Interviews by Catherine Chant

What They Say

“Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber, but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through—originality.”
—Jack Kerouac



Catherine Chant

Catherine Chant is the author of a young time travel series available at and other online retailers, and two installments in the Vampire Diaries franchise via Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. She teaches several online classes for writers throughout the year, and her popular workshop GROW A BOOK: TURNING YOUR STORY IDEA INTO A WORKABLE PLOT is now available as an eBook, exclusively at

Grow a Book by Catherine Chant

For more information about Catherine, her books and her workshops, please visit her website at or find her on social media at and





May 2017

Interview with Bestselling Mystery Author Phoebe Conn

Mystery Author Phoebe Conn


What inspired you to write mystery books?

In addition to romance novels, for the last ten years, I’ve enjoyed writing the scripts for murder mystery dinner parties for church fund-raisers. My elder son, Jeff, is an accomplished musician who writes music and lyrics. He has a wonderful way with words, and a fascinating mystery idea he jotted on a scrap of paper inspired my first Detective Joe Ezell novel, MURDER ME TWICE, a noir mystery set in Los Angeles in the 1940s. The series continues with STAIRWAY TO MURDER, and MURDER ON ICE.

When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start, or does the story evolve as you write it?

I begin with a character map. I place the name of the murder victim in a center circle, and surround him/her with colorful characters who had a good reason to want them dead. While I know how the book will end, much of the plot evolves through the characters’ involvement with the crime. Clues and red herrings fall naturally into place. The research for a noir mystery provides wonderful news items and historic settings to give the story a vivid and realistic appeal.

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the fourth book in my Joe Ezell detective series, MURDER ON STILETTOS. A police lieutenant complains Joe has a talent for showing up at murder scenes. Joe takes it as a compliment and replies, “I’m lucky that way.”

Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?

In writing a series, authors have the opportunity to develop appealing characters readers will want to read about again and again. The lives of characters from the first book are now woven into the following stories. Joe plays golf with former clients, consults with a bail bondsman, and a high-priced escort possesses a wealth of knowledge about the Los Angeles underworld. The web of characters expands with each book, and when Joe needs an expert’s opinion, he knows whom to ask. Mary Margaret McBride is Joe’s first client, and their relationship grows closer with every book.

What’s the last mystery book you read that you really loved and would recommend?

I love Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries. She’s a young girl with a passion for poisons who lives on an estate in England that has seen far better days. Her mother disappeared while hiking in the Alps. Her father is obsessed with his stamp collection, and her two older sisters have no time for her, so she’s free to hop on her bicycle and race into town to solve perplexing mysteries. The last of the series I read was THRICE THE BRINDED CAT HATH MEW’D. (All the titles are deliciously strange!)




Stairway to Murder by Phoebe Conn

Stairway to Murder
A Detective Joe Ezell Detective Mystery, Book 2
Available in ebook and Print

WWII G.I. turned private eye, Joe Ezell is hunting a murderer. A Los Angeles VA nurse was killed on his office doorstep, and RN Mary Margaret McBride, the love of his life could be next.

Has the Black Dahlia killer struck again, or did one of the VA hospital doctors silence the nurse to keep a possible mal-practice case under wraps? There are too many suspects, too few leads, and LAPD detective Jacob Lynch blocks Joe’s every move.

Joe has to find the murderer, and fast, or he might never get the chance to propose to his beloved Mary Margaret.

Purchase online:




About the Author

Always a passionate lover of books, this New York Times bestselling author first answered a call to write in the 1980s and swiftly embarked on her own mythic journey. Her forty-fourth book, STAIRWAY TO MURDER written as P. J. Conn, was a January 2017 release. With more than seven million copies in print of her historical, contemporary and futuristic books written under her own name as well as her pseudonyms, Cinnamon Burke, and P. J. Conn, she is as enthusiastic as ever about writing.

A native Californian, Phoebe attended the University of Arizona and California State University at Los Angeles where she earned a BA in Art History and an MA in Education. Her books have won Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards and a nomination for Storyteller of the Year. Her futuristic, STARFIRE RISING, won a RomCom award as best Futuristic Romance of the year. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, and Novelists Inc.

She is the proud mother of two grown sons and two adorable grandchildren, who love to have her read to them.

Visit Phoebe online at:

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