Jennifer Priester, author of the Mortal Witch series interviews Robin Donovan

May 13th, 2013 → 6:15 pm @

Interview with Robin Donovan
Posted on May 10, 2013 by animalsandmagic

What is your name, your books name, genre, age level, and what is it about?

I am the author of the Donna Leigh Mystery series, my name is Robin Leemann Donovan. The first book in this cozy mystery series is entitled Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch?

Book display

Although Donna Leigh, the protagonist of this comedic murder mystery is a menopausal business woman, I have been told that the book has been enjoyed by men and women of a wide age range. However, I would imagine that my primary target audience would be Women 45 – 64.

Menopausal and sardonic Donna Leigh owns an Omaha ad agency. Sleuthing keeps Donna’s toxic relationship with her murdered former colleague from landing her on the suspect list. Donna and her colorful colleagues hunt unrelentingly for clues, leaving a trail of unintentional destruction in their wake, even after Donna is threatened.

Tell us a little about your books characters.

Donna Leigh is my protagonist, a menopausal ad-agency owner/amateur sleuth. Babs & Peg are her two menopausal cohorts. When the three get together – something always happens.

The murder victim, Claire, a former colleague who was a self-satisfied bitch with a less than perfectly ethical approach to business.

Clovis Cordoba Seville is the former colleague who takes the world record in narcissism. Her mental process is fascinating as she manages to ensure that everything revolves around her – she projects her worst flaws onto Donna.

Other folks around the agency include: Donna’s business partners Liv and Donny, her good friend Kyle and various and sundry other staffers.

Last but not least are Donna’s husband Jon and their three rescue bulldogs. They are her comfort and her solace after some very difficult days.

Do you have a favorite among your characters?

Clovis is my favorite. She was added in as a joke, but she became almost the alter ego of Donna. Clovis is everything that Donna hates, she’s a person who puts herself above all else – and only works to ensure that she remains center stage. We all have those moments periodically – and Clovis is quick to point out any and every minor ego related infraction of Donna’s. She also projects a great deal of her own narcissistic insanity on Donna – and we’ve all met those people – what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

Why did you write your book? Did anything specific inspire it?

I have been in the advertising business for over 30 years and I have met some incredible characters. The book was a chance to explore some of the more outrageous of those personalities and combine them with two of my favorite things: comedy and murder mysteries.

Want to Write a Book?

Want to Write a Book?

During the editing process, a few of my editors were concerned that some of my characters were too outrageous and not believable – my editors hailed from academia. Rest assured there has never been a person in the advertising industry who has not absolutely believed these are credible characters.

Now tell us a little about yourself.

I started out as a high school English teacher and felt very old very fast. After three years of teaching I got a job in an advertising agency and have never felt old since.

Most of my career was in the Northeast, but when an offer came to head the media department in the founding office of Bozell, I jumped at the chance and moved to Omaha. Living in Omaha has been an incredible experience. It has changed me from the fast paced, overly aggressive northeasterner that I was and given me a chance to stop and smell the roses – although some would tell you I’m kidding myself on that count!

Twelve years ago I was given the chance to be part of a group that bought the Bozell brand from IPG. It has been an amazing experience – never easy, but rewarding in so many ways.

Our active role in social media started me blogging and once I started writing there was no stopping me. I write for our company blog: Insights, I write a blog on menopause called Menologues, which is republished on Vibrant Nation and Alltop. A few years ago, we got a publisher as a client and I realized that all the pieces of the puzzle were in place and it was time to write my book.

When I’m not at work or writing, I spend time with my rescue bulldogs, ski, dance and I’m an avid reader. I also attend food and wine tastings fairly regularly.

Do you do a lot of reading? And what are a few of your favorite books and authors?

I love to read murder mysteries, both serious and humorous. In general, I love a well written book that reveals a secret. My favorite author is Dickens, but I love Jane Austen.

On the lighter side, I have the utmost respect for JK Rowling and Janet Evanovich. They both serve an important purpose – when my good friend lost her Mom, I sent her the first six Evanovich books – now she’s hooked.

Where can your books be purchased?

Direct book purchase page on my publisher’s website: http://writelife.pinnaclecart.com/humor/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch/

Through my author’s website: www.rldonovan.com

The book can also be purchased at the 13th Street Mystery Bookstore – A Stitch in Crime, the Bookworm, Nebraska at the Market and Urban Abbey.

The book can also be purchased on:

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Murder-Even-She-Bitch/dp/1608080382/ref=la_B009G5AKCS_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367857451&sr=1-1

AmazonKindle

http://www.amazon.com/Still-Murder-Even-Bitch-ebook/dp/B009B1AVZ8/ref=la_B009G5AKCS_1_1_title_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1367857572&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/is-it-still-murder-even-if-she-was-a-bitch-?store=allproducts&keyword=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F+

Books a Million

http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=5678577054418&query=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F&where=Books&search.x=49&search.y=10&search=Search

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Indie Bound

http://www.indiebound.org/hybrid?filter0=is+it+still+murder+even+if+she+was+a+bitch%3F&x=31&y=7

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About animalsandmagic
I am an author and reader of fiction and nonfiction books about animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic and other supernatural things. My first published book series is called Mortal Realm Witch and is for ages 8-adult. My blog mostly focuses on the topics of animals, magic, reading books, writing books, and sometimes other things as well. I post new blogs every two weeks so be sure to check back then if you like my blog but are not following it. You can also learn when I post a new blog by following me on Facebook and/or Twitter. You can visit my website, www.mortalrealmwitch.com, for the links.
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about.me

Jennifer Priester
Author, Publisher, Book Layout Designer, Artist, Reader, & Animal Lover
I write fiction and nonfiction books about animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic, the supernatural, and superheroes. The genre’s I write in include one or more of the following: Fantasy, Short Stories, Children’s Fiction, Nonfiction, Sci-fi, Sci-fi/fantasy, Supernatural, Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Adventure. I also do my own book cover art and any inside photos or drawings. I layout my own books, both print and eBook, as well as other peoples and publish my books under my own publishing company, A & M Moonlight Creations, which can also publish other peoples work as well as my own.
Besides writing and drawing, I love to read books, ride horses, watch TV/movies, play video games, spend time outside, and spend a lot of time with animals.
I really love animals and have and have owned many, most of which have been rescues. Currently I have a Chihuahua called Taco, two Mini Rex rabbits called Chibi and Kojikaki, and a ten year old Goldfish called Pumpkin. In the past I have owned a Toy Poodle called CeJaye, a Dutch rabbit called Friendly, a Dutch Mix called Oreo who was my first ever rescue pet and ever since adopting her I have become adoption only when it comes to getting new pets. In the past I also lived with a Parakeet called Peekablue, an African Cichlid fish called Trouble, a speckled fish called Speckle, a speckled fish called Sea Star, a Goldfish called Sunny, a Goldfish called Silver, a Dalmatian fish called Perdita, and many other fish as well.
Besides pets I have many anipals; animals that I don’t own but am friends with. One of these animals is my favorite horse at the barn I ride at, an Appendix Quarterhorse called Levi.
At some time in their lives, almost every pet and favorite anipal has inspired a either a nonfiction book, a character or characters in fiction stories, or both. The ones that have inspired fiction characters have their own special dedication page on my website.
I have found that animals are my biggest source of inpiration as a writer.

Recent Posts
Interview with Robin Donovan
New Blog Posts and Schedule Begin this Friday night!
Author Interviews Coming Very Soon! (And other news too)

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Thanks for the Trailer Views, More is Better!

December 7th, 2012 → 3:50 pm @

Thank you so much for all the views of my trailer. As of right now – we’ve hit a total of 379 views – the ten million mark is right around the corner!

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Donna Leigh Mystery #3 In The Works!

August 3rd, 2012 → 4:47 pm @

Donna Leigh Mysteries

Donna Leigh Mysteries

The third in the Donna Leigh mystery series is well underway. The working title is “I Wonder Why They Killed Him, He Wasn’t Really That Annoying.”

This is the first time our murder victim is male – and he’s also a friend of Donna’s.

The victim, Ed von Hapsburg is a former professional chef and, at the time of the murder, is the owner of a California vineyard and a wine distributorship. Ed’s background and interests will provide an endless supply of food and wine information and action venues.

The second in the Donna Leigh series “I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short Sighted” has been in edit for two months now.

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A Big Thanks to Erin Reel: The Lit Coach

June 21st, 2012 → 2:47 pm @

Check out the wonderful post that Erin Reel, The Lit Coach, wrote on her blog after interviewing me last week: http://thelitcoach.net/from-blog-to-book-with-robin-leemann-donovan/

From Blog to Book with Robin Leemann Donovan
by TheLitCoach | on June 21st, 2012 | 0 comments
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I love book titles that really get to the heart of what the book’s about. I also have a penchant for humor. When I was invited to attend a book reading/signing event for author Robin Leemann Donovan, I was only too glad to go – with at title like, Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch?, how could I not be entertained? And I was! In the decade I’ve been working with authors and their books, I don’t recall laughing quite so hard at a book reading. Totally refreshing.

The Lit Coach Interview

The Lit Coach Interview

Donovan, a Managing Principal at Bozell, one of the top advertising agencies in the country, understands the vital importance of hook. At the urging of a friend, Donovan created Menologues, a blog devoted to helping women stumble less blindly through menopause. Her hook? Clearly humor but also authenticity – Donovan blogs, writes and speaks off the cuff, from the heart and with authority not just about menopause but about topics important to women 50+, who have largely been ignored in publishing and other media. That organic combo works for her. From my perspective, she’s on to something.

I asked Donovan for her three most important, need-to-know tips about writing and blogging. Here’s what she shared.
On Writing

Prepare for nothing happening as you would expect it.
Take notes on every chapter so you know where you’re going, where your loose ends are and when to tie them up (very important for mystery writers).
Get your work professionally critiqued and proofread. Friends and relatives are not your best beta readers, except my mother and I’ll loan her out.

On Blogging

Be specific. Stand for something.
Be relatable. Be authentic.
Be prepared. Do your homework. Discover and understand your market. Don’t touch on topics that everyone’s touched. Know what’s important and what isn’t.
Be open to the realities of the people around you and their unique experiences. Avoid stereotypes.

If you’ve had success creating a book from your blog, share your tips (and links!) here.

TLC

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Huge Thanks to the Millard Branch of the Omaha Public Library

June 6th, 2012 → 9:13 pm @

Great audience at the Millard Branch!

Great audience at the Millard Branch!

Last night I had the distinct honor of kicking off the Millard Branch’s Authors Series. Attendees were wonderful and supportive! They asked some excellent questions and gave me some feedback that made it difficult to fit my head through the door as I exited the building! Every “talk” should be so much fun – for me!

I also appreciate being able to trot out an excerpt from the second book in the Donna Leigh Mysteries series, I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short Sighted! It really helped to be able to share my plot and characters with a new audience, and hearing the laughter was music to my ears!

I want to thank all of the wonderful folks at the Millard Branch for being so welcoming and supportive!

I recently had an acquaintance laughingly ask me if I really felt like a “celebrity.” And to his surprise, I was able to respond that there are actually a few people who treat me as though I’m a celebrity. I count the great folks at the Millard Branch and their wonderful audience as some of those few!
Authors Series

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I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short Sighted 2nd Donna Leigh Mystery!

May 29th, 2012 → 6:19 pm @

Last night I finished writing the second Donna Leigh Mystery: I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short Sighted. In this second novel of the series our menopausal protagonist gets a major shock; a former colleague from the Northeast has moved to Omaha and is telling everyone she and Donna are going into business together. She does all of this without Donna’s knowledge, and then she gets murdered. What’s worse is that when they did work together the murdered woman went out of her way to damage Donna’s career. Enough motive for murder? You decide. The following is an excerpt depicting Donna’s first conversation with the homicide detective in relation to this latest murder:

This time you brought us our vic from your old stomping ground, eh?  Were you worried that things might get a little boring for the old Omaha PD, eh?” Warren continued.

See, she’s got that lingo down too, though I suppose you’d expect that from a police detective, and eh, what was with eh? I guess the good detective had spent some time in Canada. The mind tends to wander when serious trouble appears imminent. As I thought that, I could feel my damn menopausal furnace starting to crank up in preparation for a full on power surge. Menopause has an uncanny ability to smell fear and ensure, by virtue of turning you into a wet dish rag, that you look even worse than you feel! That old ad campaign about “never letting them see you sweat” – HA! And don’t even get me started about bloating, weight gain, sleepless nights and on and on, but I digress.

Straining to regain focus on the issue at hand, the thought crossed my mind that Warren had a right to be concerned about my involvement.  I certainly was.  I only hoped that this second murder would not cause her to wonder if I were not, ultimately, the cause of all the problems after all.  In our last encounter, she’d been surprisingly adept at sifting through the facts and eliminating elements that only circumstantially appeared incriminating. Not once, in the entire investigation, did she jump to ridiculous conclusions like the clownish TV cops always do.  Her assumptions were always that I should be treated as a resource, a distinction that met with my utmost approval and gratitude. I’d hate for that to change with this untimely second murder cropping up and ensnaring me, in what appeared to be a far more damning way.  No, I wouldn’t blame Warren if she turned on me, but I would deeply regret it.

Look for more excerpts in the months to come!

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Be sure to add Omaha Public Library’s Nebraska Authors Series to your calendar!

May 16th, 2012 → 5:46 pm @

Nebraska Authors Series

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Famous Author Ellen Dolgen comments on Is It Still Murder!

April 26th, 2012 → 9:36 pm @

Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch? is a page turner! My initial thought was that it would in fact still be murder (even if she was a bitch) until I met Donna Leigh, the protagonist. A confident, hardworking, menopausal, tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal with those all-too-common hot flashes and sleepless nights, Donna is very easy to relate to from the get-go. The descriptions that Robin Donovan uses are so precise that you instantly understand Donna’s observations about people and situations, and especially about herself.

In addition to being a captivating murder mystery, the story is a great look into Donna Leigh’s character as the reader is welcomed into a mind filled with ideas and thoughts we can all identify with. Her thoughts are peppered with menopausal experiences, from the inconvenience of hot flashes to the familiarity of sleepless nights and the frustration of thinking that all memory lapses are a telltale sign of menopause. She knows who she is, she is a good judge of character, and she’ll make you laugh!

The twists, turns, gossip and dynamic characters lead to a surprising conclusion that will make your jaw drop! I very much enjoyed this quick read and look forward to reading more Donna Leigh mysteries!

-Ellen Dolgen, Author of Shmirshky: the pursuit of hormone happiness ellendolgen.com

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Thanks to my Omni Mystery Guest Blog Post Book Winner!

April 25th, 2012 → 8:41 pm @

The Omni Mystery Book Review site invited me to be a guest blogger for the second week in April http://www.omnimysterynews.com/2012/04/please-welcome-crime-novelist-robin.html. Along with the guest post we held a book giveaway.

Guest Blogger Crime Novelist

Guest Blogger Crime Novelist

Congratulations to our book giveaway winner in Las Vegas, Nevada! Just a few more contests and we should be able to state with certainty that we have readers in every state in the U.S.! Thanks for the support! And thanks to Omni Mystery for the invitation to guest blog.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to check out my guest post, the topic was how we arrived at the title: Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was a Bitch?

If you haven’t heard the story you might find the process interesting – I know I did!

And thanks to all of you who have supported Donna Leigh Mysteries by attending talks/signings/readings, buying the books for yourself or as gifts and a special thanks to those of you who have purchased books for your book clubs! I can’t express my appreciation enough!

Some of my biggest supporters will be featured as characters in Donna Leigh’s next murder case: I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short Sighted!

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There’s no mystery to the mystery bookstore on 13th

March 9th, 2012 → 8:20 pm @

Just some very nice folks who like to get together and talk about murder mysteries. On February 25th I had the good fortune to spend the evening with the “regulars” at the Mystery Bookstore on 13th Street.  I met some interesting and very sweet people who asked very interesting questions, such as “How do you take something as serious as murder and turn it into a comedy?”

(more…)

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