Let’s Talk with Lois Winston

Hello from Lois Winston
By Lois Winston

Lois WinstonI’m thrilled to have been invited to join the wonderful mystery authors who squeeze onto Booklover’s Bench. My name is Lois Winston, and I write both the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and the Empty Nest Mysteries, coming to the amateur sleuth/cozy genre by way of romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction.

I was first published in humorous women’s fiction in 2006 with Talk Gertie To Me. I followed that book up with the romantic suspense Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, which was actually the first book I ever wrote, back when I had no idea what I was doing. But as many authors will tell you, once you’re bitten by the writing bug, you can never turn back. So I spent the next ten years learning how to write, rewriting that first book countless times, as well as writing others.

During this odyssey, an editor told my agent that she was looking for a crafting mystery series. Knowing my background was as a designer in the consumer crafts industry, my agent thought I was the perfect person to write such a series—even if I’d never written a mystery!

I gave it a try, though, and Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun wound up a finalist in St. Martin’s Malice Domestic competition. Unfortunately, I didn’t win. No problem. The original editor was still interested. However, the publishing house was in the middle of being sold. My agent was told they had to wait until the sale was finalized before issuing any new contracts. After the sale went through, the first thing the new publishers did was change the name of the company. The second was to fold their cozy mystery line. Did I mention I have really rotten luck?

It took several years before the series finally sold. There are now seven full-length Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries—Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, Death By Killer Mop Doll, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, Decoupage Can Be Deadly, A Stitch To Die For, Scrapbook of Murder, and Drop Dead Ornaments. In addition, there are three companion novellas—Crewel Intentions, Mosaic Mayhem, and Patchwork Peril. Handmade Ho-Ho Homicide, the eighth novel, will be available in the fall.

Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun is one of the books available this month in our May Book Vault giveaway. As you may have gathered from the series titles, these are humorous mysteries. How do you feel about mixing murder and mirth?

Besides blogging here once a month, you can also find me online at the following places:

Website: www.loiswinston.com
Newsletter sign-up: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/z1z1u5
Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/anasleuth
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anasleuth
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/722763.Lois_Winston
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lois-winston


  1. Ms VIVIENNE says

    Unfortunate luck does happen, thanks for sharing. Hearing of your triumphant; I’m sure giving inspiration to novice writers.

    • authorlois says

      Thanks, Vivienne. Not everyone will achieve their dreams, no matter how hard they work at something, but the only way someone will definitely fail is if they never try. I hope I’ve encourage some readers of this post to keep on trying.

  2. Maggie Toussaint says

    Lois, it was nice to read your writing odyssey! I’ve had the same misfortune to have publishers drop lines. That always is a hit in the heart. We’re glad to have you here with us at Booklover’s Bench and carving out a path for our shared journey. Looking forward to your next release.

  3. Marilyn Meredith says

    I loved reading this about your, Lois!

  4. Welcome to the bench. I’m a devoted reader of your Anastasia mysteries … plus I chuckle whenever I read the descriptions of Anastasia’s mother-in-law after your explanation of who she is based upon.

    • authorlois says

      Thanks, Debra. That woman certainly made my life miserable. Writing Lucille is a sweet revenge. 😉

  5. I love your series and I can’t wait to read the next adventures with Anastasia. I think I owe you an email.

    • authorlois says

      Hi Dru! Thanks so much. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard back from you.

  6. I like to read humorous mysteries. There is enough bad stuff in the news that I like to be entertained when I read. Welcome to the Bench, Lois!

    • authorlois says

      Thanks, Nancy! I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing humorous books. Reality is scary enough.

  7. cherylhollon says

    Welcome to the bench! I love humor in my murder mysteries. I find I connect closer to characters that have a realistic balance between life challenges and a healthy sense of irony.

    • authorlois says

      Thanks, Cheryl! The biggest irony for me is that I can’t tell a joke to save my life, and I never come up with a snappy retort until hours after the moment has passed. Yet I have no trouble writing humorous books. Go figure!

  8. Welcome, Lois. We’re thrilled to have you. 🙂 I like cozies with humor as long as they don’t make the actual death part of it a laughing matter (ironic is OK). I think your Anastasia mysteries hit that balance.