TJ talks about backgroud and how her childhood sparked an interest in mysteries.
How did you get started writing? I honestly believe it started when I was 14. I've always been a straight 'A' student in creative writing, composition, language arts, business english, etc. and it just seemed so natural and easy to me. As a kid, I was always the one telling spooky stories at sleep-overs, or making up adventures when my cousins and I wandered around my grandparents old farms. My grandmother gave me my first electric typewriter when I was 14, and I used to spend hours banging out short adventure or mystery stories, for my own enjoyment. I learned to type when I was 14, by the way, and passed with a 'D'; now I type 70 wpm!What made you decide to write mysteries for kids? I spent a lot of time around my grandparents (my father's parents) as a child and one thing that always intregued me was when my grandfather would sit at the table after dinner and tells stories. Now, as far as he was concerned, these stories were true , and he saw and experienced actual things that convienced him they were true . Then my father and uncle would join in on the story swaping and I would be the only other person sitting at the table listening to every word. I still remember many of the things he used to talk about, and I plan on putting every single thing into a story, and wraping it with fiction. Writing for kids is fun, they're old enough to understand things and never tire of using their imaginations; besides I just love to see their excitement and enthusiasum over books and stories that they're really into. Keeping kids into books and reading is something that can never be lost and I believe I've developed a 'formula' to keep kids engrossed in my books for years to come. How do you create your protagonists? I like to chose someone who's the underdog, and I pick personalities, that I remember, from kids I grew up with, or kids my children know, or just from someone that I saw one day. I feel that the protagonist should be a very real, down-to-earth person, one that takes the punches but keeps on going, you know, shows good values while trying to be a good person.What is your Baltimore connection? I reside in Historic Reisterstown now. I've lived in Owings Mills for 12 years and needed to simplify my sorroundings, so we moved. I'm also a member of the Baltimore Writer's Alliance.What stories do you have in the works? I'm half finished writing the sequel to Mystery of the Attic; it will be entitled On Forbidden Ground, and is dedicated to my dear friend, Lynn, who passed away this summer. I'm still working on my ongoing mystery series about Kim and Kelly and, since it's ongoing, the stories will never stop coming. I'm trying to find a different publisher for it, been trying for the past 6 years, and this will be my last try. If none of the 10 publishers I've sent it to picks it up, then I will be getting it published through my current publisher instead. Kids have also been asking for a sequel to my first book Wound Too Tight, and I believe I may begin that project once On Forbidden Ground, and the first book of my mystery series, Fantasies Are Murder, gets out to the public. Mysterious Baltimore 11-11-03 "Buried in Baltimore" by Louise Titchener An Eppie 2002 Winner for Best Mystery and National Ebook Finalist