#LeiCrimeKW Author Interview With D.B. McNicol


How did you come to be interested in the Lei Crime Kindle World?

I was asked by Toby Neal to be an advanced reader for her first Lei Crime book, Blood Orchids. I fell in love with the setting and the characters and continued to read the following books as they came out.

When Toby first announced the Lei Crime Kindle World, she asked me if I could write something for it. I was overloaded with my own work and life in Ecuador at that time and had to say no. A year later, Toby asked again and I was thrilled to accept the challenge.

Tell us how your story links to the Lei Crime Series. Characters, setting, specific event?

ParadiseDownParadise Down takes place on the island of Kaua`i where Jared Stevens, younger brother of Michael Stevens, is vacationing. The time setting falls into place shortly after Toby’s book Fire Beach. Jared overhears a phone conversation between a the main character, Lucia Santerez, and her best friend back on the mainland. Always a gentleman, he had to offer to help a lady in distress. And thus the story begins….

I also was fortunate to be able to include a character introduced in another Lei Crime Kindle World novella written by Scott Bury. I pulled the character Special Agent Vanessa Storm from his story, Torn Roots.

The Lei Crime Series are police procedural mysteries with a twist of romance. What genres do you explore in your story?

Paradise Down is definitely a mystery with a bit of adventure. While I’d have loved to link Jared and Lucia, it wasn’t in the cards. Maybe Polo will find his love in my next novella. Who’s Polo? You’ll have to read Paradise Down to find out.

Tell us a little about your main character. Why do you think readers will like her?

Lucia Santerez left Hawaii to attend college on the mainland. Her mother died while she was gone and with an irresponsible brother her only living relative, she refused to return, opting to stay on the mainland and work.

After her acceptance to the University of Hawaii, she decided to spend the summer helping her brother in his newly purchased dive shop. When she arrives, her brother is missing and her life is put in danger. New friends help her through the trying times and bring her a new awareness of family and friendships as well as the realization of how much she missed Hawaii.

Share some of your story about becoming a writer. 

I think I was destined to be a writer – in the 4th grade, I took my toy typewriter and painstakingly typed out the neighborhood news, one copy at a time, and sold it to the neighbors for ten cents each copy.

I became an IT professional, so non-fiction writing was the norm for me until retirement. In the late 1990’s, I became involved in writing web content, being one of the very first guides at The Mining Company (now About.com). I also wrote for BellaOnline.com and Suite101.com. I soon added a couple of regular print columns for an Rving magazine and a local seniors newspaper.

Fast forward to 2012 and my involvement with the Facebook writing communities. I decided to try my hand at writing flash fiction. Some pieces won prizes and some were published in anthologies, the die was cast. After participating in the 2012 April A to Z Blog Challenge, I took the twenty-six flash fiction stories I had written for the challenge, and put them in an ebook on Amazon. Now I was truly hooked.

Other writers told me about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I was intrigued. I’d been concentrating on writing ultra short fiction. Could I write a novel? I participated in the August Camp NaNoWriMo and produced the first 50k words for Not a Whisper. In November, I joined again and produced my first, and currently only, romance novel, Home Again.

Do you have a background related to your writing? What makes you interesting outside of your books? Authors are often some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!

Let’s see – I hoard pens, notebooks and stationary. I learned to ride a Harley-Davidson motorcycle at age 55 and at age 58, alone and widowed, I toured the country on my Softail Deluxe, riding over 27k miles through 42 states. Two years later I sold everything and hit the road in a 29′ Class C motorhome, pulling a small trailer with for my motorcycle. In fact, this is how I met my husband. We were at an RV rally in Gillette, WY, both widowed, full-time Rvers and motorcyclists. Fate!

We continued traveling the country in his RV until December 2013 when we moved to Ecuador for two years. Anyone interested can read our old blog, “Retired in Cuenca” for more information. We moved back to the US in January of this year and are doing a lot of cruising. My husband scuba dives and I write!

What are you working on next, aside from the novella in the Lei Crime Series Kindle World?

I am working on book three in my Klondike Mystery series, Almost a Touch. These are police procedural “whodunit” style books, set in the small town of Klondike, Pennsylvania. Growing up and living in several small towns, I love writing about them. Quirky characters, romances, families and friends make for good tales.

Book one in the series is Not a Whisper and book two is Barely a Spark. I hope to have Almost a Touch available on Amazon this fall.

I also plan two more novellas in the Lei Crime Kindle world, Paradise Drift and Paradise Dead, making a complete trilogy.

In my spare time [snicker], I have a new series I hope to start. Lia Rules (born Aurelia Ruhles) is a street smart, twenty-something private investigator in Kingman, Arizona. She’s a bit quirky, a bit dark and a bit intriguing. There will be a broad range of quirky friends to keep things interesting. The first book will be Rules of Engagement. My hope is to get three of this series written and published in 2017.



Author Website
Personal Website
Facebook – My Write Spot
Facebook – Klondike Mysteries
Facebook – Lia Rules Series
Amazon Author Page


Comment on this blog and be entered to win a copy of Paradise Down (2 copies), Not a Whisper (2 copies) or a 5$ Amazon Gift Card (2 winners).

30 Responses to “#LeiCrimeKW Author Interview With D.B. McNicol”


    Oh, my! Yet another great interview! I’ve been aware of McNicol’s new entry in the LCS KW, especially during the big party last week! It’s on my list… Now, I guess I’ll have to check out her other books. (WOW, what a life.. Harleys and RVs? My kind of gal!!!)

  2. Donna McNicol

    Aloha, Bonnie! I hope you will check out my Klondike mystery series. I love small town stories (and I love living in small towns).

  3. Donna Walston

    I just finished Paradise Down last night. I would have loved to have seen Jared and Lucia together, but that would have been too easy. I loved the story and am excited to know there will be 2 more. P.S. I love Polo!

    I live in AZ. How did you pick Kingman for your new series?

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha to another Donna (great name). 😉

      Polo just leapt into my story, he was never intended, but you will see more of him in the next two books.

      I’ve been to Kingman a couple of times. The first, on my solo motorcycle trips across the country as a widow. I needed service for my bike so it was a good stop. The next was when my now husband and I were doing our Rt 66 ride on our Harleys in Sep-Oct 2013. We stopped to see very good friends of mine (waving at Marty & Bill) as well as stay on Rt 66.

      When I started looking for a location for Lia Rules, I initially thought about using Wyoming. But then I realized I needed to know more about the licensing rules for PIs in various states. I also wanted her riding a Ninja motorcycle which would limit her in Wyoming. I realize it can get nasty during the winter in Kingman but think she can handle that. LOL! I needed a town small enough to not overwhelm (especially me, as a writer – not a big city gal) but big enough to have crime for several books. So, Arizona and Kingman it is!

      Thanks for asking!

  4. Amy

    Great interview, Donna. Have this on my to be read list

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Amy, glad you enjoyed the interview. They can be a challenge but this one was fun! I hope you enjoy the book.

  5. Sue Alexander Devers

    Sounds like a good read!!! Can’t wait to find out more!!!!

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Sue! It had a blast writing it and can’t wait to get time to write the next two (especially #3, Paradise Dead, which has special meaning to me). Enjoy!

  6. Sonya Steele

    Great interview! I love the Lei Crimes series and can’t wait to read these!

  7. Karin Stoil

    This sounds like a great adventure I would love to read. I love Jared Stevens and the setting in Kauai. Mysteries are my favorites. Nice to hear about you and your background.

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Karin (I love the spelling of your name – I might have to borrow that for a future character)! I enjoy writing whodunit crime type mysteries usually but this one was a little more on the suspense side. I hope you enjoy it enough to stick around for the next two novellas.

  8. Sheree Ito

    Hi Donna, in my virtual stack of books I found I have your “Not A Whisper’, now loaded to the front of the stack . Looking forward to reading it and your other books. I’ve been working hard on overcoming my tendency to hoard pens, paper and notebooks… Your life adventures sound fabulous. Cheers!

    • Donna McNicol

      Sheree!! I’m so excited that you’ll have a chance to read “Not a Whisper”. I will be visiting that area the middle of July, visiting friends and doing more research.

      Living in an RV, hoarding is bad – very bad. I try, really I do! 😉

  9. tom walsh

    Having read and “reviewed” Paradise Down I am looking forward to reading more of your books. You are a gifted writer and that was a nice interview

  10. Lynda Filler

    Love your personal story. Sounds like you also live a dream life and get to write as well. Can’t wait to read your story!

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Lynda! The Lei Crime series is so addictive. I have bought a bunch of the novellas that I haven’t had time to read yet plus I still have 3 or 4 of the main books to read. Thanks for visiting!

  11. Lisa Hudson

    Wow! I really enjoyed reading your personal story! I’m 57 so I’m thinking ahead to all the fun I can look forward to in the years ahead!! My husband & son want Harleys but I’m more interested in the RV at this point in my life (already had bilateral knee replacements). I understand the hoarding — always BOOKS, used to be record albums & CDs. Thank the Good Lord above for iTunes & Kindle!! There are some books you still must have in PRINT! I was intrigued with Paradise Down when we were introduced to you during Toby’s contest. It’s on my list of “TO READ” & I’m looking forward to your perspective of Jared. I’m looking forward to your entire LCKW Series!

    • Donna McNicol

      Hi there Lisa! Hubby had bilateral knee replacements done four years ago. He already was riding a Tri-Glide because of bad knees and sees no reason to change. We traded in his old one and my two-wheels for a 2015 Tri-Glide and love it. I can be a passenger or a rider! Someday we will trade down our RV for something smaller (it’s a 41′ toy hauler so the last 10′ are garage space), but for now this works.

      I hope you enjoy “Paradise Down” when you get a chance to read it. I loved writing Jared and I look forward to more of him in other novellas. He may have a brief mention in my next two but won’t be featured. I will be pulling in someone else, not sure who…yet. LOL!

  12. Sandie Keeble

    Yet another great interview with a new (to me) author! I love how each person tells us how they chose the Lei character they want to work with – and as an aside it’s interesting how many have chosen Jared! As a UK resident I have issues getting hold of these stories sometimes, but hopefully I can get my hands on this one. We have visited Hawaii four times on cruises (from LA) and love how each novel manages to capture the magic of the Islands. I don’t think I could ever be disciplined enough to live in a RV – both husband and I are hoarders!

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Sandie! I think all of us KW authors wish our books were available in other countries. Hoping you win a copy. Also, join me on FB and sign-up for my newsletter. I sometimes offer things there as well. 😉

      I am so excited about visiting Hawaii. I know it will be a quick visit because of cruising, but it will be a nice introduction to the state.

      Thanks for commenting and good luck in the drawing!

  13. Rey Waters

    Great interview Donna, Little do you know that your fb posts have helped me get up off my rump and begin a daily writing routine. This interview gave me some ideas using a small town setting where I grew up. Almost ready to release my artist crime series thanks to your hidden encouragement. Keep up the good work. Thanks!

    • Donna McNicol

      Aloha Rey! I’m so glad to have helped you move forward with your writing. You definitely should continue. I look forward to hearing more about your series. Way to go!!!

  14. Tana Mackay

    What a wonderful interview, I have read Paradise Down, I received an advanced copy for a complemntary review, and wow what a book, I loved it, so suspenseful, great characters, and wonderful storyline, it simply kept me on my toes the entire time! I really enjoyed this interview, it gave me such insight into the author! T. Mackay