Tuesday, November 17, 2015



When the lecherous Kent Lovely, Mahina State’s one-man hostile work environment, collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the faculty retreat goes from dull to disastrous. Now Professor Molly Barda has to fight to keep an innocent out of prison — and herself off the unemployment line.

Launch date: December 1, 2015. Preorder for $0.99 through November 30.


Frankie, what books do you currently have published?
The Musubi Murder is Book One of the Molly Barda Mysteries, and the events in that book happen after those in Defunct Adjunct. However, the books can be read in either order, and if you read Defunct Adjunct second, you might recognize some minor characters that will play a larger role later.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
Well, first I looked at what other people were doing. There are a lot of wonderful online resources, and an aspiring author wouldn’t go wrong starting with Blue Million Books! I also listen to the book publishing podcasts regularly — Rocking Self Publishing, The Creative Penn, The Author Hangout, Self Publishing Podcast, the Sell More Books Show, and a lot more.

I followed Simon Whistler’s tutorial and set up a Wordpress site. Then I claimed my author identity on Goodreads and Amazon, and got accounts on all of the usual social media suspects: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn. I run giveaways like the Rafflecopter giveaway that’s going on right now (see bottom of this post). The winner will get two signed books and a Mahina State University t-shirt. The giveaways are to entice people to sign up for my mailing list. Subscribers get advance notice of promotions, releases and events, and I’m looking at creating exclusive offers for subscribers in the future.

With all of that, I’d say that the best thing for me has been finding community. I write because I love to read, and finding like-minded readers is wonderful. So when I’m not touring with my own books, I’m hosting cozy mystery blog tours, and I get to meet all kinds of great new authors that way.

Yes you do, and I thank you for recently hosting me! You have a day job . . . how do you find time to write?
I think that except for those lucky mutants who only need four hours of sleep, you have time for only one non-day-job activity. Since I started writing, I’ve let other things fall off my plate, and I spend most of my non-work time on writing and related activities. Fortunately, since my day job is college professor, the things I read to keep up with my profession also inspire my writing. Stories about administrators going to jail for grade-fixing, or teachers forbidden to give failing grades, illustrate the kinds of conflicting goals and perverse incentives in our profession. When no one thinks they’re the bad guy, because in their own mind they’ve found a way to justify tampering with student records or redefining the meaning of “zero,” that kind of thing can give depth to a story.

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
No, I think swear words should be reserved for special occasions. That’s the whole point of taboo words. When they’re overused, they lose their punch and you have to find new ones.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Well, one reviewer said that listening to my audiobook made her want to kill herself, but she finished it to find out who the murderer was. I was relieved that I’d only crushed her will to live temporarily. Probably the worst was a reviewer who seemed genuinely angry that the book had been published at all. She said a number of mean things about the characters and the plot, and then likened the humor to The Three Stooges. That really hurt.

I don’t understand the impulse to hate-read; with so many choices out there, why finish reading something you don’t enjoy? Why not just say something like, “The humor was too broad for my taste, so I didn’t finish it?”

I appreciate and use constructive criticism, but if a negative review doesn’t have any usable suggestions for improvement, then I just ignore it. I never respond to reviews.

What are you working on now?
I have the next four Molly Barda mysteries lined up:
Molly Barda and the Cursed Canoe
Molly Barda and the Black Thumb
Molly Barda and the Invasive Species
Molly Barda and the Blessed Event

I’m also bringing out a series of children’s books, starting with The Adventures of Alice Mongose and Alistair Rat in Hawaii.

The Alice Mongoose stories were written and illustrated by Mary Pfaff, known in her day as “The Beatrix Potter of Hawaii.” Mary’s granddaughter, Dorothy, is a major donor to Mahina State University, where my protagonist Molly Barda works.

And I’m trying my hand at fan fiction. I enjoy Jana De Leon’s books, and Kindle Worlds is now offering the opportunity to write in her Miss Fortune world.

Justin Lao, a grad student from Hawaii, visits Sinful, Louisiana to do fieldwork for his thesis in conservation biology. He planned to spend the summer poking through the woods and picking up swamp rat droppings. Instead, he discovers something that leads to Sinful’s darkest secret so far.

The title of my fanfic-in-progress is Sinful Science, and the talented Dani Alexander is doing the cover.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Frosting, and a big spoon.
Laptop or desktop? Laptop allows for a quicker escape. Grab it and go.
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Can I choose Gilda Radner?
Emailing or texting? Email. Easier to find it later.
Indoors or outdoors? Indoors, definitely. I’m very indoorsy.
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet. I used up my sugar allowance on the frosting.
Plane, train, or automobile? Well, I live in Hawaii, so if I want to leave the state, it’s gotta be a plane.


Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Connect with Frankie:
Website  | Facebook   | Twitter  |  Goodreads