Q: What is the bravest thing you have done?
I asked my 82 year-old-mother if she was a virgin when she met my father.
I’ve never been hesitate in asking intriguing questions. Besides, I’d heard my mother had a pretty serious boyfriend before my father (who she married at 18). She’d also been shook her naughty finger at me most of my teen years warning “Be a good girl.” It was time for the truth to come out.
Q: Have you always been a storyteller?
I’ve said I was a great many things in life before I became those things in life. I told everyone I was a journalist before getting a job at a small Oregon newspaper. I told everyone I was a writer before believing I was one. There’s a saying, “Act as If.” Way before I’d heard the saying, I was already practicing, “Tell as If.”
Q: Who motivated you into being a writer?
My second grade teacher, Mrs. Whitaker, said I was such a good liar, I should be a writer.
I remember telling such a whopper in my second grade class’s show-an-tell that it took more than a month to get away from the lie. Dang Mrs. Whitaker, every show-an-tell she’d call my name and say… “Tell us more about the….”
Q. Are any of the characters in your Lillian Dove Mystery series from your real life?
Most of my characters come from my real life. Yes, Dahlia is one of those characters! Although, I changed their names to protect myself from them “getting back at me.” My protagonist, Lillian Dove, is that side of myself which keeps going no matter what happens. I’ve learned the strong attitude from the magnanimous women I have had in my life who were good, brave, and beyond patience as instructors.
Q. Okay, that speaks for your protagonist, Lillian Dove, but you have some fairly malicious villains in your novels. Where do you get them?
None of my villains come from my real life. Thank goodness! I just consider those who are mean, crooked, malicious, narcissistic, and sometimes just wrongly human, and try to make their actions even more villainess in the story.
Q: I’m interested in why you set your Lillian Dove novels in the Midwest.
I set my stories best where I know the people and the possible events. I want my readers to find my work credible, not only with characters, but in theme and plot. Lillian lives in a small town in Iowa called Frytown. My family roots have grown deep in the Iowa City area since 1865. There is a small city not far from there where I can say “hi cousin” and we are most probably related. Besides, someone said to set your novel in an exotic place where readers don’t visit. Iowa answered this definition.
Q: Are you active in the writing community?
Having a Masters in American Literature and still teach writing at a local college, I know story and the structures of writing. How to get it all done was another matter. To learn, I have sat on the boards of two Sisters in Crime Organizations, active member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thrillers Organization, continue to master my craft by attending literary and genre conferences. You can never stop learning, or think you have it all done.
Q: What do you do when you are not writing: I write and read a lot. I created an online magazine called Le Coeur de l’Artiste which reviews books and authors. Those interested can find it on my website: www.djadamson.com
Q: Anything other than writing?
Okay, sure. I enjoy walks with my two Welsh Terriers, cooking dinner for my husband, having lunch with my remarkable friends, and putting together dinner parties to bring people together.
Q: One last question and then I will let you go. Many writers talk about a Muse and how sometimes their muse is allusive. Tell us about yours.
I have several muse. When I am working on a novel, usually it is my protagonist who wakes me up in the morning to remind me what we need to do next. When I am lazy, I hear my mother’s voice in my head, “Can’t do it sitting down.” Actually, I can, but it’s not the way she means it. And then, I have a very good muse who keeps me organized, whispers new ideas and catalogues them for later, and who reminds me LIFE is not something to be read in a book about what happens outside my study window, given to us to take in, breath in, learn from, and enjoy.