Monday, July 21, 2014

Interview with Michael Matson, author of The Dancing Boy

Michael Matson
 Michael Matson was born in Helena, Montana, and was immediately issued a 10-gallon Stetson and a pair of snakeskin boots. After formative years spent in New Jersey, North Carolina, New York, California, Hawaii and Japan, Michael earned a journalism degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. Following a brief military stint in Oklahoma, where he first encountered red, sticky mud, heavy rain and tarantulas, he returned to Seattle and worked as an advertising agency copywriter, creative director and video producer.


In 2007 he (regretfully) left Seattle for Mexico to have time to write and has since published The Diamond Tree, a fairytale for all ages; Bareback Rider, an inspirational adventure for children; and Takeshi's Choice, a mystery novel. His short story “Gato” was selected for inclusion in Short Story America’s 2014 anthology. His second mystery novel: The Dancing Boy, was released by Dark Oak Mysteries, a division of Oak Tree Press in April 2014.

He lives with his wife María Guadalupe (Tai), in Morelia, the colonial capital city of Michoacán, where, despite all the bad publicity given the area by U.S. news media, he has never seen a narcotraficante.

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About The Book

The Dancing Boy


Treat Mikkelson is not exactly a burnt-out case but he’s grown tired of his life as a criminologist, weary of memories of a marriage gone wrong and of his time in Vietnam. Trying to burn the bridges to his past, he finds and remodels a cabin on a small Pacific Northwest Island, settles down to enjoy fishing, setting his crab pot, digging for clams and documenting the lives of his island neighbors.

When an elderly woman in the nearby tourist town of La Conner is found dead however, the victim of what appears to be an accidental fall, Mikkelson is persuaded to look into her death. The discovery that it was murder leads to something even more shocking: the human trafficking of young boys brought into the US and Canada.


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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE



Author Interview


Can you tell us what your book is about?

The Dancing Boy is a mystery that relies on historic fact and current realities to fulfill its objective. For more than 2,000 years some Middle Eastern countries have exploited young boys for sex. Afghanistan today still continues to commit this crime against children. There, pre-adolescent boys are trained to dance, dressed as women, to entertain men. Sometimes they are sold into sexual slavery.  The Dancing Boy uses the fact of this practice to tell a story of human trafficking and murder.

Why did you write your book?

The Dancing Boy is my sixth book and grew out of my desire to write a mystery strongly linked to locations in the Pacific Northwest using current events. Many readers from that area have commented that the book brings the locations to life and that the story brought back memories of living there. One has merely to go on the Internet to discover how current the problem of child exploitation is today.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Aside from the title character, the main protagonist is Treat Mikkelson, a former criminologist, tortured by the long-ago break-up of his marriage and his memories of Vietnam.  He has retired to a peaceful life of fishing and writing on a small Pacific Sound island but is drawn into an investigation that leads to the discovery of child smuggling.

Suniko Yamada is a strong secondary character, a free-thinking, motorcycle-loving, computer whiz.

A retired college professor, an apparent burned-out drunk, plays a critical role in the story’s conclusion.


Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Just as all politics is local so all writing, I think, is personal and based on empirical knowledge.  All of the characters in The Dancing Boy are totally made up of whole cloth. And yet, who knows what level of personal experience created them from my shelves of dusty memory?

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write? 

I strongly recommend all writers thoroughly outline their stories before putting words on paper.  Other writers, that is.  I seem genetically indisposed to the idea. I generally have a good idea of the plot and of the ending I wish to arrive at, but the development of the story grows in its own way and at its own pace like some mutant plant, at times totally independent of my wishes.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

The setting for The Dancing Boy plays a central part in the story. Where the main protagonist lives and why he lives there explain his character. The island-dotted inland waters of Canada and Western Washington have been used by smugglers since the days of prohibition when rum-runners relied on them to mask their movements from the authorities.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track? 

Most writers at one time or another reach a stalling point, I think. A “where do I go from here” moment that seems to last too long. One cause probably is that the story itself is at fault. Somewhere the writer has taken a wrong turn and is subconsciously aware of it. At moments like these, one needs to review what’s been written and resolve the conflict.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I believe writers are different than doctors, mechanics, firefighters and others.  Those are chosen professions.  A writer is a writer whether he or she likes it or not.  Just as a fish is a fish. And perhaps the answer to the question could be best answered by your finny pet. Ask your goldfish or neon tetra what it likes most about being a fish and it might tell you, “Well, I like being able to swim around and not having a boss.” That answer works for me too.  I like swimming around in my mind to find ideas to develop and, since I react badly to authority, I enjoy not having someone tell me what to do. Of course, like the goldfish, there is that bowl thing to deal with.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I certainly can’t speak for all writers.  Writers are individuals and I’m sure every one of them would offer some different event or life experience that they considered a prime motivational point. Some of them, like myself, would possibly cite a childhood filled with books that stirred their imaginations and inspired them to create stories of their own.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Read.  Write. Edit. Ask friends to read manuscripts and make suggestions. Edit.  Read. Write. Edit.

Interview with Stephen Martino, author of 'The New Reality'



Stephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.
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About the Book:



Alex Pella, an acclaimed neuroscientist and the hero of the new medical thriller, THE NEW REALITY, finds himself racing across the globe to find a cure for a rapidly spreading illness threatening to end all of humanity. To combat this worldwide pandemic, Pella and his colleagues must use modern science in an attempt to decipher a code hidden by God within the original pages of the Bible.

THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook. 

Martino's villain is a deadly retrovirus accidentally unleashed on the world in the year 2080, a time when no country is financially equipped to deal with such a disaster. It's up to Pella and NIH expert Marissa Ambrosia to lead the search for a cure while fending off an elite foreign military unit sent to stop them. The scientists, guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, traverse ancient lands in an attempt to solve a biblical riddle and save humanity from total extinction.

Martino says he wrote THE NEW REALITY “more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown's) THE DA VINCI CODE or (Crichton's) JURASSIC PARK. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.”

In THE NEW REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation if they are not properly addressed today.”

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Can you tell us what your book is about?

The New Reality is about a deadly, manmade virus that inadvertently gets released upon the planet. In order save humanity from extinction, the acclaimed neuroscientist Alex Pella and his colleagues must decipher a code hidden within the original pages of the Bible and search the planet to solve an ancient biblical riddle before time runs out.

Why did you write your book?

I wrote The New Reality more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown's) The Da Vinci Code or (Crichton's) Jurassic Park. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.

In The New Reality I have included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation. Hopefully, these subjects will resonate with a wide audience and create awareness of issues that have serious consequences for generations to come.


Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

The main character of The New Reality is Alex Pella. The man is a high tech genius who owns his own Neuro-Tek company. Though a high-tech geek by nature, Alex is also a thrill seeker always on the lookout for the next best, challenge. And he certainly gets this challenge when he is called upon by the man by the name of Jonathan Maloney. Now Jonathan, by nature, is a scholar who has been studying the Bible Code for most of his life. What he has determined from this code is that he has to find Alex and somehow use the code to discover the cure for the disease.
Trying to stop Alex and his colleagues from finding this cure is a fascist megalomaniac by the name Ari Lesmana who wants the cure all for himself. And if it means killing Alex and condemning humanity to extinction, then so be it.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I believe life is much too interesting just to rely totally on my imagination to create a character. During my day, I encounter so many interesting people with both commendable and no so commendable traits, flaws and even quirks. When I built my cast of characters for my novel, I was able to draw from my experience to create fictional people that are believable.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Before typing the first word into the computer, I’ve researched, outlined and even graphed the entire novel on paper. However, as both the plot and characters gain greater life with each chapter, I constantly make small changes in the plot in order to keep the novel flowing in an exciting and coherent manner. When writing, my novel becomes almost like a living being with a life unto itself. Though I created it, I feel that I must nature it to maturation.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Turn to any page in the novel and you will be confronted by a mixture of action, suspense and humor all rolled nicely together. Though thrillers are meant to keep the reader at the edge of their seat, I also wanted the reader to laugh while sitting there.

Is it hard to get a fictional thriller book published?

I believe getting a fictional novel published is extremely difficult. What I’ve discovered is that the market in inundated with literature, and for every one book printed by a traditional publisher, there may be another fifty that were not. Rejection is just the simple truth in getting a fictional thriller published. It’s like a badge of courage all first time published authors wear. I certainly don’t discourage anyone from writing. However, I would suggest you have the determination needed to see your work through to fruition.

Is it hard to promote a fictional thriller book and where do you start?

Actually, as a neophyte to the social media outlets, blogs and other author-centered sites on the web, I was completely amazed by how much out there that is available to promote my novel. Honestly, I could easily spend ten hours a day just on publicity and still not feel as if I had enough time. However, with a full time job, five kids and other commitments, I must strategize where I place my efforts.
From my experience, what I would suggest to any first time author would be to start a blog and become an active social media user. Through Goodreads, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and other blogs that are geared to your novel’s theme, you can build a fan base and create an effect venue to publicize your book.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Writers block does occur and can be very frustrating. I remember at some times I just wanted to throw my computer out the window when I couldn’t perfectly describe a scene or create the dialog needed to convey my point. However, I’ve learned that stepping away from the computer for a movement or simply holding off on writing that particular scene for a day may be the most effect method to deal with a block. Eventually, the scene or dialog came, and I was able to move on with my novel as if nothing happened.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Though Einstein said time is just an illusion, I find that it still moves by too quickly. With five kids at home growing up quickly, I would certainly want to spend that extra hour with them. Whether it’s simply talking to them, playing a sport, watching them in an athletic event or simply helping them with their homework, I would certainly cherish the extra time.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Christmas is the ultimate holiday at my house. It’s the time when the entire family gets together. There are presents, games, food and laughter starting Christmas Eve and lasting until the day after Christmas. Plus, can you imagine the complete chaos of five kids coming downstairs on Christmas day to all their presents under the tree? Their excitement makes me feel as if I were a kid again.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

There is a quaint little restaurant in Asbury Park, NJ with a Manhattan feel and the best food. Though expensive, they have a very inexpensive lunch menu with the best selection of food. Plus, they serve the most outstanding and juiciest hamburgers I’ve ever eaten. Between the food, atmosphere and selection of alcohol, the conversation will be good no matter what the topic.

What do you like to do for fun?

Honestly, despite my different careers, I’m really just a kid. I feel as if I still am in college and believe every day can be new and exciting. When I’m not working, at a meeting or writing, I enjoy simply playing with my kids and their friends. Whether it’s kickball, Nerf, baseball, Wii or a board game, I’m the first one to be involved. Yes, I do have grown up friends and play golf or have a beer watching Monday Night Football with them. However, each night my most fun thing I like to do before going to bed is just sit in quietness for about a half an hour and read. It is my time to decompress from the day and keep my sanity.

What do you like the most about being an author?

There are many aspects I like about being an author. However, the one that tops the list is the inner feeling of satisfaction that I was able to write a book and bring it to publication. With all the distractions in life, it is all too easy to stray from the final objective. However, holding my completed novel in my hand, really provides a sense of pride that I accomplished something significant.


What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

The most pivotal time in my career is when I received my first positive, unsolicited review. Despite having the book published, the biggest question is always will someone actually like it. Despite all the rejection that occurs bringing a book to the market, the first positive review seemed to make me forget all that previous criticism. It is such a wonderful feeling to have someone enjoy my work as much as I enjoyed writing it. I think a writer could ask for no more.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

I think every person has a great story to tell. Whether it’s about their own life, their experiences or just something they simply dreamt up, the story is there. It just takes faith in what about you are writing about and a true commitment to your work. If you can get over the rejection and frustration of actually bringing the book to publication, the experience and rewards are definitely well worth the time spent.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Playing Book Trivia with Ron Parsons, author of 'The Sense of Touch'


It’s time to play... 
Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!
It’s time to play... 
Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us.  By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows!  So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia! - See more at: http://asthepageturns.blogspot.com/2014/06/playing-book-trivia-with-peiri-ann.html#sthash.eXcUGd1a.dpuf

Today our guest author is Ron Parsons, author of the new short story collection, The Sense of Touch.  



Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us!  In the movie Castaway, if Tom Hanks unearthed a copy of The Sense of Touch, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

Well, the book is so interesting and affecting that it would keep his volleyball companion, Wilson, occupied for hours so that Tom would be able to concentrate on building that raft.

Superman has decided to pull out one of your characters to be his sidekick.  Who is it and why?

I’m pretty sure that the Man of Steel would select MIT standout physics student Naseem Sayem, the lead character in “Hezekiah Number Three,” to be his sidekick, both because of Naseem’s demonstrated commitment to creating his own spectacular destiny and his documented experience in floating high above the earth.


A homeless man was caught stealing your book out of a bookstore.  When asked why he did it, he opened the book and pointed a passage out.  What was that passage?

We talk on the phone several times a week. We are known in each other’s circles as friends.  Invisible and removed, she presumes to understand me, watching from the precarious perch of her own unfinished experience.  Up here in Minnesota, though, I’ve learned it’s true: Absence disembodies.  If a person isn’t there for you to touch, they are not real. 

From the story “The Sense of Touch.”



You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, and the mighty judges will determine whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay.  What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

I think the cover would be my best shot.  It was beautifully designed by my publisher, Cynthia Reeser, and actually has a slight pleasing “waxy” feeling to the touch that many people who have read the book have commented upon.

You have five seconds to tell us who the greatest author of all time is.  In your opinion, who would that be?

George Orwell.  Animal FarmNineteen Eighty-Four.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance.  What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

They would select the birch tree, with that odd peeling black and white bark, because of its prominence in the childhood backyard empire of the narrator of the collection’s final story, “Be Not Afraid of the Universe.”

Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it.  Through luck of the draw, you were chosen.  What would be the first thing you would say to Barack?

“Mr. President, the absolute best way to promote your book is to embark on a worldwide tour and you will need to take me along to introduce you at each of your events.”


About the Book:


Old friends uncomfortably reunited and lovers who cling to their distance from one another; disappearing fathers, fiercely loving grandfathers, and strangers who pass through and radically change lives...These are among the characters who populate the rugged Midwestern landscapes of the mesmerizing fiction world of Ron Parsons. In his debut collection, THE SENSE OF TOUCH (Aqueous Books; May 1, 2013), Parsons captures people of various ages in the act of searching for meaning and connection and themselves. Firmly set in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Michigan, the lush but often brutally cold heartland of America, the eight stories explore universal themes--loneliness, betrayal, transformation, hope--in fresh, sometimes fanciful, sometimes comical, sometimes jarring, and always moving and memorable ways.
In THE SENSE OF TOUCH, readers will meet:
* Naseem Sayem, the brilliant, troubled, and mystifying young man at the center of "Hezekiah Number Three." A native of Bangladesh abruptly transplanted to the stark white suburbs of Rapid City at age nine, Naseem never fit in and eventually moved on to study physics at MIT--where, shortly before graduation and after shocking news of his father's infidelity and abandonment, he apparently unraveled and vanished. Three months later, he reappeared out of the blue on his stepmom's doorstep, holding a three-legged cat. Naseem's long search for belonging reaches its apex in a hot air balloon floating over the Crazy Horse Monument.
* Waylon Baker, wheat farmer from birth, and Evie Lund, his wife of twenty-four years and counting, even though she had chosen to live far away--in the alien world of the Twin Cities--for eight years. The odd couple at the heart of "Beginning with Minneapolis," Waylon and Evie can't bear to live together or to divorce because they still love each other with a passion, reignited when they find themselves deep in the dirt, in a hole Waylon dug in his wheat field to serve as Evie's grave.
* The nameless narrator of "The Sense of Touch," a serious, young freshman at the University of Minnesota, fleeing yet still attached to his youth in Texas, haunted both by its predatory demons and its romantic dreams. His liberation comes through an alluring muse: his fiction-writing teacher. A ravishing, wild-haired, Memphis-born African-American graduate student, Vonda speaks directly to him when she makes her dramatic pronouncements. Like, "Our masks are not worn, people. They're grown, day by day." And "Never trust anything, not until you can touch it. With touch, you know you know."
The old friends in "The Black Hills," long separated by distance and tragedy, who unexpectedly compete for the affections of a lovely, vulnerable, and married Lakota woman...the young woman who, in the midst of a Halloween blizzard, stumbles into saving an elderly piano teacher's life and faces hard facts about her own snow-bound relationships and emotions in "As Her Heart Is Navigated"...the exceptional grandfather in "Big Blue" and the playboy reformed by someone else's grandson in "Moonlight Bowling"...and the professor of dead languages facing the mysteries of mortality in "Be Not Afraid of the Universe"... Through Ron Parsons, they all come to life, vividly and with emotional resonance, and work their way into the minds and hearts of readers.

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About the Author

RON PARSONS is a writer living in Sioux Falls. Born in Michigan and raised in South Dakota, he was inspired to begin writing fiction in Minneapolis while attending the University of Minnesota. His short stories have appeared in many literary magazines and venues, including The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, Storyville App, The Briar Cliff Review, Flyway, and The Onion. His debut collection of stories, THE SENSE OF TOUCH, was released by Aqueous Books in 2013.




Friday, July 11, 2014

Interview with Kerry Peresta, author of 'The Hunting'



Kerry Peresta's publishing credits include a popular newspaper and e-zine humor column, The Lighter Side, and short stories in the published anthology, That One Left Shoe, and her debut novel, The Hunting, contemporary women's fiction, released by Pen-L Publishing. She spent twenty-five years in advertising as an account manager, creative director, and copywriter before deciding to devote more of her time to writing. She is currently working on her second novel, participating in writing conferences, and serving on the leadership team of the Maryland Writers' Association. Kerry was a single mother for many years to four great kids, all grown and successfully carving out their own unique paths. She and her husband live in the Baltimore metro area.

Her novel, The Hunting, is available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (bn.com), and her website.

Visit Kerry at www.kerryperesta.com.

Connect & Socialize!

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About the Book:


Isabelle Lewis, top advertising salesperson at the Chatbrook Springs Sentinel newspaper, has a habit of falling in and out of marriage. After her last divorce, she shoved the emotional pain into a compartment in her brain to deal with later. With three teenagers to raise, bills to pay, and sales quotas to meet, introspection was a luxury she could not afford. Her mind needed a happy place.

When Isabelle (Izzy) discovered online dating, it immediately became her favorite stress reliever and best friend. Often, she'd steal into the night after her kids were asleep to meet someone new. One fateful evening, the hunt for the perfect guy took a sinister turn when the mystery man she met turned out to be her worst nightmare! Reluctantly pulled into a web of lies, Izzy is forced to confront her demons.

Snarky, suspense-filled, and real, The Hunting is an exquisite entwining of the crippling emotional fallout of divorce with the quest for a healthy, fulfilling relationship.This inspirational story rivets!  
 

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Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE



Q: Thank you for this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

In 2010, I left advertising behind and pursued writing without a clue about publishing. My writing career began by accident. I was offered a weekly humor column after a letter I wrote to the editor caught the newspaper’s attention. I immersed myself in Maryland’s vast writing community, finished my first novel, learned the tricky art of querying, got picked up by a publisher. My book, THE HUNTING, inspirational women’s fiction, Pen-L Publishing, released December, 2013.

Q: What fact about yourself would really surprise people?

That I’m a throwback. I love 40’s big band, jazz, and black and white movies. Give me Bogie and Bacall; Mitchum and Rita Hayworth. Another fun fact about me is that I was the shorthand champion in my home state when I was in high school. I still take shorthand when I need to take notes – it comes in handy!

Q: What scares you the most? 

As a former single parent, I was constantly stalked by the fear that I would not be able to provide well enough. I would say what scares me the most is not having enough money for basic needs. Fortunately, I am no longer in that situation. :~)

Q: What makes you happiest?

A great family gathering with meaningful conversation, hugs, encouragement, and great wine. Maybe a spirited card game or round of Catch Phrase.

Q: What are you most proud of in your personal life?

The transparent, loving relationships I have with my four grown kids. The fact that in spite of a challenging upbringing that included divorce and ensuing trauma, they have landed on their feet and are succeeding at life.

Q: What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Oh, by far…getting published by a reputable publisher. There are a lot of iffy publishers out there. It takes a while to figure out the difference. Perseverance is definitely needed.

Q: Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

It looks like a shimmer in someone’s eyes when they talk about the book. Like a zillion positive reviews on Amazon. It smells like a great cup of coffee on a rainy morning. It feels like the shiver that runs up my spine when someone approaches my book table and says they’ve waited and waited just to get a signed copy. It sounds like the declaration from a reader that they’ve felt exactly the same way my protagonist does, and then proceed to tell me all about their personal experiences. 

Q: Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

My new book, tentatively titled THE DEADENING, chronicles one woman’s journey from complacent, naïve, and emotionally crippled to speechless, clueless, shocked and bedridden. Giving complete responsibility to another for your life choices can have devastating consequences. Not the best idea. Just ask my protagonist.

Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

My husband and I love to travel, and just spent a week in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a magical place that will probably show up in one of my books! I enjoy my three cats, two whom I adore; the other I simply tolerate. A classic Grumpy Cat, his single contribution to the household is his beauty. My deck is my favorite relaxation site, where I can watch my bird feeders, ground hogs, squirrels, deer and the occasional fox as I drown in a lovely glass of red wine.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book? 

THE HUNTING is intriguing on several fronts. It paints a vivid picture of workplace harassment issues, single mom issues, internet dating scenarios. My character, Izzy, tries to keep up with raising the kids, making the living, finding the perfect guy…and fails miserably. Add nasty boss, difficult colleague, and stalker. Sprinkled throughout with romance and suspense, it’s the perfect recipe for a beautiful disaster. 

Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

Research the publishing industry. Decide on a specific genre. Join a critique group, or a writing association. Talk to other authors. Attend writing classes that fit your goals. Network at author events and writing conferences. Continue to learn the craft of writing. Take criticism well. Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite. Find a good editor and use them. I am exhausted just thinking about all this, but there it is. It is a discipline.