Bette Golden Lamb interview with David Alan Binder

posted May 30, 2017, 10:02 AM by David Alan Binder

Bette Golden Lamb interview with David Alan Binder


Bio from her website: Bette Golden Lamb is an RN, three-dimensional artist, and writer. She claims to need all of these disciplines to stay out of trouble. Her art works have appeared in numerous shows and are held in private collections nationally.

Bette, unmistakably from the Bronx, says that growing up in New York City coupled with being an RN is a clue as to why she loves to write dark and gritty medical thrillers.

A sense of adventure has gotten Bette into trouble more than once. Fate put her into the wilds of Virginia City, Nevada, an isolated throwback to the old West, where she rode shot gun as a mountain-top trauma nurse while her husband was the editor of the The Territorial Enterprise, a newspaper Mark Twain once ran. To make things even more interesting, she ended up running a funky bar, The Silver Stope. Somehow, she and her husband had become living characters from the old TV Western, Bonanza.

Bette and J. J. Lamb have written novels that include a female serial killer who thinks she’s on a noble mission to save barren women from a life of despair (Sisters in Silence) and the Gina Mazzio RN medical thriller “Bone” series (Bone Dry, Sin & Bone, Bone Pit, and Bone of Contention).  Writing about Gina Mazzio and her boyfriend, Harry, also an RN, has been a fun experience. It’s a privilege to write about people who dedicate their lives to helping others.










1. Where are you currently living?

I live in Northern California


1.    What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?

          Probably, keeping an open mind to the changes in your own life and society. As so many things change literally from day to day, you have to keep up with a world you may never have expected, but are now a part of. “They” also say, write about what you know. If you don’t keep up with your world, “they” will be right when they say: You don’t know shit. 


2.    What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?    

     I’m a woman, and an RN, and yet, I love blood-thirsty, horrible, vicious criminal protagonists. I guess I feel safer in this tumultuous world when I can control killing off the bad guys.

3.    Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?       

     I co-author the Bone Series-- Gina Mazzio RN medical thrillers with my friend and lover, J. J. Lamb. We write together and separately. Originally, we started the series with Five Star as our publishers. But we transitioned to self-publishing because the roads to traditional publication was so twisted and difficult to conquer, AND, it uses up so much of your time and energy, and saps the joy right out of you. We finally decided to try self-publishing through our creative company, Two Black Sheep Productions.

a.    Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they located? 

The Killing Vote, one of our stand alones, was published by Champlain Avenue Books Inc. Henderson, Nevada.               

Heir Today ... was originally published by Five Star.

Our third stand alone Sisters In Silence is published by Two Black Sheep Productions. To state the obvious, we are hybrids when it comes to publishers.


4.    Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?                                                                                              

    eBooks have really been great for readers. It’s cheaper allowing everyone access to literature. I love hard copies. It’s the way I love to read. But for people who grew up with electronics, eBooks is the way they like to read. In fact. that’s the way they like to read --anything.

5.    Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?                        

Persistence!  Persistence!                                                                                  

    If you want to be a writer, write, and keep writing, AND submitting. At least today, if you don’t like the way you’re being treated by traditional publishers, you can take the bull by the horns and self-publish.                                                                                                               

    In the end, there really are no secrets. It’s all about hard work, doing what you love to do. Well, nepotism helps, if you’re that fortunate.


6.    How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent?  Any tips for new writers on getting one?                                                                                

Join writers’ groups, such as, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers., Romance Writers of America.                                         

People in these groups will help you understand the environment you are trying to be a part of.                                                                                    

Also read writer mags. They’ll have tons of suggestions for you about agents and how to get them. We’ve had agents. We’ve fired agents. Honestly, we’re not too keen with the interaction. But, there are lots of people who love their agents.

7.    Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?                                                                          

 If you don’t know how to start, keep a journal. Tell yourself a story and write it down. Write at every opportunity.                                                  

Yes, you can take classes, too. But it all starts with a person wanting to tell a story.                                                                                                                

 Do it! That’s how you become a writer.

8.    What was one of the most surprising things you learned with your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?                       

I’m constantly surprised -- actually shocked sometimes at what comes out of my imagination. But then, I grew up in the Bronx. I shouldn’t be shocked about anything.                                                                                                  

I’m also an artist, but truthfully, I learn so much more about who I am as a human being every time I work at that keyboard.                                              

Most times, I like myself. Sometimes, not so much.

9.    How many books have you written?                                                                 

#7 of the Gina Mazzio RN medical thrillers is into its final polishing. It will be out in the next few months, plus three standalones, plus, my two-volume book The Organ Harvesters Science Fiction).                                                 

That’s twelve books.                                                                                         

Plus, I’ve written a historical mainstream novel. It’s looking for a home.

10. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?                                   Join a critique group. Be open to criticism.                                                   

So many writers think their work is untouchable--it’s that great. Well, I’ve got a bridge I can sell you.                                                                               

It’s good to think your work is good, or even great. But listen to others. As far as others’ suggestions: Toss what doesn’t help, use what you need to make your work better.

11. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?            

I’m a crime writer. So I start from a dark place.                                               

I like a book to grab you from the first page. Make it hard-hitting, maybe even ugly.                                                                                                        

Create complicated characters with different backgrounds. When they start interacting, they’ll provide the twists you need, if you listen to them.

12. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?                                 

We write medical thrillers. We want them real, authentic, and gritty. They have to be fast paced and scare the pants off of the reader.


13. What are some ways in which you promote your work?                                  

We have a marketer who pushes our books. We’ve been promoted on Book Bub. We spend a lot of time promoting on Twitter, Face Book. Recently Instagram.

14.  What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?                                                   

I would not have spent so much time trying to get an agent or a publisher. It eats into your confidence and your creativity.                                                

Start writing while you’re in the cradle:)   

15. What saying or mantra do you live by?                                                            

Do your thing! Never give up!

16. Anything else you would like to say?                                                        

Being able to write and tell my stories is one of the greatest gifts I’ve been given. It’s a real privilege.