Monday, February 6, 2012

TBR welcomes J.M. Griffin

TBR: Welcome to TBR, J.M. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
J.M.: Thanks for the invite. I am very happy to be here. I’ve been a storyteller for years. Most of my childhood consisted of dreaming up scenarios and then playing them out with friends. Never, did I think I would actually write novels, but here I am. Frankly, I have been an artist for over 30 years.

TBR: Tell us about MURDER ON SPYGLASS LANE and where it's available.
J.M.: Murder on Spyglass Lane is available on Amazon

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
J.M.: Artist Sarah McDougall flees New England to the west coast of Florida in an effort to outrun her past and her psychic ability. It isn’t long before she finds she is mistaken about both those things. While walking her Bassett hound Sparky on the 13th hole of the golf course that borders her home, Sarah has a psychic episode which reveals the body of a dead woman buried beneath the sand trap. Worried she will be blamed for the death if she goes to local police,(that had happened in the past) Sarah asks her handsome neighbor for help. She not only falls hard for him, but Sarah also becomes entangled in a dangerous trap set for her by the art gallery owner, who was married to the dead woman, when she gets too close to the truth.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
J.M.: A friend and I were driving around her neighborhood in Florida when I saw a street sign “Spyglass Lane.” The name of the street was so interesting, that was all it took for me to come up with the story.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
J.M.: I’m definitely a panster.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
J.M.: I try to imagine what types of responses average and not so average people would have to circumstances. Mine is a police family, with experience in the traumatic and sometimes comical side of life. I draw on that drama/comedy to round out my characters and their circumstances.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why? 
J.M.: In my Vinnie Esposito series, I think Vinnie would be the character I’d like to have across the table. She has an intriguing outlook on life and maybe I could ask her some questions about her father. Questions that have never really been answered.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
J.M.: I have to add comedy to my books. I just can’t create a stiff and unrelenting main character. I find it helps my characters to become more believable.

TBR: What's next for you?
J.M.: I’m currently reworking a story I’d written several years ago. LOL…I might have better luck starting from scratch with a completely new novel. It is difficult to start rearranging, cutting, hacking and inserting new material. But, never one to back down from a challenge, I will persevere.

TBR: Any other published works?
J.M.: I have a single title with Lyrical Press - “Faerie Cake Dead” and three novels in the Esposito series published with Lachesis Publishing - “For Love of Livvy”; “Dirty Trouble”; and “Dead Wrong” with the next in the series “Cold Moon Dead” under contract.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
J.M.: The most challenging is to keep the story moving forward and the most rewarding is when it finally all comes together. Being a pantser, my stories often take a sudden and unexpected left or right turn somewhere along the line.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
J.M.: Right now I am reading Dead Head by Rosemary Harris. It’s a great story and I have to force myself to put it down and get some of my own work done.
I enjoy Janet Evanovich, Annette Blair, Karen Frisch, and Hannah Howell.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
J.M.: and at

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
J.M.: What makes a mystery interesting for you?

TBR: J.M. is giving away a copy of Murder on Spyglass Lane to one lucky commenter, so be sure to include your email address. She'll pick a winner next week and announce the winner here.
Thanks for visiting TBR, J.M. Best of luck to you.


  1. Great interview! I love that your story came from an actual name of a street. :)

    I'm a pantser too. I love how my characters take on a life of their own and tell their own story. I sometimes find myself in a completely different direction than I thought the story would go, but that's what makes it interesting.

    What makes a mystery interesting to me is twists and turns and not being able to guess the ending.

    Good luck,

    Author of Concilium, available July 2012
    Concilium: The Departure, November 2012
    PODs, available June 2013

  2. Thank you Michelle, for commenting. It is nice to know that others experience writing in similar ways.

  3. Great interview. I really like the story behind your book and Spyglass Lane. That's very cool.

    I like a mystery that is fast-paced with lots of twists and turns. A little humor is good too.


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