Top Shelf at the BAE Show in NY

May 28th, 2015 → 8:15 pm @

bea-booth (1)

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Bellevue Authorfest 2015

May 17th, 2015 → 2:56 pm @

The Belleue Authorfest was a great experience. There were tons of great people, authors and avid readers. So many interesting folks to talk to. The reading was fun and so was the panel I sat on. Gordon did a terrific job of packing the event and making it both interesting and interactive. Even the hot dogs were great. And I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever been treated to a “goody bag.” Thanks for making me feel like a diva!imageimage

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Bellevue Public Library Authorfest Interview

April 20th, 2015 → 3:17 pm @

Tell us a little bit about your book “Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?”

When you’re out in the world interacting with other humans there’s a good chance you’ll experience a certain amount of frustration. Sometimes that frustration can get overwhelming. I find it helps to kill those who frustrate me in the extreme. When I do it in print – there’s less jail time. 

What was your inspiration for this title?

During the writing and editing process I just called it “Claire’s Murder.” When the time came to finally select a title I felt a bit overwhelmed. So I picked the first thing that seemed to fit and make me laugh. I just assumed I’d have to get serious and choose a “real” title at some point. During that time, I also happened to be interviewing senior writers for a position at my company. Most of them figured they’d do better if they showed an interest in my life so they asked me personal questions. Every time I shared my Book’s temporary name they burst into laughter that I felt was geniune. I love killing two birds with one stone – I completed all the interviews while conducting research on my book title. By the time we hired a writer, I knew I was keeping that title. 

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping

Get a jump on your Christmas shopping!

 What is It that drives you to write?

Once Social Media became a big part of the Marketing/Communications business, we were all tasked with creating content. And once I started blogging, I couldn’t be stopped. In all my blogging, for Marketing, for Menopause (Menologues.com) or for my book, I try to use humor to share my viewpoint. It’s just fun! Initially, I tried to write a book about a painful time in my business-life. I hated it! Once I allowed myself to use humor, everything changed. Now, the worst part about finishing a book is that I have to stop the writing process – even if it’s just for a time. My only consolation is that I get to read what I’ve written – and I make myself laugh over and over again! 

What is your favorite thing about writing for Children/YA/Adults?

Although I am thankful for the men and women of all ages who have read and commented positively, my sweetspot is really the menopausal woman. I wrote about a menopausal amateur sleuth, because I didn’t want to have female heroes be either 20-something and hot or Miss Marple – with nothing in between. I wanted to provide a geniune, but decidedly hip and chic hero with whom they could relate. And I get to deal with all kinds of important issues, like a woman can be attractive even if she’s not skinny or young, or don’t discount us because we have the occasional hot flash. 

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Donna Leigh Mysteries

 Many writers and artists have a specific routine or activity to spur their creative process.  Do you have such an activity and what is it?

I stop and let my subconscious review the manuscript. Where it’s been, where it is and when my subconscious is ready – where it’s going. I don’t try to rush my thought process – that always leads to rewriting. If it takes a few hours – great. If it takes a few weeks – so be it. 

 What are you reading right now and what do you like most about it?

I’m reading an anthology of cozy mysteries. It teaches me how to avoid some of those annoying little things that are found in many cozies, such as, repeating over and over again “Oh no, the Sheriff will be so mad at me for meddling!” In the writing process we don’t always realize when we’ve repeated ourselves one too many times. That’s why good editing is so critical. Cozy mysteries tend not to be over-edited – and they should be. I try to read as many books in my genre and learn what I can do and what I should never do. Plus, they help me escape. 

What is in the near future for your writing career?

Book two in the Donna Leigh Mystery series, “I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Short-Sighted” is in the final edit stage. My plan is to make this a three-book series, and book three is half written as well. 

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you. You have made this an unforgettable experience for me! 

Gracie Dancer

Gracie Dancer

A bit of shameless promotion, what is your favorite thing about your library?

That it treats local authors with kindness and respect. Unlike bookstores – that will host an author’s reading and then demand that he/she do enough marketing to draw a crowd AND make sure most of them buy books. 

 

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Thanks J Rit for a wonderful review!

January 4th, 2015 → 8:08 pm @

It was just another workday for Donna Leigh, ad executive at her own firm, when a colleague asks if she has heard the news– their former colleague, Claire, is dead and she has been murdered! Claire was a well hated person in the ad game, and it seemed everyone who ever came in contact with her might have enough motive, including Donna and the folks at Marcel. As problem solvers and people movers, Donna and the team at Marcel start looking into solving this mystery, mainly to keep themselves off the long suspect list. While their techniques are not always appreciated by the police, they do turn up information that helps and know they are getting too close to the answer when Donna begins getting threats. Ms. Donovan deftly negotiates the tightrope between suspense and humor in relaying this multi-character tale. Description sets the stage in Omaha and makes the characters come to life or, in Claire’s case, death. Through the teams missteps, blunders, and problem solving competition, the case is solved just in the nick of time for Donna. This is a delightful, fast-paced read which I recommend to all amateur sleuths with a good sense of humor. As I read, it was easy to cast characters and imagine this story on the screen.

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Thanks for the great review Barbara!

December 29th, 2014 → 10:28 pm @

Barbara J Tobey

This review is from: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch? (Kindle Edition)

Having worked at an advertising agency for many years, I know how crazy these people really are. Most tend to be a tad left of center, myself included. This is a humorous cozy mystery romp. I received an ebook in exchange for my honest review. The title sucked me in and the advertising references kept me entertained along with solving the mystery. Reality is not a requirement for fun reading.

 

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Check Out My Latest 4 out of 5 Star Review

December 14th, 2014 → 8:11 pm @

A quick light fun read. Well written, with a host of unlikely sleuth characters (mainly women) who get themselves into very awkward situations but who somehow manage to get to the bottom of it all. To be enjoyed sitting back with a nice glass of wine.

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Christine Baltimore Thanks for an Awesome Review!

November 25th, 2014 → 6:47 pm @

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text: I received a copy of Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? by Robin Donovan for free through NetGalley. The title of this book caught my attention. I was looking for a fun witty read and was not disappointed. Donna Leigh owns Marcel, agency and her former colleague, Claire Dockens, ends up murdered after leaving a charity dinner. The first thing Donna wonders is if she will be a suspect. She, like many others, had been subject to Claire’s abusive personality and was not saddened when she left the company. I loved the characters in this book. In fear of having the finger pointed at them, Donna and her colleagues decide to do some detective work on their own. They are impulsive and fumble their way through their investigative adventure. Donovan does a great job with dialogue and the main character, Donna Leigh. This was truly and humorous and entertaining read. This review, or links to this review, may also be found on my profile pages as follows: Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28942609-christina Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/A3RJL9VH4Z2PYU Pintrest http://www.pinterest.com/baltimore333/ Twitter https://twitter.com/chb548s Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/107592987780010474834/posts

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Thank you Janis Levonitis for a wonderful review!

November 16th, 2014 → 9:12 pm @

Janis Levonitis

Recommends This Book

Yes

WOOHOO, for all us menopausal ladies over 50. Robin Leemann Donovan’s: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was Bitch?, is a hilarious story of a group of menopausal co-workers and a few male coworkers thrown in, who decide to investigate the murder of a former coworker, Claire, who was a back-stabbing, manipulative, hateful excuse of a human being. WHY? To keep suspicion off themselves, because they all could have had motive to do the deed. Lead by Donna, whose inner monologue rolls with humorous observations of others as she deals with God awful hot flashes, memory issues and the ever dreaded hormonal induced emotions that strike at the most inopportune times. But through various misadventures, destruction of public property, they actually, inadvertently catch the killer. This book takes water cooler office talks to a new level. The characters are quirky and a special mention of Clovis, just to help her out with her extreme narcissism. She would be over the moon with happiness with the very mention of her name. This book starts out slow like a day at work that ends up being an extra exceptional day! I liked this book, as an over 50 gal myself, I’d like to think I’ve still got an adventure or two left to experience. I look forward to more of Donna’s adventures.
This book was provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.
Go to this link to see it in its original form: http://tinyurl.com/mcmercd

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Thanks cayocosta72 For Your Insightful Review

November 11th, 2014 → 7:44 pm @

Check out cayocost72’s review at this link:

http://cayocosta72.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch-by-robin-leeman-donovan-published-by-writelife/

or just read it below:

Is it Still Murder Even if She Was a Bitch? by Robin Leeman Donovan. Published by WriteLife

When one of Donna Leigh’s ad agency employees is killed, she decides to become her own investigator. Because she like the deceased so much? Hardly. Donna hated the old bag, but she figures the cops will be knocking on her door, ready to pin the murder on her if she doesn’t find the real guilty party. What follows are Donna and her friends somewhat less than successful attempts at investigating the murder.

Just plain funny. I love love Donna’s caustic wit

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Check out my guest blog post on Fiction University

July 29th, 2014 → 2:35 pm @

Janice Hardy invited me to guest blog on her Fiction University site. Check out my column here:

Character Evolution: Don’t Restrict Your Characters to Your Original Vision of Them

By Robin Leemann Donovan

Characters have a way of evolving in a story, sometimes for the better, sometimes to the utter frustrations of their creators. Despite those hair-pulling moments, though, a character who comes to life on their own often turns into a star. Please help me welcome Robin Leemann Donovan to the lecture hall today, to share the story of one such character.

Robin is president of the advertising/communications firm, Bozell and author of the blog, Menologues, a humorous yet informative look at the trials and tribulations of menopause by someone who’s been there. Menologues is republished on two commercial sites: Vibrant Nation and Alltop, and has won regional honors for social media at the AMA Pinnacles and PRSA Paper Anvil awards. Her first book in the Donna Leigh Mystery series: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? won an AMA Pinnacle award.

Robin was born and raised in New Jersey but lived and worked in Connecticut for a number of years before moving to Nebraska in 1999. Starting her career as a high school English teacher, Donovan moved into advertising in the early 80’s. In 1999 she accepted a job offer from Bozell. Donovan lives with her husband and three bulldogs, Jasmine, Roxi and Sadie (Sweet Pea).

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Take it away Robin…

When I started writing my first comedic murder mystery, Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?, there was no Clovis Cordoba Seville character. All of my characters were utilitarian. I had a murder victim, some amateur sleuths, and some cops.

Having loosely based the murder victim on a less-than-favorite acquaintance, I had plenty of opportunities for humor in my ability to mock her. Early in the process I began to realize that too much focus on mocking the murder victim would make my protagonist really unsympathetic.

I had characters that could give me some slapstick and some playful co-worker banter but I was worried about too much of the same type of humor over and over again. I was short on diversity and range in recurring comedic characters.

That’s when I introduced Clovis.

She is loosely based on a former co-worker with a stunning ability to make herself the center of absolutely everything. How had I forgotten about the importance of narcissistic humor – the backbone of any creative enterprise – in the mix? So Clovis was born.

Throughout the writing process I was able to introduce Clovis as the “irrelevant logic voice of reason,” a role the deranged woman who inspired her had mastered. The beauty of this was that I didn’t have to make fun of her – she took care of that all by herself!

One fairly typical comment by Clovis causes Donna Leigh, the protagonist, to ruminate, “I was really beginning to think that the only thing that would satisfy her would be to make her the murder victim, and it was getting more tempting by the minute. But, of course, being the second murder victim just wouldn’t do.”

Initially, Clovis was nothing more than an outsider looking to insert herself into the action, making her the antithesis to most characters in a murder mystery who labor to distance themselves from any possible suspicion and/or danger. The complexity of her character is based on the fact that fulfilling her self-centeredness is the main driving force in her existence trumping every other basic need. How many of us have not known someone like that?

Further along in the plot, her thoughtless selfishness (in her case this is not really redundant) causes the protagonist to contemplate murder, “At that moment the thought of killing her and spending the rest of my life behind bars seemed like the only logical course of action.”

Ultimately, Clovis proves to be more integral to the plot than I’d initially anticipated. As she moves deeper into the plother character’s sense of triumph grows palpably.

Clovis is ridiculous. One of my editors questioned whether or not anyone would believe such an impossible to believe character. Ironically, the very aspects of Clovis that are so ridiculous are behaviors I have absolutely seen her inspiration exhibit on a quasi-daily basis. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up!

I take great pride in the believability of all my characters. They are all based on real behavior patterns plugged into a fictional story. Unfortunately, for many who are not in a creative profession themselves – these characters can be a stretch of the imagination. I cringe whenever I see that my work has been reviewed by a scientist, knowing that they’re generally surrounded by logical, orderly minds on a daily basis, and that they don’t easily suffer fools. My work is not for them.

As writing progressed it became clear that Clovis could be so much more than just a comedic figure on the periphery of the plot fighting to get in. Her penchant to project her own self-aggrandizing behaviors onto Donna Leigh in a constant dogmatic tirade enables us to view the protagonist herself through a, probably more realistic but definitely less flattering and far more amusing, filter.

Clovis becomes the mechanism by which Donna’s own character flaws are illuminated in a way that enables us to laugh with her more than at her.

Clovis has gone from being a late-to-the-party add on to being my favorite character. She enables me push the envelope of the ridiculous and explore the machinations of a totally self-absorbed individual.

About Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?

How does one react to the shocking news that a former colleague has been brutally murdered? Worse yet, you realize that your vitriolic relationship with the victim could land you squarely on the suspect list. That’s exactly what happens to Donna Leigh, the energetic and somewhat sardonic owner of an Omaha ad agency, who jumps right in to the investigation – despite annoying menopausal symptoms – in order to keep the wolves away from her door. She manages to amuse as well as impress with her effective but unorthodox sleuthing.

As Donna and her colorful colleagues work feverishly to solve the case, they leave a trail of unintentional destruction in their wake; from injured police officers to collapsed buildings. Donna and her team stir things up enough to make the murderer nervous; after Donna receives a threat to “back off” things take on a more serious bent for her, but not for her ever vigilant colleagues who continue to animatedly bungle their way through the investigation until the murderer is behind bars.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2014/07/character-evolution-dont-restrict-your.html

 

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