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Monday, May 12, 2014

Author RP Dahlke on writing mysteries: "I always wanted to know who did it"

Last week I talked about grit. I believe today's guest makes a great example of a successful author who used both her talents and grit to her advantage. Mystery writer RP (aka Rebecca) Dahlke grew up in Modesto, California, on her father’s 80 acres of almonds and crop dusting ranch. Her first mystery series, The Dead Red series, is an Amazon bestseller featuring ex-model Lalla Bains. In Rebecca's own words:
"My Lalla Bains series is about a tall, blond and beautiful ex-model turned crop-duster who, to quote Lalla Bains, has "been married so many times they oughta revoke my license." Lalla is no Danielle Steele character & she's not afraid of chipping her manicure. Scratch that, the girl doesn't have time for a manicure what with herding a bunch of recalcitrant pilots and juggling work orders just to keep her father's flagging business alive."
Rebecca also wrote the book Jump Start Your Book Promotions, a great resource for all indie authors trying to get some visibility in the jungle of self-published books. Rebecca has such great energy and enthusiasm that I had to snatch her away from her writing for a little bit and ask her about her novels and the All Mystery newsletter, a subscription list she created to help mystery writers promote their books and mystery lovers find great books.

EEG: What prompted you to start the Dirt Cheap Mystery Reads (All Mystery) Newsletter?

RPD: Well for one thing, I was tired of having my mysteries between vampires and werewolves.

I started doing the newsletter in 2010, but back then authors couldn't see the necessity of promoting. A good book should be able to sell itself, right? Uh-huh. I've been in sales a long time, and I know that even a good product needs to be promoted. Then I found Constant Contact in 2011, and now it's the newsletter from my website, and Google+ and Pinterest, and Tweets, and a couple of groups--GoodReads and LinkedIn.

EEG: You started writing in 1994: what was that initial inspiration?

RPD: You know what they say, write about what you know? I grew up with a crop-dusting father, even ran the business for a while. It was the hardest job I've ever done, yet it left me with a lot of stories.

EEG: Did you always write mysteries? And why mysteries, what do you find most appealing of the genre?

RPD: I've always wanted to know who did it--"it" being anything from who stole the last cookie, to who killed the mayor--and WHY! I can't seem to stop writing mysteries. I believe we all have an insatiable desire to be a part of a mystery. Books allow us, as readers to do that. From cozy to thrillers, there's enough mysteries to keep most fans busy for a long time.

Rebecca and her husband © RPD
EEG: You write while sailing with your husband: I assume that's what inspired your latest works, the Romantic Mystery Sailing Trilogy? When will the third book be released and what can you anticipate about it?

RPD: I thought this might become a series, but since we sold the boat, I have only one more story in my head to finish. This trilogy will wind up with all of the main characters from the 1st two books. The sisters Leila and Katy Hunter, and of course, bad-boy Gabe. It will be placed in Puerto Vallarta and revolve around a murder of a sailor--of course.

EEG: Hehe, of course! Thanks so much for being with us on CHIMERAS today, Rebecca!

To get the latest on the most recent mystery releases and bargains, sign up for Rebecca's All Mystery Newsletter -- she's got the best mysteries and whodunnit you'll ever want! And/or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: courtesy of author


  1. Thank you so very much for the interview. I occasionally miss the sound of water slapping against the hull, the smell of diesel as our engine revved up to leave the marina, but I'm glad I went sailing when I did and thanks for reminding me how much fun it was.

    1. I grew up by the ocean and even though I never owned my own boat, I was lucky to have friends who did, and sailing with them is one of my best memories from back home. :-)


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