Interview with L.L. Bartlett

When did you first start writing?
I always had stories swirling around my mind, but it wasn't until my late teens that I started writing them down.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Writing the first four books in the Jeff Resnick Mystery series was a learning experience--and it was mostly learning who these characters were. I was writing the four books similtaneously, so that if something happened in the 4th book, I could go back to the first to lay the groundwork. I tried to understand why Jeff did some of the (rather odd) things he did. I was very unsure of myself as a storyteller, and a number of published writers in my local writing group were generous with their critiques. One of them really stood out. While reading Cheated by Death, I was asked, "How long has this man had an eating disorder?" A what?

And then she went on to point out several areas in the book where clearly Jeff's relationship with food is at odds. It was then I realized it was a thread through the previous books as well--something I hadn't even noticed. The idea fascinated me, and I wrote a short story to explore the issue. I wrote short stories to explore other areas of his past, too. I've told a number of readers about the stories, and they've encouraged me to publish them.

The stories in Evolution: Jeff Resnick's Backstory are not mysteries. They're about a boy struggling to grow up, and the very rocky relationship he has with his older brother. They help explain why the two were estranged for eighteen years, and hopefully contain the seeds of their fierce friendship to come.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Poor distribution from the small press that had been distributing my Jeff Resnick series. I had faith in my characters and knew if a bigger audience could find them that the stories would find readers. I was right.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Distribution to other vendors, like Apple and Sony. I've been told Apple's iBooks is the 2nd biggest ebook seller. I'm happy to have my books for sale in their iBooks stor.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth is the absolute best advertising, and I find new books from recommendations from my friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It's better forgotten.
What is your writing process?
I'm a "pantster." That is, I write by the seat of my pants. I don't have an elaborate outline. I have a vague idea of where the story should go and I let the characters guide me. Sometimes it makes the story flow fast (as it did in Dark Waters) and sometimes it involves a lot of rewriting. But it's fun to see the story unfold organically instead of being forced to stick to a preset list.
How do you approach cover design?
For the most part, I know what I want to illustrate the entire story. Often I'll choose one scene to represent the entire book. For Murder on the Mind, there's a scene that happens in a snowy field where Jeff and Richard discover vital evidence for a murder investigation. It's bleak, and yet it's a powerful and pivotal scene for both Jeff and Richard learning to trust one another after a long estrangement.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have two Kindles, both of which were given to me as gifts. I don't think I would have had a preference if I'd had to choose. I like both the Nook and Kobo devices, too.
Describe your desk
Messy. But I can usually find what I need.
What do your fans mean to you?
I love to hear from my readers, especially when one of my books or stories touches them. I have three author names, which makes it difficult for my readers to find all my various books and stories. I have a newsletter (sign-up on my website or blog).
Published 2013-12-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Evolution: Jeff Resnick's Backstory
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Series: Jeff Resnick Short Stories, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 42,430. Language: English. Published: December 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
NOT A MYSTERY: A Collection of short stories chronicling Jeff Resnick's (and that of his brother, Richard Albert) back story. What forces molded these men into the people they are today?
Dark Waters
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 82,710. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
For Jeff Resnick, the trouble starts with a near-death experience. Brenda's family comes to visit and one of them reminds Jeff of the thugs who mugged him. His brother has taken possession of an expensive boat. The yacht holds a deadly secret, one destined to turn his world upside down. Will Jeff solve the puzzle before his vision of near death becomes a reality?
Room At The Inn
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 71,590. Language: English. Published: September 4, 2012. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Jeff and Maggie head to a Vermont inn for a working vacation, but when a guest is murdered, they must use all their wits to bring a ruthless killer to justice.
When The Spirit Moves You
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Series: Jeff Resnick Short Stories, Book 2. Price: $1.49 USD. Words: 12,820. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2011. Category: Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Dysfunctional relationships
Jeff Resnick's curiosity is piqued when he sees a sign advertising psychic readings. At first he's sure the medium is a fake, but then his funny feelings lead him to suspect that a murder has taken place in the dilapidated house where Madam Zahara holds her readings. Just who died and how? And why is Jeff compelled to look for bodies buried in the medium’s yard?
The Jeff Resnick Mysteries: Books 4 & 5 (Cheated By Death & Bound By Suggestion)
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Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 156,990. Language: English. Published: October 10, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective
A bargain priced box set of the fourth and fifth Jeff Resnick Mysteries: Cheated By Death and Bound By Suggestion
The Jeff Resnick Mysteries: Books 1 & 2
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Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 143,750. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
The Jeff Resnick Mysteries: Books 1 & 2 Murder on the Mind and Dead In Red.
Bound By Suggestion
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 79,970. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
In exchange for helping her unlock the emotions of a disturbed young woman, psychiatrist Dr. Krista Marsh promises to cure Jeff Resnick's recurring headaches via hypnotism. Meanwhile, Jeff’s brother Richard is vying for a chairman seat on the hospital’s fund raising board. Two seemingly unrelated events that suddenly converge with deadly results.
Dead In Red
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 73,280. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
When a bartender at Jeff Resnick’s favorite tavern is murdered, psychic visions of a sparkling red high-heeled shoe and bloody hands linger in his mind--and hit too close to home. When Jeff’s brother Richard last helped him with an investigation, it nearly cost him his life. Still, Richard is determined to tag along as Jeff is drawn into the seamy world of fetishes an drag queens.
Bah! Humbug - A Jeff Resnick Story
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Series: Jeff Resnick Short Stories, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,590. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2010. Category: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
It's Christmastime -- the day after Cheated By Death ended. Jeff and Maggie spend Christmas dinner with Maggie's family, who are not receptive to her new significant other. It'll be a Christmas to remember . . . but who wants to?
Cheated By Death
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 77,050. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
In this third of a series, Jeff Resnick faces a new dilemma: someone is stalking his sister-in-law, Brenda, who fears that violence from pro-life supporters will escalate near the women's clinic where she works. Or could the threats against her have come from her abusive ex-husband? Meanwhile, Jeff grapples with meeting his estranged father and the sister he he never knew existed.
Abused - A Daughter's Story
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Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 9,080. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2010. Category: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
Emily Miller knew her life was about to change forever the day her mother said, "I'm pregnant." She'd hear those words again and again--and with every pregnancy Emily's father changed from bad to worse. For years the Miller family suffered through his rages. It took a terrible loss for the family to regroup, and all the love Emily can muster to save her siblings.
Cold Case--A Jeff Resnick Mystery
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Series: Jeff Resnick Short Stories, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,440. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Psychic Jeff Resnick has no expectations when investigating the disappearance of a four-year-old, until he confronts the mind responsible--a shattering experience for all involved. --"A compelling mystery that will grip you tightly and not let go--even after you've finished reading." ~ Leann Sweeney, nationally best-selling author of the Yellow Rose and Cats In Trouble mysteries
Murder On The Mind
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Series: The Jeff Resnick Mysteries, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 72,180. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2010. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
A mugging leaves insurance investigator Jeff Resnick with a fractured skull, and graphic nightmares of murder. But when a local banker is found dead, Jeff believes the attack left him with a sixth sense, and finds himself probing into dangerous secrets that touch his own traumatic past. Originally published by Five Star/Cengage. "A tightly paced story with a good kick at the end."--RT Magazine