Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Greg Lilly, writer/publisher and all around awesome person, asked me to be part of the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. It sounded like fun, plus I get to tag some talented writers. My answers to the questions are listed below, and I’m tagging three others to be part of the hop. They will post their answers next Wednesday, December 12. You can read Greg's post here.

These are the rules/questions:

Details: Rules
*Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (Work In Progress)
*Tag up to five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them. It’s that simple.

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:
What is the working title of your book?
Madness in Brewster Square: Book 1 of the Brewster Square Series

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I can’t really answer that, except to say that I believe it has been simmering in my head for a while now. I was at a dinner for writers this year when the idea for the entire series came to me. That night, I went home and began outlining the story.

What genre does your book fall under?
This is definitely a cozy mystery series!

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? This question is difficult to answer, because my characters are not written with any particular actress/actor in mind and because I don’t pay much attention to television shows. Casting would be challenging, but this list is close to what I visualize when I write:
Ava Maria Sophia Cecelia: Sara Rue
Giuseppe (Ava’s brother, founder of AA Paranormal Investigations): Zachary Quinto
Charlie (Ava’s best friend): Reese Witherspoon
Stanley (Ava’s new boyfriend): Simon Baker
Oliver (new police detective in Brewster Square, former DEA agent): Danny Pino

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? (One sentence did not work for me, had to make it a wee bit longer)
Ava loves working in her brother Giuseppe’s Aromatherapy store, but hates when he drags her into his paranormal investigations. Those things are boring and nobody really believes in ghosts anyway. On the night they investigate the old McAllister place, the one house Ava is convinced is truly haunted, they find a dead body in the basement. As Ava looks into the death, she starts to wonder: has everyone in Brewster Square gone mad?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This book will be traditionally published, most likely with a small, independent publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took ten months to write the first draft, and will take another three to four to edit before sending it out.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
The Brewster Square Series can be called a cross between Diana Killian’s Mantra for Murder Mystery Series and Juliet Blackwell’s Witchcraft Mystery Series. While not exactly the same, my series has similar themes of family conflict and alternative spirituality.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My family. Growing up within a large Italian family had many of moments of craziness sprinkled with lots of love (and food). Whenever I am able to spend time with my relatives in Connecticut I am surrounded by love and laughter.. Plus, I wanted to create a fictional town where I could name the streets and make it whatever I wanted it to be. Brewster Square is a combination of the Connecticut towns of New Haven and Branford, with a little imagination to mix it all up.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My father used to tell me about the hostilities that existed between the Italian and the Irish immigrants in the Northeast when he was a kid, so I used that for this book. I hope that since I’ve been having so much fun writing this, you’re going to have just as much fun reading it.

For now, you can hop on over to next week’s participants and see who they are.
J. Conrad Guest, author of January’s Paradigm, One Hot January, January’s Thaw, The Cobb Legacy, A Retrospect in Death and 500 Miles To Go, as well as a novella and numerous articles. You can read his blog and check out his website for more information.

Jeanne Johansen, author of 27 Minutes and Tea With A Hussy in the novella collection Chesapeake Bay Christmas. As founder of High Tide Publications, Jeanne is dedicated to seeing other writers get a great story out to great readers. Her blog can be found here.

Chris Eberle is the author of the John Seraph mystery series. Check out his blog and website for fun information.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Stories

Yes, it's true, I have a new book available! I am part of a group of authors called the Bay Sisters, and we've released our first book, titled 'Chesapeake Bay Christmas'. It's a series of three novellas, and as you may have guessed, each story is tied to the holiday season. If you like Christmas stories, or are looking for a quick read, check us out. And stay tuned, the Bay Sisters have plans for more releases in 2013...

The People I Know

I don’t write to make others happy, I write because there are stories to tell. Sometimes my writing evokes an emotional response, and so far the strongest reactions have come from my family. The thing is, it’s never easy to predict how friends and family will judge my books and stories. Usually, when I give a copy of my work to someone I know, I wonder the usual things. Will he like it? Will she want to read more? It was my brother who asked the question I later discovered my entire family wanted to ask. “Who are your characters?” I didn’t know what to say. “They’re, um, the people in the story,” I said. “No, seriously, who are they? Which one is me?” he asked. Uh oh. Time to disappoint him. “None of them,” I told him. “I made it all up.” “Really?” he asked. “I spent the whole book trying to figure out who was who.” Everyone has heard the saying ‘write what you know’, which is perhaps the reason my brother assumed my characters were based on real people. But here’s the thing I know: I know humans. I know we are mean, funny, pretty, jealous, happy, ugly, grief-stricken, foul-tempered, judgmental, giving, carefree, uptight, stingy, nice and sometimes just plain crazy. And, don’t forget litigious. Writers don’t risk a lawsuit just to put you in a book when we can create someone just as interesting, put them in uncomfortable situations, kill them, bring them back to life and kill them again. And it’s all legal. The cruel sibling that lurks in my subconscious knows how much fun it would be to give my brother a vague answer, to let him pore over my work, wondering. But there are two reasons I won’t do that. First, it’s not true. And second, I like my brother too much to do that to him. I’m not so sure what I’ll say to my cousin, though.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Family Review

When the phone rang last night my heart gave a little 'thump'. Caller ID showed it was my cousin, a woman that I've always looked up to and admired. Perhaps it's a sign of my age, or more likely the aging of my family, that made my first thought "I hope nobody is sick." No, nobody was sick. My cousin was simply calling to tell me she just finished reading my novel, Signs of the South. She wanted to talk to me about it. My heart gave an even bigger thump. The thing is, I sort of expected her to say she hated it. I don't know why I expected that, but I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable. "I loved it!" she said. "I can't wait to read the next one, because I know I'll love that, too!" Her enthusiasm and encouragement brought me to the edge of tears, and reminded me of how grateful I am for the continued support and love of my family. Family will tell you when they think you haven't done a good job, but they support you through everything because they love you. This is what makes the praise all the more meaningful. Thank you, cousin Lynne.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't Do It

Okay, peeps, listen up. This is important, it’s about your life. Yes, yours. When someone decides it’s time to end it all, the decision has profound and far reaching effects. You may think that this is the only choice left to you, but it’s not. It is not the only choice. Maybe I should say this again… It is not the only choice. Yeah, I get it, I know, you’re in pain, your life is difficult, things are too much for you. Checking out is not the answer. So what is the answer? That depends, but here’s a list to start with: 1. Talk to someone. There’s not a problem in the world that you might have that someone else hasn’t already dealt with. You’re not the first, the only, or the last to have this in your life. 2. Hang on. Meditate. Pray. Go to an amusement park. Whatever the hell it takes, do something. 3. Do not hurt yourself. Hurting yourself hurts everyone around you, it hurts the world. And yes, people will be upset. Even people you never expected to care will be devastated. 4. Talk to someone. Hang on. Do not hurt yourself. That’s really all I can say on the matter. I know depression can be profound, I know it can impact your life in ways that cripple. But there’s true light in this world, and there’s true happiness to be found. If you’re not here, you won’t find it. So, talk to someone. Hang on. Please. Dedicated to the memory of my former student, 2012.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Book Trailer

So, I've been a very busy little writer-person these days, trying to finish the edits on my next book while keeping up with letting everyone know about the first book. But hey, I truly love what I do, so life is good. I received a message from my publisher yesterday (and just on a side note, I really love my publisher, they are awesome and wonderful!). The message was, "We've completed your book trailer, here it is." Book trailer?!!! I had chills when I first watched the video. You've got to check this out, it's, as my brother says, "Wicked Cool"! Click here to view the video. I hope you enjoy watching this. Also, if you have any questions for me about Signs of the South or my writing, you can send them to my publisher at Have a wonderful week, and take care of yourselves.