Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Interview with Margay Leah Justice, author of 'The Scent of Humanity'

We're happy to have as our guest author today Margay Leah Justice. Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.

Welcome, Margay! Can you tell us what your book, The Scent of Humanity, is about?

Sure thing! The book is about Silvie Childs, a woman who’s old nightmare resurfaces to haunt her when her young niece is nearly kidnapped. When Silvie was about her niece’s age, she was almost kidnapped herself and she never quite got over it. So when it happens to her niece, she decides to do something about it. This brings an old friend back
into her life, who just so happens to be the detective working her niece’s case, Nick Fahey. Nick and Silvie have history and it works its way into the present in many interesting ways.

Why did you write your book?

I wrote this book because I felt compelled to after this happened in my personal life. The core of the book is true; I was nearly kidnapped as a child and many years later, so was one of my nieces – in the same town. When it happened, something just flipped a switch in me and the story was born.

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

Silvie Childs is a lawyer, who endured some pretty rough experiences growing up: her father, a cop, was killed in the line of duty, she was nearly kidnapped, and her older brother died in a car accident in his late teens. Needless to say, she has some issues with trusting people and just letting go. She’s strong, independent, and feisty, but when she loves, she loves fiercely.

Nick Fahey is carrying on the family legacy by pursuing a career in law enforcement. He’s recently made detective and one of his first big cases is the attempted kidnapping of a young girl, who just so happens to be the niece of one of his old friends, Tim Childs, Silvie’s brother (who died in a car accident that Nick was involved in). Nick is a take charge, protect at all costs kind of guy, loyal and true, and when he loves, he doesn’t hold anything back.

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

Well, I always like to have a basic idea of how the story’s going to start and how it will end, but a lot of the stuff in between just grows organically as I go along. I used to write up outlines so detailed I jokingly referred to them as the first draft, but then I discovered the freedom of pantsing and have been doing more of that ever since.

What do you like to do for fun?

I am such a creative person, so for me fun usually involves some sort of creation such as knitting. I love to make things and give them as gifts. I also love to read (no surprise there) and go to the movies. Or get together with my family, that’s always fun.

What do you like the most about being an author?

The whole process of creating a book out of a seed of an idea. I just love writing so much, it’s all I ever want to do.

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

I think it has to be the first time they see their name on the cover of a book. There’s nothing quite like it.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Hone your craft. Really get to know the rules of writing before you attempt to break any. And please, be aware of grammar and punctuation. Too often these days, potentially great books are spoiled by the fact that simple things like misspelled words, convoluted sentences, and/or incorrect punctuation were overlooked in the editing process. To me, nothing is more jarring than to stumble across these things as I'm reading – pulls me right out of the story. And just the basic mechanics of story – concentrate on really honing that. Don’t rush the process because you want to publish. Learn your craft, then write your book. And don’t let anything stop you. If you really want to be a published author, persevere. Eventually, you’ll get there, if you don’t give up.

About the Book:

Lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. In theory. But in one small town, in one family, that theory is put to the test. 

Growing up in a rural town in
Massachusetts was supposed to be safe, but for SILVIE CHILDS, that safety was shattered by a kidnapping attempt that forever changed her life. Now, nearly twenty years later, that sense of safety is challenged again by the kidnapping attempt on her young niece, and Silvie is left struggling with one question: How can something like this happen twice in one family? 

It is a dilemma shared by NICK FAHEY, the detective assigned to the case. Arriving on the scene of the abduction attempt, Nick expects to run a routine investigation. Until he meets the victim, the niece of a woman he once considered a dear friend. Unfortunately, these days Silvie Childs can barely stand the sight of him. 

Once there was a time when Silvie Childs worshipped Nick Fahey, believing he could do no wrong. Until the accident that nearly killed her brother; the accident that Nick reportedly caused. Coming on the heels of her own near abduction, the accident skewed Silvie’s ability to trust men – especially Nick. But now, with the attempt on her niece’s safety, Silvie finds herself in the untenable position of having to trust Nick to bring the kidnapper to justice. 

That trust is severely tested when, after only two months, the case is closed for lack of new evidence. Feeling betrayed by the system in which she works as a paralegal and by Nick, Silvie takes matters into her own hands. Contacting local news stations to generate interest in the case, allowing herself to be filmed hanging sketches of the suspect on telephone poles, she will risk her own safety to protect that of her niece. When her efforts re-open the wounds of her past, she is once again forced to put her trust in the one man who still has the power to hurt her – Nick 

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