Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lois Winston Talks about House, Hawkeye, Glue Guns as Weapons and Writing

Please welcome award winning author Lois Winston to Suspense Novelist. She'll be checking in to see your comments, so please ask her anything.

PB: One of your books is House Unauthorized. I can maybe see some similarities between Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H and the House character (who I would really, really want for my doctor if in dire need), but is there something more?

LW: First, let me clarify something: House Unauthorized is an anthology. I’m one of 20 authors who contributed to the book. My essay is entitled, “Is Gregory House the Hawkeye Pierce of the Twenty-first Century?” When I was researching the character of House, I discovered that there were many articles written comparing the show and character to Sherlock Holmes. However, the more I thought about it, the more similarities I found between House and Hawkeye. I don’t want to give away the entire contents of the essay, but the similarities include everything from mannerisms to dress to attitudes regarding authority figures and refusing to play by the rules. The essay gives dozens of examples of the similarities between the two characters.

PB: How close is Anastasia Pollack modeled after Lois Winston?

LW: Anastasia and I have similar backgrounds. We’re both North Jersey girls. We both went to art school. She’s a crafts editor for a women’s magazine. I worked for many years as a crafts designer and editor for various kit manufacturers and publishers. I still design for several magazines. We both have two sons and one other relative in common (but I’m not saying which one!) The differences? My husband is very much alive (thank goodness!), I don’t have a Shakespeare quoting parrot, and I haven’t found any dead bodies glued to my office chair. Yet.

PB: You have won a lot of awards for your writing. How much of a role did those awards play in getting published?

LW: I sold my first book as a result of being the first runner-up in a publisher’s writing contest.

PB: A review from Kirkus! How cool is that?

LW: Incredibly cool! Especially given what the reviewer said -- “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum. Funny, gutsy and determined, Anastasia has a bright future in the planned series.” I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and being compared so favorably to her by Kirkus Reviews is one of the highlights of my writing career. And since that review came in, I’ve received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. So I’ve been floating on a cloud.

PB: The review says your Anastasia Pollack is "North Jersey's more mature answer to Stephanie Plum." Would you elaborate?

LW: Like Stephanie, Anastasia, the amateur sleuth of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, is a born Jersey girl. However, Stephanie is the embodiment of blue-collar Central Jersey; whereas Anastasia is more middle-class North Jersey. At least she was until her husband permanently cashed in his chips at a roulette table in Las Vegas and her life crapped out. Now she’s stuck with a mountain of debt, her communist mother-in-law, and her dead husband’s loan shark who’s demanding fifty thousand dollars -- or else.

PB: You have generated a lot of buzz with your humorous style. Is there a more serious story bubbling inside of Lois Winston, just waiting to get out?

LW: Yes, there’s definitely a serious side to me and my writing. Love, Lies and a Double Shot of Deception, my second published book was a romantic suspense with dark undertones. I’ve also written a proposal for a book that’s loosely based on the murder of one of my friends when we were in high school.

Award-winning author Lois Winston’s Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series, will be released on January 1, 2011.
In celebration of the book’s release, Lois is doing a blog tour throughout January. You can find the schedule on her website, http://www.loiswinston.com, and at Anastasia’s blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Everyone who posts a comment to any of the blogs over the course of the month will be entered into a drawing to receive one of 5 copies of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun. (If your email isn’t included in your comment, email Lois privately at lois@loiswinston.com to let her know you’ve entered. In addition, she’ll also be giving away an assortment of crafts books on various blogs, so look for those if as well.

My thanks to Lois Winston for answering a few of my questions. Do you have comments or questions of your own?

CR: Secrets to Die For by L.J. Sellers.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Thanks for sharing Lois with us! This sounds like a fun read and I'm adding it to my TBR pile.

  2. I'm so behind I think I'm ahead, but I can't wait to read Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. The characterizations look fabulous. So, how did a girl from New Jersey develop such a European family and great characterizations?

  3. Congrats on the starred reviews from PW and Booklist. That's terrific! Interesting background on the House Unauthorized anthology too.

  4. I just added your book to my TBR pile and can't wait to read it.

  5. Now that you mention it, I'm slapping my forehead because I hadn't noticed the similarities between Hawkeye and House until you mentioned it.

    Plus, Richard Hooker's novel MASH is one of my all-time favorites, so my concept of Hawkeye floats from the book to Donald Sutherland to Alan Alda. :)

    So, if Greg House is Hawkeye, that makes Wilson "Trapper John?" (He acts more like BJ from TV, IMO) Cuddy's "Henry," though, has morphed into "Hot Lips."

    Then, again, maybe I'm too eager to draw comparisons between all the characters? This idea is kind of like an earworm for me. :) :)

  6. I can hardly wait to get my hands on Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. It sounds like such FUN!!

  7. LOL, Donnell! Isn't that what happens when you run around in a circle? As for answering your question, we Jersey girls just do it better. ;-)

    Jill, thanks for the congrats!

    Dru, thanks for adding my book to your TBR pile!

    Rhonda, there have been all sorts of articles written that compare House with Sherlock Holmes, but I'd never seen any that made the comparisons that I found. The more I started thinking about it, the more I found. I didn't go as far as making analogies regarding the other characters, though.

    Thanks, Ann! I had fun writing ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN and hope people have fun reading it.

  8. I added it to my reading list, love the video.
    Theresa N

  9. As a lot of you have said today, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN has earned a place on our reading agenda. I know it has mine. Good job, Lois!

  10. Thanks, Theresa! And thanks so much for inviting me here today, Peg!

  11. Lois, the pleasure was mine.

    Continued good things in your future!

  12. Lois, I'm a day late, but this is such great news: to be compared to Evanovich! Wow.
    Big things ahead!
    Please enter me unless I've missed the deadline.

  13. Hi Jeff! Yes, being compared to Janet Evanovich is way cool. I keep pinching myself!

    You didn't miss any deadline. The contest runs throughout Jan. I'll add your name to the list.