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Nov 13, 2017

Love Lies Bleeding did not sound, on the face of it, like a novel I’d like to read. Believe it or not, I’m not especially drawn to stories of women in psychological torment and pain, which is how this story was presented. But I gave it a shot and after about 75 pages, I knew I was in it for the duration. It was actually more a story of a mentally strong woman overcoming outside influences than battling her own inner demons. That’s not a spoiler, either; personally, I think this tale is more appealing if you know there is real character growth ahead and not just craziness.

JESS McCONKEY podcast excerpt: "I couldn't write a sex scene to save my life. I can read it, but when I write it and read it back to myself, it sounds stupid!"

I’d like to tell you something about the author, Jess McConkey, but she was a bit of a mystery to me going into this interview. Her official bio is just two sentences — “Jess McConkey is an award-winning writer of short fiction. She lives in a small Iowa town and is currently working on her next novel.” That only told me that she may be in the witness protection program. Then I found out the truth: Jess McConkey is the pen name of Shirley Damsgaard, who is already an established author, the creator of the Ophelia and Abby mystery series, which includes The Seventh Witch and The Witch’s Grave. So here’s what we’ll do. I’ll talk to Shirley as Jess in the first half of the interview and then Shirley as Shirley after the break. It’s got to be less confusing than when I interviewed the dog who wrote those “Dog On It” mystery stories under the name of “Spencer Quinn.”

Jess McConkey WebsiteFacebookGoodreadsOrder Love Lies Bleeding

Shirley Damsgaard WebsiteFacebookGoodreads