A Bookish Conversation with 'Her Final Watch' Marguerite Ashton

When Marguerite Ashton was in her twenties, she took up acting but realized she preferred to work behind the camera, writing crime fiction. A few years later, she married an IT Geek and settled down with her role as wife, mom, and writer. Five kids later, she founded the Crime Writer’s Panel and began working with former law enforcement investigators to create; Criminal Lines Blog, an online library for crime writers who need help with their book research.

She’s a workaholic who hides in her writer’s attic, plotting out her next book and stalking Pinterest for the next avocado recipe. 

A member of Sisters in Crime, Marguerite grew up in
Colorado, but is now happily living in Wisconsin and playing as much golf as possible.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I came up with the idea to write Her Final Watch as I finished the ending for Promised Lies.  It went through several rewrites until I was happy that this book would again, force Lily out of her comfort zone.

Her Final Watch starts two weeks later. When we meet Lily, we see a strong woman and a cop who prides herself in balancing work and family. But underneath she's hiding a lot of emotional pain. On top of everything else, Lily's learned that she's pregnant by her husband whom she'd killed in self-defense. So, what's supposed to be a joyous occasion has turned into a stressful situation. Now, Lily has a decision to make. Does she keep her baby or place the child up for adoption?

Then there's the case involving the murder of an undercover cop. That's when everything hits home for Lily. She's the lead investigator. Her victim is a colleague and a mother.
At this point, there's no turning back. Lily has to find her killer.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing Her Final Watch was tricky. I had to find a way to work Lily’s pregnancy in the story and allow her to work in the field. That’s when I turned to my friends in law enforcement. They helped me understand what my heroine, could and couldn’t do. After I did my research, I put myself in Lily’s shoes and focused on what would be important to her. No matter how much she loved her job, her motherly instincts would kick in. And I think I’ve managed to find a balance between the two.
Being a writer isn’t easy. Our job is to write every day and be prepared to repeat the process of creating a book over and over. My tip to writers is to give it your ALL.

A – Ask questions about yourself and your writing. Make sure that this is something you want to do.
L – Listen to the answers. Sometimes the reply is not what you’d expect or want to hear.
L- Learn from those answers. Then take the appropriate steps to master your art.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My books are published by Endeavour Press.

I found Endeavour during my Google search for an independent publisher. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into by not having an agent but found them to be patient and helpful with all of my questions. Working with Endeavour Press has been a positive experience and was happy to learn this year that they will work with me to get Her Final Watch and Promised Lies into print!

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The surprising thing about getting my books published was the level of support given to me by my publisher. I enjoy the fact that Endeavour Press works with me to plan for upcoming books and their effort to help me promote them.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

At the moment, I’m working on the third book in the Det. Lily Blanchette series. The Parolee will be released in 2018. 

I’m also writing a young adult mystery series. The first two, Shadowed Seats and Staged have been published. The third one, Cold Read will also be released in 2018.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

I think the one thing that will surprise people is that Wisconsin has a seldom known, mob history. And that creating the scene where Lily confronts the local mob boss to get answers about her case, shows she’s determined to find her killer.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

That women can be strong and vulnerable at the same time.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thanks for hosting me.

About the Book:

Author: Marguerite Ashton
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 296
Genre: Crime

Speaking second-hand truths can be deadly …

Detective Lily Blanchette will stop at nothing to solve a murder. Her current case involves the killing of an undercover cop working to bring down the mob for prostitution and drugs.

But Lily's usual laser-like focus on the case has been disrupted.

Two weeks earlier, she learned she was pregnant by her murderous husband whom she'd killed in self-defense. Unsure whether to keep her baby or place the child of this cruel man up for adoption, Lily keeps the pregnancy a secret from her colleagues.

Under mounting pressure to solve the case, Lily arranges a sit-down with a local mob boss only to find out her suspect is also wanted by them. But before Lily can warn her team, she and her new partner, Jeremiah, are shot at, and another body is found.

When she discovers Jeremiah has a connection with the underworld, she is pulled into a conflict that swirls around the boss's son who's hell-bent on revenge.

To add to the complexity of the situation, Lily learns that her victim might still be alive if it wasn't for opportunistic Assistant District Attorney, Ibee Walters, who has a twisted vision of justice.

As Lily gets closer to finding the killer, she unravels ugly secrets that point to Ibee and Jeremiah - placing Lily's life and her unborn child in danger.



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