Up next in our collection from Cozy Cat Press is Drema Reed, author of the Art Gallery Mystery Series.
The Outside Lane: Tell us about yourself, Drema.
Drema J. Reed: I was a nurse for 45 years working in ERs and disaster relief. Retired and was at loose ends so I sat down and wrote my first book KILLER IMAGE. I am attending Portland State University right now in my senior year working for a degree in Anthro/Archaeology and I love it. I live in Portland, Oregon near kids, grandkids and lots of friends.
TOL: Where do you find your characters for your books?
DJR: My books contain characters of people I went to school with some 50+ years ago. Me and three of my best friends retired (in the book) and decided to open an art gallery. In the first book, we find a dead body in our back room and head off into an adventure that pits us against a jaded police detective and a bunch of terrorists who were responsible for the bombing of the Al-Khobar Towars in Saudi Arabia.
The second book KILLER GENES centers on the kidnapping of a young man who is working for a gene research company and is kidnapped by people in the Pharmaceutical Company who are trying to stop a discovery that would cut into their profits big time.
The main characters are myself (D.J. Kelley, my three friends Nita Marie Bates, Jo Murphy, and Bobbie Sichel with appearances of other characters based on members of our high school class.
TOL: I love that you’ve created an alternate reality, where you get to live out your fantasies at a safe distance from any real danger! What got you started?
DJR: I started writing out of boredom and decided I would create a comedic piece, just for myself and a few close friends, with no intent to be published. I really love a good laugh.
My ideas are taken from actual situations that have occurred and embossed with comedy and characterizations of my friends. The main character in the book I have based on myself and my “little voice” which is me to a T.
TOL: What’s been your biggest learning experience as you’ve published your books?
DJR: My biggest learning experience was to realize other people think what I write is funny–which it is intended to be–and not to let your ego get involved in your books. Some people like them, some don’t. So What??
TOL: What’s next for you?
DJR: I have completed the first two books of the series, the second being KILLER GENES, and am almost finished with #3, the title of which has yet to be determined.
TOL: Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?
DJR: As for advice, I would just say “do it” because you never know what might happen. My first book languished in my computer for over four years before another writer friend of mine read it and encouraged me to have it published. My daughter-in-law who has written 25 published books, explained to me that I was a writer rof “Cozy Mysteries” and to go on line and see what came up. Cozy Cat Press was the first in line so I sent my book as Pat requested and she liked it. Before I knew it, I was a published author. Will wonders never cease!!
TOL: Drema, thank you so much for joining us at The Outside Lane.