About Eric Lodin
I decided I wanted to be a writer in the third grade after our teacher challenged us to write a story using all the week’s spelling words. Encouraged later by several writing awards in high school and college, I spent a brief time as a journalist for newspapers and magazines. I got married, ran a small business, worked for a college, and raised a family, still fidgeting with fiction and screenwriting along the way. In my late 40s, having written two literary novels but still feeling a million miles from publication, I ran into an old friend at my 25th college reunion who had developed a successful career self-publishing cozy mysteries. “Sounds like fun. Maybe I’ll try that,” I thought. Because I’ve always enjoyed left-brain activities such as card games, logic puzzles, and crosswords, it made sense to attempt a mystery novel. It took me a while to get it just how I wanted it, but Soft Hearts is the first installment in what I hope will be a long series of mysteries featuring Rett Swinson, a plucky “hippie at heart” from Eastern North Carolina who is reinventing her life after a series of setbacks. I can relate to her—and I think a lot of readers can, too.
I had been married twenty years before I turned to my wife and asked, “What do you mostly think about?” I decided to share with her that most of my reflection time was spent thinking about ethics, philosophy, and religion. Now I wanted to know what mostly occupied her mind.
I’ve known since a very young age that I wanted to write books. In fact, it was probably more than forty years ago that I decided I would like to do the thing that Donald J. Sobol did with Encyclopedia Brown, or what Franklin W. Dixon’s ghostwriters created with the Hardy Boys. It wasn’t just detective stories.
The little local TV station in the Alabama town where I grew up in the 1970s and ‘80s ran tape year-round from the previous Christmas season in which area children tentatively approached the throne of the station’s official Santa Claus.