Hello Zack thanks for taking a moment to chat with me. I know you’re a busy photojournalist, but have you ever been interviewed for a blog that caters to the ladies?
Hello, and thank you for inviting me to your blog today. To answer your question, no, I have to admit, this is a first for me, but I’m thrilled to be here.
Well before we get into Anastasia, can you tell us a little about yourself? Like what was your best/favorite assignment? How long have you been a journalist? Was photography a gift or a learned profession?
First, to clarify, I’m a photojournalist, not a journalist. That means I mostly use my camera to tell a story rather than words. I became interested in photography as a teenager and immediately knew I wanted to pursue a career using my camera. I’ve also always had a keen curiosity about the world. Combining those two passions led to a career in photojournalism.
As to my best or favorite assignment, I’d have to say anytime I travel somewhere I’ve never been and have the chance to learn something new.
How did you meet Anastasia?
Anastasia found herself in a huge financial quagmire when her husband suddenly dropped dead in Las Vegas. She thought he was at a sales meeting in Harrisburg, PA. That’s when she learned of his hidden gambling addiction and that he’d not only wiped out their savings but racked up thousands of dollars in debt to both credit card companies and a loan shark.
Prior to learning all this, she had used the apartment above her garage as a studio/office. To bring in some extra income, she rented out the apartment. I was looking to move out of my high-rise condo in Manhattan for a quieter location away from some crazy neighbors who kept calling the cops on me, claiming I was cooking up meth in my darkroom.
Can you tell us about your first date?
I took Anastasia to the Campbell Apartment for drinks, followed by dinner. If you’d like to know how special a place that is, you’ll have to read Death by Killer Mop Doll. Once you do, you’ll want to stop by yourself if you’re ever in New York.
Did you realize that she is such a sleuth?
Not at first, but then again, neither did she. Anastasia refers to herself as a reluctant amateur sleuth. She’d be more than happy to give up this sideline that has been thrust upon her, and truthfully, I’d be thrilled if she did. I don’t like her risking her life. Unfortunately, the dead bodies don’t stop coming.
So this might be an odd question but just how many murders has she solved?
We’re into the ninth book in the series, and there’s been at least one murder per book, plus a number of attempted murders. I’ve lost count at this point, but it’s well north of a dozen.
Does her sleuthing and stumbling onto dead people worry you?
Constantly. It also worries her sons and mother. She keeps promising she’ll leave the sleuthing to the professionals, but when the safety of her family is at stake, she can’t help herself. How can you blame her?
I know guys don't usually get asked this, but I am just curious. How did you know Anastasia was/is the one? I mean she's always in some kind of trouble or murder investigation. Are you some kind of superhero guy, or do you just like to live dangerously?
Anastasia is convinced I work for one of the government alphabet agencies because of where my assignments often take me and some of the situations I’ve found myself in. Of course, I deny this. Then again, even if I were a spy, I’d deny being a spy. And if I were—which I’m not saying I am—I guess that would make me a superhero. But that has nothing to do with falling for her. When you meet “the one”, you just know. Nothing else matters.
And so, you bought the ring. Have you guys set a date?
Not yet. We’re in discussions.
So how confident were you she would say yes?
You could say a little birdie told me, or in this case, a not so little one—Ralph, Anastasia’s Shakespeare-quoting parrot. We’ve sort of bonded.
What about her sons. Did you hit it off with them from the beginning?
I did. Nick and Alex are great kids.
Just between you and me, when wedding plans become the focus do, you think Anastasia will become a Brideszilla?
Definitely not. However, I can’t say the same for her mother. If it weren’t for the fact Flora would probably kill us, we’d elope.
Are you worried that you'll have to run interference if Lucille (the ex-mother-in-law) sticks her two cents in?
Lucille likes to push her weight around, but she knows I push back. I’m bigger and meaner. I think I’m the only person who has ever intimidated her.
Well I know you have to run since you guys are off on a fabulous cruise. I hope we can chat again, and next time bring Anastasia. I'd love to hear all about the cruise!
Thanks! I’m sure she’d love to stop by for a visit. As for the cruise, though, you know author Lois Winston writes murder mysteries, right? What are the chances of getting through this cruise without at least one dead body?
Until next time, Bon Voyage!
A Sew Deadly Cruise
An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery, Book 9
Life is looking up for magazine crafts editor Anastasia Pollack. Newly engaged, she and photojournalist fiancé Zack Barnes are on a winter cruise with her family, compliments of a Christmas gift from her half-brother-in-law. Son Alex’s girlfriend and her father have also joined them. Shortly after boarding the ship, Anastasia is approached by a man with an unusual interest in her engagement ring. When she tells Zack of her encounter, he suggests the man might be a jewel thief scouting for his next mark. But before Anastasia can point the man out to Zack, the would-be thief approaches him, revealing his true motivation. Long-buried secrets now threaten the well-being of everyone Anastasia holds dear. And that’s before the first dead body turns up.
Craft projects included.
Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-sew-deadly-cruise/id1526052822
Bio: USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
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Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
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