D. A. Spruzen grew up near London, England, earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte, and teaches writing when she’s not seeking her own muse. In another life she was Manager of Publications for a defense contractor. Her short stories and poems have appeared in many publications, and she is currently hard at work on the next book in the series, Lily Takes the Field. She and her husband live in Northern Virginia with a Jack Russell terrier who doesn’t know he’s old and doesn’t know he’s small.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
grew up near
Describe your book ‘Not One of Us’ in 30 words or less.
In Not One of Us a woman from a desperate background, now socially prominent, kills when threatened with exposure. And one thing leads to another . . .
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part about writing the book was realizing it wasn’t going to be a humorous work after all—my original intention—but rather a dark one. That meant allowing that evolving character to take me along rocky roads, down icy slopes, and up trashy alleys. Then, I realized I wasn’t going to bump her off after all—she was much too smart for that. I decided on a trilogy and that meant planning ahead.
What books have had the greatest influence on you?
It’s hard to say which books have influenced me the
most—there are so many, ranging from the classics to contemporary voices. As far as mystery/thriller genre is concerned,
I particularly admire the work of British author John Lawton, who writes a
detective series set just before, during and after WWII. A former investigative journalist, his
protagonist is unique and his prose outstanding without being stuffy. And then, of course, there is P.D. James, a
consummate storyteller with impeccable writing skills, and Donna Leon, who
writes so beautifully about Commissario Brunetti of the
Briefly share with us what you do to market your book?
I don’t do enough to market my books. It’s difficult to write, teach (and prepare
for class), do volunteer work and work the Internet. I go to several conferences each year, serve
on the board of the
How do you spend your time when you are not writing?
I read extensively and belong to two book clubs, I knit, garden, play with my Jack Russell terrier, serve on the boards of Langley Residential Support Services, which serves individuals with intellectual disabilities, and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women. And—my dirty little secret—I watch TV every evening, especially enjoying crime shows and the British sitcoms and dramas. I do exercise at a health club, but not as much as I should.
What are you working on next?
The next book in the trilogy, Lily Takes the
Field, should be available within three months. I’m still tweaking and have another couple of
chapters to write. It’s set in
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