Monday’s Friend: Conda V Douglas

I somehow managed to double-book this week’s Monday’s Friend – doh! So even though it’s Tuesday, we have another guest on the blog – fellow mystery writer Conda V Douglas. I’d like to extend a big welcome to my extra special Monday’s Friend, Conda!

By Conda V Douglas

Conda Douglas and Puck (2)Thank you, Sara-Jayne for this wonderful opportunity to share my best writing advice.

When I first began writing, the main advice I received was: Write what you know. My reaction those days vacillated between “duh” and “Huh?” Of course I couldn’t write about what I didn’t know, I could only write what I knew about. Why did successful authors always say that? Now, quite a few years and published writings later, I understand the advice. But I believe it needs to be: Write what you love. Huh?

It’s simple. At first I resisted writing about my beloved home town of Sun Valley, Idaho. To me, it seemed like a cheat to “use” my ski resort mountain town and its collection of odd skiing ducks in my stories. Yet, the place and characters kept popping, sneakily, into my stories. I couldn’t avoid writing about what I loved. When I realized that, accepted it, and embraced it, my writing became much easier and improved automatically. My short stories started selling.

Yes, short stories. I’ve always adored reading short stories, tons of them. Because of my love of the short stories, it was natural to write them first. I knew and understood the form. Most of my ideas were short story ideas.

It wasn’t until I started adding my other loves to my writing that I began to write novels. My father, an artist, opened the first art gallery in Sun Valley. I literally grew up in the art world. My father also became a jeweler with his own designs and taught me early how to lost wax cast jewelry. Fast forward and the award winning first in my cozy mystery series, featuring jeweler Dora Starke, Starke Naked Dead, is released, to be followed by Starke Raving Dead sometime soon. The more I indulge my passions, the more success. Love fairies? The Mall Fairies: Exile and The Mall Fairies: War are out now, with The Mall Fairies: Destiny itching to be written.

I discovered that what I loved was also what I truly “knew” in every sense of the word. I love to bake. I’ve baked since childhood and everyone insists I’m a fabulous baker. I often use a standard recipe as a jumping off point, tweaking and changing it until it’s truly my own. I delight in discovering variations for every recipe.

mall-fairies cookbook (2)Then I baked up an inspiration: combine my loves in one book. Thus, The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook came into being—and my, was it fun to create! My own favorite dessert recipes with short stories of my beloved Mall Fairies in one cookbook! And today and tomorrow, The Mall Fairies Sweet Tooth Cookbook is FREE! Check it out and find my version of writing what you love.

I’d adore seeing your comments about your passions and how they impact your writing. What works for you?

Once you’ve checked out Conda’s cook book, do go look for her Dora Starke series – I’ve just finished ‘Starke Naked Dead’ and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read!

You can find Conda at the following links:



Amazon author page:



2 comments so far

  1. suzanne de montigny on

    Sun Valley, Idaho! My parents used to go skiing there every year with friends. I like short stories too because they’re short and sweet. What’s your dog’s name? He’s very cute.

    • Conda V. Douglas on

      Wow, Suzanne, we may have crossed paths at some time in SV! And my rat terrier’s name is Puck, after the mischievous fairy!

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