To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the seventh, is of copywriter, editor and author of mystery-romance westerns and fantasy Alison Bruce. You can read the others here.
Alison Bruce has an honours degree in history and philosophy, which has nothing to do with any regular job she’s held since; a liberal arts education, did prepare her to be a writer, however. She penned her first novel during lectures while pretending to take notes. A copywriter and editor since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher and web designer in the past. She currently manages publications for Crime Writers Canada and is a volunteer with Action Read Family Literacy Centre. A single mother, she lives in Guelph, Ontario with her two children, Kate and Sam. Alison grew up surrounded by the great dames of golden age mysteries, Georgette Heyer’s historical romances and the classic westerns of Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. Naturally enough her debut novel, Under A Texas Star, is a mystery-romance set in the old west.
And now from the author herself:
One reviewer compared my writing to Hemingway – a great compliment – because there was nothing in my novel that didn’t need to be there. My sister, on the other hand, compared my writing process to Tolkein. My notes are almost as long as my novels.
Under A Texas Star has had many adventures on the road to publication. Orphaned by obsolete technology, the original manuscript clung to life as a printout from a dying dot-matrix printer. When it finally made it into a workable file, it had to wait while I had a couple of kids and took care of my sister and father. Meanwhile I collected far more information on Texas, guns, riding, and the price of beans and ammunition than you would ever want to see in a novel.
Deadly Succession, being released next year by Imajin Books, started with an interview on the future of police services. This was back in my small-press publisher days. We were producing a day-planner. For each month we were including an interview with a woman who had achieved success on her own terms. At the time, we had a woman chief of police. The germ of an idea for a near future mystery series started there. I haven’t let the opportunity to talk to a police officer or private investigator get past me since.
Whether it involves the past, the projected future or world mythologies (I write fantasy too), I love to throw myself into the research. That’s where I find the materials to build the world where I set my stories.
When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she’s determined to bring him to justice―even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him. Texas Ranger Jase Strachan is also after Meese, for crimes committed in Texas. He joins forces with the young boy in a journey that takes them to Fortuna, where a murder interrupts their mission. Jase is duty bound to find the killer, no matter the cost. Marly carries out her own investigation and comes to the aid of Amabelle Egan, the sister of one of the suspects. But appearances are deceiving, and Marly is mistaken for Amabelle’s suitor, making her a target for the killer. Not to mention, Charlie Meese is still out there. You can read the excerpt here.
You can find more about Alison and her writing via…
My interview with Alison is scheduled for Monday, 26th September so please do return for that.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction, fantasy, horror & literary author (amongst many genres) David Antrobus – the one hundred and twenty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, directors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks here.