Interview with Linda Mickey

When did you first start writing?
When I killed my boss. He made me so angry I could hardly speak and I barely made it through the work day. When I got home, I sat down at the keyboard and shot him dead. Twenty pages later, the anger abated, I went to bed. Six months after that I decided to see if I could do something with those pages.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Not only do they support and encourage me, they influence the books. For example, Pete and Mary Penzler were not intended to be ongoing characters however fan response to them was so great that they now appear in every book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a former cheesehead and thank my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Jones, every day for what I learned. She made us diagram sentences, quizzed us on grammar, and helped us understand how to use the language we speak. I think of her every time I correct a sentence written in passive voice.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My heroine, Kyle Shannon, is a temp.(write what you know) as I was for several years. In Test Scores, Kyle is assigned to a school district where she bumps into an aggressive coach, a sympathetic science teacher, and a domineering superintendent.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My publisher was bought out by a competitor. I had no interest in working with that company so I left as soon as my contract allowed.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Thanks to Smashwords, my work is available to people all over the world. I am thrilled to have so many fans from so many places.
Who are your favorite authors?
This is a difficult question because each writer brings something different to the table. Rex Stout probably influenced my writing the most initially. Anne McCaffrey is special, too. I'm on a history kick currently so Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough are favorites at the moment.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Knowing people enjoy my work. I suppose hearing good things from a fan is like an actor getting applause. Fans make a big difference. For example, Pete and Mary Penzler were only supposed to be in the first book. Fan input is the reason they're still around - which is OK because I love them, too.
What are you working on next?
The fifth Kyle Shannon mystery was just released so I will soon move on to planning and drafting the sixth. I still have a couple of ideas for shorts that need my attention.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was dreadful and will never see the light of day. We all have to start somewhere.
How do you approach cover design?
I use a professional designer because I have zero artistic talent. Plus I am fortunate to have a friend who was a professional photographer. Put them together and you get the wonderful covers for the Kyle Shannon series and Dollars and Sense for Writers.
What do you read for pleasure?
I wish I had more time for it. Thank goodness for portability. I have several books on my phone that I read while waiting for various appointments and long commutes aren't so dreadful when Will Patton is reading a Dave Robicheaux to me.
Describe your desk
I love this question. It's a bit of mess, usually. Let's see - the computer, a lamp, the printer, the iPod docking station, desk accessories including a pencil holder, stapler, paper clip holder, and lots of papers supporting whatever project I am currently working on.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I find my ebooks the same way I discover new audio or print books - by referral from friends and fellow readers.
Published 2015-07-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Test Scores: A Kyle Shannon Mystery
Series: Kyle Shannon Mysteries. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 75,240. Language: English. Published: July 24, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Kyle Shannon, working for School District 1926, discovers that education is like everything else. The people involved can be Grade A or rotten to the Common Core. The sad truth is that not knowing the answers can lead to murder and test scores don’t tell the whole story.
Dollars and Sense for Writers: A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business 2nd Edition
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,840. Language: English. Published: October 4, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing, Nonfiction » Reference » Writing skills
Updated to reflect recent important changes in publishing, this must-have manual is a plain-talk look at the business of writing. It will help you know what you don't know about publishing and provides tools you can use to survive and thrive as a writer.
Life Everlasting
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,060. Language: English. Published: February 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
(5.00)
The trip west wasn't what Josh had expected. He hadn't counted on walking all the way to Oregon. But the hardships didn't end with sore feet. When an unseen enemy attacked the wagon train, his loss inspired future generations.
Help Wanted: A Kyle Shannon Mystery
Series: Kyle Shannon Mysteries, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 76,880. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
The holidays have arrived but Kyle Shannon isn’t feeling festive. Her lover may be leaving, and her friend Tiffany is in the financial pits. Things aren’t right at Office Right, either. On assignment within the company, she finds bottoming sales, temps with attitude, and a boss as frosty as a snowman. Then somebody murders a manager and all the ho-ho-ho goes up the chimney.
Horse Power: A Kyle Shannon Mystery
Series: Kyle Shannon Mysteries, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 73,850. Language: English. Published: February 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.00)
Kyle Shannon is plagued by more than the messy office at Bright Hope Equestrian Center. One of Bright Hope’s partners is missing and human remains were discovered behind the barn. To make matters worse, the two-legged clients are more high-strung than the four-legged ones. Kyle knows one thing for sure - a murderer is out there who isn't horsing around.
Chicago Dawn
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,960. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
(4.00)
A simple party invitation turns a night out into a nightmare for Heather as murder finally makes her see reality.
Defective Goods: A Kyle Shannon Mystery
Series: Kyle Shannon Mysteries, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,080. Language: English. Published: December 5, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
As the interim department manager, Kyle helps the service reps investigate customer complaints. As a member of the Drip Not quality assessment committee, Kyle discovers that there is more than one agenda and murder is at the top of someone’s list.
Greased Wheels: A Kyle Shannon Mystery
Series: Kyle Shannon Mysteries, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 91,010. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
While on a temp assignment at the corporate offices of a large manufacturer, Kyle Shannon learns that some people will do anything to get what they want. After a county politician is found dead in a forest preserve and a treasured local landmark is threatened, Kyle examines what she thinks she knows about the people she considers friends. One of them is probably a killer.
Dollars and Sense for Writers: A Guide to Managing Your Writing Business
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 28,080. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2010. Categories: Nonfiction » Reference » Publishing and books
This must-have manual is a plain-talk look at the business of writing. It will help you know what you don't know about publishing and provides tools you can use to survive and thrive as a writer.