Sally Jo Pitts paid attention when they said, “write what you know.” Wait’ll you find out what she writes! Here’s another fun interview full of great writing tips and ideas.
Thank you so much for talking with me today! What do you write? How/why did you pick your genre?
I write Mystery/Detective because I have worked as a private investigator with my husband in his detective agency for almost thirty years. I also write romance because I enjoy discovering the happily ever after!
I bet you have some amazing perspectives to add to your books! What’s the most difficult part of writing your genre? How do you work through those challenges?
The most difficult part of writing in both genres is getting the rough draft on the page. I work through my character and plot idea with dogged determination and attempt to write a scene a day. The first draft is a pretty ugly batch of dialogue, narrative, scene set ups, and notes that I proceed to shift here and there like puzzle pieces throughout the document. I use the Scrivener program which helps me move from scene to scene and keeps my characters and research notes together in one workspace.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
The length of time to write a book has varied depending on the contractual time given for completion. The last three books in my mystery series took six months each: two months rough draft, one month first rewrite, two month rewrites of the rewrites, one month final edits.
Which was harder to write: the first book or the following books?
The first book, Autumn Vindication, was hardest because I had so much to learn. I knew about being a PI but not how to portray the story and characters. I actually published two romance books before the first mystery book came out. The main characters totally changed from the original draft.
What’s your favorite book on writing?
The Story Equation by Susan May Warren. The book presents a very practical way to think through your characters and the purpose of the journey you are going to put them on.
What writing book do you want to read next?
Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass. He offers lots of examples of good writing and analyzes why. I am always ready to learn more.
What’s your favorite writers conference?
American Christian Fiction Writers. They offer excellent speakers and agent and editor appointments.
What does your revision process look like?
Here ya’ go. Lots of scribbled notes. This photo was during rewrites of Spring Betrayal and Designed for Love romance book launch going on at the same time.
About the Author: Sally Jo Pitts brings a career as a private investigator, high school guidance counselor and teacher of family and consumer sciences to the fiction page. Tapping into her real-world experiences she writes what she likes to read, faith-based stories, steeped in the mysteries of life’s relationships. She is author of the Hamilton Harbor Legacy romance series and the Seasons of Mystery series. Residing in north Florida with her spunky schnauzer Gibbs, Sally Jo enjoys hot mochas, old movies, and writing scenes from scribbled notes that clutter her house. You can connect with her at and https://www.facebook.com/sallyjopitts