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Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview with Author W.S. Hagger

When able to ignore Mitch's adventures, W.S. Gager enjoys watching high school sporting events, teaching at a local community college, and spending time at the Gager family home.

Welcome, Wendy!

What was your path to publication?

People often asked me if it was hard to get published. The answer to that is not a simple yes or no. It’s both. The hardest part of getting published is writing a great book. That took a lot more work than I ever dreamed. The publishing part was easier and wasn’t something I really planned, but my path was different than most. Let me explain.

I worked for more than a year on A Case of Infatuation: A Mitch Malone Mystery. I’d edited it, my critique group had read and commented, I’d polished it but I wasn’t sure it was ready yet. I’d never written a mystery before and wanted some feedback. I found a mystery contest and entered literally five minutes before the deadline hoping I would get some comments to make my book better. What I received was even better. I took first place in the Dark Oak Mystery Contest and was offered a publishing contract by its sponsor, Oak Tree Press.

Were there any writing organizations that were useful in promoting your book?

When talking to my publisher, she asked if I had any interest in going to the Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas and my book would be officially launched then. I investigated and decided to go.
I met a lot of authors and many who were published by my same publisher. Holli Castillo also had her first book, Gumbo Justice, come out with mine and we’ve forged a great friendship based on that bond. It was a great conference.
The next year I decided to enter my first book, and my second, A Case of Accidental Intersection, in the published and non-published categories. A Case of Infatuation came in second to The Pot Thief by fellow Oak Tree author J. Michael Orenduff. I figured that was pretty good. A Case of Accidental Intersection took first place in the yet-to-be published category and came out for real soon after. Just this month has become available on Kindle and Nook.
Most writers see something of themselves in their main character, but you’ve had a different experience.

I've had friends read my books and ask where Mitch Malone, the crime sleuth, came from. They couldn't find me anywhere in the books or in him. I'm not sure that is a compliment or not.

Mitch is a rough-around-the-edges, crime reporter who is dogged in his pursuit of a story. He's looking for fame and a Pulitzer and doesn't want to share his star with anyone. Mitch doesn't have much of a social life and considers himself a man of mystery. What he finds in each of the books is that in order to get the best story, he has to give as much of himself in order to received the information he needs.

Are there advantages to writing a character who’s nothing like you?

What I love about Mitch is that he is just arrogant enough to be funny and I can put the words I always wanted to say to some people in his mouth and they sound perfectly fine.

Thank you, Wendy!

To learn more about W.S. Gager and her books, visit her website. A Case of Infatuation and A Case of Accidental Intersection are both available in paperback and electronic format through

Indiebound and Amazon.


  1. Thank you so much for having me in for a visit today. It was great to talk about my road to publishing with you!
    W.S. Gager

  2. Thanks for stopping by Marilyn!

  3. I know your Mitch Malone books are engaging stories, but I didn't realize they were award winners too! Congrats. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for stopping by JQ I can't wait for Sunshine Boulevard to hit the streets.

  5. Wendy, somehow I missed your interview when first posted. I was reading Jackie's latest and saw your smiling face! Great interview and hope to see you and catch up this year at PSWA! Continued success.


  6. Wendy, I don't know how I missed this interview, but thanks for the shout out. I feel very fortunate that we're soul sisters. It's much easier to navigate the scary world of publishing when you're part of a good team like Oak Tree. I just wish I could keep up with you!