Saturday, February 6, 2016

It Should Have Been Just Another Termination, but it was anything but...visit with cozy mystery author Linda Thorne...

     It Should Have Been Just Another Termination for Human Resource Manager Judy Kenagy, but it was anything but...An interview with cozy mystery author Linda Thorne, as she discusses writing, books and human resources manager Judy Kenagy...

     "At long last, she lands a job with a good employer, but the trouble is just beginning…

Human resources manager Judy Kenagy hopes her days of running from bad bosses and guilt-ridden memories are over. But alas, she’s barely settled in when a young female employee is found shot to death, spinning her new workplace into turmoil. Small-town police chief, Carl Bombardier solicits Judy’s help in her role as the company’s HR Manager. While working with Judy, he shares his fanatical interest in a twenty-five-year-old double homicide he believes is linked to her last and worst bad boss. To make matters worse, the trusted assistant of her monster ex-boss starts showing up, keeping the unwanted connection going. When the pesky trusted assistant turns up murdered, Judy learns there’s a connection with the shooting death of the employee. She starts sleuthing at the crime scene and stumbles upon an important piece of evidence. Can she solve all of the murders with this single find? If she does, will she finally be freed from the demons of her past? Or are things not as they seem?"
     Hello one and all! How are you today? I hope everyone is doing well and happy, or at least trying to do so! Staying warm? I hope so. It’s so great to be with all of you again. Welcome back everyone to my writing blog where I try to share whatever I think may interest you: Whether it is writing information, interviews with other authors, and anything connected to writing. Welcome to an Interview with Linda Thorne, Author of the cozy mystery, Just Another Termination.
     Linda Thorne began pursuing her true passion, writing, in 2005. Since then, she has published numerous short stories in the genres of mystery, thriller, and romance. Her debut novel, Just Another Termination, is the first in a planned series of mysteries that tell the story of Judy Kenagy. Like her lead character, Thorne is a career human resources manager. She has worked in the HR profession in Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi, California, and now, Tennessee. She holds a BS degree in business from Arizona State University and has completed a number of graduate-level courses in her field. Welcome Linda and thanks so much for joining us here. Shall we begin to learn more about you, your writing, and your debut novel, Just Another Termination?

                                                           Author Linda Thorne

SJ: We've had husband and wife team amateur sleuths. We've had retired school teachers, bored housewives, brilliant foreign sleuths, and teenage sleuths in cozy mysteries, how did the idea for Judy Kenagy, human resources manager come about?
Linda: This goes back to the ease and safety of writing what you know. Like my character, I’m a career human resources manager. I’ve spent most of my years in human resources trying to get out of the field. I finally resigned myself to the fact that this is the job I’m most skilled at and where I can make the most money. So, I’m stuck in HR, but I can allow my lead character to take on a secondary role as an amateur sleuth then live vicariously through her, experiencing the adventures.


SJ: Do you have a favorite sleuth from books/TV or film? Why is he/she your favorite?

Linda: Jessica Fletcher from the Murder She Wrote TV series is my favorite. I’ve watched every single show, and rerun after rerun. I think the reason I like her so much is because, while showing sensitivity and empathy toward others, she’s always snooping behind the scenes to seek out the murderer. She has the smarts and the intuition.

SJ: What was the most difficult problem you encountered in writing a mystery?

Linda: Keeping the conflict going. I seemed to keep defaulting back to writing the story, forgetting the reader thrives on conflict. The climax chapters were booming with conflict from the get go, but I had to really work had getting it into the rest of the book.

SJ: What was the easiest thing for you to write about?

Linda: Scenes with human resources issues. I’ve been handling them for so long that writing about anything involving the profession is a skip and a jump.

SJ: What do you love most about being a writer? Least?

Linda: The most incredible part of being a writer is having the power to take the story wherever you want it to go. You can make poor people rich, help the good and get even with the bad. You can solve any problem. I love the power to do whatever I want in my story as if I’m doing it in reality. What I like least about writing is struggling with the limitations of the English language. English is so easy to mess up from using the wrong word to screwing up sentence structure. I don’t speak or write other languages, but an English teacher once told me that English is the toughest.

SJ: What writer inspired you most and how?

Linda: This is a difficult question since there are so many writers who’ve inspired me along the way and each one writes so differently. If I had to choose one, I’d say Caroline Haines because she’s the one who inspired me to start writing books. I was reading one of her Mississippi Delta Bone series when I made the decision.

SJ: What is a favorite book you enjoyed reading and would recommend without hesitation? Why?

Linda: This is a hard one. I’ve read so many memorable books, but I think my favorite is Lawrence Block’s Eight Million Ways to Die. Beginnings and endings are important to me and this book had the best beginning and the best ending I can remember. When I refer to the ending here, it’s not when the case is solved and the murderer caught, but the ending going through the epilogue chapter to the very last page.

SJ: If you could give just one piece of important writing advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Linda: Any aspiring writer needs to want it bad enough to be willing to deal with the rejection and criticism that follows this profession. Once you go through the hurdle of your first publication, the rejection part begins to decrease, but both rejection and criticism will continue throughout any author’s life. If this is something that will be overly troubling to you, I suggest you don’t do it to yourself.

SJ: In closing, can you give us a hint into your next project?

Linda: My second book in the series is currently a work-in-progress, called A Promotion to Die For. I really love this story because I based the mystery on something bizarre that happened to me when I was twenty-two. Someone broke into the house where I lived. He was scared off by a random phone call in the middle of the night. The intruder ran off. Shortly afterward another young woman down the street was murdered. In A Promotion to Die For, I create a job promotion for my lead, Judy Kenagy, which will requires her to relocate back to the town where the exact same thing had happened to her decades earlier. She learns that the case of the other young woman murdered in the neighborhood, on that night, has never been solved. She’s put in danger of a second attempt on her life and she gets to solve the old, cold case.

Now that is some intro for all of us to bite into. And to get your juices really going, here is a brief excerpt of Just Another Termination for you to enjoy:

I knew I had no business here, but was it going to cost me more than I’d thought?

Closer in, I could see the yellow tape was broken or missing in places, but still cordoned off a circular area of dirt and mud, about twelve feet in diameter. The tape had been stapled to stakes pounded into the ground, but many of them had fallen over. This crime scene had already been worked. Two dirty latex gloves and a staple gun had been left outside the perimeter, and multiple footprints marred the mud. The absence of a patrol officer protecting the scene implied the clean-up crew was on their way.
Inside the partially taped-off area, someone had outlined where Jimmie Lee’s body had been. Instead of the typical chalk line, plastic pegs were pressed into the mud about six inches apart, marking where the body had fallen.
I stepped high over the tape and into the mud, grateful I’d worn jeans and flat shoes for that dress-down Friday. Trees towered behind me, the interminable water before me. I caught a whiff of mildew.
I was no sooner inside than a rustling sound came from the tangle of maples and I twisted around. The noise disappeared and I turned back, catching a glitter in the mud. It came from the waterline where the soft waves of the Mississippi Sound licked against the cryptic outline of the corpse. That noise again.
I spun around to the whooshing sounds in the maples, my heart palpitating, but I still didn’t see anything. When I turned back, the glitter had disappeared. I stooped. I was in a race with the sun, not to mention wanting to be long gone before the clean-up crew appeared. With one hand, I frantically ran my fingers through the muck. Then a final spray of sunlight illuminated the spot and the sparkle reappeared. This time, I kept my eyes fixed on it, bending, reaching, touching. Gently, I lifted a metal object, close to an inch long and about half that in width. Heavy for its size. Twilight had deepened into dusk. I stood up and whirled round to the same rustling noise, but this time a crackling blast followed. A gun?

Thank you so much, Linda for allowing us to take some time out of your busy schedule and interview you about your writing. Readers, take note you may purchase a copy of Just Another Termination at:

You can also find a copy at: www. OR

For more information about Linda and her writing, please check out her website at:


Thank you all for visiting with us. Until next month...every one please stay safe. Smile. Be happy. Show compassion. Be nice to others. Put a little love into your heart. Please speak up for those without a voice, whether it be a dog, cat, elephant or monkey. One person, one voice can make a difference. Read a book and pass it on. Leave a review. Reviews are important for authors. Believe me. I know. Thank you!
S. J. Francis
Advocate for the underdog, and cat, and supporting writers, et al.
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family." Available now from Black Opal Books and for sale at all on-line retailers and independent booksellers.

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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and the guest author and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one. 


  1. Thank you S.J. for the interview and allowing me a month's visit on your blog. It's a beautiful blog and I'm honored to be a guest.

    1. Thank you, Linda for stopping by! Feel free to return anytime!
      S.J. Francis

  2. Thank you readers for sharing this interview! As always, it is greatly appreciated! Don't be shy. Feel free to leave a comment any time. I don't bite you know. Neither do my guests, as long as they had a meal before they stopped by.
    S.J. Francis

  3. Yes, it's one of the advantages of being an author, that we can live our normal lives, and yet create characters who do things we'd like to do.

    1. Thank you Morgan for visiting. I've sure enjoyed being on your Make Mine Mystery blogspot.

    2. Hello Morgan and thanks for stopping by to visit and comment! Linda and I greatly appreciate it!
      Have a great week!
      S.J. Francis

  4. Linda, I too am a (former) HR person, but I didn't think of using it as a mystery background. Good for you for turning HR into a facet of your stories. Best of luck with your books.

    1. Hello Allan! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment, too. Linda and I greatly appreciate it. Isn't it wonderful how writers can transform some of the everyday chores and jobs into something interesting and fun?
      Have a great week!

  5. Glad to meet you Allan Emerson. You can relate if you've been in HR. I got to the point that writing the book became essential to keeping my sanity. Thanks for dropping by.