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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

#BookBlast Sunset Beach by Christine Donovan @cmdonovan #romance #giveaway


SUNSET BEACH by Christine Donovan, Contemporary Romance, 255 pp., $3.99 (kindle)


Title: SUNSET BEACH
Author: Christine Donovan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 328
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Until Sarah Kennedy is 17 she spends her summers at Sunset Beach with a close-knit group of friends. They are young, carefree, and just a tad wild—as teenagers tend to be. They share secrets, love, and a deep connection. But that final summer life as the friends know it begins to unravel. Domestic violence plagues one family, one of their group becomes a criminal. Sarah severs all ties with her friends and disappears.

Fifteen years after the summer that changed Sarah’s life forever, she receives a letter about a reunion. Can she bury her fears, curb her anxiety enough to attend and finally unearth who attacked her and changed the trajectory of her life forever? She also hopes to reconnect with the one man she gave her heart and soul too—Jake Ferroli. She wonders if his life faired any better than hers after his family tragedy and his downfall into drugs and alcohol.

Sarah locks down her demons and rents a cottage for the summer. To her surprise Jake is still single and they slowly reconnect. But so does her attacker. He is good at eluding the police. Somehow he has gone on attacking women for fifteen years without so much as being a suspect. Pictures, letters, and threats against Sarah now come on a daily basis. Jake and Sarah hire a private detective and as they get closer and closer to revealing the identity of the perpetrator, he strikes. Can Jake rescue Sarah before their so-called friend rapes her, or even worse, kills her as he did to his last victim?


When he stepped close to her, he could sense rather than see her retreat. Her eyes darted toward the door then back to him, suddenly full of panic. Why? It tore at his heart to know someone or something traumatized her.
“Why don’t you take a seat and relax.” He reached out to touch her arm and she all but flinched. It appeared ever so quickly, but he noticed it. On an exhale, he let his arm fall, frowned at her behavior, and sat down. She slid into the chair opposite him.
“So, tell me why you’re so jumpy? Is it me, or are you always like this?” God, please don’t let it be me.
She shot him a look of disbelief. “I’m not jumpy.”
Clearing his throat, he said, “If you say so.”
“Have you kept in touch with everyone?”
The desperation he witnessed flash in her eyes nearly broke his heart. “Yeah, I have. You know about Drew and Alyssa. Tom’s a doctor. He works at Mass General and he’s still single. Dylan lives in his mother’s old house. He’s a local cop here. Had a nasty divorce a few years back, but I don’t know all the details. I believe he has one kid, a daughter. Mitch is a detective with the Boston Police Department. He married a fellow police officer and they have two kids. Heather married some guy last year, I haven’t met him. Tracy’s single and I think she’s the only one not coming.”
“I had no idea what became of anyone.” Tears pooled in her eyes. “Except Charlotte.” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “You took me by surprise when I saw you pull up today.”
Exhaling, he said, “Likewise. I didn’t expect you to come after fifteen years of silence.” He ran his hands threw his hair and asked, “Why did you come?”
“I don’t know. I thought it was time.”
She had a strange, vacant look on her face, so Jake decided to drop the subject. He would push for more answers later. And he wanted answers. Something had been eating a hole in his heart all these years, and he wanted to know why.







Christine Donovan is giving away five free e-copies of SUNSET BEACH!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight June 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Christine Donovan is an International Bestselling Author who writes romance that touches the heart, soothes the soul and feeds the mind. She is a PAN Member of RWA and belongs to Novelist, Inc. and Rhode Island Romance Writers.

She lives on the Southeast Coast of Massachusetts with her husband, four sons, four cats and one spoiled golden retriever. As well as writing contemporary romance, she also writes historical and paranormal. All her books have some degree of suspense. In her spare time, she can be found reading, painting or gardening. She loves to tackle DIY projects.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Authors To Watch: Shane Stanley, Author of What You Don't Learn in Film School



Multi-Emmy Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set starting with hit shows like “Entertainment Tonight” and “Seinfeld.”

Along with his father, Stanley produced “The Desperate Passage Series,” which was nominated for 33 individual Emmy Awards and won 13 statues. In this series, five of the seven specials went No.1 in Nielson Ratings, which included “A Time for Life” and “Gridiron Gang.”

Stanley has produced films starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei and Martin Sheen. He co-wrote two of the films and has worked closely with top Hollywood executives.

Stanley has taught workshops at many film schools and universities. He is the founder of Visual Arts Entertainment, a production company based in Los Angeles. He is still active in teaching, working with several schools, film students, and recent grads as a mentor and guide.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Multi Emmy-Award winning filmmaker Shane Stanley, a lifelong entertainment industry insider, has worked in every aspect of the film industry, covering a multitude of movies, television shows, and other projects. In his valuable new book, WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL: A
COMPLETE GUIDE TO INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING, Stanley takes a candid look at the film business and offers ambitious young filmmakers important information on how to navigate every aspect of making movies, from initial pitch to distributing a finished product. The book “is written for anyone who hopes to have a career in the industry at any position, but (is) geared for (the) total filmmaker,” Stanley says.

Producer Neal H. Moritz (“Fast & Furious,”S.W.A.T.,” “21 and 22 Jump Street”), says that WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOLpulls no punches. It's one of the most insightful and accurate books ever written on the subject, a master class bridging the gap between school and real-life experience that will save you years of heartache. A must-read for anyone interested in pursuing a career in film.”

Jane Seymour, two-time Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner, actress, producer and founder of the Open Hearts Foundation, declares that Stanley’s “step-by-step guide is a must-read for anyone hoping to break into the world of independent cinema, along with many useful tips for those who desire to work within a studio or network system.”

Jeff Sagansky, former president of Sony Entertainment and CBS Entertainment, notes that “Shane Stanley takes you to a film school that only years of practical experience can teach. He covers both the business of independent filmmaking as well as the hard-earned secrets of a successful production. A must-read for anyone who wants to produce.”

A lifelong veteran of the film world, Stanley has directed and produced hundreds of film and television projects, including the 2006 No. 1 Box Office hit “Gridiron Gang,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His clearly-written guide to navigating the shoals of independent filmmaking comes from his hands-on experience, covering such topics as choosing what material to produce, raising independent capital, hiring a production crew and selecting the right cast.

WHAT YOU DON’T LEARN IN FILM SCHOOL is an essential book written by someone who clearly understands the independent film business from the inside.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Welcome to My Bookish Pleasures. We would love to get to know you and your book! When did you begin writing?

I never thought I could really write. I poked around but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s when I had the privilege of working with Golden Globe nominated filmmaker, Zalman King (Wild Orchid, 9½ Weeks) and one night over dinner in Bali, Indonesia while we were filming In God’s Hands I pitched him an idea for his hit series, Red Shoe Diaries. He liked my story and said, “Write it in 40 pages or less!” I did and he bought it. I was now a professional writer. Soon after, I was hired to write action films for the straight-to-video market in the 8-12 million dollar budget range.

Describe your writing process. When and where do you write?
Because of my professional background, writing a book wasn’t too much of a struggle. As a storyteller, since my background comes from a visual medium, I have always been attracted to telling stories I can personally relate to, so when the opportunity to write a book about the business of my business surfaced, it felt natural to me and came about rather quickly. My most productive times to write are between 11PM and 6AM, when the rest of the world is asleep and I can be left alone, as admittedly, I have the attention span of a puppy and the slightest distraction can rob my focus which is never good when you’re trying to create. I used to write anywhere I could but after my last laptop died, I do most of my work in my home office, which I call ‘the cave’ as all the windows were blacked out years ago for my film editing work.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?

What You Don’t Learn in Film School: A Complete Guide to (Independent) Filmmaking was created because I feel much like the middle class in our country - the true, independent filmmaker - is rapidly becoming extinct and I want to do everything I can to prevent that from happening. I believe I can offer a wealth of knowledge from several aspects of the industry and hope the book will encourage or inspire the next generation and help them go into the business better armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed. I wanted to hand them a map…my map, to help make the journey along the highway to Hell a little easier on their feet so they can avoid some of the blisters and twisted ankles I suffered over the last 30 years.

How did you get the idea for the book?

The book came from years of personal experience in the motion picture and television industry. I do a lot of teaching and consulting and felt I could save some time by writing down answers to the most commonly asked questions I was asked to make it easier for those who I was mentoring. I never had any illusions of grandeur for it as once it started to take shape, it was intended to be a blog that somehow got loose from me and turned into a 200-page book!

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
For me, the most challenging aspect of writing the book was staying focused and keeping to point. The book is 200 pages long and could easily have been 600, as every time an idea hit me, I would go off down another rabbit hole to make a point. I learned after giving my book to someone I really respected that it was all over the place and needed to be streamlined. He reminded me that Rome was not built in a day and that I could always write a Part II or another book covering additional areas that were important to me. So, that’s what I am doing.
Do you find it easier to write nonfiction?

I’ve made my living as a fiction writer for over 20 years, so I assumed writing about real stuff would be a breeze. I tell you, it was an incredible adjustment for me and continues to be as I write my next guidebook. I think the process is getting easier but as the old saying goes, ‘to thine own self be true’ and sometimes when you look in the mirror, what you see is ugly or dull and needs to be shaped into something engaging while still keeping its integrity.

Do you have plans to write fiction?
I will probably stay on the path of writing nonfiction for the books, as I have the fiction medium outlet with my screenwriting. I have loosely considered adapting some of my screenplays into books over the years and I’ll admit its something I will probably dabble in sooner than later, especially since I now have written a book.
What projects are you currently working on?

I am working on a couple of things right now, as my A.D.D. will never allow me to focus on one project at a time. My next book Why Good Actors Don’t Work is a wake up call for actors, shedding light on several reasons they’re not working, regardless of how well they might know their craft. The other project is a screenplay I am gladly taking the backseat to with a writer whose work has inspired me for quite some time and I’m truly honored to collaborate with. We’ll see where it leads but I have some high hopes with this one. It’s been a nice boot camp for me as a fiction writer as his approach to the craft is much different than mine and I like how he does things.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring nonfiction authors?
If you have something you are compelled to write, write it. Don’t get your head wrapped up in all the things that can weigh you down creatively or will suffocate the process. There will be plenty of time to edit, trim the fat and make your work better. Too often people get so wrapped up in structure or format, and they never can get off the ground. A writer writes. Never forget that and the less worry you have about everything else, the better and more enjoyable the process can be.

Authors To Watch: Judy Serrano, Author of Linked



Judy Serrano holds a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University, Commerce. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Service, and was an adjunct professor at a local college. Currently she teaches high school English and is a freelance writer for certain on-line publications. Judy also writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series,The Linked Seriesand Ivy Vines, Visions.

Although originally from New York, Judy resides in Texas with her husband, four boys, four dogs and now two cats. She sings and plays guitar when she has time and enjoys singing with her very musical family in church when she is able.

Her latest book is the paranormal romance, LINKED.

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Title: LINKED
Author: Judy Serrano
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 265
Genre: Paranormal Romance

BOOK BLURB:

Daphne Foster is a substitute teacher stuck in an English class, waiting for that dreaded parent-teacher conference. With much preparation and anxiety, she encounters the unforgettable Charlie Cross. His charm and good looks, win her over but rumors of his involvement with organized crime make his continued disappearances disturbing. In walks Heathcliff Vanderpool, creating a love triangle of unusual sorts. Unknown to Daphne, Heathcliff and Charlie are old friends: Older than she could have imagined. With Charlie away on business, Daphne and Heathcliff discover a passion between them lying beneath the surface. As their souls link, pulling away from Charlie becomes next to impossible. Will his involvement in organized crime consume them both before she’s able to get free? When you become “linked,” the choice may not be your own.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

AMAZON

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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction? 

Fiction for me is an escape. I enjoy my guilty pleasure. My protagonist is beautiful, tall, blond, and voluptuous. She has silky hair, see-through eyes, and passions that only the most special man on earth can satisfy. She is constantly the conflict between two of the most handsome men in the country, she lives in a mansion, has a driver and a cook, and her biggest problem of the day is which diamond necklace should she wear each morning. Fiction rocks!

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

I write by the seat of my pants. I sit down at the keyboard and let my characters direct my steps. I can write anywhere, any time. I can even carry on a conversation with my children as I am typing away at the computer. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

The last book I released was First Blood, book two of the Linked Series. Currently, I am looking for a fresh publisher for my new novel. That one will have to remain a surprise. 

How did you get the idea for the book? 

I am a huge fan of The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and True Blood. I have always wanted to write a vampire book. The first series that I wrote, The Easter’s Lilly Series is a Mafia Romance. I thought it might be fun to combine the two.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why? 

Dante is my favorite character for sure. He is strong, yet sensitive, defeated, yet infallible. His determination to get what he wants will catch you by surprise. However, Dante’s unshakable loyalty is something every girl will fall for. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

For me, the most challenging part of writing any book is time. I am an English teacher, and I have had four young children during most of my writing journeys. Now that all of my boys are finally out of high school, I will have more time to write fantasy-filled novels. Bittersweet.

What projects are you currently working on? 

I recently finished another Mafia romance. I am currently seeking a new publisher, so I am keeping it a secret for now. As I am waiting, I am writing book #7 of The Easter’s Lilly Series. After I complete that (and I am half-way through) I will begin book #3 of The Linked Series

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors? 

Try to write every day. Practice is what will make you good at what you do. Love what you write and write what you love. Don’t let anyone tell you to write for the market. Markets change, but when you fall in love with your own characters, you are giving others the chance to fall in love with them as well.

Website – www.JudySerrano.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JudySerranoAuthor/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AuthorJSerrano
Amazon.com - https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Judy+Serrnao
Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Judy+Serrano?_requestid=358183



Monday, June 11, 2018

Authors To Watch: Larry D. Thompson Author of White Witch @ldtauthor #whitewitch #thriller




After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the Thompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career.  He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.
Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
His latest book is the captivating thriller, WHITE WITCH.

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Title: WHITE WITCH
Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 291
Genre: Thriller

BOOK BLURB:
Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this time around.

Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.

And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…

ORDER YOUR COPY:


We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
About ten years ago I decided to see if I could write a novel. Considering that my last writing class was as a freshman at The University of Texas, I started writing. I found that I really enjoyed the creative process. Fortunately, readers liked what I wrote. 
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I am a plotter. I write a 15-20 page outline before I start the novel. After that, I set it aside and usually do not look at again until the story is finished (I’m always curious how far I strayed from my original concept). I mostly write at home where I have a nice office and a great back porch. Then, we go to Colorado in the summer. The mountains are a great source of inspiration.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

The story is a clash between the Maroons, a poor but proud people who won their land, fighting the Spaniards and British several hundred years ago. When an American mining company threatens to strip mine their rain forest, they realize they may have to fight a foreign force again. The name of the book comes from Jamaica’s White Witch, a cruel slave owner who lived two hundred years ago. Many Jamaicans believe that she still roams the area around Montego Bay and is responsible for many murders. 
How did you get the idea for the book?
My son, Kel Thompson, was in Montego Bay on business and came back talking about the White Witch. Shortly thereafter he and I spent a week researching her and the Maroons. 
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Vertise Broderick is the daughter of the head of the Maroons and writes for Montego newspaper where she uses the power of the pen to fight the Americans.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
I had to combine the legend of the White Witch with the Maroon history. That took some creativity, but it came out very well.

What projects are you currently working on?
I’m starting research on my next novel and hope to be writing in a couple of months. I would rather not disclose the subject matter at this time. 
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
Just keep writing. Success does not come overnight.






Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Authors To Watch: Maureen Brady Author of Getaway





Though Maureen Brady wrote the humor column of her junior high school newspaper, she didn't actually comprehend that she was a writer until after she had moved to New York City in her twenties, where she began taking writing workshops at The New School and then fell headlong into the consciousness raising groups of the early 1970's.

She published her first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, in 1979, and it was published by The Women's Press in England in 1981. Her novel, Folly, was excerpted in Southern Exposure, received wide critical acclaim, was nominated by Adrienne Rich for an ALA Gay Book Award and was reprinted as a classic by The Feminist Press. She published a collection of short stories, The Question She Put to Herself, in 1987, then turned to writing nonfiction in the '90's, publishing Daybreak: Meditations for Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Midlife: Meditations for Women. She returned to fiction with the novel, Ginger's Fire, and her most recent novel, Getaway.

Her recent work has appeared in Sinister Wisdom, Bellevue Literary Review; Just Like A Girl; Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women's Fiction, Mom, In the Family, and Intersections: An Anthology of Banff Writers. Brady's essays and stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and were finalists for the Katherine Anne Porter Fiction Prize and the Nelsen Algren Short Story contest.

An Adjunct Assistant Professor, she teaches creative writing at New York University and New York Writers Workshop @ the Jewish Community Center, and works as a free-lance editor and tutor, helping writers across the spectrum take their writing to the next stage.

A co-founder of Spinsters Ink, Brady edited such books as The Cancer Journals by Audre Lorde and The Woman Who Breathes Fire by Kitty Tsui. She also served as a panelist for The New York State Council on the Arts Literature Program and as a fiction judge for Oregon Literary Arts. She is a founding member of The New York Writers Workshop and has long served as Board President of Money for Women Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

She has received grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts Writer-in-Residence; New York State Council on the Arts CAPS grant; Holding Our Own; Briarcombe Foundation; and The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship to The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland. She was the winner of the Saints and Sinners short story contest for 2015 and is also a Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame winner.

She lives in New York City and Woodstock with her long term partner, Martha, and their joy dog, Bessie.

 Visit Maureen’s website at www.maureenbradyny.com.



Title: GETAWAY
Author: Maureen Brady
Publisher: Bacon Press Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Women’s Fiction

BOOK BLURB:
After stabbing her abusive husband and leaving him dying on the kitchen floor, Cookie Wagner flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle, she begins to heal.

Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action.
Or is he? And if not, will he one day come to find her?

Sexual harassment and abuse are all over the news these days, often involving celebrites and other well-known figures, but Cookie, the protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and resorts to violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is, and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.

Praise for Getaway:

“Sensitive, sensual, and stirring. "Getaway" is a true page-turner, but one with heart and with context. I couldn’t put it down until I got to the end, not just to find out what happened, but also to discover who these intriguing and complex characters would develop into. An extremely satisfying read!”

Danielle Ofri, author of What Patients Say, What Doctors Hear, Editor-in-Chief, Bellevue Literary Review.

Getaway is available at Amazon.



We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I started by reading. When I was a child, I thought I would try to read right down the shelf from A to B to C, in the kid’s section of my local library where I often went after school, to wait for my mother to finish working at a hospital across the street. As I grew older, I often had the thought when I finished a book (and I didn’t think it fair not to read them all the way through) that I could have written it better. Still, I had little confidence about my ability and even in college was afraid to take a writing class because I feared I would be too devastated if what I wrote turned out to be no good. But after college, when I was hungry for more release for my imagination, I took the big step of signing up for a class at The New School called First Fiction. There were about 20 or more students and only 2 or 3 of us really wrote, but I was like a ripe fig about to drop off a tree, and when the teacher said write, I went for it and wrote 3 or 4 very short stories during that semester. 

Then I completed my first novel, Give Me Your Good Ear, and published it, and the passion for writing never left me.

 Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

 I might have a few plot ideas, but mostly I subscribe to the idea that I have entered a dark tunnel and can only see as far ahead of me as the car lights shine. So the only way to go forward is to write down what I can see and then I will be able to see the next part. So the story develops for me as I go along. I have a small writing studio across a stream from my house. It is a little red out building I renovated to give myself quiet space. It looks upon the stream and then a meadow where the deer come to feast at sunset and sunrise. When possible I try to write in the morning before other life challenges start demanding attention. 
 
What do you find most rewarding about writing? 

It provides a constant challenge to stretch yourself when you don’t feel you can go any further, and a chance to spend time in the imagination. Also, when a story comes together in a way that moves me, then I feel there is a good chance it will move others and that is a good feeling. I also realize that I enjoy the privilege of having this way to express myself, and it’s hard to imagine living without such a resource. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Sexual abuse and harassment are all over the news these days, often involving celebrities and well-known sports figures, but Cookie, the protagonist of Getaway, is no celebrity. She’s an ordinary woman married to a working class guy who drinks too much and turns to violence. Their story reveals how endemic the phenomenon of abuse is, and the quandary Cookie lands in when she fights back.

After stabbing her husband and leaving him dying on the kitchen floor, she flees to remote Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. For a moment, she seems to have gotten away with murder. But, consigned to a secretive life with a new name and the need to be on constant alert, she faces all she has not gotten away with. She is helped by the recently widowed Mrs. Biddle, who offers her a place to stay, and the lobster fisherman Butch, who gives her a job and later falls in love with her. Walking the cliffs and beaches, taking in the scruffy windblown plants that survive the buffeting wind by growing at an angle, she too begins to grow at an angle. 

Yet, there is no leaving behind the notion that Warren is dead as the result of her action. Or  if he is not, will he one day come to find her? 

How did you get the idea for the book? 

I started with an exercise I use in fiction writing classes, taken from John Gardner, in which I instruct them to write a scene in which a person who has just committed a murder comes upon a body of water. So after a 20 minute free write, I had Cookie bushwhacking around Cooper Lake, a reservoir in the Catskills I frequent for walks, having just stabbed her abusive husband. And then it took off from there. 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

 Cookie is my favorite in Getaway, because it is really her survival and then the development of self that she gains when getting out from under Warren that captivated me. But I am also partial to Chrissie, an adolescent girl who befriends Cookie, because Chrissie is so vulnerable and yet so full of the potential to spring into life. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

Bringing Warren to life and cracking his character so that he would be three-dimensional and not just “the bad guy”.

What projects are you currently working on?

 I am working on a collection of short stories, as yet untitled. Several of them have been published in journals such as Bellevue Literary Journal and Sinister Wisdom, or anthologies such as Just Like A Girl, Cabbage and Bones: Irish American Women’s Fiction, and Saints and Sinners New Fiction from the Festival (winner of the fiction contest for 2015). 

After that I would like to write an historical novel about the immigration of my Irish ancestors during the potato famine.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

Stick to writing the book you want to write. Enjoy the process, both for how it will stretch you further than you thought possible, and for the privilege of having an endeavor that you can give your all to.