Guest Chick: Laura Jensen Walker

The Chicks are super happy to welcome back Laura Jensen Walker, author of the wonderful Bookish Baker Mysteries. She’s sharing an honest, inspiring post with us today…

It’s All About Timing

Thanks, Ellen for having me back again! It’s always fun to visit the Chicks.

I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more philosophical and accepting I become. In my younger days? Not so much. Rejections and disappointments used to devastate me. I took them personally. “You don’t want to publish my book? My magazine article? My short story? You hate me! I’m a terrible writer. A talentless hack. A striving wannabe. That’s the end of my career. I think I’ll crawl under a rock now and die. Or cry. Or both.”

Now I realize it’s all about timing. And it wasn’t meant to be—for whatever reason—at this moment in time.

Recently I learned that my cozy series haven’t sold as well as we had hoped they would. So, at this time, my publisher can’t offer me another contract. Nine months or a year ago that would have crushed me. Five months ago, I’d have been sorely disappointed. But now? I’m philosophical. It’s okay. It wasn’t meant to be. Not now.

To be honest, if I’d gotten another cozy contract, the timing wouldn’t have been good for me. I’d have had to stop what I’m doing to write a cozy mystery. And I don’t want to stop. I’m deep into the writing of another novel. A historical. My first. The book of my heart. A passion project I’ve been wanting to write since I was stationed in England in the Air Force more than forty years ago. Yes, FORTY YEARS. (Remember what I said about timing?) At long last the time has come for this rabid Anglophile to sit down and pen a WWII historical set in my beloved England, the land of my heart.

And you know what? I’m LOVING every minute of it! The words are pouring out of me. Sometimes I look at the paragraphs on the page I’ve just typed and think, who wrote that?

World War II is my favorite era and England is my favorite place. I’ve been reading WWII novels and watching movies and TV shows about WWII all my life. (The Best Years of Our Lives and Foyle’s War are particular favorites.) I think that’s why the writing is coming so easily—my whole being is saturated with this time and place.

So, although it’s disappointing not to get another cozy contract—I’d like to continue Teddie’s story with another Bookish Baker mystery or two, and Pastor Hope at Faith Chapel as well—but it simply wasn’t the right time. And that’s okay.

I’m not going to tell you what my WWII novel is about, or even the title. Yet. I don’t want to jinx it. (Plus, I’m a diehard pantser and the story is still unfolding.) But I’m hoping in a few more months I’ll have good news to share. And when (if) I do, you can bet I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. There’s also another project—the book of my soul—I’m hoping to have good news about in the near future as well. Fingers crossed.

And now, excuse me, World War II England is calling me…

Oops, I almost forgot. I’m giving away a signed copy of my latest cozy, DEADLY DELIGHTS. PW says, “Lively characters complement the twisty plot.” Just comment and tell me about something in your life that may have been disappointing at the time, but you now see was all about timing. (Or… I have a milestone birthday coming up in late November. If you prefer, you can take a guess which milestone I’ll be celebrating ) Good luck!

About Deadly Delights: August in Lake Potawatomi, Wisconsin, always means one thing: the annual baking contest. Picture The Great British Baking Show, writ Midwestern. Naturally, bon vivant baker-turned-mystery writer Teddie St. John has a pie in the ring. The white baking tent boasts an array of folding tables housing each entrant’s daily baked good. And at one of those tables sits the corpse of the lecherous head judge, his face half-buried in a delectable coconut cream pie with Teddie’s distinctive embossed rolling pin by his side…covered with blood. With the help of her friends, Teddie must concoct a recipe to clear her name–if the real killer doesn’t ice her first.

Buy Link

Bio:

Laura Jensen Walker is the author of 20 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including the cozy mysteries Murder Most Sweet, Hope, Faith, & a Corpse, and Deadly Delights. She’s loved mysteries ever since she read Trixie Belden in the fourth grade. Laura lives in Northern California, is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Laura loves hearing from readers. You can connect with her through www.laurajensenwalker.com, on Twitter @LauraJensenWal1 or Facebook.

42 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Laura Jensen Walker

  1. Best wishes to you on your work in progress, Laura! I love mysteries set in WW II England. Looking forward to seeing it on bookshelves in the not too distant future. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, J.C. From your lips… (Actually though, my first historical–a standalone–isn’t a mystery, but it is compelling 🙂 At least I think so.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for your post Laura. I totally agree that perspective comes with age, as does self-confidence. I went the query route for a year with my Natalie McMasters novel before self-publishing with much trepidation; now, with six books in the series out, I’m so glad I didn’t do it the other way. And I also got traditionally published eventually, with my Sherlock Holmes stories. It was time!
    Your WWII book sounds fascinating. Is it a mystery? I love writing about Victorian England, because I have to read so much history, and material about how the people actually lived to make my stories authentic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Tom. Congratulations on having six books in a series!

      My WWII historical isn’t a mystery–it’s more along the lines of The Guernsey Literary…nope, I’m going to stop right there before I say too much. What I will say is that I too love reading so much history of the time, and how the people lived to make my story authentic. My first historical has me knee-deep in research, which I’ve discovered I love!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. What a great outlook, Laura. I was fired from a long-time job in 2011 and that was pretty devastating. But I’m where I am today because of that so, as you said, timing is everything.

    Good luck with the historical!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I can empathize with you, Laura, as I had the same thing happen to me. But moving on and working on something else is the perfect remedy–and your new project sounds terrific!

    Thanks so much for visiting the Chicks today, and best of luck with all your future books!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It helps to have something else you are excited about, doesn’t it? But as I learned this week, when you get bad news, sometimes it can still crush you. I’m coming out of a funk, finally, that started on Monday. I guess I will never quite grow up. 🙂

    (No need to enter me in the giveaway.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mark, it definitely helps to have something else you’re excited about. But bad news can still be crushing and take a while to recover from. Sorry to hear about yours 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Enjoyed reading your post! Sounds like you are in a happy place right now and that is great! Can’t wait to read your new book you are working on!🥰
    I wasn’t ready to retire six years. I loved my job. But, now I realize it was the best thing that could have happened. 🥰

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Sherry. I’m definitely in a happy place and grateful to be here! Yesterday I was joyfully talking to a dear, longtime editor friend about my writing projects and she said it reminded her of that inspiring scene in ‘Chariots of Fire’ where Olympic runner Eric Liddell says to his sister in that great Scottish accent, “God made me for a purpose, Jennie, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” She confirmed what I know–that this is my purpose and when I write, I feel his pleasure.” Tears.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Laura, such an inspiring post! Your new projects sound wonderful, and your passion will surely come through in the story and writing. I just received my new mac and wellies from across the pond (arrived much faster than ordering here, and much cuter), so I am ready to tromp through rainy WW2 England with you. And I am going to guess that it is your 41st birthday (I would have guessed much younger, but your website bio says you did turn 40 already). 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lisa. (I’d love to see a picture of you in your new mac and wellies!) You are too kind thinking I’m in my early forties–thanks! You made my day saying you’d have guessed much younger. Add 20+ years to your guess and you’ll be closer 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy to have you here again on the Chicks, Laura! How exciting to be working on the book of your heart. Best wishes for a successful historical novel!

    I wish I could be more like you. I’m still not at the philosophical stage–more of the time-to-eat-chocolate phase.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! It took me a while to get here–I think age has a lot to do with it. After I hit 50, my perspective began to change.

      Like

  9. This Anglophile is looking forward to your new novel, Laura! So glad you’re writing the book of your heart!
    Thanks for hanging out today with the Chicks!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Vickie. I’m thrilled to bits to at long last be writing my first historical. (The research aspect used to make me nervous.) As did writing in third person–another first. But if I’ve learned anything it’s that in the past, every time I attempted something new, writing-wise, I was terrified and didn’t think I could do it since I’d never done it before. That has proven to be wrong. Every time. With my first book (non-fiction.) First novel (chick lit). And first mystery. (Cozies.) So I finally let go of that fear. It’s been quite freeing and the pandemic proved to be the perfect time to escape into WWII England.

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  10. Early happy birthday! I find it hard to believe based on your picture, but I’m guessing you will be coming up on milestone 65, since it says above that you were stationed in the Air Force over 40 years ago.
    I like the perspective–I’m in my 50’s and still haven’t gotten to the point of not taking things personally. 🙂
    Best wishes on the new book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sharon. Ding, ding, ding! You’re right! My milestone 65th birthday is a couple days after Thanksgiving. I still can’t believe I’m that “old” — I definitely don’t feel it. (Or look it apparently, as you and others have mentioned about my picture–thanks! The red hair and Scandinavian skin helps.) I actually feel like I’m still in my fifties; as they say, you’re as young as you feel.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, I feel this, Laura! And you’re right … with age comes wisdom and whatnot. When I hit 50 I began to feel comfortable with my place in the world in general, and the writing world in particular. Now that I’m 60, even more so. I don’t have a problem calling out members of the he-man-woman-haters club, or bullies, or any kind of behavior that marginalizes people. If I can be an ally, then I’ll be an ally. And I don’t feel like I need permission to write the books I want to write. Life is much too short to carry a chip on your shoulder. Just get out there and do what makes sense for you! After Midnight Ink went out of business, I got my rights back and I’m happily continuing my Mystery Writer’s series, which continues to find more readers every day.

    I can’t wait to read your historical! It’s one of my favorites times and places as well. Continued success to you!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Becky. Glad for the wisdom age brings (just wish it didn’t also bring creaky knees 🙂 It is lovely to feel comfortable with our place in the world, isn’t it?

      Back to WWII now, so I can finish this historical you want to read!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I was fired, on my birthday of all days, so I was disappointed and really down about it. However, it turned out to be a good thing because just weeks later I was able to get a much better job that made me a whole lot more happy. You are so right about the timing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yikes! I can see how you’d be really down about being fired on your birthday, Cherie! Congrats on getting a much better job that made you happier!

      Like

  13. I absolutely love the Bookish Baker books and have read them more than once.

    It takes a lot to devastate me now that I’m in my 50s. Some of my greatest life moments came right after I fell flat on my face. Some things do still sting but life is just too precious and short to spend too much of my time dwelling on things out of my control. I try to keep my eyes on my faith, resilience, and tenacity.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! So glad you love them–sweet music to my ears. And I agree with your wise words: life IS too short to spend time dwelling on things out of our control!

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  14. Ooh, your new project sounds amazing! I’m sorry about the cozy series but you’ve got the best perspective, and I’m excited to read your next book. And I’m so happy that you’re having fun writing it–yay! Thank you so much for visiting us today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! I’m having the time of my life writing it and hope readers will love reading it as much as I love writing it. Thanks to the Chicks for having me back again!

      Like

  15. How lovely! I’m soooooo looking forward to reading your historical, and I absolutely agree about just-right-timing and meant-to-be events. Things often have a way of working out just as they should.

    Congrats on the latest and the WIP, and thanks for visiting Chicks!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I was met gofrom a teaching job that opened doors for a better paying on at the local public school. Timing is right. I am looking forward to reading your new book. I loved historical fiction and WW11 is a favorite Era. I was an end of war baby Jan 1945. Good luck and good fun writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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