M. Louisa Locke: From Academia to Authorship, A Dream Deferred

This article by Tim Knox originally appeared on Interviewing Authors.

Tim Knox: Hey friends, welcome in to Interviewing Authors with Tim Knox, another great show for you today. M. Louisa Locke is my guest, my friend Mary Lou Locke. She has quite the history. She’s a retired professor of women’s history, embarked on a second career as a historical writer and her Victorian San Francisco mystery series is based on the research she did to get her doctorate.

The series features Annie Fuller, a boarding house owner and pretend clairvoyant. The series thus far includes Maids of Misfortune, Uneasy Spirits, Bloody Lessons and the new book soon to come out, called Deadly Proof.

Now if you are interested in writing historical fiction this is an interview you don’t want to miss. Mary Lou talks about all of the work that she puts in and the research she does to make sure things are accurate. But then again she also talks about things like bringing humor into the story and the mystery and the romance.

So just a really good interview with M. Louisa Locke on this edition of Interviewing Authors.

Tim Knox: Mary Lou, welcome to the program.

M. Louisa Locke: Well it’s very good to be here, Tim.

Tim Knox: To begin let’s hear a little bit about you. Tell us about your background.

M. Louisa Locke: Okay most of my life, career as an adult I was a college professor. I got a doctorate in history in the late 1970s, early 1980s. I spent most of my career teaching at San Diego Mesa Community College, so teaching freshman U.S. History and U.S. Women’s History. That’s what I did with most of my career but I always wanted to write historical fiction. In fact my high school yearbook when it said ‘what do you want to do with your life?’ I said I wanted to write.

I understood by college that most writers couldn’t make a living and so I decided that I would make history my profession and then the hope was that I might be able to write fiction on the side. In many ways that dream got deferred until I was in my late 50s and I was semi-retired. I thought I would give writing another shot. I’d written a rough draft of the book that became my first book years earlier. I published as a self-published independent author and it sold and I made enough money by the second year to retire completely. So I really now have a second career as a full-time writer. It’s really a dream deferred that I really did not expect to get fulfilled.


Click here to read the full article (or listen to the podcast) on Interviewing Authors.