Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Featured Author: Alice Loweecey

About the book:   

Giulia Falcone-Driscoll has just taken on her first impossible client: The Silk Tie Killer. He’s hired Driscoll Investigations to prove his innocence and they have only thirteen days to accomplish it. Talk about being tried in the media. Everyone in town is sure Roger Fitch strangled his girlfriend with one of his silk neckties. And then there’s the local TMZ wannabes—The Scoop—stalking Giulia and her client for sleazy sound bites.
On top of all that, her assistant’s first baby is due any second, her scary smart admin still doesn’t relate well to humans, and her police detective husband insists her client is guilty. About this marriage thing—it’s unknown territory, but it sure beats ten years of living with 150 nuns.

Giulia’s ownership of Driscoll Investigations hasn’t changed her passion for justice from her convent years. But the more dirt she digs up, the more she’s worried her efforts will help a murderer escape. As the client accuses DI of dragging its heels on purpose, Giulia thinks The Silk Tie Killer might be choosing one of his ties for her own neck.

Interview with Alice Loweecey

Alice, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
This book is the first in a rebooted series, but readers can pick up any one of them to start. Relationships progress, of course, but each book stands on its own.

What’s your favorite memory?
My husband and I flew from the east coast of the US to Hawaii in the early fall for our honeymoon. We came off the last plane tired, chilled, and exhausted. After we checked into our hotel, he took me down to the beach, barefoot, and we waded into the water . . . and the water was warm. A band was playing Hawaiian music in a beachfront bar, and the sky was full of stars. It was perfect.

What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?
[incoming rant] A used Ford Escort from a dealer who turned out to be a lying, cheating you-know-what. That piece of garbage car was a money pit for nearly two years after it passed the six-month ownership threshold. It needed jumps constantly. It loved to stall when I put it in reverse. The repair bills were ruinous. The only good thing it ever did was to cure me from buying a Ford or a used car ever again.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
Publishing is a long game. Ancillary to that lesson is: Go big or go home.

When my first publisher didn’t renew my contract, my agent and I set out to sell the series to a new publisher. It is incredibly difficult to accomplish this. And we did. Publishing is a business and we had to be perseverant, flexible, and remember that the series has an audience. Champagne is made for those moments.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Enter the convent.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Enter the convent. But after thirty-plus years, I’m finally making it work in my favor.

What makes you bored?
Lectures. I got enough lectures and sermons growing up Catholic and in the convent to last me ten lifetimes.

What makes you happy?
My family. I know, I know: cliché. But I could’ve been an angry, bitter old nun at this point, and instead I have a home and family of my own. Life is good.

What makes you scared?
Spiders. The only good spider is a dead spider.

I'll second that. How did you meet your husband? Was it love at first site?
We were both in a summer repertory company. He saw me in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and afterward came up to compliment me. I was having some kind of intense conversation at the time and I blew him off. Oops! He was in the next play in rotation, Steambath, and when I complimented him after a show he jokingly blew me off in return. He then invited me to the closing night’s cast party — our first date. We went on a picnic a week or so later — our second date — and he proposed. That was 27 years ago.

What are your most cherished mementoes?
Cliché alert number two: Drawings my kids made for me when they were very little guys. Also the playbills from our years in theater.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
The island of Kauai. Hands down. *sigh*

Are you like any of your characters?
I’m a little like Giulia in that we grow our own veggies and cook from scratch.

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?
My mc's aren’t the killing type, but my favorite villain sure is. Don Falke, AKA Urnu the Snake from Force of Habit would have no problem offing me. He could order one of his sycophants to kill me in a few different ways, but Urnu is really the hands-on type. He’s sick and evil and I wouldn’t want to be caught alone with him for a single minute.

I should bring him back . . .

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
This one required some thought.
Graham Norton
Gerard Butler (actually, I’d like to be stuck just about anywhere with Gerard Butler)
Penny Marshall
Steven Spielberg
Jane Yolen

Who are your favorite authors?
Dead: Dickens—the man was a characterization genius; Patricia Wentworth, creator of light and fun mysteries with a touch of romance; Aeschylus, and of course H.P. Lovecraft.

Living: Tracy Groot, Jane Yolen, Brian Keene, C.S. Harris, Kazuya Minekura.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m currently reading the translated original documents from the Dyatlov Pass Incident. It’s a paperback. I work at a computer screen all day and type my books at night, so I like to switch to paper for my recreational reading.

Do you have a routine for writing?
Butt In Chair every night for at least two hours. Exceptions made only for Christmas and the flu.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
I’ve received this compliment from more than one fan, and it always gives me warm fuzzies: They read my books in one or two days and are angry that the wait is so long for the next one.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Genjyo Sanzo from Kazuya Minekura’s Saiyuki series. Since I read lots of horror, most of the characters I like don’t have lives I’d want to drop into. Not that Sanzo’s life is a Hallmark movie by any means! But he’s fascinating and cool and badass.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
This one is epic. Many years ago I belonged to an online writing group, some of whose members were hard-core Evangelical. We all seemed to get along fine as we posted three chapters of our WIPs for the group to critique.

Until I posted the first three chapters of an early draft of a religious horror novel. I got back from one of the members a full-page, single-spaced diatribe complete with bullet points and red highlights. My work was bad. It was evil. It would “harm baby Christians.” He went into scathing detail on plot points, dialogue, and characterization that in his mind illustrated these points. He concluded with the hope that I never got published and signed it “With love, your brother in Christ.”

I blew him into the group moderator. The moderator explained that this guy had issues with strong women and blocked him from seeing my work again.

Since then, I completely rewrote that book three times. This May, it will be published by Dark Recesses Press.

That’s me you see grinning.

What are you working on now?
The third Giulia mystery, which involves Preppers, adults dropping off the grid, gaming, alpacas, and the quest for an all-natural Twinkie.

Other books by Alice:   

About the author:

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

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