My name is Linda Townsdin. I used to call myself an introvert, but since publishing my first mystery last year, that might call for some rethinking. I spoke on several library panels and at book events and attended conferences where I stood alone in front several hundred people each time to talk about my book. I even participated in an author speed-dating event and dashed to nearly fifty tables of people in under two hours. Immersion therapy works!
So, for all introverts out there, self-publish and then spend part of a year promoting. If you live through it, it will change your life in lots of good ways. For one thing, when someone tells you to your face they loved your book, it’s like being showered with love. And who wouldn’t want to get more of that?
My grandmother used to say I had itchy feet and after publishing my second mystery in June of this year, I did the opposite of throwing myself into the fray. I was in the mood for a road trip. With no plan other than to enjoy the long drive from California to Minnesota, visit family and friends and stop at a few bookstores and libraries, I set out. The trip was the perfect transition after focusing on my project for more than a year. And, an idea for my next book surfaced while racing with trains and antelope on solitary Wyoming highways.
I grew up mostly in Colorado and Northern Minnesota, but California is home. For years, I worked for years in communications, most recently as writer/editor for a national criminal justice consortium. My work included editorial and marketing assistance on projects involving cybercrime, tribal justice and other public safety issues, and that background has been helpful in plotting my mystery series. I live in California with my husband and have two grown children. My two beloved pets, an elderly dog, Lucky, and my cat, Mac, have both passed away this year. I’m convinced that Lucky is still beside me when I go for a walk, and Mac’s spot near my pillow is always warm.
My Spirit Lake Mystery series is set in Northern Minnesota. I wanted to pay homage to the Native American culture of that area, the weather, lakes, small towns and people. And I wanted to tell a good story about a female photojournalist with a strong sense of justice and responsibility who struggles to reconcile her personal desire to be home and surrounded by her loved ones, with her professional calling—to document the suffering of the world’s downtrodden.
My story ideas are usually grounded on a social issue that haunts me and the action takes place in Spirit Lake. My main character, Britt, will push the limits to keep the bullies of this world from winning where ever she witnesses injustice. Forest Ranger Ben Winter loves Britt, but thinks she’s too much trouble to make a relationship work. Britt’s younger brother, Little, and his partner, Lars, own Little’s Café in Spirit Lake. They try to keep Britt from reckless actions but usually fail. Sheriff Wilcox wishes he’d never left his job in Colorado once Britt comes to town. Native American Elder Edgar Turner’s cryptic comments drive Britt crazy, but he always nudges her in the right direction and is often the only one who believes in her.
Close Up on Murder was published in June 2015, the second in the Spirit Lake Mystery series. Britt’s back in Spirit Lake recharging after her latest overseas assignment when two murders, and a string of threats against her brother set her in action. Britt thinks they’re hate crimes, but the sheriff isn’t convinced. And time is running out.
The first in the series, Focused on Murder, was published in January 2014. Readers are introduced to Britt, a kickass photojournalist with a big heart and an attitude, who follows a coed’s murder to the wilds of the US/Canadian border and lands in the crosshairs of an international crime ring. Only this time she’s in way over her head.