Nov 10

Saturday Six Pack – On the Road to Death’s Door – M.J. Williams

In today’s Saturday Six Pack we head down the mystery route with On the Road to Death’s Door, co-written by Peggy Williams and Mary Joy Johnson. I read a ton of mysteries growing up and still love the genre. Let’s see what’s these two talented women are up to at the moment.

Emily and Stan Remington’s maiden voyage in their newly inherited, second-hand RV goes awry when a body falls off the top of their vehicle. The retired small town police officer and her husband, a retired history professor, find themselves at the center of a murder investigation involving a politician, a corporate executive, and a hippie priest. Emily butts heads with the local sheriff as their search takes them from a backwoods cabin in Wisconsin’s scenic Door County to the Bishop’s Chancery in Madison to an abandoned island in the infamous Death’s Door Straits.

1) We’d like to welcome you to Saturday Six Pack. There are some cold ones in the fridge. Help yourself. Can you share some information about what you’re currently working on and when we can expect to see it launched?

We are working on the second in our On the Road mystery series, titled On the Road to Where the Bells Toll. It takes place in Boston and will make use of some favorite settings there such as the Freedom Trail and the Old North Church, as well as the modern day mystery being steeped in early American history. We hope to launch it sometime in January.

2) Sounds great and I’m looking forward to it. Let’s talk a bit about your style. If I gave you just four adjectives to describe your work, which ones would you choose?

Ambitious! Page-turner! Murderous! Smart!

3) Those are all good and you could have used a variety of others including clever which the On the Road to Death’s Door certainly is. If I could change one thing about yourself as writers, what would it be?

We would give ourselves the power to adjust time so that we could create more pockets of time to get the work done. We have tons of ideas for future books and wish we could pump them out faster, while still keeping the same level of quality, of course!

4) That leads me right into my next question. Nice sequeway. As an indie author myself, I’m always interested in asking other writers about how they balance their writing time with the requisite marketing and promotion efforts. Assuming anything about this industry could ever be called normal, how does a normal week break down for you?

Because we write–and market– as a team, it’s perhaps a bit easier for us to create that balance. We give each other assignments, whether it be first draft writing, researching, or revising. And we’ve learned to rely on each other’s strengths when it comes to marketing. Peggy is more comfortable with and enjoys the social media scene. Mary Joy is terrific at person to person selling. We try to schedule author events, workshop presentations, book signings, etc. together, but if necessary one or the other of us will do it alone if the other can’t make it. As for a “normal” week, Peggy teaches full time and Mary Joy, while retired, is a professional quilter who teaches quilting, so we write weekends and on days off, and as much as we can during the summer. During a typical work week Mary Joy does her writing and marketing during the day, mostly in the mornings. Peggy tends to work in the evenings.

5) I spend an enormous amount of time working on my characters and that activity is often the most fun have during the writing process. How do you approach character development?

We love working on character development! We think our antagonists have to be as smart and interesting as our protagonists. We believe that static characters are uninteresting, so we know that we need to let our characters grow and experience the ups and downs of life and relationships. Within an individual book, we look for instances where we can expand on relationships and personal growth. For instance, in On the Road to Death’s Door, one of our lead characters Stan has to deal with and work through the violent death of a close friend. In the upcoming On the Road to Where the Bells Toll, the other lead character Emily has to work through the emotions of being recently retired and lacking a direction in life, and both have to figure out how to reconnect with a preteen granddaughter who is growing up too fast.

6) At the end of your writing career, what would you like your readers to say about your work?

We’d like them to say that we took them for a good ride; that our work both entertained and enlightened them in one way or another. We like books that teach us something new about this world we live in and about the human experience, and we hope to do the same for those who read our work.

Great stuff. And many thanks to both of you for taking the time to stop by.

Po$$e members, below are some links that will take you to Peggy and Mary Joy. I hope you get a chance to check their work out.

Be well, my friends.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/On-Road-Deaths-Door-ebook/dp/B006CA06BU

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/on-the-road-to-deaths-door-m-j-williams/1108068339?ean=9781468065336

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/176882

M. J. Williams facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/M.J.Williams.author

Email: mjwilliams.author@gmail.com


  1. Toots

    Thanks for introducing me to these two talented writers. “On the Road To Where The Bells Toll” sounds like a great read. Find the idea of a mistery set in Colonial Boston most interesting…

  2. M. J. Willaims

    Thanks for the opportunity to introduce ourselves and our book, On the Road to Death’s Door. We love checking out the authors on the Saturday Six Pack! And we wish B.R. Snow the best with the Damaged Po$$e series. – M. J. Williams

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