Welcome to the start of this year's Summer Bash! I hope you all have plans for a fun, hot summer. I know I do and so do many of my friends.
Helping me kick off the bash is my good friend Cheryl B. Dale. Thanks for being here Cheryl.:-)
2014 Summer Bash Questions
1: How did you start writing? When I was young, another kid knew I liked to read and joked I ought to write a book. Someone gave me an old typewriter when I was thirteen and I used it to write my first novel. Or novelette, I guess it would be. It was a swashbuckling romance and pretty bad. People should be grateful that some years later, after rereading it, I destroyed it!
2: What is the one thing you most enjoy about writing? Getting the story put into the computer. Least enjoy? Putting the story into the computer.
3: If you could go back in time and talk to anyone, who would you speak to? George Washington. Why? Many wanted him to be king, but he refused to consider it. I don’t think he gets enough credit for the molding of our country. Of course, looking at the shape our country’s in now, maybe he wouldn’t want the credit!
4: When you write do you plot out the story or do you let your muse run wild? I usually see one or two scenes and then try to figure out what’s going on. I do this in my head so when I actually start to write, I kind of know where I’m going.
In LOSING DAVID, I envisioned the beginning where the villain murders two boys, and another when the old lawyer interviews an actor to pretend to be one of the dead boys, then another when the heroine realizes... Well, I don’t want to give that part away. But the rest of the story got woven around those scenes.
5: Tell us a bit about your book. The setting is mostly on a barrier island off the Georgia coast in 1963, an era when men tip hats and ladies wear gloves; when white men rule, and women and blacks are second-class citizens; when the sacrifices of World War II are memories that are fading in a new prosperity; when the times are starting to change.
The story is a mystery with strong romantic elements: An old attorney asks an actor to impersonate a boy who vanished at sea years before. The lawyer says the boy, heir to a fortune, was murdered by a man now about to inherit everything. He wants to flush out the killer.
The actor suspects the attorney is lying; there's a lot of money at stake and the attorney is sole trustee of the estate. Still, he agrees to act as bait. He never intends to fall for the only woman who can expose him.
When she realizes he's an imposter, he must persuade her to keep quiet while he waits for the killer to strike. And hope he'll survive to make it up to her.
6: What inspired the story? I’ve worked on it so long, I hardly remember. We lived on a lake at the time I began it, and a boat explosion killed the people in it. That may have given me the idea.
7: Is this a series or a stand alone novel? This one is stand alone.
8: What advice would you give an author just starting out? Keep honing your craft. And develop a thick skin.
9: How do you balance writing with the demands of everyday life? We live a pretty low-key existence so it isn’t terribly hard.
10: How much research do you do for your writing? Whatever’s necessary.
I call LOSING DAVID a vintage mystery because it takes place in the early sixties, when keeping up appearances was more important than fulfilling personal needs. I had to go back to a mindset that expected women to marry and raise families while men ran things.
I enjoy history so sometimes I get caught up in my research and keep reading! It’s fun but not productive. Maybe that’s why I’m such a slow writer?
11: If you met a genie, what 3 things would you wish for? Health, happiness, and love. Why? Pretty obvious! Really, I’m content with my life. There’s always something else we want, isn’t there? But getting it doesn’t guarantee contentment.
12: What is the one thing about the writing world that most surprised you? How hard it is to publish a book. I finished my first as an adult (and yes, it was bad; I hadn’t learned my craft) and thought I’d send it off to some publishers and one would scoop it up. Funny, huh? But I persevered. Needless to say, ebooks and self-publishing are a boon.
13: What are you currently working on? I just finished LOSING DAVID. I’m thinking about a sequel to some light mysteries I’ve written (TAXED TO THE MAX and OVERTAXED AND UNDERAPPRECIATED) and also have a couple of scenes laid out for another vintage mystery.
14: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? Glad you asked! I have just started bridge classes. I hope to continue but they’re very confusing. When my partner and I get through with classes, we’ll play at our local bridge club. Maybe. If they’ll allow us in. I understand they take their games very seriously. And we’re bad. Very bad.
It also takes a lot of time to keep the cats happy. They’re quite demanding.
15: What is the one thing you’d like people to know about you? I’m shy and I’m pretty sure I have facial ADD. I can see someone I know on the street and not recognize them. I can also wave enthusiastically to someone on the street and guess what? They’re total strangers! Makes me leery about going up and saying hi to anyone.
5 Bonus Questions
16: What’s your favorite color? Green
17: What’s your favorite food? Cheesecake.
18: Favorite TV show? Right now, it’s The Big Bang.
19: Favorite Movie? Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief at the moment. But I think it’s because this last book, LOSING DAVID, is set in that era. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of movies I want to see over and over. It’s hard to name one favorite.
20: Favorite Song? Too hard to answer. I have so many I love to listen to. Oldies, classical, country, folk, soft pop and rock. I’ve put some of my favorites on a Spotify playlist called Cheryl’s Favorites. (I also have a Spotify playlist called Losing David for the songs mentioned in the book.)
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