Give a warm welcome to S.A. Stolinsky, author of Hot Shot!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about S.A. Stolinsky and her suspense, Hot Shot.
What defines you as an author? As a person? Are they one in the same? I think that everything you write is obviously a part of you or your subconscious.
What inspired this particular story? I have a wonderful friend who was brutally affected by addictions including gambling. He lost everything he had and then wanted changes implemented at the gambling houses—he became quite an advocate for anti-gambling.
What secret do you use to blast through writer’s block? I ask myself questions, such as “what would happen next? Sometimes I ask myself what each person/character would be doing during this particular scene.
What inspired you to write? I was always good at it, but it also allows me to calm down and create something from nothing.
How long have you been writing? Most of my life.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books? Humor and the idea that most problems can be overcome and will be overcome. I want them to see the humor in life and try to live their lives honestly and with a sense of you can throw a handkerchief into the air and let it fall where it may-type of feelings about most things.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second? Forensic psychology
What do you like to do when you are not writing? Go out to dinner with my husband and going to the movies.
What’s your favorite part of being an author? I’m never bored.
SPEED ROUND FOR A LITTLE ADDED FUN:
Speed Round (one word only answer): Yep, I know torture for a writer!<evil laugh>
Favorite movie: THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR
Favorite book: TOO MANY TO NAME, BUT ROBER PARKER FAVORITE AUTHOR
Last book read: All The Light You Cannot See
Favorite color: Blue
Stilettos or flipflops: Stilettos
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Ebook or audiobook or paperback: Paperback
Pencil or pen: Pen
Favorite song: The Last Rose of Summer
Streak or not: Streak
Favorite dessert: Chocolate cake
Favorite junk food: McD’s cheese burger with bacon, fries and a thick chocolate shake
Favorite thing to do to relax: Read
Champagne or gin: Neither any more
Paranormal or Historical: Historical
Wonder Woman or Top Model: Kate Moss
Favorite TV show: Law and Order
Hot or cold: Cold
POV: from the protagonist
I’d die if I don’t have: a Best Seller list book
Review or Not: Review
Thank you so much for being here. Now tells us a little about Hot Shot.
A Peek Between the Pages of Hot Shot:
Tyler pushed his long, blond hair back with one hand and slouched. He knew she found him attractive. “I’ll tell ya,” he began, hoping to make it last, keep her interested. “I pretty much need the start up money right now.”
Ah, too fast.
“Start up money? Now? You think I got a stash under my bed upstairs? We should go up and find out. My, my we’re in a hurry aren’t we?” Elsie pushed Tyler into an oversized easy chair covered with brown mohair. A black cat with white paws jumped off it as Tyler slammed down.
“Easy kid. That’s the trick. You don’t wanta look too desperate, know what I mean? Well, you are good lookin’ I’ll give you that,” she said. “What ya got there?”
Tyler gave her a certificate.
“Made this up on my computer. It kind of sells land.”
“Bullwhippie,” Elsie said as she tore up the certificate and put it in a glass ashtray on the glass coffee table. “The only thing that makes a lot of money fast is ass, kid.”
“One point five million?” Tyler asked.
“You’re good looking, but honey your ego’s getting away with you.”
Elsie sat in her chair, a plush, pink armchair with multicolor pink pillow and a foot stool in front. She leaned toward him.
“Listen, baby. This is just between you and me, got it? I’ve been a madam longer than I can remember. I work on the sly sometimes, and my parole officer comes around, but he don’t bother me. You know why?”
A still crestfallen Tyler looked at her.
“Because I got the goods on all those assholes, that’s why. I got the video. Don’t ever do porn without a video somewheres in the bedroom. Ya got me?”
Elsie continued without noticing. “I’ll never tell where I hid the original, but believe me I got plenty of copies. Got a friend on Grand that does the best photography in the city. I had a couple of tapes made and almost sold ‘em to TV—the porn sites. So I been thinkin’ real hard about how I can re-establish my rep. And here you come.”
Tyler finally opened his mouth but it was only to use his tongue to wet his lips, they felt parched and he was sure they would crack it he kept his mouth closed any longer.
“Yes, Ma’am,” was all he could think to say.
“I’m gonna start up the biggest whore house in the state, sonny. This time? With men. You know how much a good male hooker can make? Two thousand a night. Now—depending on your stamina…”
“Yeah, I get the picture,” Tyler said.
He wasn’t in to older women, but he had to admit, Elsie was beginning to look visibly younger with the excitement she was projecting. Some people love their work. Her gray roots were beginning to look more like silver blonde streaks and her smile was widening. Her teeth, perfect in what were undoubtedly caps, glistened.
“A male whore house. I don’t think it’s been done before,” Elsie repeated.
Elsie was spry for a woman her age, but she had become overweight and as Tyler checked out the flat, it looked like she’d just moved into the place. She no longer looked like a professional, but that was probably the point. On a small table next to Tyler there was a silver framed picture, a studio shot of a glamorous woman, her head tilted back, full makeup and blond hair, her fingers just touching her chin and a large, pearl necklace around her neck and thick jeweled bracelets on her wrists. Tyler realized it was an old shot of Elsie maybe forty years ago.
“Women in their eighties still masturbate, you know that?” Elsie asked noticing him admiring the photo. She looked like she might jot down his answer in an interview. “And what a shame that is when guys like you are just running around willy-nilly.”
“No, ma’am, never really thought about it,” Tyler said.
“You sure do look like your pa. He was a crafty one, but always good to my girls. You work out, huh? I got a boob job in my seventies. Hell, nothing stays up forever. They’re just starting to sag again now. Thinking about getting ‘em done again, so this is a good time we connected.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Tyler wasn’t sure where this was going, but he was pretty sure he didn’t want it to go much further.
“Thirty percent on my end,” she said.
“Huh?” Tyler realized his eyes had widened and tried to relax so he wouldn’t look so stupid.
“That’s a lot of money, Ma’am,” Tyler said, when the hole in his stomach shrunk slightly. “I mean I’m desperate, like you say, but that’s a big cut.”
“Listen, kid. A man looks like you, your age, your height, your…face, could make more than two thousand dollars a night, okay? It’s not gonna last forever, so you better grab it while ya can.
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Gambling, Hot Shot, Poker, S.A. Stolinsky, Suspense by firstname.lastname@example.org with no comments yet.
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Anise Eden and her Paranormal Romance/Suspense, All The Light There Is, Book Three in The Healing Edge! Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post
Tena, thank you so much for having me on Authors’ Secrets to celebrate the release of ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS! It is such a pleasure to be here.
Anise, the pleasure it all mine. Glad to celebrate All The Light There is! Tell us what inspired this particular story.
As the last installment in The Healing Edge paranormal romance/suspense trilogy, ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS casts its group of paranormally-gifted healers into a new and galvanizing role as they uncover a deep web of subterfuge that puts them in the crosshairs. In this crucible of science and spirituality, danger and destiny, the relationship between Cate and Ben deepens, and the MacGregor Group discovers shocking truths about their true potential. ALL THE LIGHT THERE IS ties together the interpersonal connections and larger plots of the first two books, acting as both the culmination of the series and a broadening of the imagination for the future of the MacGregor Group.
Did you tell friends and family that you were writing a book? Or did it take a while to come out and tell friends and family you were a writer?
The impulse to write my first novel caught me completely by surprise, so the only person I told at first was my husband. Once it was finished, I shared my first book with a few trusted people, but the process of revealing my work progressed very slowly. Early on, it felt as though both my work and the new writer in me needed protection—a little bit like crabs that have recently molted and remain vulnerable until their shells have a chance to develop. Now, one of my greatest joys is getting the word out to readers who I believe will enjoy my particular brand of paranormal romance/suspense!
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
First and foremost, I want my readers to have an entertaining and enjoyable experience. Beyond that, since everyone’s experience is unique, I believe we all take away different things from what we read. However, I write about characters who are misfits, living on the fringe of “normality” and feeling out of place for a variety of reasons. It is my wish that my books will inspire people to have more compassion for themselves and others; to throw open the windows of the mind and consider new possibilities; and to know that they are not alone—that there is always hope.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m something of a homebody who enjoys the simple pleasures: sharing a meal with loved ones, reading, playing with the dog. I also love traveling, especially to explore history, and taking in a really good play or concert. Those types of experiences live inside of me and enrich my life in countless ways, and I often draw upon them when writing.
ParaTrain Internship, Day Six
It’s just a meeting. Nothing to be nervous about. I wiped my damp palms on my skirt and ordered my brain to focus on something else. Like the Jag, I thought. Focus on the fact that you’re finally getting a ride in the Jag.
And not just any Jag—the British 1936 Jaguar SS100 Ben had restored. He’d found the car in a barn in Pennsylvania, sitting on blocks and covered in hay bales. Now, it looked like it had just left the showroom. My fingertips roamed across the soft leather seat as I admired each piece of shining chrome and the deep glow of the wood on the dash. The car’s transformation was a testament to Ben’s workmanship—not to mention to his patience and tenacity when it came to the things he loved.
The things—and the people, I thought, smiling down at my ring. I hadn’t exactly made things easy for Ben, but now, two gold birds were wrapped around my finger, holding a lustrous piece of Scottish agate between their wings. He’d wanted to give me a tangible reminder of how he felt, a talisman to guard against anxiety and doubt.
I stole a glance at Ben. He was completely in his element, left hand loosely holding the steering wheel, right elbow propped up on the door. Everything about him was solid and squared-off, from the angle of his jaw to the way he carried his shoulders. These qualities were augmented by his charcoal gray suit and crisp white shirt—worn sans tie, as usual. I marveled that no matter what internal battles he might be fighting, Ben always exuded a quiet confidence.
“Enjoying yourself?” he asked.
“Completely.” I closed my eyes and inhaled my new favorite scent—a mixture of fine wool, cotton, and vintage leather that clung to Ben like an olfactory tattoo. “My mom would have loved this, you know.”
His light brown eyes softened. “You think so?”
“Absolutely.” Every summer when I was a kid, she had taken me to the local car shows. Back then, we could only look, never touch. Riding along with Ben, I felt like a glamorous movie star. I struck my best Hollywood pose, and he smiled.
It was such a pleasure—not to mention a relief—to see Ben relax after the nonstop drama of the past two weeks. There had been too many life-and-death situations, too much tension. And more than anyone, Ben had earned a vacation. With that in mind, after our meeting at the Smithsonian, we planned to spend the rest of the weekend on the Eastern Shore. That evening, we had a dinner date with my mother’s cousin, Ardis, and a reservation at a nice bed-and-breakfast. Sunday’s schedule was still open. I thought we might head to the ocean; I loved the beach in the fall. Or we could take the ferry to Smith Island; wander around St. Michaels, go sailing…. As I considered the possibilities, I nearly forgot to be nervous.
Then we entered downtown D.C. I sobered as stately suburban homes gave way to modern office buildings and massive structures of chiseled granite. Before long, the Smithsonian office building came into view—ten stories of tinted glass reflecting the cloudless blue sky like a darkened mirror. It took up half a city block.
Ben caught me biting my lip. “You know there’s nothing to be nervous about, right?”
“I know,” I lied. The truth was, I couldn’t believe we were actually there. It had been less than twenty-four hours since Ben told his mother, Dr. MacGregor, about our group’s experience with the double kheir ritual. Now we were on our way to meet with her world-class paranormal research team—and not just to exchange information. We’d been asked to give a demonstration, as well.
I had dressed up for the occasion, wearing a dove gray pencil skirt and a wine-colored cashmere sweater my mother had given me one Christmas. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t belong at the Smithsonian—not as anything more than a tourist, anyway.
“Well, just in case,” he said, “let me remind you that you have nothing to prove here. None of us do. My mother already told her colleagues what happened with our ritual, and they’re keen to know more. But they don’t have any definite expectations; after all, half of them still think the double kheir is just a myth.” In a conspiratorial tone, he added, “Think of it this way. I know you have a lot of questions. Today, you can ask anything you like.”
“Hmm.” I bit the tip of my finger. “Anything?”
“Like whether The Da Vinci Code was based in fact? And whether they’re all members of the Illuminati?”
He chuckled as we pulled into the underground parking garage. “If you ask them those questions, I’ll make sure you get a substantial year-end bonus.”
“Deal,” I said, smiling tentatively. I was still getting used to the idea that my new boyfriend was also my new boss.
Ben was the manager of the MacGregor Group, an alternative healing clinic founded by his mother and housed in a repurposed church. I first met him when my former employer, Dr. Nelson, sent me to the MacGregor Group for treatment. My mother’s recent suicide had left me in pieces, unable to function. As close as she and I had been, somehow I hadn’t seen that my mother was in crisis. Her shocking loss had debilitated me, and I could barely leave my house, let alone return to my job as a psychotherapist. What Dr. Nelson hadn’t told me was that Dr. MacGregor was a psychiatrist who specialized in paranormal gifts, and that instead of “treating” me, she and Ben were enrolling me in ParaTrain, a paranormal skills training program. My first lesson had been to learn the definition of an empath—and that I was one.
Since then, my life had changed so dramatically that it was unrecognizable. Dr. Nelson, Dr. MacGregor, and Ben had all worked hard to convince me that because I was an empath, the key to maintaining my mental health was to leave my job as a therapist and go to work for the MacGregor Group. The idea of leaving my beloved therapy clients was nothing short of heartrending. But after due consideration and several persuasive paranormal experiences, I had agreed to take their advice. Before I could officially start my new job, though, I had to complete a three-week training program: one week of preparation, followed by a two-week internship.
My time in ParaTrain had flown by. Although I was starting my final week of the internship, I still didn’t feel anywhere near ready to take on my new role as an empath healer. Before I met the MacGregors, I hadn’t even known that empaths existed, so I was still struggling to find my bearings. And the unexpected romance between Ben and me was keeping me permanently off-balance. Add in the mind-blowing experience we’d had with the double kheir the previous week, and…. Well, I didn’t even know what had happened there, so I was fairly certain that I’d make a fool of myself trying to describe it to the Smithsonian research team.
That thought had me wiping my palms on my skirt again. “I am nervous, though, about this demonstration we’re supposed to give. The researchers may not have any definite expectations, but surely they’re hoping to see something. And unlike the rest of you, I have no idea what I’m doing.”
“You’ll be fine, Cate,” Ben reassured me as we pulled into a parking space. “Kai’s got it all figured out. He said he has something simple and easy planned, so just follow his instructions. Even if nothing interesting happens, that’s still useful information for my mother’s team. They’re scientists, remember? In an experiment, even a negative result is valuable.”
I had no reason to doubt Kai. He was a highly capable expert in ancient rituals, among other things. But when it came to the paranormal, I had a track record of unintentionally messing things up. “What if I forget our instructions and start reading people’s emotions?”
Dr. MacGregor had passed on a request from her project director that we refrain from using our paranormal gifts on the members of the research team without their specific permission. Apparently, they were much more comfortable observing others than being observed themselves.
“The fact that you’re already worrying about that means it’s highly unlikely you’ll forget,” he said. “And even if you do, who’s going to know?”
Only everyone, I thought. My poker face was nonexistent. I buried my face in my hands. “I’m just afraid that I’m going to embarrass myself. And you. And your mother. And disappoint everyone.”
Ben turned off the ignition. I felt him lean towards me and gently tuck an escaped strand of hair into my braid. “That’s not possible.”
His optimism was endearing, if ill-founded. “Oh, I assure you, it’s possible.”
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged All The Light There Is, Anise Eden, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Telepath by email@example.com with 2 comments.
Give a warm welcome to Deborah Camp, author of Through Her Eyes, book four in the Mind’s Eye Series. released on July 24, 2017!
Tell me Deborah, who is your favorite character and why?
While it’s true that I have to be in love with every hero I write or it just doesn’t work for me, I admit that I have a special place in my heart for Leviticus Wolfe. Here are four reasons why I’m so “gone” for this guy.
- He’s my ultimate type. I love bad boys – guys who are badass but have bleeding hearts. Levi is bad in a good way. Growing up in a challenging environment, he developed a hard shell, but somehow he has managed to remain kind and compassionate. He doesn’t go looking for a fight, but he doesn’t back down from them either. His heart is scarred, but still big and beautiful.
- He leads and never follows. Levi takes charge. When he sees something or someone he wants, he goes after it. His mission in life is to bring about order from chaos. He doesn’t like lies or turbulence in his life because that’s what was around him all the time when he was young. He doesn’t like to feel that he’s not in charge and in control – which is why being with Trudy is both thrilling and aggravating for him. When he’s with her, he’s not sure-footed or certain of the direction he’s moving toward with her.
- He knows he’s deeply flawed. Although he’s handsome, gifted, and successful, Levi knows he has deep flaws and wounds that haven’t healed. He wants to be a better man, so he’s in therapy and working to exorcise his demons. But his main flaw is that he doesn’t trust others or his own heart. His intellect – knowing he should trust Trudy and allow himself to love her with all his heart – battles his honed instincts – guarding himself from further pain that would wipe out the progress he’s made in shedding his phobias and becoming “normal.”
- He’s learning to love and be loved. Levi has never known deep, abiding love in his life and Trudy offers that to him. It frightens him because he feels unworthy of it and, yet, he wants it, desperately. Accepting such a gift will mean that he must reveal all of himself to Trudy, and when he does, he’s afraid she will decide he’s too messed up and she’ll leave him.
Do you see yourself in your characters?
My characters have pieces of me in them. For my female protagonists, I usually have to tone them down. I tend to be a little bitchy and bossy, which works out fine in my life, but comes off too strong (rude?) on the pages. Joyce, by bestie and editor, often points out places in scenes where my heroine is catty or mouthy. I like my heroines to be spirited and take up for themselves, but I want readers to like them and want to be them, so I end up revising their dialogue. That’s when an editor comes in handy. What I “hear” in my head as I write, isn’t always how others “hear” it. A good editor can point this out and save a writer from inadvertently giving the wrong impression of a character or a character’s motivation.
My main characters are how I’d like to be. Brave, witty, sexy, gracious, clever, and compassionate. I am all of these things, but not always when I want or should be! My characters usually do the right thing at the right time and say the right thing when it needs to be said. I don’t do that . . . but, oh how I wish I could! And wouldn’t it be nice if the guys in our lives said the perfect thing every time we needed to hear it?
Why do you write what you write?
I enjoy books with a touch (or more) of suspense, so I’ve added that to my novels for many years. This series goes beyond a touch. The books have edge-of-your-seat scenes in them. Then there is the paranormal aspect in the Mind’s Eye series.
When I was in high school, I met a boy who has ESP. He couldn’t play card games with us because he could “read” our minds and know what cards we had in our hands and which ones we needed. He’s a remarkable human being and the reason I became interested in the paranormal. I’ve met a lot of fakes in my time as I’ve researched psychics, but I’ve also run across a handful who are the real deals.
The psychic world is vast and a few psychics take it beyond “entertainment” and use their gifts to help detectives with cold cases or assist people in finding their lost relatives. It’s fascinating stuff and I knew that it would provide plenty of material for a series – or two or three. Readers like how Trudy and Levi have different abilities. Trudy can connect psychically with murderers while Levi can commune with deceased victims. Together, they can glean clues from the living and the dead.
I also enjoy exploring the other side of being psychic. Growing up “different” is difficult and most psychics had challenging childhoods. From being called liars by their parents to being taunted by their school mates. Levi had a horrendous childhood and Trudy is only now coming to grips with her abilities and how to control them. It all makes for complex characters in fascinating situations.
Thank you for that insight into your and your writing.
“So, tell me about your experience,” Trudy said, sitting next to Levi.“It was strange. Very strange. I was contacted – during a business meeting, mind you – by the dead son of the new contractor I was speaking with in my office. This kid – a salvage yard murder victim – popped into my head and started yelling at me. I tried to shut him out, but I couldn’t. I had to actually stop the damned meeting and tell the man that his deceased son was demanding an audience. Gonzo thought I’d lost my noodle.”
“Good Lord!” She covered her parted lips with her hand. “I’d say that was a heck of a coincidence, but . . .it seems to be so much more than that.”
“Yeah, right.” He sat back and drummed his fingers on the table for a few seconds. “Anyway, the kid – Clayton Nelson – was hitchhiking in New Orleans when a guy in a pickup stopped for him. He couldn’t see much of the man’s face because he wore a ball cap and sunglasses. He had a mustache that looked fake to me. He used the ploy of something being wrong with his truck to get the kid to look under the hood and then he knocked him out with a blow to the head. Clay came to in a basement, his wrists and ankles bound with plastic ties and chains.” He shuttered his gaze from her. “That’s where he was murdered.” A few seconds ticked by before his lashes lifted to reveal his dark blue eyes that never missed much. “You’ve been in contact with the murderer already, haven’t you?”
Her heart jolted. He was uncanny. “I was in contact with someone who’s warped. I don’t know if it was the salvage yard killer.”
“Was he murdering someone?”
“Something. A cat.”
Levi’s upper lip lifted in disgust. “Jesus.”
“Yeah. He was practicing, I think.” She shuddered and blocked out the memory.
“The kid in my head showed me a compass and pointed to the N on it.”
She gasped at the reference. “Your true north?”
“Bingo. His way of telling me that you were already part of this.”
She reached for her glass of juice. They must be destined to examine this case. How else could she explain what happened to Levi and what she’d already experienced?
Posted in Authors' Secrets Blog and tagged Deborah Camp, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, The mind's Eye Series, Through Her Eyes by firstname.lastname@example.org with 4 comments.
Give a warm welcome to K.K. Weil, author of Some Whisper, Some Shout to be released on August 16, 2017!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about K.K. and Reed from Some Whisper, Some Shout.
KK, I see you’ve brought friends with you.
Yes indeed, this is Reed, a talented musician, the hero and Jolie, the hard-working heroine of Some Whisper, Some Shout.
Wonderful. Reed, do you mind answering a few questions?
What event in your past has left the most indelible impression on you? I would say losing my father had a lasting impression on me. I made a lot of mistakes after he died; mistakes I’ve tried hard to fix. But I’m learning that sometimes doing better isn’t as easy as it sounds.
What do you most value? I used to think my music was the thing I valued most. Since I started spending time, with Jolie, though, I’ve learned that my music alone isn’t worth a whole lot. She’s more of an inspiration to me than my beloved saxophone ever was by itself. So if I have to think of the thing I most value, I’d have to say it’s having someone who’s perfect for you to share the things you love with.
What is the type of woman you want to spend the rest of your life with? I want a woman who looks outside of herself and her needs to help others. Someone who might not realize that the things she sees as weaknesses are actually strengths. Someone who makes my existence better just by being present. In short, Jolie.
What do you consider most important in life? Now? After everything I’ve learned? I’d have to say honesty and accountability.
What is your biggest secret? Ha, well, I’ve been keeping so many for such a long time, now that everything with Jolie is out in the open, I hope never to have any secrets again.
Your turn on the hot seat Jolie. LOL
Who are you really? I think I’m someone with only a few desires. For my family to be safe, for the less fortunate to have more and to spend my life with someone who will take care of me while I take care of him in return.
Who were the biggest role models in your life? My grandmother, Mamie, is definitely my biggest role model. She taught me to be strong and confident and to see the best in people. I used to think I had nothing in common with her, but Reed has helped me to see that I’m more like her than I thought.
What kind of man do you want to spend the rest of your life with? If you would have asked me that question a year ago, I would have said, without pause, that dependability and predictability were the most important qualities in a man for me. But there is so much more to life than what I thought before. While those things are still important, I now realize that dependability takes on many shapes, and what you think you need isn’t necessarily what’s best for you. I want a man who will be there for me, unconditionally, to grow with and change with. And I think I’ve found him.
What kind of man would you never choose? A man who was dishonest down to the core.
What is most important to you in life? First, my family. Second, helping those less fortunate.
What is your biggest fear? That my brother will struggle with mental illness for the rest of his life.
KK, Tell us a little about writing this story. Was it fun or difficult? Do your characters always act as you expect? Are you a plotter, or fly (write) by the seat of your pants?
Writing Some Whisper, Some Shout was both a joy and a struggle. I’m a pantser, so while I had a good idea of the premise and where I wanted the story to go, I didn’t know exactly how I was going to get there. There were so many joys – first, creating the main characters…Jolie was easy for me but Reed took more work. Since much of his story has to do with him hiding a secret, I had to figure out a way to let us get to know him without giving too much away. Once I was able to tell Part 2 of the story from his point of view, the pages just flew off the computer. Writing about Jolie’s creperie was so much fun, too. I love the boardwalks on the Jersey Shore and ever since I went to Paris, crepes have been a favorite of mine. Combining the two and coming up with funny names for the crepes was a blast. Third, one of my characters, Mamie, is based off of my own grandmother (though exaggerated). Coming up with lines for her was really a joy. Sometimes I could see my grandmother speaking when I wrote the dialog.
Now the struggle, if I can call it that. Some Whisper, Some Shout revolves around two major issues – mental illness and homelessness. After a lot of research on both topics, it was important to me to portray things correctly. Jolie’s mission in life is to feed the hungry, but she had to make it clear that, while she was friendly with these people, there was no way she could understand the hardships they’ve experienced. I also wanted to be sure to make her a reliable narrator. As someone whose family suffered with mental illness, her perspective on the subject was very important. While these are challenging topics, writing about them makes me love working even more.
Tell us a little about Some Whisper, Some Shout.
Devices. Jolie’s got tons of them. Coping mechanisms that ensure she’s not falling victim to the mental illness that’s taken hold of both her brother and father. Helping the homeless gives Jolie much needed consistency. But when a stranger struts into her Jersey Shore creperie, writing cryptic songs on napkins and then disappearing, her world becomes anything but routine.
Reed can play the soul out of his saxophone, but he’s hiding something. Why else would he reveal so little about himself, or plan one secluded, albeit eccentric, date after another? And what’s in that backpack he carries everywhere? Then again, with her distressed brother missing, an estranged mother returning home, and a feisty grandmother acting weirder than usual, Jolie can’t decipher whether her suspicions are valid or dangerous delusions.
When inexplicable slashings of the homeless occur in her otherwise safe town, Jolie’s devices begin to fail.
Can we have a sneek peek between the pages of Some Whisper, Some Shout?
“Come here.” Reed took my arm and pulled me toward him. Then he eased my shoulders down so I was sitting in his lap, straddling him. “Tell me.”
“Tell you what?” It was such an obvious stall tactic I would have laughed if I weren’t so sad and embarrassed.
“Jolie.” He watched me and waited for me to speak with that same expression he wore the first time he spoke—as if he already understood me. It made no sense. It was impossible, but it made me want to open up to him in ways I never did with anyone else.
“You must think I’m…”
“Crazy?” He chuckled.
That word. That word that I despised, that struck my last nerve. “No, not crazy.” I stood from his lap, but he was too fast. He held my hips in place until I sat back down on him of my own accord.
“Okay, not crazy,” he said once I was back where he wanted me. “How about stunningly beautiful?” He kissed my lips tenderly.
“I’ll take that one.”
“So do you want to tell me now?”
“I thought you said I didn’t have to,” I said, but, oddly, part of me hoped he’d push.
“You don’t.” He brought his face away from mine and waited for me to lead the conversation. He wouldn’t shy away from the topic. If I didn’t want to talk about it, I’d have to change the subject. For the first time, I wanted to discuss Tristan with someone other than Mamie.
“My brother is sick.” I couldn’t look Reed in the face. Instead, I found a small chocolate stain on his shirt that he must have gotten from one of Mamie’s pastries, and traced over it with my pointer. “He’s got”—I hadn’t spoken the word in so long I didn’t know if it would still fall from my lips—“schizophrenia.”
Reed sighed against my finger. “I’m so sorry, Jolie.”
“He was diagnosed at nineteen as soon as he started exhibiting symptoms. We knew what to watch for because, well, because my father had it too.”
He took my hand and brought my fingers to his lips, holding them there. I fought to keep the tears from my eyes. I’d already broken down once tonight. I didn’t plan on doing it again
About the Author:
K.K. Weil grew up in Queens, but eventually moved to New York City, the inspiration for many of her stories. Weil, who attended SUNY Albany as an undergrad and NYU as a graduate student, is also a teacher. She enjoys writing her own dramas and lives near the beach in New Jersey, where she is at work on her next novel.
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