Today we sit down for a chat with crafter Connie Stedworth from author Lois Winston’s Talk Gertie to Me.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
Boring. I know most characters who are interviewed on this blog complain about their authors, but Lois Winston did me a huge favor. She forced me out of my same old/same old existence and gave me an exciting life.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
My creativity. I can create just about anything with a few basic craft supplies.
What do you like least about yourself?
That it took me until menopause to become more than just a housewife and mother.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
She had me create the most bizarre craft imaginable, then had me demonstrate it on Mel Gibson on Late Night with David Letterman (before Dave retired.)
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I don’t. I appreciate all she’s done for me. However, my daughter and her imaginary friend have both had quite a few rather vocal arguments with Lois.
What is your greatest fear?
Divorce. I love my husband, but lately we don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on much of anything, and I feel we’re drifting too far apart to come back together.
What makes you happy?
Being able to express myself artistically and creatively.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
I wish I’d had the courage to break out of my shell and spread my wings earlier. I could have had so many more opportunities if I'd only taken a few chances.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
My husband Earnest. I love the man, but he's so…well, Earnest. It’s the twenty-first century, but the man is still stuck back in the 1950’s.
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
My daughter Nori. I admire her courage in leaving Ten Commandments, Iowa and moving to New York City. (Although, I’ll admit I was opposed to it at first.)
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
Lois Winston is the creator of the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and the Empty Nest Mysteries, as well as award-winning romance, romantic suspense, and chick lit. You can find her website at www.loiswinston.com.
What's next for you?
Lois wrote a novella sequel to Talk Gertie to Me, and this time she’s got us involved in solving a murder. Can you imagine? You can read all about it in Elementary, My Dear Gertie. Beyond that, I don’t know. She’s pretty wrapped up with Anastasia the last few years, but someday she might give Anastasia a little vacation from sleuthing and write another book about my family and me. I’d really like to become a grandmother at some point in the not-too-distant future. (That's a hint, Lois!)
Talk Gertie to Me
Two years ago Nori Stedworth fled the conservative mentality of both her parents and Ten Commandments, Iowa, for Manhattan. She loves her new life -- until one devastating afternoon that culminates with the arrival of her mother. Mom is suffering from middle-age meltdown. Her only identity is as a wife and mother, but her husband is a workaholic, and her daughter is halfway across the country. Grandchildren would give her life new purpose. If only Nori would come to her senses and marry town mortician and most eligible bachelor Eugene Draymore.
To that end, Mom sets off to bring Nori home. But when she meets Nori’s neighbor, her plans take an unexpected twist, and she’s thrust headfirst into a career as the next Martha Stewart. Suddenly, she’s a somebody in her own right and reconsiders returning to her old life.
As a coping mechanism, Nori resurrects Gertie, her adolescent imaginary friend. A laptop mix-up lands her musings in the hands of Mackenzie Randolph, a talk-radio station manager on deadline to boost sagging ratings or lose his job. He knows he’s found the answer to his prayers when he reads Nori’s make-believe correspondence.
And maybe he’s found much more.
Meanwhile Dad, with Eugene in tow, comes in search of his AWOL wife. Tempers flare when Mom refuses to return home. However, when she and Dad hear Nori on the radio, they unite to “save” her from the corruption of both Mac and Manhattan.
And that’s when things really get interesting.