Meet the Chapter Mates: Phyllis Humphrey

Phyl for PR

Phyllis Humphrey is a longtime writer of romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. You can find more of her work at her website Lets learn a little more about her today!

1. Who are you? What do you write?

I’m Phyllis A. Humphrey. The A stands for Ashworth, my maiden name. Because I was called “Phyll” in high school, I used the name “Phyll Ashworth” on a few of my early books. My husband, Curt Humphrey, and I have been married a long time, so I use his name on my books. “P.J. Humphrey” (The J stands for Jean, my middle name) is on my novellas about Sheridan Holmes, who partners with the ghost of Sherlock Holmes when he appears in her apartment in San Francisco in the 21st century.

I started writing short stories many years ago (everyone did in those days) and my first book was a mainstream novel which I couldn’t get published via the “agent-publisher” system which was the only game in town until about 2001 when “POD” (Print on Demand) turned amateurs with a computer into vanity publishers such as iUniverse, Xlibris and others. All my writer friends were doing that, so I did it for one book.

By that time, all my friends were writing romance and I learned that, unlike other publishers, romance editors would read everything – no agents required – and I found small houses that didn’t charge and published my books. Then my husband was asked to publish a business book for his friend, so I asked him to do mine too. And he still self-publishes some of my books through the company he started in 2002. Amazon came along in 2005 and we all know what happened after that.

Personally, I gradually moved from straight romance to romantic-suspense and lately I’m writing mysteries, Which have always been my reading choice. This year, the two publishers who accepted Dead In The Water (a cozy mystery with humor which I’d written many years before) and Eyewitness (a woman-in-jeopardy mystery written with my friend Carole, also many years before) were both released the same month, October.

2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?eyewitness_300
In 1976

3. What does RWASD mean to you?
It’s RWA San Diego, my home.

4. What is the biggest challenge your name faced in becoming a writer?
I didn’t think about it – I just wrote and submitted.

5. What attracted you to romance? Why does it speak to you?
Everyone needs romance. It’s who we are.

6. Where is the weirdest place or thing that inspired an idea to write?
Everyone has a weird place or thing that inspires writing, but mine was the train trip to Washington D.C.

7. Love scenes. Steamy or sweet? Why?
Mine are usually sweet, not steamy, because they’re easier. I don’t like writing steamy love scenes.

8. Who’s a writer you’d do back flips to meet and why?
Elizabeth George and I’d ask her why she moved from CA.

9. If you could go back twenty years, what advice would you give yourself?
I’d say, “Hurry up.”

10. Tell us about your latest novel?
It’s about a time fifty years ago and the world was simpler.

11. Before you go, any advice to give new writers?
Yes. “Hurry up. The world is changing so quickly.”

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