospital and learns the wife of the Governor of Louisiana has been found unconscious and covered in blood in her hospital room. By the end of the day, the Ball is the last thing on Alex's mind.

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Gawd Almighty & the Corn
It was hot. The Dog Days of Summer always are. The Artzy Chicks have been painting, teaching classes, making jewelry and blending the Art Gallery’s famous Wine Slushees. Things go well until Lily notices that Gawd Almighty, the Gallery’s pet possum has disappeared. A short time later, Dr. Kenzie Zimbro, the area medical examiner stops by the Gallery and tells the Chicks about the strange murder on the tip top of the Mountain. A Virginia Tech Biology Professor has been murdered and his dead body is surrounded by kernals of corn. Lily and LauraLea put on their detective caps to search for Gawd Almighty and find themselves in a life-threatening position.

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
Indie Author’s Corner and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle


  1. Wow! What a collection of books, Judith! Great interview!

  2. Great interview! I love Judith's books.

  3. Fabulous interview. What an impressive backlist she has. Thanks for posting this