Friday, January 15, 2016



When Mary Clough discovers a piece of valuable medieval needlepoint under the eaves of her colonial Maine home, Angie Curtis and the Mainely Needlepointers agree to trace its origins. But someone will kill for that embroidery, and their murder will unravel Haven Harbor, Maine.


Lea, what's your favorite thing about the writing process? I will admit . . . I love doing research. In Thread and Gone, I had the fun of taking a Maine legend – based in fact – that centers around my own home (did a Maine sea captain try to rescue Marie Antoinette?) and tie it to today . . . and to Tudor England. I also love editing . . . trying to make each scene, and each sentence, as strong as I can.  What’s challenging? That dreaded first draft!

Agreed! Do you have a writing routine?
I’m not a morning person. So on a normal day I get up about 7, have breakfast, post on Facebook and check emails and social media, write blogs, arrange appearances, etc . . . and after lunch I write for several hours. Usually I edit the chapter(s) I wrote the day before, and try to write ten pages. Sometimes I write fewer pages . . . sometimes (close to deadlines!) I write more. Then after dinner, I do research for my next book.

Do you write every day?
Most of the time, yes. I take days off from writing when I’m speaking somewhere, or have family visiting.

How often do you read?
Every day – magazines, newspapers, nonfiction as background research for another book, and sometimes, as a reward, I read fiction. I used to read more for fun before I was published!

What do you think makes a good story?
I love individualistic characters who have secrets and back stories that are revealed slowly … and who have motivations for everything they do, even if they’re making cookies. A good story is fast-paced, includes conflict, and the unexpected (but not impossible) and is well-resolved. Most of all, it keeps readers turning pages. I hope my books do that.

What books do you currently have published?
Thread And Gone is the third in my Mainely Needlepoint series (after Twisted Threads and Threads Of Evidence.) I also write the (currently) seven-book Shadows Antique print series, about an antique print dealer who solves crimes, and who wants to adopt as a single parent. (Two things I’ve done.) The most recent in that series is Shadows On A Maine Christmas. I also write historical novels for ages eight and up set in 19th century Maine, and last summer my Living And Writing On The Coast Of Maine was published – a group of wry essays about being a writer married to an artist, living full-time in Maine. It also includes a section on what I’ve learned about being an author. I’ll have two more mysteries published in 2016.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Would have to be CNN. You may not be able to tell from my books, but I’m a political junky!

How often do you tweet?

Never. I do Facebook and Goodreads . . . probably should do more social media, but at the moment I’m choosing to write more books instead!

How do you feel about Facebook?
At first I was intimidated by Facebook, but now I love it. I post about reading, writing, living in Maine . . . and I love connecting with my fans – and with my far-flung relatives! I may be sitting in front of my computer, but I feel as though I’m not alone. I have friends all over the world.

What five things would you never want to live without?
I live in Maine, remember?  Flannel shirts. Fleece lined bedroom slipper boots. (I wear them ‘year round!) Books (and bookcases – every room in my house is full of them.) Red Rose tea bags. And Tootsie Roll Pops, for when the writing gets tough!

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
My small notebook, in case I think of a piece of dialog, or a plot twist, that I can use in one of the books I’m working on. If I don’t write it down immediately, I lose it.

What do you love about where you live?
I live on one of the many Maine peninsulas, across the street from a deep-water tidal  river, ten miles from the sea. I love the smell of mud flats in the summertime, and sea air in the afternoon. I love the crinkly ice that forms on the edges of the river at low tide in the winter, and the ice floes and sea smoke. I love all sorts of seafood – including, of course, lobster. (Lobster club sandwich? The best!) And I love the history of living in a house built in 1774, in a state that is older than that.  

What’s your favorite thing to do/favorite place to go on date night?
In the summer I’m very happy to sit on my porch overlooking the river, with the man that I love (we’ve known each other since 1968, but we’ve only been married 12 years) and talk, and sip wine, and nibble some cheese and crackers or maybe some hummus. Sometimes neighbors stop by to share the view and some libations. That’s about perfect. This time of year, a seafood dinner in a restaurant with a fireplace sounds very tempting!

What’s your favorite fast food?
A lobster roll, of course!

What’s your favorite beverage?

Tea during the day. I love Dry Sack sherry, and my favorite cocktail is a Sidecar – F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda drank them, so I feel in good company. And I’ll never refuse champagne!

What is one of your happiest moments?

The two highlights I immediately think of is the moment I met my first daughter, who was four years old. We were at Kennedy Airport and she’d just arrived from Thailand. All I could think of was “She’s so beautiful! And tiny!” And the moment I was offered my first book contract, for Stopping to Home, a book for ages 8 and up set in 1806 Maine. I was at a writers’ conference, and I basically floated for the rest of the day. Then I called my best friend, talked for an hour, and then – what else? Went to the hotel bar and ordered champagne. A magical day.

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
What? There are times like that?? When? Where?

What is the most daring thing you've done?
I smuggled drugs into Calcutta, India! (And other forbidden supplies, too, because India doesn’t allow importing goods they make themselves.) I flew to Calcutta to meet and bring home one of my daughters and another child being adopted in the United States. My daughter was ten years old, had worked in a home for dying children since she was four, and was more scared than I was! The drugs and other items (about a thousand pounds of everything from aspirin to boys’ underwear to balloons to barrettes and incubator parts) were donations to missions and orphanages in and near Calcutta.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Given myself a home permanent when I was in high school. Some of my hair fell out, and the rest just . . . frizzled. You’d have to look very hard to find a picture of me taken in high school!

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
William Jennings Bryan: “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for; it I a thing to be achieved.”

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?

I have a dreadful voice, but I know the lyrics to thousands of songs. My husband, children, grandchildren . . . all refuse to listen. So sometimes I sing in elevators and when I’m driving alone!

What are you working on now?

I’m writing the fourth in the Mainely Needlepint series, Dangling by a Thread, in which the Needlepointers get involved with a man called “The Solitary” who lives alone on a Maine island where Grand Cormorants, a threatened species, nest. It will be published next fall.


Maine author Lea Wait writes the (now 3-book) Mainely Needlepoint series, which began with Twisted Threads a year ago. She also writes the Shadows Antique Print Mystery series and historical novels for young people aged 8 and up. Lea is a fourth generation antique dealer, and adopted four older Asian children as a single parent. Now she is married to artist Bob Thomas and writes and speaks full-time.

Connect with Lea:
Website  | 
 Blog  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  

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