Wednesday, December 7, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: JEFFREY MARKS



ABOUT THE BOOK

There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.

When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.




INTERVIEW WITH JEFFREY MARKS


Jeffrey, how did you get started writing?  
I started small. While I’d always hoped to be a writer, I started mostly writing journal entries and things like that. I progressed to writing articles and features for magazines along with the occasional short story. I won awards for a few of my short stories and from there I broke into writing for anthologies and then editing some anthologies as well. On the non-fiction side, the features included interview pieces and I was fascinated by the process of writing and how the author’s own life became a part of the novel. I wanted to learn more about that process and so I decided to write a full-length biography of a mystery writer. 

What's your favorite thing about the writing process
Creating the first draft. I love meeting new people, creating new settings and learning about the plot that I’ve structured. It’s so much fun to see something that has been in my mind for weeks or months to finally come to the printed page. 

Do you have a writing routine?  
I write in the same place when I write. I converted one of the spare bedrooms in our house to an office. I write from here. I prefer morning to afternoons just because by the end of the day, I may be burdened with the things that happened. In the morning, I’m usually fresh and ready to go. 

Do you write every day
No, not every day. I try to write 3-4 times per week, sometimes more and sometimes less depending on what I’m working on. There are just some days that it won’t happen. I had pneumonia in October, and there were several days where I did nothing. I didn’t try to push myself, because I knew the work to fix what I wrote would be more than writing it from scratch when I felt better. 

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process
I wish I’d had more of a plan. I started out in short stories, then moved to biography and then to mystery fiction. I wish I’d put more time into thinking about what I wanted to do long-term in my writing career and spend less time going down blind alleys. 

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
I would definitely say editing. The minute changes that can be made at that level are wonderful, but at the same time, it’s difficult to go over the same page repeatedly. 

How often do you read? 
Daily. It’s my obsession. 

What books do you currently have published? 
Four short story anthologies, six novels, and five non-fiction books (biography and a how-to.) So 15. My math students would be proud of me. 

We don't talk about math around here! Is writing your dream job
Yes, it’s my dream job, but I don’t want it to be my only job. The inputs from the outside world are what give me ideas, characters, plot twists, and more for the books. Staying at home and writing all day removes me from those situations. I could go write at a coffee shop, but at most you’re still a spectator rather than an actor. I enjoy interacting with people and places in order to learn more. 

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? 
I actually worked as at a roller disco back in the 1970s, which will always be my worst job ever. It taught me the lyrics to about a dozen disco songs that I can still sing from memory today. But seriously, it was only a part-time after school job, and so it was more to make money to feed my book addiction than anything else. 

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors? 
The best marketing is organic. Go out, be yourself, and you’ll find that the readers will come to you. 

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be? 
The ACORN station on the Roku app. It’s my go-to station for finding something to watch. 

How often do you tweet
I try to tweet daily. Normally it’s just information on what’s going on in my life or funny things I see. And of course, the obligatory requests for people to buy my books. 

For what would you like to be remembered
I would like to be remembered for my writings, both the biographies and the novels. 

Would you make a good character in a book?
Probably not. I’m a bit neurotic, and the character would probably get on everyone else’s nerves. 

What’s one THING you never leave the house without?
Something to read. I also have something with me, in case I get stuck in traffic or at the doctor’s, etc. 

What do you love about where you live
I was born in a small town near the foothills of the Appalachians. I grew up in an area with lots of green space and rolling hills, and when we bought out a house, we ended up with a home that has many of the same aspects. It just feels like home. 

What's your favorite treat for movie night? 
Chocolate, any type of chocolate. 

What’s your favorite fast food? 
Cincinnati chili. It’s spaghetti, beans, meat sauce with some spices and it’s delicious (an acquired taste but delicious.) 

What’s your favorite beverage?
Iced tea, unsweetened. I can drink by the gallon. 

What is one of your happiest moments? 
Traveling always makes me happy. As much as I enjoy my life, I like to get away from time to time and see other parts of the country – and the world. So when I think of standing on the Pyramids, floating down the Nile, looking up at the Empire State Building, those things give me joy. 

What’s your least favorite chore? 

Without a doubt, it’s washing dishes. I’m not sure why that is. I don’t have a story or any deep insight into why I don’t like it, but it is by far the least popular chore at my house. 

Do you give your characters any of your bad traits
Sometimes I do. They say that you are most annoyed by the things in other people that you do not like about yourself. So adding these characteristics to others gives me a chance to work out my own feelings on the issue and why it annoys me. 

Do you procrastinate? 
All the time. I seem to be motivated by the fear of not getting things done. I’m sitting here with a list of nine things to do today. It’s 12:30, and I’ve done three of them. That means I’ll be doing the rest up until about 8pm tonight. 

What is your most embarrassing moment? 
While it’s entirely self-imposed, I am embarrassed beyond belief at reading my own works in public. I can read works by other people. I can read my own works to myself, but put an audience in front of me, and I turn red and stammer. I’m not sure why that is, but I’ve done it since I was young. 

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on? 
Actually, nothing. I’m thinking of the butterfly effect here. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at in my life now. So the thought of going back and changing one thing, or two things, or 17 things would likely make me a different person and in a different place than I am now. I’m not sure I’d like that. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Do or do not. There is no try."

What would your main character say about you? 
Stop goofing around and write the next book already. 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
Grandmother’s obituary, for obvious reasons. One of the bad things about being the writer in the family is that I get tasked with writing for the family. Not all of the assignments are fun. 

Who is your favorite fictional character? 
Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. You have to love anyone who can hold a grudge like that. Plus she is the poster child for lost opportunities. 

If you had a talk show who would your dream guest(s) be
Agatha Christie.

How do you like your pizza? 
With lots of meat and sauce and cheese. I like it messy. 

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop? 
My dogs. I vary them from time to time. Currently at home, it’s Ellery, my first Scottish terrier, and at school, it’s Archie who is the latest addition to the house. 

Describe yourself in 5 words. 
Generous, eclectic, scholarly, humorous, romantic.

Do you have a favorite book? 
East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I come back to that again and again to remind myself that I ultimately have the power t choose who I am going to be. 

What are you working on now? 
I am currently writing a biography of mystery author Ellery Queen, who was actually two cousins who collaborated for 40 years. It’s a bigger project than I had anticipated, mainly because I’m telling the stories of two people rather than the typical one person. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.
That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.
His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.
Connect with Jeffrey:  Website  |  Blog  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads 
Buy the  book:  Amazon

Monday, December 5, 2016

SPOTLIGHT: ROSIE GENOVA





Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen. Priced at .99, the e-book will be available on Amazon and most other retailers.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder!

ABOUT THE  BOOK

On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes . . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for her cozy series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries. Her debut, Murder and Marinara, was voted a Best Cozy of 2013 by Suspense Magazine and was a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. Her books have been described as blending “mystery with comedy, romance, family drama, a vivid and affectionate portrayal of the Jersey shore and…oh yes, cooking.” 

The proud mama of three grown sons, Rosie still lives in her home state with her husband and a charming mutt named Lucy. She also writes women's fiction as Rosemary DiBattista.

Connect with Rosie:

Website  |   Facebook   |   Goodreads  
Buy the book:
Amazon 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

COVER REVEAL: WITHIN THE ESSENCE





ABOUT THE BOOK

As the demons near, the Essences rise . . .

AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.

Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.

Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?


EXCERPT FROM WITHIN THE ESSENCE


Even though she wasn’t searching for a point of focus in her gazing, she soon found one. The insane stranger from the school’s parking lot was less than ten feet away and watching her.

AJ tensed, then twisted to sprint away, but his words kept her in place as he advanced.

“It wasn’t intuition,” he insisted. “Like it wasn’t adrenaline. Why won’t you believe me?”

By now, he was inches from her, and she still wouldn’t make eye contact.

“Look.” She cleared her throat after her voice cracked. “I don’t know who you are, or if you’re stalking me, or what, but you can’t just show up—”

“You’re in no danger. We’re in a hospital, complete with officers and security cameras, not to mention patients, staff, and concerned well-wishers.” His lips quirked into another grin. “No need to create witnesses this time.”

“Just leave me alone.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Why not?” Though she struggled to keep calm, emotion tainted her words.

He sighed tiredly. “The last time I told you why, you ran from me.”

“Because it was crazy talk!”

“As crazy as a girl who can hear whimpers from two floors up? I overheard all of that conversation earlier, and that’s not counting whatever else you experienced today. What will it take to convince you something’s different here?” Reaching out, he took her chin in his hand so he could gently force her to meet his gaze. “What can I say or do that will get you to listen to me?”

Part of her wanted to hear him. She couldn’t deny, regardless of trying, that life had devolved to things impossible over the last twenty-four hours.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.

Connect with Connie:
Website  |   Blog   |   Facebook   |    Goodreads   |     Twitter   |   Pinterest 


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Kobo

Thursday, December 1, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: KATE DYER-SEELEY


ABOUT THE BOOK

When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .

Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .






INTERVIEW WITH KATE DYER-SEELEY


Kate, do you have a writing routine?

Yes, I have a very strict routine. When I’m working on a new book I write 2,000 words every day. No exceptions. I don’t leave my office until I hit my word count. I think that writing is a bit like exercise. If you want to strengthen your writing muscles you have to work them out every day.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
I wish I would have known how valuable my relationships with other mystery writers have become. I’ve met so many incredible friends through writing. The act of writing is a solitary process which makes having connections with other writers extremely important. My writer friends are fabulous sounding boards when I’m stuck on a plot idea or when we’re brainstorming the best way to reach readers. I’ve found that collaborating with my fellow mystery writers has been really beneficial in growing our readership together, and saving our sanity when we’re pulling out our hair over copy edits. I would have joined Sisters in Crime and other writing organizations long before I got a book contract in hindsight. I think it’s a huge networking tool and it’s never too early to start building relationships.

Do you have any secret talents?
I know American Sign Language. My high school offered it as a foreign language, so I took it all through high school and college. I spent my summers interpreting, and my first job after I graduated from college was working in a deaf education program. These days I don’t use it very often so I’m pretty rusty, but it’s always fun when I bump into a former student and even readers at conferences and get to put it to use again.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
I’ve found it extremely successful to tie book launch events into the theme of my books. For example in the 4th book in the Pacific Northwest Mysteries the protagonist, Meg Reeds, runs her first mud run. For the launch event we are creating Meg’s race day stops. Readers will get to sample some of Meg’s race day favorites like mochas with extra whipping cream to give her a sugar rush, beer infused cupcakes, and post-race wine tasting. We’re also offering mini massages, a chat with a chiropractor, and book themed prizes and giveaways. It’s a great way to bring the pages to life and offer readers a preview of what’s to come. The same goes for social media giveaways. I share items inspired from the books with readers online.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
BBC! Or anything on Masterpiece.

How often do you tweet?

Not often enough. I just read that to reach the widest possible audience you should be tweeting at least three times a day. I’m lucky if I tweet three times a week. It’s on my list of things to improve in 2017.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I really enjoy connecting with readers on Facebook. I use it much more frequently than Twitter, in part because it feels like more of a conversation. My reader friends on Facebook have helped picked titles for new books, are amazing about spreading the word when a book releases, and are just fun to hang out with. It’s always stunning when I realize that I’m chatting with someone in New Zealand or London. I try to respond to as many comments as I can because I appreciate that a reader has taken the time to reach out to me.

Would you make a good character in a book?

I’ve always joked that I match my star sign perfectly. I’m a Gemini and most days I feel like I have a split personality. I think having a twin personality would make a compelling character and leave the reader constantly guessing.

What five things would you never want to live without?
Coffee
Books
Fresh air
Wide open spaces
Trees

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?

My epi pen. I’m allergic to bee stings and do a ton of hiking here in the Pacific Northwest. You never know when you might stumble upon a swarm of bees.

What do you love about where you live?
I live in Vancouver, Washington, right across the river from Portland, Oregon and not to be confused with Vancouver, Canada. I love living in and writing about the Pacific Northwest. The landscape is so vast and changing. You can drive any direction for an hour or two and end up at the coast, the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Mountains, or the high desert. There’s always somewhere new to explore. I think people tend to have an adventurous spirit out here in the west. Plus there’s a plethora of delicious coffee and microbrew!

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Peanut butter M&Ms.

What's the biggest lie you ever told?
When I was in 1st grade I used to make my Blue Bird troop march in a line behind me from school to my house for our weekly meetings. They didn’t enjoy marching (go figure) so I told them that my mom (our troop leader) made me line them up. Totally untrue! When they finally revolted and complained to my mom she was mortified and made me apologize and come clean. Apparently I was a bit of a dictator at a young age.


What’s your favorite beverage?

Coffee. I know it’s a cliché not only as a writer but also as NW native, but I love coffee pretty much any time of the day. I love a good rich dark chocolate mocha or a creamy latte, but I’m not picky I’ll drink just about anything coffee related that you put in front of me.


Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
A rock star! I love music, but cannot sing to save my life. I’ve always wanted to be able to sing but can’t stay in key.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Salsa, yogurt, an assortment of cheeses, celery, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and tons of La Croix sparkling waters.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

When I was in college I white water rafted over a 20 foot waterfall in New Zealand. Don’t ask why. I would never do that now, but Meg would!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

My first book was a memoir about losing my mom to young onset Alzheimer’s while becoming a mom for the first time. It was a gut-wrenching and painful process to dig up memories and piece her story together, but I’m so grateful for that book. It was definitely a huge part of my grief and healing process.

What are you working on now?
I’m working on the 5th book in the Pacific Northwest Mysteries, In Cave Danger. This time Meg is heading to the high desert in Central Oregon for a spelunking adventure deep underground.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Connect with Kate:

Website  |  Facebook  |  
Twitter  | 
Goodreads
Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indiebound




Friday, November 25, 2016

GUEST POST BY SARAH T. HOBART




ABOUT THE BOOK

As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.

Thanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.

When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.




GUEST POST BY SARAH HOBART


It’s been impossible to get anything done around here.

Not because of the spectacular fall weather, which on the North Coast tends more toward the “liquid sunshine” spectrum. We had record-setting rain in October, three roof leaks, and a body of water at the foot of our driveway that rivaled Lake Shasta. But that’s just business as usual when you live in a maritime climate.

Not because our year-long bathroom remodel means there’s a bathtub in the middle of the living room, a state of affairs that’s gone on so long it seems almost normal. You keep your tub in the bathroom? How odd.

Not because of the bitterly-fought election season. Don’t even get me started on that. If I could, I disappear into my writing room and emerge in 2020.
No, truth is, in a moment of weakness, I succumbed to the charms of . . . a puppy. And the sweet, sleepy, limpid-eyed bundle of golden fur I fell in love with has magically transformed into a dervish of sock-chewing, puddle-producing, middle-of-the-night-summoning boundless energy.

Last night I was up at one, then two, then again at three, at which point I gave up sleep as a lost cause and sprawled out in the tub with a book, Aggie the pup curled around my feet, until it was time for breakfast (two scoops of kibble and a cup of coffee).

My intentions were good, as they say. Our old retriever, Scout, was lonely. My boys pointed out that our animal family had dwindled over the last few years – such is the sad truth of companion animals, that they never live as long as our hearts need them to. A small dog, I thought, mature and sedate, would keep the old girl company. And then I met Limpid Eyes. It was all over in seconds. Before I knew what had hit me, I was naming her Agatha after my favorite author and stocking up on indestructible puppy toys, which she ignores in favor of leather Birkenstocks. At least her tastes are refined.

But it’s clear she’s an unqualified success in our household. It’s impossible to keep from smiling when there’s a puppy around. She plays hard and naps hard, except, of course, at night. She’s happy to trot up the street with the boys, proudly sporting her little purple harness, or curl up in a warm lap after an afternoon of digging up the garden – her preferred activity after her bath. She’s universally adored by everyone she meets.

Except, possibly, for Scout, whose peaceful afternoons dozing in the sun may at any moment be interrupted by a nip on the ear or a shrill bark inviting her to wake up and play. On several occasions, she’s firmly squashed Aggie’s overzealous enthusiasm, as a pack leader should. Other times, the two tear around the living room, barking at top volume until our ears ring. It’s bedlam.

I often wonder, especially around 2 a.m., why the whole notion of a second dog had seemed like a good idea.

Then yesterday I found my younger son curled up with the pup, his face buried in her fur. “I love you, Aggie,” he whispered.

Oh yeah. Now I remember.


ABOUT THE  AUTHOR




Sarah Hobart
 is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.

Buy the book:

Amazon   |   B&N

Monday, November 21, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: KEN McGORRY


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lyle Hall is a new man since his car accident and spinal injury. The notoriously insensitive Bridgehampton lawyer is now afflicted with an odd sensitivity to other people's pain. Especially that of a mysterious young girl he encounters outside a long-abandoned Victorian house late one October night. “Jewel” looks about 12. But Lyle knows she’s been dead a hundred years. Jewel wants his help, but it’s unclear how. As if in return, she shows him an appalling vision—his own daughter's tombstone. If it’s to be believed, Georgie’s last day is four days away. Despite Lyle’s strained relations with his police detective daughter, he’s shocked out of complacent convalescence and back into action in the real world.

But the world now seems surreal to the formerly Scrooge-like real estate lawyer. Lyle’s motion in court enjoining the Town of Southampton from demolishing the old house goes viral because he leaked that it might be haunted. This unleashes a horde of ghost-loving demonstrators and triggers a national media frenzy. Through it all strides Lyle’s new nemesis in high heels: a beautiful, scheming TV reporter known as Silk.

Georgie Hall’s own troubles mount as a campaign of stationhouse pranks takes a disturbing sexual turn. Her very first case is underway and her main suspect is a wannabe drug lord. Meanwhile, Lyle must choose: Repair his relationship with Georgie or succumb to the devious Silk and her exclusive media contract. He tells himself seeing Georgie’s epitaph was just a hallucination. But a few miles away the would-be drug lord is loading his assault rifle. Berto needs to prove himself.





INTERVIEW WITH KEN McGORRY


Ken, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?

Solitude. If they’d only just leave me alone!

Do you have a writing routine?
Try to: 8:30 am to 1:30pm.

Do you write every day?
Yes. This is writing, right?

Absolutely. What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Oh. Taken hostages.

What do you think is the hardest aspect of writing a book?
Plot. Characters are tremendous fun, I think, but they must have something to do.

What books do you currently have published?
Ghost Hampton. Smashed is on the way. (It’s about substance abusers in a rehab. And is funny. Sort of.)


What’s the oldest thing you own and still use?
My Dad’s watch.

Is writing your dream job?
Yes, if I can’t be a movie star.


What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?

Delivering orders for a pharmacy when I was 18. Do well in college.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
PBS. I watched Wolf Blitzer for a year last night.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I’m addicted to it, but don’t tell anyone. And it’s a great way to keep up with both far-flung and close-flung friends and relatives and in-laws.

What scares you the most?
No afterlife whatsoever.

Would you make a good character in a book?
Nah.

What five things would you never want to live without?
Hamburgers
Wine
The New York Times
My Jeep Wrangler
My gym membership (without that I can’t have the first two)

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
I never leave the house without cursing, because I’m always late for the next thing.

What do you love about where you live?
The changing seasons.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Popcorn!

What's the biggest lie you ever told?
My golf score.

What’s your favorite fast food?
Pizza.


What’s your favorite beverage?
Coffee.

What drives you crazy?
Medical commercials on TV.

What is your superpower?
I get premonitions but do not understand what they mean until later, when something really happens and it’s not a surprise.


Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.
Ad libbing. Faking niceness.


What do you wish you could do?
Time travel.

What is one of your happiest moments?
The birth of my second son. (Kidding! The first was a blast, too!)

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Smoke a cigar outside with a beer and text with old friends.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
The Caribbean. Anywhere in the Caribbean.

What would you name your autobiography?
Get it Right the First Time.

What’s your least favorite chore?
Pulling someone else’s hairs out of the shower drain. They’re definitely not mine.


Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
Movie. Rock is kind of over-rated. And sports . . . well, you know.


If you could be any movie star, sports star or rock star, who would you want to be?

Bruce Willis.


Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?

No! There’s nothing to give!

Have you ever killed off a character fictionally, as revenge for something someone did in real life?

No. I kill them off to see if readers are paying attention.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy?
TV announcers who are unable to enunciate.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Meat.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Left a New York City hospital with acute appendicitis.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Left a New York City hospital with acute appendicitis.

I guess I shouldn't be amazed at how many times those two answers go hand in hand. What is your most embarrassing moment?

Definitely that time on the bus. When the carload of teenage girls pulled up alongside.

What would your main character say about you?

“I love this guy.”

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

My hometown Manhasset Library. They’ve been very, very good to me. (So have the others, but they’re far away.)


Who is your favorite fictional character?
John Corey, by Nelson DeMille.

I like him too! 
If you had a talk show who would your dream guest be?
Elizabeth Banks.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
I’ve written a book called Ghost Hampton!


You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?
My last meal.


How do you like your pizza?
Crispy, with fresh tomato sauce, crumbled sausage and red pepper flakes.


What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

Can’t see it; too many icons and things.


Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m a caricaturist.  And I do vocal impersonations.


Describe yourself in 5 words.

Brave, courageous and bold. Very.

Cheater. 
What’s your favorite song?
“Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan.


What’s your favorite smell?
Bacon.


What’s your favorite color?
Blue.


What are your favorite foods?

French food: French toast, French fries, French’s Mustard.


What do others say about your driving?

Stop.


What’s your biggest pet peeve about writing?
Other people.


What is your favorite movie?
The Perfect Storm.


If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?

Get me outta here!


What are you working on now?

Ghost Hampton Harrier (it’s the sequel)!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken McGorry has been writing since third grade. (He learned in first grade but waited two years.) He started a school newspaper with friends in seventh grade, but he’s better known for his 23 years as an editor of Post Magazine, a monthly covering television and film production. This century, he took up novel-writing and Ghost Hampton and Smashed are examples. More are in the works, like the promised Ghost Hampton sequel, but he’s kinda slow.

Ken lives on Long Island with his wife and they have two strapping sons. There are dogs. Ken is also a chef (grilled cheese, and only for his sons), and he enjoys boating (if it’s someone else’s boat). He has a band, The Achievements, that plays his songs (try https://soundcloud.com/ken-mcgorry). Back at Manhattan College (English major!), he was a founding member of the venerable Meade Bros. Band. Ken really was an employee of Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons one college summer, and really did mow Dan’s lawn.

Connect with Ken:
Website     |  Facebook   |   Twitter  |   
Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon

Friday, November 18, 2016

GUEST POST BY FRANKIE BOW


ABOUT THE BOOK

Professor Molly Barda is thrilled to be included in a grant to investigate attitudes toward biotechnology. But she immediately finds herself embroiled in the deadly fight between big biotech and anti-GMO activists. When Molly and her best friend Emma Nakamura stumble onto the scene of a brutal murder, they realize that everyone has something to hide–and there are some questions you don’t ask.

The Professor Molly mysteries are the first campus murder mysteries set in Hawaii.





GUEST POST BY FRANKIE BOW


The most dangerous animal is not what you think


As a mystery author, I’m always on the lookout for death and danger, and the animal kingdom is a great place to find both. Nature, Tennyson reminds us, is “red in tooth and claw,” and a quick perusal of the Netflix catalog confirms that ferocious animals continue to capture our imagination. Sharks (Jaws), dogs (Cujo), giant snakes (Anaconda), birds (The Birds), bears (Grizzly), rats (Willard), even cockroaches (that episode of Creepshow . . . *shudder*).


But when it comes to human fatalities, none of these creatures holds a candle to deer.
That’s right, deer.


In the United States, deer rack up (ha!) 120 human deaths a year, on average. Bears, alligators and sharks murder a paltry one human per year, and rattlesnakes, those slackers, are responsible for 0.23 annual deaths.

So where’s the scary deer movie? Aside from this one scene from The Ring Two, there doesn’t seem to be anything.

Maybe it’s because deer don’t look that fierce.

Also, they aren’t really out to get us; we’ve expanded into their habitat, and most of the fatalities result from humans in cars running into them. The deer, it must be said, don’t benefit from these encounters any more than we humans do.

So would I consider a death-by-deer plotline? Sure.

It could even be seasonally appropriate.

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, and a perfectly nice office chair.

She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.


In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.








ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Connect with Frankie:
Webpage  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  LinkedIn 

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble