Meet the Author: Con Me Once by J.L. Delozier

Today we travel to Pennsylvania to chat with J.L. Delozier about how Asimov’s magazine, medicine, rescue cats, a Roswell Award, an accordion, Autumn, a nun, a chunky sweater, speaking to the dead, and a cozy cottage come together as part of Delozier’s past and current life.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

By day, I’m an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Penn State. I live in Pennsylvania with my Whovian husband and three rescue cats. By night, I’ve written five suspense novels and several short stories. My 2016 debut thriller, Type & Cross, was nominated for a “Best First Novel” award by the International Thriller Writers organization. Storm Shelter and Blood Type X completed the trilogy. My fourth novel, Con Me Once, published in 2020. My short fiction has won a Roswell Award and appeared in Artemis Journal, Thriller Magazine, Retreats from Oblivion, and the anthologies, Noirville: Tales from the Dark Side and Writers Crushing COVID-19.

In which genre do you write?

Thrillers, mysteries, crime, noir…and a touch of sci-fi and paranormal!

How many published books do you have?

Four – the Persephone Smith thriller trilogy and a stand-alone heist novel, Con Me Once. A fifth, The Photo Thief, is done and awaiting a publisher.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?

I’ve loved to write since childhood. I submitted my first story, handwritten in pencil on lined school paper, to Asimov’s magazine while still in junior high school. I was a huge fan of the “Year’s Best” anthologies. Later, I took a creative writing elective at Penn State and was hooked. To this day, my favorites works are my short stories. Click HERE to read “Dirge in D Minor,” which was posted on the Hollywood National Organization of Women’s website after it won a Roswell Award.

What is an interesting writing quirk you have, that we wouldn’t know by reading your biography?

After I get an idea, I sit down and write the beginning (a few paragraphs) and the end. Then comes the hard part—filling in the murky middle.

What is your favorite season and why?

Autumn, without a doubt. I’m a true Wednesday’s child. I love the melancholy of it – the shorter days, the chill in the air, the children moping about return to school. Hot tea, a warm fire, a chunky sweater – I could live in that weather year-round.

Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?

Three year ago, I was out to lunch with a friend when I heard the someone chattering on the radio about “photo thieves” – young men from the 1920s who were hired by big-city newspapers to break into homes where there had been a murder and steal family photos to run with the news article. I wondered how this would psychologically affect these young men, my creepy murder-mystery, The Photo Thief, was born. I’m seeking an agent for it now.

Can you play a musical instrument?

I briefly took accordion lessons. I play – badly. It’s an Italian-American rule that every family have either a priest or a nun and an accordion player. I didn’t want to be a nun.

If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?

In The Photo Thief, Cassie McConnell claims to speak to the dead via their vintage, black-and-white photographs that hang on her mansion’s walls. I’d like to have that skill.

If mars or another planet was livable, would you accept a one-way ticket there? Why or why not?

Absolutely. At the age of five, I proclaimed I wanted to be an “Astro-nomer.” I considered that all through high school before finally deciding on medicine. I’ve always had my head in the stars and am a huge classic sci-fi – films, television, and literature – fan.

What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you while working at your current or a previous job?

Got an hour? After almost thirty years in medicine, I’ve seen and heard it all. I could never—NEVER—pick just one.

Describe the perfect solo date you’d take yourself on … where, time of day, weather, place, etc.

If I could blink my eyes and travel through time and space for a perfect solo date, I’d find myself in one of two locations: Either I’d be snuggled in an Irish knit sweater while standing somewhere in the British Isles on a craggy, windswept cliff overlooking the ocean on a grey day. A charming, cozy cottage complete with huge dog and a lap cat await my return (does that still count as a solo date?) OR I’d be walking the cobblestone streets of Florence, Italy, poking around tiny boutiques and stopping for an espresso and biscotti at a quaint café. (Reality check – I’ve never done either of those things. Life goals.)

What are you currently working on?

I just finished the aforementioned The Photo Thief and am mentally outlining a sequel, while trying to land the perfect agent.

Tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it.

Con Me Once was published last year. After the dark, 2016-2019 Persephone Smith trilogy (about a manmade viral pandemic which starts in China and chooses its victims based on blood type, natch) I needed something a little lighter. Con Me Once is still gritty, but at heart it’s a fun, geeky, Ocean’s 11-type heist novel complete with wannabe superheroes, the mob, and everything in between. Even Elvis makes an appearance.

It was wonderful to have you be a part of MTA, and to learn more about you and your books. Wishing you all the best, with much success! – Camilla


Three superhero wannabes. One femme fatale. Millions in mob cash. This con is on.

Where to find the book: Everywhere books are sold

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