Publishing World Wisdom from Margaret Mizushima

The author series continues in 2023, sharing the knowledge (often hard-won) from published authors as they tell us what they would tell their pre-published selves, and NEW FOR 2023, what they always do to help make book launches successful

Our March author is Margaret Mizushima, the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves as past president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was elected the 2019 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and is also a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Women Writing the West. She and her husband recently moved from their home in Colorado to the Pacific Northwest. Her Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries are police procedurals that feature Colorado’s best crime-fighting duo: Mattie Cobb and police dog, Robo. 


What does Margaret wish she could tell her prepublished self?

Enjoy this time writing your first book. Attend writing conferences that focus on craft. Find a critique group with supportive members who will give you honest but gentle feedback on how to improve your writing. Use their feedback to revise and polish to the best of your ability. And know that when you get your first writing contract, your journey will become a wild ride of editing, proofing, marketing, and promotion. And if you have stage fright, join ToastMasters! It’s a fun way to gain skills and confidence for public speaking, which you will need to be able to do when you promote your book. 

What is one thing she always does to help make her new book launches successful?

I use a multi-pronged approach that includes a book launch party at my local indie bookstore, other bookstore events that are both in person and virtual, guest blog posts on various book blogs, and radio and podcast interviews. I write in a crime genre, so I attend at least one reader-based book conference after my book release. I’ve found Bouchercon World Mystery Conference or Left Coast Crime to be most effective for me.

Clearly, those launch activities work because her newest book is a #1 New Release on Amazon! Standing Dead (the 8th in the series) has been called “Tense and satisfying" and is the perfect read for fans of CJ Box and Longmire.


Deputy Mattie Cobb and her sister, Julia, travel to Mexico to visit their mother, but when they arrive, they discover that she and her husband have vanished without a trace. Back in Timber Creek, Mattie finds a chilling note on her front door telling her to look for “him” among the standing dead up in the high country.
The sheriff’s department springs into action and sends a team to the mountains, where Mattie’s K-9 partner, Robo, makes a grisly discovery—a body tied to a dead pine tree. Mattie is shocked when she realizes she knows the dead man. And then another note arrives, warning that Mattie’s mother is in desperate straits. In a last-ditch gambit, Mattie must go deep undercover into a killer’s lair to save her mother—or die trying.


And follow along with Margaret's author adventures online:


Facebook:  @AuthorMargaretMizushima

Twitter: @margmizu

Instagram: @margmizu



Great advice, Margaret and Val. Thanks for sharing.

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