Monday, August 3, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: ABBY L. VANDIVER




ABOUT THE BOOK

Logan Dickerson is an archaeologist who feels she'll always live in the shadow of her famous mother. To prove her worth, she jumps the fence at a federally protected archaeological site. Not such a good idea. Now she's on the run from the FBI. Ending up in a small, coastal town in Georgia she discovers that one resident, Gemma Burke, has been found dead, keeled over in her bowl of bouillabaisse. Logan gets all tangled up in a big mystery, (and a little bit of romance), but the fun begins once she falls in cahoots with Miss Vivee, a ninety-something, five-foot-nothing Voodoo herbalist, and owner of a wheaten Scottish terrier named Cat. Of course the elderly sleuth, with Logan’s help, thinks she can solve the murder before the local sheriff can. Book I in the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Series

INTERVIEW WITH ABBY L. VANDIVER

Abby, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?
When the book is finished. I love seeing something I’ve created. Even unpublished, it’s quite fulfilling.

How long is your to-be-read list?
Miles and miles long! I can’t seem to catch up. I’m writing a lot lately, so I have less time to write, but I’m always seeing books that I want to read. I’ll either have to slow down writing, or stop buying so many book, otherwise my Kindle Fire might just catch fire.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
I sell only on Amazon, so I can tell you about that. I think that it’s important to get your books on one of the bestseller’s list. Visibility is so important in a sea of millions of authors, and if you’re on the list, people looking for books will see yours. Now getting there is quite a different game.

How long have you been a writer?

Ever since I found out I could write. That was about thirty years ago.

For what would you like to be remembered?
For being a nice and helpful person.

YouTube is . . .
Is a great place for me to find the music that I love from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Yes, I am showing my age! I miss that kind of music, and on YouTube I can not only listen to it, but see all the great artists in action. It’s great, especially since a lot of them are no longer with us.

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
No. I don’t swear. Well, hardly ever. When I was younger I really never did, but my mother cussed like a sailor, and after she died I think some of her spirit came to rest within me because I’ve picked up some of her habits (basically only the ones I always complained about). So, to be truthful you might find a dusty nickel or penny in the jar.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert. I can talk to anyone, about anything. And I usually do.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?

Equal amount. I love to shop and while I’m at the mall, I love to eat.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
My marriage.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Not that I speak in respect of want for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11

What would your main character say about you?
The main character in my first series would say “She’s just like me.” In my cozy mystery series, the main character would say, “She acts just like my mother.”

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
My favorite library is in South Euclid (where I live) and I love everything about it. It’s located inside an old mansion. It has beautiful grounds, great books, book sales all the time and lots of computers. Actually, I love almost any library. (And I love the post office, but I guess that’s an answer for another set of questions.)


What's your relationship with your cell phone?

I can never find it. Have you seen it? I love my home phone.


How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Eight hours. That’s very important, you know.

Do you sweat the small stuff?

Never. I don’t worry about little things. Too many big things in life you gotta deal with.

If you had to choose a cliche about life, what would it be?
“Life is short.” The older I get, the more I understand that.

How long is your to-do list?

It grows daily.


What are you working on now?
Another book, of course.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Cake
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray
Emailing or texting? Texting
Indoors or outdoors? Indoors
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet
Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Through her various occupations, Abby discovered her love of writing. She’d always been told she had a gift for telling stories, combining the two, she became an author.

Her debut novel, the mystery/sci-fi, In the Beginning, Book I in the Mars Origin “I” Series was an Amazon #1 bestseller. It was written on a whim, packed away, and rediscovered some twelve years later. After publishing it in 2013, Abby decided to make writing a full-time endeavor. She's penned four novels since – two additional stand-alone novels to the Mars Origin Series, a historical/women’s fiction novel that she co-wrote under the pen name Kathryn Longino, and her first cozy mystery, Bed & Breakfast Bedlam, Book I in the Logan Dickerson Cozy Mystery Series, an Amazon International #1 Bestseller. Book II, Coastal Cottage Calamity was released on June 17, 2015, and Book III in her cozy mystery series during the summer of 2015. Abby, a former lawyer and college professor, has a bachelor’s degree in Economics, a master’s in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor. A lifetime resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Abby spends all of her time writing and enjoying her three wonderful grandchildren.

Connect with Abby:
Website  | 
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  
Goodreads  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: NANCY COLE SILVERMAN




ABOUT THE BOOK

When Carol Childs is called to the scene of a body dump she has no idea she’s about to uncover a connection to a string of missing girls. Young, attractive women drawn to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood via an internet promise of stardom and romance have been disappearing. A judge’s daughter leaves behind a clue and a trip down Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame reveals a connection to a high powered real estate mogul and to a cartel targeting girls for human trafficking.

Old Hollywood has its secrets, its impersonators and backdoor entrances to old speakeasies and clubs where only those with the proper credentials can go. And when Carol Childs gets too close, she finds herself politically at odds with powers that threaten to undue her career and like the very girls she’s seeking, disappear. 


INTERVIEW WITH NANCY COLE SILVERMAN 


What’s the story behind the title of your book?

There’s a theme behind most of my work. While the story behind Beyond a Doubt is about a middle-age female reporter who is called to the scene of a body dump and finds herself drawn into an investigation concerning a serial murder, the actual sub-plot is equally as compelling. Carol Childs is like any working woman. She has a busy life and troubles at home as well as the type of work related issues women face every day. She has a challenging relationship with her boss, competition among her fellow reporters and relationship issues with her FBI boyfriend that constantly cloud and challenger her role as a reporter. These are nuances that after twenty years in broadcasting I like to bring to the forefront of every book I write. I think it makes more interesting for the reader to be aware of some of the behind the scene issues that dictate the reporting of a story and it also makes for a more well-rounded character.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Beyond a Doubt is the second of the Carol Childs mysteries. While it’s not necessary to read the first of the series, Shadow of Doubt, I think it’s helpful for readers to have that understanding of who Carol is. My goal is to show her growing in self-confidence and in her ability as a reporter with each book. 

Where’s home for you?
I was born in Seattle, Washington, the wettest state in the union, grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, certainly the hottest, and spent four very formative years in Europe while in my early twenties, before coming to Los Angeles in the late seventies. After nearly forty years, there are some people who would say that makes me a LA native. I like that. LA’s home to me.

If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Definitely wine. I live in wine country and good bottle of wine with cheese and friends is my idea of a perfect party. 

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
I studied journalism, both broadcast and print, in college. I think I had some great instructors who taught me to think both creatively and analytically. I feel very fortunate to have studied under them.

Who would you pick to write your biography?
My mother. She’s been my biggest advocate and constantly cheered me on.  It would no doubt be a little biased, but hey, I’ll take it.

What is your most embarrassing moment?
I’m a magnet for embarrassing moments. If something can go wrong and in a big way, with lots of on-lookers, it happens to me. Fortunately I have a sense of humor and I’ve used a lot of my more embarrassing moments in my books. For instance, the bathtub scene in Shadow of Doubt, when Carol is in the tub with Eric; it happened. Enough said. Read the book.

How did you meet your spouse?
I was applying for a job as a copywriter. My husband walked in the door and I knew the minute I saw him I couldn’t work for him. I liked him. Right away. I didn’t think it would be a good idea for be working for someone I knew I might end up dating. So we went to lunch instead. The rest is history.

What’s your favorite line from a book?
I’ve got several, but definitely the opening for Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener:  

"I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean. The infinite specks of coral we called islands. Coconut palms nodding gracefully toward the ocean. Reefs upon which waves broke into spray, and inner lagoons, lovely beyond description. I wish I could tell you about the sweating jungle, the full moon rising behind the volcanoes, and the waiting. The waiting. The timeless, repetitive waiting."

How did you create the plot for this book?
I live in the Hollywood Hills, just up from the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Boulevard with the Hollywood Walk of Stars and a lot of the hip nightclubs. I was curious about the scene and started doing a little research when I stumbled across a story about missing girls. Beyond a Doubt is based up those girls that go missing that come in search of bright lights, fame, and fortune and find something else entirely.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
I think it’s difficult to create character totally from scratch and not have them appear like a cliché. Often, when I have an idea for a character, I’ll try to remember someone I’ve known with traits similar to the character I’m working on. In Beyond a Doubt, the Mad Dr. Diamond was a combination of several self-destructive, ego driven men I’d met. I have to admit I had a lot fun with the dialog between Carol and Dr. Mad.

Is your book based on real events?

Some of them may appear similar to actual events. But most are manufactured, made-up, smoothed out, and perhaps sanitized for my readers.

Are you like any of your characters?
My protagonist, Carol Childs, is loosely based upon my own experiences while working at a talk radio station in Los Angeles. I think Carol’s story, like my own, is very similar to a lot of single working moms who try to have it all. There are highs and there are lows, but most of the time it’s a struggle just to find the balance. I don’t believe it is possible to have it all. Not all the time and that’s part of what I like to explore in my books. My characters stumble, fall, and sometimes soar, but nothing is forever.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
I’d pull the paper out from under them before they had a chance. 

Ha! That's great! Who are your favorite authors?
Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Sue Grafton, Dean Koontz, Steven King, Scott Turow, Jeffrey Archer, Janet Evonovich, Gillian Flynn, Harlan Coben, Margaret Mitchell, James Mitchner. I could go on. 

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I just finished the Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I try to alternate my reading with books for the New York Times Best Seller list with smaller titles from boutique publishers. 

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?

Uninterrupted time. I could wish I could read faster and have more time to do it.

Do you have a routine for writing?
I never write for word count. I know a lot of authors who boast about how much they’ve written and how quickly they’ve done it. For me it’s all about writing scenes. I like to write early in the morning, take a break, come back and rewrite in the afternoon. I generally spend four to five hours a day at my computer. I challenge myself to write a scene. Then move on to the next. 

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I like to write at home. I’ve got a great home office. It was my youngest son’s bedroom before he went off to college, and once he announced he wasn’t coming home, I reworked it as my office. It’s bright, airy, and big enough for me to have a couch, desk and large table where I stack books to read and materials I like to have around me.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?

I think the best compliment I’ve received is from readers who tell me reading my work is like seeing something happen in front of them. I used to write for radio, everything from news, commercials to late night mystery theater plays. Good radio is theater of the mind.  It’s different than writing for TV because there are no pictures. The writer must create the sound, picture, and feeling in the listener’s mind. It’s the same thing with the blank page and when someone tells me they see it in their mind, I feel I’ve successfully made the transition.  

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
The hardest thing I ever had to write was a eulogy for a friend of mine who died from Agent Orange, years after the Vietnam War. He was far too young. We’d been working together at KCBS in Los Angeles, and he died in the prime of life. I remember him telling me dying wasn’t about coming to the end of one’s life, but about living, every day to the fullest, and not just for yourself but for those around you, as well. At the end, he died with dignity. I didn’t know until much later, but when he knew he was dying he had a very private talk with his doctor. His doctor was a single man and my friend was worried about leaving his wife. It turned out he set his wife up with him. Sometime after he died they married. It was a very tender love story. He was an amazing man and a good friend. I’ll never forget him. He was a true hero.

How did you find Henery Press, and how long did your query process take?
I’m thrilled to be working with Henery Press. I’ve heard horror stories about other publishers, but Henery is easy to work with, they allow me complete creative freedom and they are very supportive. 

I was lucky to find them when they were starting out several years ago. A writer-friend who also was a member of my Sisters in Crime, a mystery writers group I belonged to, introduced me. Before that, I was meeting agents at writers’ conventions and getting good feedback, but no deals. I think hanging out with writers, attending conventions and making personal contact is what finally did it for me. 

What are you working on now?
I’m working on the third book in the Carol Childs mystery series, Without a Doubt. I also have a number of short stories I’ve written, and when this book is done, I plan to get back to writing more of them as well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy credits her 25 years in radio for helping her to develop an ear for storytelling. In 2001, she retired from news and copywriting to write fiction full time. Much of what she writes is pulled from behind the headlines of actual events that were reported on from some Los Angeles busiest radio newsrooms where she spent the bulk of her career. In the last ten years, she has written numerous short stories and novelettes some on which have won awards and/or been picked up for publication. Currently she has three audio books with MindWings Audio. Since that time, she has signed a contract with Henery Press to write the Carol Childs Mystery Series. The first, Shadow of Doubt, debuted in December 2014, and the second, Beyond a Doubt just came out.

Connect with Nancy:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  



Friday, July 31, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: JIM WEBSTER




ABOUT THE BOOK

Benor arrives in Port Naain intent on the simple task of producing a handbook for merchants. Then there is a murder, and a vengeful family who will stop at nothing to silence those who found the body. Suddenly Benor’s life is no longer simple.

This is the first of a series of ‘detective’ short stories (about 20,000 words) featuring the popular fantasy character Benor.




INTERVIEW WITH JIM WEBSTER

Jim, how did you get started writing and when did you become an “author?”
I’ve been a farmer and freelance journalist for an awful long time now, but it was 2011 when I first started writing fiction. (Some of the more sarcastic might comment that my analysis of the Common Agricultural policy smacked of fantasy fiction so in my defense I will merely comment that life imitates art.)

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
It’s the journey, the sense of exploration. I sort of have an idea about where I’m going but the scenery on the route is fascinating.

What books do you currently have published?
Swords for a Dead Lady,

 Dead Man Riding East, The Flames of the City, Learning a Hard Trade. These four are available in paperback from 1st August, having been out as e-books for a while.
The Cartographer’s Apprentice
And for SF with a different publisher:
Justice 4.1
War 2.2

And now Flotsam or Jetsam.

Can you share some of your marketing strategies with us?
I listened to a lot of people and nothing I’m going to say is new or unique to me.

The first is to have a lot of books out there for people to buy. People seem to like an author who has a number of books. So now I’ve got six or seven.

The second is something new. Rather than full books, I decided I’d try an experiment. I’ve written six, 20,000 word short stories. They’re fantasy detective stories. Together they’re known as The Port Naain Intelligencer. Each has its own title, so the first is "Flotsam or Jetsam." All six have been written, edited and are ready. The cunning plan is that they’ll come out, regular as clockwork, so people can rely on them.

Hopefully this will ‘build momentum.’ I’ll drop round later and tell you if it’s worked.

The third thing is to reach out beyond your obvious audience and work with other competent professionals. An example of this is a slim pamphlet called ‘Lambent Dreams’ I have produced with my editor, Mike Rose-Steel. He borrowed a character of mine and wrote poems for him. I had my character write the social and historical background to the poems and then Mike invented another, rival, poet to write the literary criticism.

It is already published by Spindlebox Press as a slim, 28-page hand-sewn 
pamphlet. This is traditional within the poetry genre. But as soon as I get time, I'm sticking it on Amazon where it'll be free for a week or so, around and about 1st August. 
My hope is that by leaving it free and encouraging you to download it, I might just get number one Amazon slot for the same book in fantasy, poetry, and literary criticism. It may not a particularly worthy ideal, but you must admit it just has to be tried!

The fourth is simple: word of mouth. One reason we’ve gone for paperback as well is that you can stand there and show people something, sell them it in the street.

You have a day job . . . how do you find time to write?
Because my two day jobs are farming and freelance journalism, I’m lucky. There are times with farming I have time to think, to plan out a book. Freelance journalism has taught me to write quickly, reliably and not to be precious about what I’ve written, but to accept editor’s comments with good grace.

How often do you tweet?
I confess that about the only time I tweet is when automatic systems from Facebook or Wordpress tweet for me. I don’t actually look at my Twitter feed every month.

How do you feel about Facebook?
It’s okay. You can waste a lot of time there, but it has got me back in touch with people I somehow lost touch with. If you regard it as a way to keep in touch with people and to mention what you’ve just written, it’s fine. If you just want to use it to sell books it’s probably a waste of time.

For what would you like to be remembered?
If they say, “Jim? Yeah, he was a nice guy, I liked him,” then I’ll be happy.

YouTube is . . .
Fun at times
                                   
3D movies are . . . 
I’ve never been to one. On the rare occasions I go to the cinema, I go with my daughter, and as 3D makes her seasick, we don’t do them. So I’d say over-rated.

If you had a swear jar, would it be full?
Depends how often you’re going to empty it. I’m filling it less quickly than I used to.

What's your relationship with your TV remote?
Lost it ten years ago.

Do you spend more on clothes or food?
I’m male. I don’t buy clothes every year.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Just going to the cinema with my daughter. We don’t get to do it more than once a year.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
I asked this lass to marry me. Fortunately, she said yes.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
It’s a comment made by Plato. “This city is what it is because our citizens are what they are.”

What would your main character say about you?
I doubt he’d remember me if you asked him.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
I had to do the talk for a Remembrance Sunday service. Writing it and then giving it left me utterly drained.


You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Richard Hannay. (From Thirty-nine steps and several other books.)

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing?
Somebody once described an article I did as "ignorant and ill-informed."

How did you deal with it?
I just went in and banked the cheque. The magazine editor was pleased I’d stirred up discussion.


Who would you invite to a dinner party if you could invite anyone in the world?
I’m not a dinner party person, but if we’re allowed anybody, living or dead, I’ve always said I’d love to spend a lazy afternoon in a taverna on a Greek Island with Herodotus.

What's your relationship with your cell phone?
Great. It lives switched off in a drawer because we don’t get signal round here.


How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Seven.

What is your favorite movie?
Disney, the animated version of Peter Pan.

Do you have a favorite book?
Bad to be definitive, I like the work of Jack Vance, but Lord of the Rings is probably the individual book that I’d take to the desert island.

How about a favorite book that was turned into a movie? Did the movie stink?
Actually, I thought they did the films pretty well.
 
How long is your to-do list?
I long ago gave up keeping one.


What are you working on now?
I’m editing a short, 7,000-word short story for the Port Naain Intelligencer series. This one will be given away as a freebie at some point.

Lightning round:
Cake or frosting? Cake
Laptop or desktop? Desktop
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? I had to Google both of them to find out who they were.
Emailing or texting? Email, I don’t text.
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors.
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Coffee.
Doesn't count! Plane, train, or automobile? Walking.

OTHER BOOKS BY JIM WEBSTER:

Swords for a Dead Lady
Dead Man Riding East 


The Flames of the City
Learning a Hard Trade
Four are available in paperback from 1st August:
The Cartographer’s Apprentice
Justice 4.1
War 2.2


Get a free download of Lambert Dreams here.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Webster is probably fifty something, his tastes in music are eclectic, and his dress sense is rarely discussed in polite society. In spite of this he has a wife and three daughters.
He has managed to make a living from a mixture of agriculture, consultancy, and freelance writing. Previously he has restricted himself to writing about agricultural and rural issues but including enough Ancient Military history to maintain his own sanity. But seemingly he has felt it necessary to branch out into writing SF and fantasy novels.

He lives in South Cumbria.

Connect with Jim:
Website  |  
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  Goodreads

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

GUEST POST BY MARIS SOULE



ABOUT THE BOOK

P.J. Benson knows Sheriff’s Detective Wade Kingsley wouldn’t blow up his own boat to kill his ex-wife and her new husband, Michael Brewster. Sure, Wade wasn’t happy that his ex was taking their six-year-old son, Jason, to live in California, but Wade and Jason were also onboard the boat when it blew up. Wade would never have endangered his son that way. Nevertheless, the investigating detectives consider Wade their prime suspect, and Wade’s ex in-laws loudly accuse him and threaten to file for custody of Jason. 

Under the circumstances, P.J. is certain this isn’t the right time to tell Wade she’s pregnant, but bouts of morning sickness give her away. Wade is upset by the news. P.J. wonders if it’s because he’s afraid he’ll be put in prison for a double homicide he didn’t commit, or if he’s afraid the new baby will cause P.J. to become schizophrenic, as was the case with her mother. Even P.J. is worried about that. Although Wade doesn’t want her playing detective, P.J. soon discovers that Michael Brewster wasn’t as great a guy as everyone thought. But did anyone hate the man enough to kill him?


GUEST POST BY MARIS SOULE

I like visiting new places, but I also love writing about areas I know. Eat Crow and Die takes place in three locations that I’m quite familiar with.

Zenith, Michigan may be a fictitious village, but most of the residents of Climax, Michigan and the area around that village (where I lived for 27 years) recognize the businesses as those they pass every time they go through town. The grocery store in Climax went out of business a few years ago, but the one in Zenith is still there. My main character, P.J. Benson, often meets neighbors and friends at the store. And I remember getting my hair cut at the beauty parlor near the town’s only restaurant and bar. If ever a neighbor coming out of the beauty parlor saw me going into that bar with a stranger, I know it would be all over town within an hour. P.J. also knows that’s true.

When P.J. drives Wade to South Haven to view where his boat exploded and sank, it was easy for me to write about the traffic jams they encountered. During the summer, I’m constantly dealing with the out-of-state drivers, beach goers, and waits for the drawbridge.

We had a boat explode not far from our boat slip. That was a totally different situation from what I created in Eat Crow and Die, but the pictures of that boat burning and the news articles about the passengers who were tossed into the water from the blast certainly triggered my imagination. I knew I had to start Eat Crow and Die with Wade’s boat exploding. (Poor Wade.)

I’ve been in the hospitals in Kalamazoo, and in the casinos that have sprung up in southwest Michigan. It was fun to weave both of those locations into P.J.’s quest to discover who blew up Wade Kingsley’s boat, how it was accomplished, and why?

I hope those who enjoy a mystery with a touch of humor will find Eat Crow and Die a pleasure to read.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maris Soule has been writing for over 30 years. Prior to switching to mysteries, Soule had 25 category romances published and is a two-time RITA finalist. In addition to A Killer Past, Soule has three published mysteries in her P.J. Benson Mystery series (The Crows, As the Crow Flies, and Eat Crow and Die).

Born and raised in California, Soule was working on a master’s degree at U.C. Santa Barbara when a redhead with blue eyes talked her into switching from a Masters to a Mrs. He also talked her into moving to Michigan, where over the years they’ve raised two children and a slew of animals. The two now spend their summers near Lake Michigan and their winters in Florida.

Connect with Maris:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Monday, July 27, 2015

SHOWCASE ON: DROP DEAD PUNK


ABOUT THE BOOK

Coleridge Taylor is searching for his next scoop on the police beat. The Messenger-Telegram reporter has a lot to choose from on the crime-ridden streets of New York City in 1975. One story outside his beat is grabbing all the front page glory: New York teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, and President Ford just told the city, as the Daily News so aptly puts it, "Drop Dead." Taylor's situation is nearly as desperate. His home is a borrowed dry-docked houseboat, his newspaper may also be on the way out, and his drunk father keeps getting arrested.
A source sends Taylor down to Alphabet City, hang-out of the punks who gravitate to the rock club CBGB. There he finds the bloody fallout from a mugging. Two dead bodies: a punk named Johnny Mort and a cop named Robert Dodd. Each looks too messed up to have killed the other. Taylor starts asking around. The punk was a good kid, the peace-loving guardian angel of the neighborhood's stray dogs. What led him to mug a woman at gunpoint? And why is Officer Samantha Callahan being accused of leaving her partner to die, even though she insists the police radio misled her? It's hard enough being a female in the NYPD only five years after women were assigned to patrol. Now the department wants to throw her to the wolves. That's not going to happen, not if Taylor can help it. As he falls for Samantha – a beautiful, dedicated second-generation cop – he realizes he's too close to his story. Officer Callahan is a target, and Taylor's standing between her and some mighty big guns.

EXCERPT FROM DROP DEAD PUNK

NOTE: FROM UNCORRECTED PROOF (ARC):
The great headlines of other newspapers were always to be despised. Not today.


The three ancient copy editors were on their feet, with Copydesk Chief Milt Corman in the middle. Taylor stopped his walk through the newsroom to find out why. If someone had made a mistake, it must be a colossal one to get those fat asses out of their seats. He looked over Corman’s shoulder. The copy chief held the Daily News. It was that day’s edition, Oct. 30, 1975. The 144-point front-page headline screamed up from the page.

FORD TO CITY:
DROP DEAD

Corman rattled the paper violently. “That’s a work of art. Tells the whole story in five words. He gave the city the finger yesterday.”

Jack Miller, one of the other old farts, moved back to his seat. You could only expect him to stand for so long. He settled into his chair for another day of slashing copy. “What do you expect from our unelected president? Veepee to Nixon. Goddamned pardoned Robert E. Lee two months ago.”

“Didn’t pardon him. Gave him back his citizenship.”


“Same thing. The barbarians are running the country and now they’re at our gates. We’re the biggest, most important city on the planet, and he’s going to leave us hanging to get himself actually elected to the job.”

Corman flipped open the paper to the Ford speech story across pages four and five. “Just listen to this bullshit. ‘I am prepared to veto any bill that has as its purpose a Federal bailout of New York City to prevent a default.’ He blathers on about using the uniform bankruptcy laws. On and on and on. How do you police the streets and pick up garbage under the uniform bankruptcy laws? A Federal judge trying to run the whole damn city? Chaos.”

“Ford’s from Grand Rapids.” Miller shook his big round head. “He doesn’t know from anything about this place. He’s talking to all the flatlanders — a nation that hates us.”


“Will you listen to this at the end? ‘If we go on spending more than we have, providing more benefits and more services than we can pay for, then a day of reckoning will come to Washington and the whole country just as it has to New York City. When that day of reckoning comes, who will bail out the United States of America?’ He’ll kill this city to keep his job.” Corman looked from the paper to Taylor. “You’re the crime reporter. Why don’t you go after this? Write the story about the man who murdered New York.”

Taylor laughed. “You can’t kill New York.”

“Rome fell.”

“Rome wasn’t New York. You know this is the same political bullshit. Made up numbers and budget magic and threats from Washington. New York will still be here long after. It’s a great headline, though. You guys should try writing ’em like that.”

He left the horseshoe copy desk before they could protest that wasn’t the style of the New York Messenger-Telegram. He knew all too well the three of them would kill to be headline writers at the Daily News. That paper wasn’t perpetually on the verge of failing like the MT.

Taylor gave New York’s financial crisis about thirty seconds more thought as he wound his way around the maze of the newsroom. To him, the crisis was background noise. The city had become a dark place since the Sixties decided to end early, round about 1968. Crime lurked in the darkness, and he covered crime. He was too busy with New York’s growth industry to pay attention to the mayor’s budget problems.

Heroin everywhere.

Corruption in the police department.

Buildings in the South Bronx torched by the block.

Those were the stories he went after, not failed bond sales and blabbering politicos. Problem was the damn financial story had pushed everything else off the MT’s front page. Taylor hadn’t had a decent story out there in three weeks. He needed the quick hit of a page one byline, needed it particularly bad this morning. The cops had called him at home last night. Not about a story this time. They’d arrested his father, reeling drunk in his underwear outside his apartment building. Taylor had been up until three a.m. dealing with that mess. A good story — a good story that actually got decent play — and a few beers after to celebrate. Now that would pick him up. For a day or two at least.

Make the calls. Someone’s got to have something. Now that Ford’s had his say, there must be room on page one.

He’d almost slipped past the city desk when Worth called out his name. Taylor tried to pretend he hadn’t heard and kept going, but Worth raised his high-pitched voice and just about yelled. Taylor turned and went back to the pristine maple-topped desk of City Editor Bradford J. Worth, Jr.

“I’ve got an assignment for you.”

That was always bad news. “Haven’t made my calls yet.”

“Doesn’t matter. Need you down at City Hall.”

Taylor brightened. Crime at City Hall. A murder? That would be big.

“What’s the story?” He sounded enthusiastic. He shouldn’t have.

“You’re to go to the pressroom and wait for announcements. Glockman called in sick.”

“C’mon, Worth. Not babysitting. You’ve got three other City Hall reporters.” Who’ve owned the front page for weeks.

“They’re all very busy pursuing the most important story in this city’s history. Your job is to sit at our desk in the pressroom and wait for the mayor to issue a statement on Ford’s speech. Or the deputy mayor. Or a sanitation worker. Or a cleaning lady. Anybody says anything, you phone it in. Rumor is they’re working on using city pension funds.”

Worth’s phone rang, and he picked up. “Yeah, I’m sending Taylor down. No, he’ll do for now.” He set the receiver lightly on its hook. “You’ve been down in the dumps since your friend Laura left us. Was it her going or the fact she got a job at the New York Times? Because you’ll never get there, not with the way you dodge the biggest stories.”

“Hey, you and I are both still here.”

Worth frowned. Ambition rose off the man like an odor as strong as the cologne he wore. He’d made city editor at thirty without ever working as a reporter. Everyone knew he wanted more, and to him, more meant the New York Times. He’d almost been as upset as Taylor when Laura Wheeler announced she had the gig, and Worth wasn’t the one in love with Laura. He had been sure he was leaving next.

“Both here, but I’m the one doing his job. Now get to City Hall.”

“You have to be able to find someone else.” Exasperation through grit teeth. “Crime is big for this paper.”

“I decide what’s big.” He picked up the phone, dialed an inside extension, and showed Taylor his back.

Sitting at City Hall waiting for a press release was the perfect way to ruin Taylor’s day, something the city editor liked doing so much it had become a bad habit.

Taylor arrived at his own desk to find the other police reporters gone, probably making their rounds.

The desk that had been Laura’s reminded him of her — of her dark brown eyes, her black hair, her beautiful face. She’d left an aching emptiness inside him. They’d lasted a month after she’d moved to the New York Times, and then she’d broken it off. She said she realized the only thing they had in common was the MT. She hadn’t been mean about it. And she wasn’t wrong. The paper had been their life during the day and their conversation at night. He wondered if it also had to do with his age, 34, and where he was — or wasn’t — in life. He pushed his hand through his short brown hair. He’d even found himself considering his thin, angular face, something he’d never done before. Was that it? Laura was beautiful. Taylor couldn’t think of a word for what he was.

He recently heard she’d started dating a guy on the foreign staff, Derek something. He wondered how old Derek was. Late twenties and optimistic, he guessed, unbowed by life. From a good family too, probably. It was always going to end. So why did it hurt like this?

Truth was Taylor had been living with emptiness for years before he met her. Over that time, he’d gotten used to it, let the job fill his life. Only, having her and losing her made him understand how much he disliked this lonely hole inside.

Really should leave right away.

The black phone in front of him was too much temptation. Worth couldn’t see Taylor from the city desk. He picked up the receiver, pushed the clear plastic button for an outside line, and dialed the number for Sidney Greene at 1 Police Plaza. Greene was perhaps the most discontented, dyspeptic minor civil servant Taylor had ever encountered. He leaked stories not to expose injustice or right a wrong, but to screw his bosses. He simply loved watching them deal with the chaos he created by tipping off Taylor.

“Anything up?”

“Oh, a real shit show. Officer down.”

Taylor flipped open a notebook. Even in the midst of this dark age of drugs, muggings, and homicides, a police officer murdered was still a big story. A page one story. “Where and when?”

“Avenue B and East Eighth, just in from Tompkins Square Park.”

“What happened?”

“That’s all I can do for you. They’re doing the headless chicken dance down here. You’ll be ahead of the others if you get to the scene quick. Not by much, though.”

Taylor left the newsroom for the Lower Eastside. He’d check for press releases at City Hall after visiting the scene of the cop’s murder. Worthless would have his head if he missed even one minor announcement. Screw it. Taylor couldn’t ignore a big story. A real story.

He hustled from the subway across the blocks to the crime scene. The day offered near perfect New York fall weather, with the air crisp and clear, tingling with energy. He unwrapped a stick of Teaberry gum and stuck it in his mouth. The temperature had dropped from yesterday’s high of 70 and would only make it into the mid-fifties today. Jacket weather—Taylor’s favorite. Not so hot he broke into a sweat on a good walk, and cool but not cold—he wasn’t fighting the brutal winds of winter that blasted down the avenues. Easy weather put New Yorkers at ease. He could sense it as he walked. More smiles. Sidewalk trees even showed off muted reds and gold. Taylor knew it was nothing like the color upstate but it would do.

Taylor’s press pass got him inside the cluster of patrol cars guarding the ambulance. A couple of fire engines had also rolled to the scene, which was a dilapidated brownstone with half its windows boarded, a missing door, and a huge hole in the roof. The place was a true Lower Eastside wreck in a neighborhood where hard luck meant you were doing pretty well for yourself.

Taylor climbed the cracked front steps. A “Condemned Building” sign was nailed to the open door. The first floor had few interior walls, only piles of rubble from when the roof had come down, bringing chunks of the next three floors with it. The smell of must mingled with the stink of garbage. Two uniformed and four plainclothes police stood around a uniformed body sprawled across a pile of plaster chunks and wood slats in the middle of what was once probably a living room. Off to the right in the front corner was a second body, guarded by no one.

Seeing an opportunity, Taylor moved closer to the body in the corner. The man, young and apparently startled by death, had taken one shot to the chest and one in the leg. Blood soaked a black T-shirt printed with big white letters Taylor couldn’t read unless he adjusted the man’s leather jacket, which was also covered in blood. The man’s heart must have pumped his life’s blood out in minutes. Faster maybe. His right hand was on his stomach and clutched a green leather purse with a gold chain strap. Taylor knew better than to touch anything. Instead, he leaned in and was met by the iron and musk odor of blood. The top of the man’s hand was tattooed with a spiral pattern, an eye at its center. The fingers were inked with the bones of a skeleton, like an X-ray of what lay beneath the dead man’s skin.

The face was young — twenties, probably early twenties — bony and pale, with a tattoo of a spider web that started below the shirt line and crept up his neck to his chin and right ear. His hair was short and spiky, in the punk style—as was his whole look. Many of them had recently moved into this neighborhood to be near the punk rock club CBGB and the other bars that were the heart of the punk rock scene. Many were squatters.

“Don’t touch nothin’.” A short chunky cop with a gold badge in his belt walked over.

“I’d never do that, Detective.” Taylor rose from his crouch.

“I’m very sorry about the loss of an officer.”

“Yeah, thanks. And who the f*#k are you?”

“Taylor with the Messenger-Telegram.” Taylor tapped the laminated pass.


“The Empty, huh? Read it sometimes. At least you’re not the f*#king Times. I hate those pricks.”

Five years since the New York Times interviewed Serpico and broke the story of massive corruption in the NYPD, and the paper was still on every cop’s shit list. At the time, Taylor had gone crazy trying to follow the Times’ scoops. He’d admired what the Times had done and hated being behind on such a big story. He didn’t need to tell the detective that, though. It was fine with him if the man liked the Messenger-Telegram. Taylor himself liked cops, the honest kind at least. When he’d started at the paper, police reporters were almost cops themselves. Or adjuncts, at least. They helped the police, publicizing successes, ignoring failures and drinking in the same places. Not anymore. Trust had been lost, and it wasn’t going to be won back anytime soon.

"What happened?”

“This jamoke holds up a woman for her purse when she comes up from the subway at Astor Place. Officer Robert Dodd and his partner give chase. The mugger runs across St. Mark’s Place, through the park and into this hole. They exchange shots. Both are killed. At least that’s what we can figure so far.”

“Dodd’s partner?”

“Couldn’t keep up. Poor Dodd was stuck with a meter maid. When little Samantha Callahan gets here, they’re both dead. What’s the point of having broads patrolling if they can’t back you up?” Lights flashed across the detective’s jowly face. He looked out the glassless window at the car pulling up. “Assistant chief. I’ve got to make sense of this for him.”

Taylor jotted down the name on the detective’s plate, R. Trunk. He dug out a business card and handed it to the detective. “Anything more comes up, call me. We take care of cops at the MT.” Laying it on thick never hurt. “Dodd’s a hero. His story should be told right.”
“Yeah, we’ll see. Your paper may not be awful. Doesn’t mean I trust you. Now get out of here. We got work to do.”

Trunk turned as another plainclothesman walked up. “Still haven’t got the kid’s gun.”

"Well, find the f*#king thing. Assistant chief ’s going to be on us like stink on shit.”

That was odd. If Dodd took out the mugger, the man’s gun would be right here somewhere. It couldn’t have walked away on its own. Taylor put that detail in his notebook. Anything odd always went in the notebook. He walked a wide arc toward the door to get a quick view of the dead officer. Dodd was a complete mess. He had to have been shot in the face. Taylor couldn’t make out the nose, the eyes, anything in the gore and blood. That meant he had to have shot the mugger first.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Zahradnik is the author of the Coleridge Taylor Mystery series from Camel Press. Last Words is the first novel in the series and was published Oct. 1, 2014. Drop Dead Punk will come out August 15. He was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter, often writing news stories and analysis about the journalism business, broadcasting, film production, publishing and the online industry. In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York's Center for Fiction. He has been a media entrepreneur throughout his career. He was the founding executive producer of CNNfn.com, a leading financial news website and a Webby winner; managing editor of Netscape.com, and a partner in the soccer-news website company Goal Networks. Zahradnik also co-founded the weekly newspaper The Peekskill Herald at the age of 25, leading it to seven state press association awards in its first three years. Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where he writes fiction and teaches elementary school kids how to publish the online and print newspaper the Colonial Times.

Connect with Rich:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: BARBARA VENKATARAMAN



ABOUT THE BOOKS


Death by Didgeridoo

Winner of the Indie Book of the Day award.

Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It's up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it's too late. It doesn't help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn't commit. 



The Case of the Killer Divorce

Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It's business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie's client becomes the prime suspect. When she can't untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client's name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father.




Peril in the Park

There's big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn's boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can't figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.


INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA VENKATARAMAN

Barbara, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
This book is a collection of my first three Jamie Quinn Mysteries. Each book can stand alone, but they're more fun if you read them in order. Number four is coming soon!

Where’s home for you?
I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, only thirty miles from Miami Beach, where I was born. It may seem like I don't get out much, but I've been fortunate enough to be able to travel to India, Australia, Chile, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Canada, and Costa Rica.

What’s your favorite memory?

One of my favorite memories is when I was on vacation in Washington with my family. We had gone whitewater rafting and then driven to a snowy area to play in the snow. My younger son, who was seven at the time and very difficult to please, joyfully and spontaneously declared: "This is the best day ever!" It always makes me smile to think about that. 


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

Laugh as much as you can and be kind to everyone. Love is the answer. It doesn't matter what the question was.

Who would you pick to write your biography?
Someone who could make me look adventurous and daring and brilliant. J.K. Rowling, are you listening?

Who are you?
I am a reluctant family law attorney (if you're one of my clients, I swear I'm working on your case right now); a proud mom of two fine young men; a happily-married divorce attorney; a sister; an aunt to ten wonderful nieces and nephews; a native Floridian; an iced coffee addict; an avid reader of fine literature; a word fanatic, and, finally, I am "Mrs. Grammar Person." I just can't help myself . . . I was glad when 'Carls Furniture' went out of business so that their missing apostrophe would stop bothering me.

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
She was funny and kind and generous and I absolutely loved her books! It's a shame she died tripping over the dog and choking on a cookie . . .

What’s your favorite line from a book?
I have lots of favorites, but the one that sticks with me is from my Russian Lit class in college. It's the first line of Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Not only is Tolstoy telling us that this story is about an unhappy family, he is also telling us how to write a story. If you write about a happy family, it's boring, there is no story. A story must have conflict to be interesting, and each unhappy family has its own unique story. That's why when life is going too smoothly for your characters, you have to shake things up, make some trouble for them.

What would Jamie Quinn say about you?
She would say "Quit stealing my lines, lady!" Actually, she would say, "Did you have to give me ALL of your phobias and insecurities? Isn't one of you enough for the world?"

How did you create the plot for this book?

Funny story – I was trying to learn how to play a didgeridoo (a large Aborigine wind instrument) when I accidentally dropped it and broke the glass top of a dresser. That's when I realized: You could kill someone with this thing. Later on, my husband found me swinging the didgeridoo around like some weird Ninja warrior, and he looked a bit worried, but I assured him I was just doing research. From then on, I couldn't stop thinking about how someone could get killed with a didgeridoo: Who was this person? Why would they even have a didgeridoo? How could the wrong person be blamed for the murder? Why would there be more than one person who wanted the victim dead? Like a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces slowly came together to become my first cozy mystery: "Death by Didgeridoo."

The Case of the Killer Divorce was inspired by Ambien and my quest for a good night's sleep. Did you know Ambien looks just like aspirin? Did you know that Ambien and alcohol can kill you? I didn't know that either, but I called the Walgreen's pharmacist to ask. I assume they called the police as soon as I hung up . . .

Peril in the Park was inspired by two true events. Back when I worked for Broward County, a maintenance worker was mad at his boss and mowed the words "BITE ME" into the lawn. That started me thinking about someone vandalizing the parks in a snarky way to get back at their boss. One thing led to another and Jamie's boyfriend Kip became that boss. Also true, a developer wanted to build a high-rise next to a historical site and years of litigation ensued. That seemed worth killing for . . .

Are any of your characters inspired by real people? 

Of course! All of them are. For example, Grace, my protagonist Jamie Quinn's best friend, is a combination of several of my friends, especially the smart-aleck ones (you know who you are!). I always use the characteristics of people I know, or people I've seen, as a jumping off point. Once, I saw a guy in a parking lot getting out of his car and I said, "There he is! My private investigator, Duke Broussard." I just wish I'd taken his picture . . .

Are you like any of your characters?
My sister swears that I am Jamie Quinn, but it's not true. Just because we're both reluctant family law attorneys with sleep issues and phobias who are insecure and sarcastic doesn't make us the same person. She has a cat and I have dogs and she's younger and has an alcoholic private investigator for a friend.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
That's a tough one, but I can tell you how he/she wouldn't kill me. None of my victims are ever killed by guns. I did have an FBI agent pull a gun once, but that's all she did. The first victim in my first mystery died by being whacked in the head with a didgeridoo, the second was run over by a car. I can't tell you how the others died because I would give away some secrets and I want you to read the books.

Who are your favorite authors?

I love humor writers like Dave Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Erma Bombeck, and Mary Roach. I love science fiction and fantasy and, of course, mysteries. And I could read the Harry Potter series over and over. Growing up, I was a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut – his humor, his conversational tone, his brilliance, and his willingness to do the unexpected. Ann Patchett's book, Bel Canto is one of my favorite books of all time, as is The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffennegger, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye, by Rachel Joyce. In all three books, the characters are wonderful and memorable, but it's the authors' ability to capture poignant moments that touches me.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
I can't stand too much description. I don't care what color the bedspread is or that their childhood dog was named Scooter. I'm a minimalist; I like a light touch and a broad stroke of the pen.


Do you have a routine for writing?
Sadly, no. If I did, I would finish my books much faster. But I still have to earn a living as a lawyer. Boring, but true.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
As a humor writer, my goal is always to make my readers smile. I've received many kind words from my wonderful readers, but the best compliment I ever received was from a stranger who left a comment on my book of humorous essays, A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities. He wrote: "I have enjoyed this book a lot. It cheered me up during some difficult days. Pleasant reading, especially on difficult days."

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
This interview – LOL! Seriously though, the hardest thing for me was my first short story, "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place." It's super short, but it took me a year to write because I kept getting stuck and quitting. Writing that taught me so much about plot, dialogue and characterization, and I couldn't have been happier when I finally finished it. It taught me that I could work my way through anything if I just didn't quit. The first rule of writing is to write. That's also the second rule and the third.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman, is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection. 

She is the author of Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person; The Fight for Magicallus, a children's fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place;" and two books of humorous essays: I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course and A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities, which are part of the Quirky Essays for Quirky People series. Both books of humorous essays won the "Indie Book of the Day" award.



Her latest works are Death by Didgeridoo, first in the Jamie Quinn series, The Case of the Killer Divorce
, the second Jamie Quinn mystery, and just out, Peril in the Park, the latest in the popular Jamie Quinn series. Coming soon, Engaged in Danger – the next Jamie Quinn mystery!

Connect with Barbara:
Blog  |  Goodreads

Thursday, July 23, 2015

FEATURED AUTHOR: SHELLEY FREYDONT




ABOUT THE BOOK

Liv Montgomery knew that asking Celebration Bay’s newspaper owner-slash-ne’er-do-well Chaz Bristow to teach her how to fish meant angling for more than a lesson in sinkers and chum. But it’s not long before Liv reels in a huge catch—already quite dead. It’s the body of an unknown man, and it was no accidental drowning. This floater was murdered, and  Chaz and Liv become live bait for a ruthless killer.


INTERVIEW WITH SHELLEY FREYDONT

Shelley, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Liv Montgomery was a high powered Manhattan event planner who takes a job as event planner for a small destination town in upstate New York, Celebration Bay. She and her intrepid Westie, Whiskey, are usually up to their eyeballs in planning holidays and catching killers. It’s a series, but they can be read in any order.

Where’s home for you?
I live at the New Jersey shore.


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
There will  always be something interesting around the next bend.


What makes you bored?
People who are bored. I run as fast as I can in the opposite direction.


Do you have another job outside of writing?
No, I work solely as a writer. Before I began writing for a living, I was a professional dancer. I worked with great people, went to a lot of wonderful places, but even then I was writing when I got the chance.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

One of my favorite quotes and sort of my philosophy of life is: “When you go through life make this your goal, watch the donut not the hole.” -Burl Ives

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

In my dreams . . . The Cornwall coast.

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
That I did no harm, maybe even helped a little.

How did you create the plot for this book?
At the end of Independence Slay, Liv dares Chaz, her nemesis and sometimes flirt, to teach her how to fish, never expecting him to take her up on it. But he does. Now she’s stuck on a fishing boat with him. So what if? I threw in a big lake trout named Big Billy, and the rest is fish tale.

What book are you currently reading and in what format?

I read in a lot of genres and in all formats. I’m reading The Experiences of Loveday Brooke, Lady Detective, (a 1895 facsimile of a dime novel) on my phone and mini, Susannah Kearsley’s A Desperate Fortune in paper, and re-reading Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander in hardcover.


Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I have an office in my apartment. It’s two walls of desk, all white. I sit so I can see the soft ball field across the way. I write in the morning, stop for lunch and a short read, or a walk on the beach for a break. Then it’s back to work. Usually when I’m writing one book, I have edits on another book at the same time, so it keeps me busy.

What would your dream office look like?
It would be my office but looking out over a deserted beach to the ocean.

You're published with Berkley and William Morrow. Are you happy with your decision to publish with them?

When I started writing there weren’t all the many publishing options we have today. I went with a traditional publisher because that was the best option. I’m still with several publishers and love working with them. I like being a part of a team without having to worry about the business end of it. I wouldn’t enjoy the small business aspect of self publishing, so I’m very happy to be where I am now.

What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on the second Gilded Age mystery titled, A Golden Cage, scheduled to be published next summer, and a women’s fiction, Leila, that will be available June 2016.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Celebration Bay mysteries, including Cold Turkey, Independence Slay, Silent Knife, Foul Play at the Fair, and the forthcoming Trick or Deceit, and historical novel A Gilded Grave, the first in a new Newport Gilded Age Mystery series. She writes women’s fiction under the name Shelley Noble. Her latest is Whisper Beach.

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