Interview with LS Sygnet

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Stephen King's The Dark Half - it's one of the most creative, imaginative and horrifying stories I've ever read and I love feeling terrified!

Anything by Kathy Reichs - she's brilliant, and allows readers to understand the science behind criminal investigations. I think of all her books, Deja Dead and Fatal Voyage are my favorites.

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult - as someone who has worked in healthcare in psychiatry for decades, this story drew me in instantly. Extremely well written and realistic from beginning to end.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd - I don't think I ever cried reading a book before I read this one. It will always be a favorite because of the emotions it evoked while I read it. Really put me into Lily Owens' head.

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins - science was written beautifully, and Dawkins completely explained why evolution makes our existence so very precious.
What do you read for pleasure?
Seriously? Everything. Even the news. I read a ton of non-fiction, probably more than I read fiction. I love biographies and anything relating to anthropology or science. My library shelves are filled with books about forensic science, ancient Egyptian history, pre-Columbian civilizations, psychological theory, fiction in the mystery and horror genres and stories of true crime. I am also the proud owner of Gary Larson's two volume Complete Far Side, because sometimes a girl needs a good laugh.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I read a lot on the iMac using Kindle's software but also Adobe's Digital Editions. As for devices, yes, I'm an Apple girl. the iPad is my portable device of choice, though I do have a couple of Kindle's floating around somewhere...
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Free promotions, hands down. The books started moving, and once people got invested in the characters, the Eriksson series started selling very well (especially on Barnes and Noble). Some kind folks left good reviews, the recommendations landed on some lists, and from there, it was a surprising leap in the number of downloads.
Describe your desk
In front of me is the iMac 27" computer (which I love). To the left is the old iMac 22" which I still use on occasion. On a shelf above the old iMac is the last Dell laptop I purchased about five years ago (I think) that I keep so I can occasionally revisit some very old Windows games I used to play. On my right are shelves with books/DVDs and treats for the four-legged child (my precious dog). Needless to say, he is usually sitting to my right.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a pretty rural area of the Great Plains. Close to 20 years ago, I relocated from a town with a population of 300 (not a typo) to the Denver metro area. I think growing up in such a small place influenced my imagination because as a child, we didn't have a thousand different things to do for local entertainment, so imagination was the thing to have. I remember spending summer vacations tucked away in an invisible corner on the roof of the barn reading books or writing stories in ten cent notebooks. I think I was seven when I read the entire encyclopedia set over the summer because I wanted to "see the world".
When did you first start writing?
I was five. I remember how frustrated my mother was with me, because she taught me to read when I was three years old, but I insisted that one couldn't write until the age of five. It's been a daily love affair since my fifth birthday.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
The premium catalogue has made all the difference in the world. Without it, there would've been no distribution to Barnes and Noble or Apple's iBookstore, where the majority of my books have sold.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's hard to explain. Writing makes my brain feel alive, whether people read what I write or not. There are stories inside my head that want out. Writing those stories brings me joy. That others read and enjoy what came out of my imagination I think will always be a very humbling experience for me. When my readers share that a story I wrote took them out of reality for awhile and entertained them, or gave them something else to think about when life was difficult, it simply adds another layer to why the fear of sharing part of myself publicly was well worth the risk.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No. The first one I remember writing (clearly) was from the sixth grade. I had little erasers, that were shaped like mice, in a variety of colors. I gave them bizarre names and wrote a story about them. I'm not certain, but I think my sixth grade teacher dragged the story out to display for the school's 30th anniversary a few years ago.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first book I read - The Night Before Christmas. I was three years old. I wanted to live in that house. A few years ago, I found the edition of that book (Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Dorcas and published in 1948) and purchased it immediately. I still want to live in that house.
Published 2013-09-10.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Series: Darkwater Files: Bad Blood, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,950. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
With the Snow investigation in limbo, Sandoval and Krypsek are called to an unusual scene where the victim was tortured before he died. Immediately, Krypsek understands they need expert assistance to sort through what clues might remain and calls London Winchester to help. The pathology is disturbing to everyone involved, but when London receives an odd threat, they know the killer is watching.
Series: Darkwater Files: Bad Blood, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 116,130. Language: English. Published: August 4, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Darkwater Bay is sliding back into dangerous territory. Between upheaval in the police department and the semi-retirement of Helen Eriksson, criminals have found another foothold. A new face in the department offers hope, if only she'll commit. Mere hours after her arrival, all hell breaks loose, when a high-profile mass murder lights the city afire all over again.
The Predator's Apprentice
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 19. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,770. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
With a smear of lipstick leaving a scrawled and cryptic message, Helen Eriksson's world is shattered. Wendell is missing. Jerry Lowe is—God only knows what. A killer's prediction that the murders wouldn't stop with his arrest is the only truth in the devastating culmination of events in Darkwater Bay.
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 18. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,640. Language: English. Published: May 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
The victims are left without blood at nearly bloodless crime scenes. Helen Eriksson knows it can't mean what it appears to be, but faces an uphill battle convincing her colleagues that clinical vampirism is a real disorder, nothing new, and not what pop culture has led the public to believe. The race is on to figure out who the killer is, and how the crimes are committed before it happens again.
Reverend Detective
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 17. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 112,280. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Johnny Orion recruits a former priest turned police detective to work with his unit in the state police, and Helen immediately clashes with the Reverend Detective's methods. Meanwhile, a trial looms large on the horizon of Darkwater Bay. Wanted or not, Zack Carpenter gets help proving a motive that has eluded everyone for nearly two years. Will it be enough to secure the conviction?
Paper Clip
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 0. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,190. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
One sunny, warm autumn morning in New York City, young Officer Wendell Eriksson responds to a report of a body in the park, and in an instant his fate changes. As he steps over the line between right and wrong, suddenly, he doesn't know who he is anymore. When a personal tragedy unfolds, nothing can ever prepare him for what he is willing to do in the name of justice, or the cost of his mistake.
Series: Raver/Castillo, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 92,730. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
As Raver and Briarwood finally discover the true identity of their prey, Castillo changes the game completely and shifts his focus in a disturbing direction. But not even Castillo can imagine the outcome in the gripping final showdown between cop and killer.
Series: Raver/Castillo, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 94,810. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Castillo's body count drops drastically while his surrogates do his bidding. Meanwhile, Raver and Briarwood uncover a crucial clue that leads them one step closer to finding Castillo's real identity, which accidentally exposes a witness who seems determined to protect Castillo at all costs. The reason for her defense of a serial killer adds another chilling layer to the game of cat and mouse.
Pain Killer
Series: Raver/Castillo, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 97,890. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Raver and Briarwood hunt for Castillo's true identity as more killings with a distinctively different yet similar signature occur. As they attempt to flesh out the background of Castillo's former partner, a rift forms. Is the killer in the fresh crime scenes Castillo, or has he developed a cult following that resulted in a copycat? As Raver and Briarwood investigate, the answer becomes clear.
Going Urban
Series: Raver/Castillo, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 104,940. Language: English. Published: December 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Castillo is an assassin's broker. Boredom leads him to draw a doodle at a crime scene. The attention his art receives is addictive, but Castillo craves more. He creates his own urban legend, ends his partnership as a broker, and racks up a body count of his own. One detective is savvy enough to follow the killer's twisted logic. But Castillo is determined to remain free; and so the game begins.
I Am the Monster
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 16. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 115,910. Language: English. Published: September 29, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Helen Eriksson is embroiled in a 30-year-old mystery in an unlikely setting, with conspirators who are determined for different reasons to see that Helen fails to discern the truth, and the crime remains unsolved.
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 15. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,600. Language: English. Published: September 15, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Johnny Orion enlists the help of fellow officers in the search for his wife, Helen Eriksson, who is officially a missing person, while Stephen Jarecki, now with the FBI, returns to Darkwater Bay to put forth his theory regarding Helen’s disappearance. Meanwhile, an amnesiac is dependent on a stranger who identifies herself as "Helen," who is determined to get both of them home on her terms.
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 14. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,830. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
A wedding draws them close together at an exotic destination. A storm isolates them from the outside world. A murder puts everyone in danger. And one big lie threatens the foundation of the life Helen Eriksson believes she has. Time is not on Helen’s side as she reaches the moment where she must decide how to confront a dangerous enemy who has refused to stop stalking her.
From Darkness to Death
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 119,810. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Hammond Hawkins is a man running from his own dark past when he learns that some things cannot be left behind so easily. Taught important lessons by people he initially disdains, Hawk comes to grips with who he really is, and why solving a baffling mystery in his small corner of the world matters more than any other case he's ever solved.
Gift Wrap Killer
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 13. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,390. Language: American English. Published: May 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 1 review)
Helen Eriksson is drawn back into profiling when an alleged family annihilator murders his family in Darkwater Bay before he vanishes without a trace. The investigation leads Helen, her old mentor David Levine and a new adversarial partner across the country, when cold cases are linked to the current investigation back home, as they hunt for a killer that seems to view death as a gift.
Come Out and Play
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 12. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 105,720. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Helen Eriksson's promise to help Gia Malone determine the fate of her mother is fulfilled - but Gia's deception not only hides her true motive, but makes the case tougher than anyone imagined it would be to solve.
Winter's Harvest
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 11. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 127,500. Language: English. Published: July 8, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(Eriksson #11) Helen Eriksson’s greatest fears are realized when her new life suddenly crumbles around her. With limited options available, Helen is forced to make a difficult decision, to expose her past in order to save the people she loves from the man determined to destroy all of their lives.
Patron Saint of Demons
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 10. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 113,230. Language: American English. Published: April 1, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
With Johnny and Helen out of law enforcement in Darkwater Bay, a new and dangerous element makes a move, leaving a pair baffling mysteries involving multiple jurisdictions, and two men with past links to Helen’s career show up and draw her back into active duty. When the motive in the crime clearly seems to implicate Helen as the mastermind, the team must scramble to uncover the truth.
The Last Mile
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 9. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 105,180. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
For months, Helen Eriksson and Tony Briscoe have had a love-hate relationship. On a sultry August night, Helen faces a difficult choice after a suspicious fire and death is linked to Briscoe. She can make sure Tony goes away forever, or she can find the truth. Either way, they are destined to walk the last mile in the investigation together.
Sweet Gruesome Dreams
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 8. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 102,940. Language: English. Published: August 21, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 1 review)
(Eriksson #8) Hedra Dearhart is an outcast with vivid dreams. When she begins writing about her nightmares for English Composition, all she envisions is a high GPA. But someone notices eerie similarities between what she writes and crimes reported in the newspaper. The snag is that the dreams occur before the news breaks. What follows is a head-scratching mystery for the police in Darkwater Bay.
The Quiet Ones
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 129,560. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
In the aftermath of a high school tragedy, introverted Emma Cahill hits the trifecta of bad luck: victim, suspect and sole survivor capable of engineering the crime. The police are determined to solve the case, but dealing with teenagers creates challenges, particularly when survivors are reluctant to cooperate. Sometimes, suspecting the quiet ones is an easy solution, and sometimes it’s not.
Cloaked in Blood
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 7. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 101,780. Language: English. Published: April 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
(Eriksson Novel #7) In the final chapters of Helen Eriksson's quest for the truth about herself, she uncovers the secret in Darkwater Bay that Jerry Lowe once warned her wasn't meant to remain buried. When the dust settles from the final confrontation, she wonders who will be left alive, and on whose side they'll stand.
Sins of the Father
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 6. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 101,290. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
Helen Eriksson's insight shifts gears - from the secrets of others to the mystery of her true identity. When she turns to her father for answers, it nearly destroys her other life. Is Wendell Eriksson the ultimate sinner, or an unqualified saint? Lost in her own doubts and fears, it takes another murder to yank Helen's focus back where it belongs. (Eriksson Novel #6)
Always Watching
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 5. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 102,510. Language: American English. Published: March 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
(Book #5) Someone is watching Helen Eriksson, and has been watching her since before she set foot in Darkwater Bay. One last case exposes the real mystery, but Helen may not survive to find the answers.
The Chilling Spree
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 100,370. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
(Book 4 in the Eriksson Series) Helen Eriksson finds herself baffled by what initially appears to be a rather open-and-shut investigation, but is anything but when her presumed hate crime motive is decimated by two victims who don't in any way fit the original profile. Or do they?
Forgotten Place
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 110,450. Language: American English. Published: October 30, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
(Eriksson Novel #3) When the daughter of a murdered district attorney is attacked in a near fatal encounter on the anniversary of his death, Helen Eriksson jumps at the chance to finally build a case against the original suspect - her old nemesis, Danny Datello.
Beneath the Cracks
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 104,270. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
(Eriksson Novel #2) Helen Eriksson's desperation grows to keep her secrets buried while trying to help local police solve a series of unexplained deaths.
Daddy's Little Killer
Series: Eriksson (Darkwater Bay), Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 100,610. Language: English. Published: September 27, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
(4.92 from 12 reviews)
An FBI agent kills her ex-husband, but without evidence to prove she's guilty, she's free to walk away from it all. Getting away from murder and mayhem proves much more difficult for Helen Eriksson, who still plans to repay those responsible for ruining her life.