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L.J. Sellers

answers the Usual Questions

photo, L J Sellers, courtesy of the author; 220x251

L.J. Sellers

American author and journalist L. J. Sellers is the founder of Housing Help, a charity dedicated to keeping families from becoming homeless.

In her bio she says, "she enjoys standup comedy, cycling, social networking, and attending mystery conferences. She's also been known to jump out of airplanes."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

My readers inspire me. When someone I've never met runs up to me at a conference and says my name with excitement, I realize that my stories have had an effect.

That is the motivating! Even if I've just had a rejection or disappointment, seeing that excitement from a reader inspires me to continue writing. And occasionally, a reader will tell me about a crime or issue that they'd like me to explore, and it intrigues me enough to follow through.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Early on, when I had only three Jackson books on the market, I received an email from a retired police officer. He said he loved my stories and my homicide-detective protagonist. More important, he claimed my series was the most realistic crime fiction he'd ever read and that the investigations I mapped out were excellent and true to life. That was the highest compliment I've ever received, and it motivated me to keep talking to detectives, crime scene techs, and other law enforcement personnel. The little on-the-job details are critical to each story.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Lawrence Sanders is my lifetime favorite author. His Deadly Sins series made me love police procedurals, and his futuristic thriller, The Tomorrow File, is still the most creative and compelling story I've ever read. Plus, he wrote the lighthearted and funny Archy McNally series. Sanders was such a versatile writer that he made me think I could write both thrillers and police procedurals - as well as comedy screenplays. Without his influence, I might not have believed I could write in more than one genre.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

For how long? I'm claustrophobic, so being trapped in an elevator would be a high-anxiety experience for me. So if I had to choose, it would be someone incredibly calm and/or funny. Like George Takei (Lt. Sulu). For a long ride into space, I'd want a great conversationalist, someone brilliant, but approachable, such as news columnist Fareed Zakaria or humorist Gail Collins. (You can tell I'm a news junkie.)

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

I get along with almost everyone, and there aren't any people I know personally who I actively dislike. However, there are a few actor/comedians who I find consistently annoying, so I don't think I would enjoy time with them in person. David Spade comes to mind.

book cover, Target by L J Sellers; 140x220

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

If I had to live a long time (without fresh food or the ability to cook), I'd take beef jerky and dried mango....and cases of Diet Dr. Pepper. And of course, my laptop. One time it was in the shop being repaired for a few hours, and I paced around the house feeling like my arms had been cut off.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

Reader satisfaction is the most important. In truth, it's all that's really important. But being human, I'd love to have a rave review in Publisher's Weekly someday. Maybe even make the NY Times list of bestsellers.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I love plotting! Coming up with story threads, connections, and twists is great fun, and the most gratifying thing. I do most of my plotting - and get my best ideas - while I'm exercising.

submitted by L.J. Sellers

31 August 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Santa Rosa, CA, July 3, 1959
Resides: Eugene, Oregon
As a journalist, I won the Grand Neal for my work on a pharmaceutical magazine. As a novelist, I've won the silver and bronze in the Readers Favorites Awards.

Web site:
FB Group, Jackson Junkies & Dallas Diehards


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