Category: Interviews

Contemporary Author Melissa Klein talks about her new release OUT OF SIGHT

Klein13024-12-8x10[1]Melissa Klein writes contemporary romance about everyday heroes fighting extraordinary battles. Whether facing the demands of caring for a child with special needs or the struggles of a soldier returning home, her characters take on the challenges life throws at them with perseverance, courage, and humor. Melissa won Georgia Romance Writers Unpublished Maggie award in 2013 and Rose City Romance Writers Golden Rose award in 2012. She lives in Atlanta with her family and can be found at www.MelissaKleinRomance.com

 

 

OutofSight_w11613_750What led you to write this book? Three years ago, a skiing accident left my daughter with a traumatic brain injury. She experienced the same memory loss and aphasia as Mia Jones, the heroine in Out of Sight. My daughter’s tenacity and willingness to work hard inspired me to write about a woman who triumphed over a similar life-changing event. I dedicated Out of Sight to Laura and the medical professionals at the trauma center where she was Life Flighted. Without their skill, Laura wouldn’t have gone on to lead an independent and happy life, just like Mia.

What do you hope readers take away from your work? In Out of Sight, Hank Taggart also faces life-changing events and struggles. I want readers to rethink what it means to be a hero. Everyone deserves their own version of happily ever after, even former naval pilots who must trade dog fighting in the skies for AA meetings.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books? I find myself repeating the theme of second chances in my books. I believe everyone deserves another chance to correct past mistakes and a second chance at love.

What do you do when you are not writing? When I’m not writing, I like to garden and travel. I have a small yard where I enjoy planting southern perennials I remember seeing in my grandparents’ gardens. This year my gardenias and hydrangeas are especially beautiful. I recently returned from visiting my daughter and was able to add Rhode Island to the list of states I’ve visited. Only 9 more to go.

What’s next for you? Out of Time, the third book in the Out of Uniform series will release sometime in August. I’m also completing another book in my Magnolia Springs series. My current work is progress is a departure from my usual military romance. It’s a humorous contemporary romance that starts when the hero and heroine attempt to stop their respective parents from marrying.

Social media: 

https://www.facebook.com/Melissa.Klein.Romance .

@klein_klein344

www.pinterest.com/gryphonmoonston/

Interview: Cozy mystery author Nancy G. West

Nancy G WestWhen Nancy was seven, she and her mother wrote poems to each other. The poetry was awful, but Nancy learned if you wrote something, people stopped to read it.
     In high school, Library Journal’s Pegasus published her poem. At eighteen–since journalists were underpaid and English grads sold lingerie–she slogged through General Business at UT-Austin, earning a BBA. Fortunately, one elective was Creative Writing.
     After graduation, Nancy read books on writing, wrote articles, poetry, the biography of artist Jose Vives-Atsara, and founded Book Publishers of Texas. 
     Returning to college to study English literature, she wrote Nine Days to Evil, a novel of psychological suspense, and the Book Shelf column for San Antonio Woman Magazine. NPR broadcast her poem, “Time to Lie”.
     Aggie Mundeen, a character from Nine Days to Evil, captivated Nancy and led her to create award-winning Aggie Mundeen mysteries. She is working on Aggie’s next escapade, convinced that writing is a lot more fun accounting.

River City Dead cover front. Final. Hi resTell us about your new release.  My heroine, Aggie Mundeen, a single columnist, moves from Chicago to Texas to shape up and start life over and falls in love with San Antonio Detective, Sam Vanderhoven. Eagerness and curiosity propel her to help with his investigations, creating humorous and dangerous results. In River City Dead, they plan a weekend getaway at a San Antonio hotel on the River Walk during Fiesta week—an escape from crime and reset for their dicey relationship. But murder has a way of interfering with the best laid plans. Sam and Aggie must improvise before she ends up dead in the river.

What led you to write this book?  By the end of Book 3, Smart, But Dead, Aggie and Sam reached a new level of understanding. Having survived volatile encounters with crime and a few self-evaluations, they need a calm, secure place to start over, an idyllic setting not too far from Sam’s work. It’s time for a rendezvous. What better setting than the beautiful San Antonio River Walk?

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?  I live in San Antonio, have spent many happy hours on the River Walk and attended many Fiesta Events. But I learned so much about my own city: why San Antonio is called Military City, how the city honors the military, their ranks, heroes’ resting places; how city groups convene for Fiesta and what it all means; how the city water system and river authority interconnect with the San Antonio River, and the fascinating story of the creation of the River Walk.

How important is setting to your story?  Aggie and Sam’s story takes precedent over everything, but the River Walk and hotel are integral to the plot and crucial to telling their story. One reviewer writes, “River City Dead is like taking a vacation while reading a mystery.” Another says, “I have visited the River Walk. I wish I had read this book first. Lots of interesting information along with the mystery.”

Which is more important characters or setting?  In my Aggie Mundeen mysteries, characters are always most important. The setting exists to highlight their personalities and foibles when they confront crime in a distinctive place.

Are any of your characters loosely based on people you know in real life?  Author Carolyn Hart writes, “Aggie’s pluck, humor, intelligence and loving heart will keep her young and make readers smile.” Author James W. Ziskin calls Aggie an “irrepressible heroine.” I plead guilty to having Aggie’s overwhelming curiosity, but I wish I had half her energy and bravery. The other traits, spread among many friends, coalesce in Aggie. I love Sam’s good judgment and reliability (probably based on my husband and father.) One reader wrote, “I identify with Aggie… the characters live and breathe….Shoot, if I was single and Aggie wasn’t in the picture, I’d go after Sam myself!”

Do you people watch for character inspiration?  All the time. Their body language and dialogue reveals so much about them. One could write a whole character sketch after listening to someone talk into their phone on a long-winded call.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet  Movies come to mind. I love Goldie Hawn’s character in Private Benjamin and Sandra Bullock’s female FBI agent in Miss Congeniality. They try so hard, they mean well and they keep screwing up.

 SMART BUT DEAD cover frontWhat do you hope readers take away from your work?  A great sense of who Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam are and a fervent hope for their relationship, fascination with their entertaining friends, genuine entertainment, and more than a few laughs.

What do you do when you are not writing?  Enjoy my family. Read. Daydream. Tile table tops. Sit and watch the river go by.

Which book impacted you as a teenager?  The Secret in the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase. Nancy Drew, of course. She was curious, smart and independent, and her father had such trust in her.

Do you read the same genre you write?  I read mysteries, thrillers, literary fiction, biographies, political books, and other non-fiction if the topic intrigues me.

What is #1 on your bucket list?  More travel in the United States and enough time to write all the books I want to write.

 Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out?  Aggie gets herself in some scary situations, but I’m averse to blood, guts and serial killers.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?  I love to sit beside the Guadalupe River, daydream and write.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?  Trust. You can like somebody, even love them, but can you trust them? If you find you can’t, how do you adjust your thinking? After writing a biography, prequel suspense novel and four Aggie Mundeen mysteries, I became aware of this recurring theme.

What are you reading now?  I’m always behind. I just read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, David Baldacci’s The Black Widow. Next up, Nelson DeMille’s The Charm School. I try to read a book on the craft of fiction between novels. I have an occasional rash of realism and read non-fiction.

What social media do you participate in?

Website: http://nancygwest.com

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pg/authorNancyG.West/posts/?ref=page_internal

Twitter: @NancyGWest_

Pinterest/RIVER CITY DEAD: https://www.pinterest.com/nancyg0257/river-city-dead-aggie-mundeen-mystery-4-by-nancy-g/?lp=true

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-g-west-69186731/edit/topcard/

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Do you see humor in people and situations like Aggie Mundeen does?

Yes. I can’t help it. I think it’s genetic.

 What’s next for you?  Another book about Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam. I can’t give them up.

Interview with Harley Mazuk

101044HarleyinTuscanyHarley Mazuk was born in Cleveland, the last year the Indians won the World Series. Harley grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, attended Hiram College and spent his junior year at Elphinstone College, Bombay University. He received his B.A. in English literature. Retired from a long career in U.S. Government Service, Harley now writes full-time. He and his wife Anastasia live in Maryland, where they raised two children. Harley’s passions are writing, reading, Italian cars, and his family. He and his protagonist, Frank Swiver, share a love of California wine. Visit Harley Mazuk online at: www.harleymazuk.com

Tell us about your new release.

51ZieRgHZBLWhite with Fish, Red with Murder is the story of Frank Swiver, a private eye, who accepts an invitation to a wine tasting on a private rail car, and brings along his secretary and lover, Vera Peregrino. The host, General Thursby, wants Frank to find proof that a friend whose death was ruled accidental had been murdered. Thursby suspects Cicilia O’Callaghan, widow of his late friend and an old flame of Frank’s. But Thursby takes two slugs through the pump, and the cops arrest Vera for his killing. Frank finds himself trapped in a love triangle as he spends his nights with Cici, and his days trying to find Thursby’s real killer and spring Vera. But soon he realizes his relationship with Cici is poisonous, and he risks losing both women . . . and maybe his life.

What led you to write this book?

Being a bit of a rebellious youth, I never expected to reach old age. So as my 50th birthday loomed, the occasion called for a celebration. I decided to write a murder mystery game for my 50th birthday party. I asked the guests to dress in their best 1940s fashions, at a minimum fedoras for the gents and stockings with seams for the dames. I wrote scripts and assigned roles. There was plenty of wine, and everyone had fun. Some years later, I began to entertain serious thoughts about becoming a writer when I retired. I took the old scripts and dossiers I had written for the murder mystery characters out of the drawer and began to turn them into a novel, White with Fish, Red with Murder.

Which is more important characters or setting?

When you think about the elements of fiction–plot, setting, character, point of view, theme—setting is perhaps first among equals. Everything begins with, grows out of, starts with place. A story has to know where it is in time and place. Characters develop in and are shaped by their environments.

I didn’t think this way about the primacy of setting when I wrote most of White with Fish, so in my book, characters are more important than setting. It’s a character-driven novel.

Are any of your characters loosely based on people you know in real life?

They are, loosely. Some are composites of characters I’ve known; with some I relive incidents from my life that I think have or had emotional or dramatic impact. A good example is that I’ve never been a private eye, and I’ve never lived in San Francisco. Yet there’s a lot of me in my P.I., Frank Swiver. Frank is a pacifist, a Roman Catholic, and he drinks too much wine. I was a conscientious objector, I’m a Catholic, and I drink a lot of wine, too. So we share a consciousness, a philosophy, and an approach to life. That makes it easy for me to write Frank’s part. Other characters in the book share traits with people I’ve known, and we’ve lived through incidents that I recreate it the book.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

This book is an “entertainment,” as Graham Greene used to say about some of his works. So I hope readers enjoy it and have fun. I’d like to transport readers to a slower paced, less technical world, in which the detective doesn’t rely on technology, lab results, or computers to solve the crime, but rather on his courage, his persistence, and work ethic. I’d like to leave readers wanting to come back and see Frank Swiver and some of the other characters again—there will be more.

Do you read the same genre you write?

For the most part, yes, I do. Mystery or detective fiction. This last fall and winter, I read Black Water Rising by Attica Locke, A Corpse in the Koryo, by James Church, Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris, The Coroner’s Lunch, Colin Cotterill, Miami Purity, Vicki Hendricks, and two Michael Didbin’s Cosi Fan Tutti and Dead Lagoon, featuring Aurelio Zen. Zen is one of my influences for Frank Swiver. I read an Eric Ambler novel, The Light of Day, on my Kindle.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Richard III by William Shakespeare, a play about what happens when a sociopath takes over a great country. I’ve never read this before, but so far, I find it absolutely brilliant. I often have to use study guides to understand Shakespeare’s language, but the dialogue in this is so vivid, so clear, I know exactly what’s going on. Richard is not a likable character; he’s loathsome, actually, but he establishes a connection with the audience in his opening monologue. I won’t say readers (or audiences) root for him, exactly, but like Hannibal Lecter, he’s compelling, fascinating even. And though it is classified as a history play, the title page calls it “The Tragedy of King Richard the third.” It’s very enjoyable so far, and I think a writer can learn a lot from reading Shakespeare.

Interview: Mia Jo Celeste

fcportra-me-in-the-stairs-wMia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise when she chose to pursue both careers. She grew up watching horror movies and reading romances. To her, the two genres go together like salty and sweet in kettle corn.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I’m an English teacher, so you might say working with words is a big part of my life.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?

Yes, and it’s not entirely intentional. I’m really a strong believer in second changes and in starting over, so many times my characters are on that journey. Most often, they succeed. We all have a broken place in our past and I write the story of its mending. That said, I have a big imagination and usually along the characters’ journey, a lot of fantastic, not quite real, stuff happens, which is why most of my work is also paranormal.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

That people can change and grow. They can start again.

Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out?

Yes, I’m one of those authors who believes that there must be emotion in the author if a scene’s going to generate emotion in the reader. Other Than, my new release is a paranormal tale, which has an element of horror to it. A scene that raised heebie-jeebies for me was when the heroine gets locked out of her room. It’s her first night on the island. She knows no one and she’s only seen a couple of rooms in the main house, so she gets lost. When she tries to find help, she ends up joining a line of zombie-workers. Then she discovers, they’re not only dead, but mindless and threatening. She’s surrounded, about to be attacked and she realizes as that these creatures have the same disease she does—they could be her future.

Do you read the same genre you write?

Yes, but pretty much, I read in every other genre, too. I’m addicted to stories, and I’m always looking for my next novel-fix, which leads to the next question—

What social media do you participate in?

I have a blog www.miaceleste.com —I’m on Twitter and Facebook, but I’d love for readers to look for me on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/62257812-mia-jo-celeste so we could share must-reads.

Interview with Jane Jordan author of the historical thriller THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER

jane-jordanJane was born in in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties. After some time spent in Germany in the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor.  Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she wrote her first novel Ravens Deep.  The next two books Blood & Ashes and A Memoir of Carl completed her gothic vampire trilogy.

Jane is a trained horticulturist, and spent time working and volunteering for Britain’s National Trust at Exmoor’s 1000-year-old Dunster Castle.  Gaining more insight into the history and mysteries surrounding these ancient places, and having always been intrigued by the supernatural, inspiration came for her fourth novel, THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER.  Combining the age-old struggle between good and evil with the passion and romance of the characters she creates.

Jane returned to Florida in 2013, and lives in Sarasota with her family.

Tell us about your new release.

the-beekeepers-daughter-book-coverTHE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a historical thriller that primarily takes place in the late Victorian period. The story is set on Exmoor, the South West Coast of England. It tells the story of Annabel who is a talented bee charmer, she also inherited far more complex powers, for her mother was a witch.

Annabel grew up knowing that she was different from other people, and that she could manipulate more than just the bees. Living in harmony with nature, her abilities seemed like a natural way of life, but when faced with adversity, she summons these inherent powers to protect the ones she loves. Not only does she discover the extent of her own gift, she soon realizes that another, and possibly a far more powerful witch has a hold over her destiny.

Jevan is her childhood friend and sweetheart, and her heart is broken when he is forced to leave her and Exmoor. During his absence, she forms a friendship with Alex, the son of a wealthy landowner. Alex becomes besotted with her, and surprisingly Annabel feels a rare connection with him. Soon Alex’s attentions take a sinister turn. Although puzzled by his sudden change in character, she discovers that his father, Cerberus is the driving force behind many of his actions.

Unexpectedly, Jevan returns, and Annabel’s world turns upside down, but when Jevan is falsely arrested and condemned to death, she knows the only way to save him is to pledge her hand in marriage to Alex.

For Annabel, this marriage is a recipe for disaster, she begins to despise Alex, while she and Jevan are unable to stay away from each other. Thus ensues a devastating love triangle. As jealously intensifies, each man wants the other one dead. Annabel not only has to contend with this destructive relationship between Alex and Jevan, but she is in danger from the wrath of a spirit that refuses to rest in the foreboding Gothelstone Mansion. At the same time, her father-in-law seems intent on making her believe a diabolical truth.

In this dark and intriguing gothic tale, Annabel must unravel the Saltonstall legacy, save the life of the man she loves and destroy the source of evil that has plagued generations of the family before her.

What led you to write this book?

Continue reading “Interview with Jane Jordan author of the historical thriller THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER”

Interview with Glen Ebisch author of STORMY WEATHER

ebisch-photoTell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been a professor of philosophy for over thirty years. Most recently I retired from teaching at a small university in western Massachusetts. For much of that time I have also written mystery and suspense fiction, starting with books for young adults and moving on to writing for adults. I have had twenty-five books published, twelve of them in the last fifteen years as time has allowed me to write more. All are cozy in nature and suitable for any reader.

I live in western Massachusetts with my wife. My hobbies include reading (of course) and going to the gym. We also look forward to traveling to Maine and Cape May, New Jersey for our needed dose of the beach.

Tell us about your new release.

STORMY WEATHER, my latest mystery, is about Stormy McCloud, a meteorologist at a local television station who runs into trouble when the body of Travis Lambert, the senior meteorologist at the same station, is found in a shallow grave next to her house.  Although the police do not have enough to charge her, she is definitely their prime suspect. When the station hires private detective Chance Malone to investigate the murder, her situation doesn’t improve.  Malone is attractive, charming, and funny, all qualities that Stormy’s past experience with men has led her to avoid.  It also doesn’t help that Stormy has little background or interest in religion, while Malone is the unusual private detective who has a Bible in his desk drawer rather than a bottle of scotch.  As they work together to solve the murder, surprising aspects of Travis’ life come to light, and Chance and Stormy find their relationship deepening much to Stormy’ dismay.  When Stormy’s estranged mother appears on the scene, Stormy also must decide whether to have a relationship with the woman who deserted her as a child.  As the story proceeds, Stormy is forced to reconsider her view of men, her mother and her future.

51kjwnjlqhl-_sx311_bo1204203200_What led you to write this book?

Like most people who watch the weather report on their local television station, it has occasionally crossed my mind that this is a job, like all reporting, that turns a person into a local celebrity. I wanted to examine the problems that can arise with this kind of notoriety, and how conflicts can develop as people compete for a limited amount of fame.  As with many crime novels, it also focuses on how your life can be instantly turned around once you are suspected of having done something wrong.  I also wanted to have a subplot that dealt with the conflicts that can arise when people with different attitudes toward religion are attracted to each other, which is a common issue today.

What is more important: character or setting?

Usually my stories are highly character driven with the personality of the protagonist the-bad-actorbeing as important as the plot.  If you don’t care about the main characters, why would you care about what happens to them?  However, in this novel the setting was very important because I was concerned to create a realistic depiction of a small television station.  Where Stormy works is an important aspect of who she is, and why she’s in trouble. The small city setting is also important because it shows that serious crime can take place in relatively bucolic environments.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I am a recently retired professor of philosophy, and I still teach occasionally.  Although I don’t intentionally add philosophical concepts to my novels, I’m sure some slip in.  Since I the-black-dogthink a sound body is essential to a sound mind, I also exercise frequently, and my wife and I like to travel. I am also a fairly active reader, and I belong to several organizations for writers.

Do you read the same genre that you write?

Yes.  I think it is essential to enjoy reading the kind of books you like to write.  If you try to write a type of book you wouldn’t read just because you think it will sell, you are unlikely to be successful.  The reader will know that your heart isn’t in it.  However, it is also important for a writer to keep expanding his or her horizons, and this means that you must also read widely outside of your genre.  You can learn new things about style, character, and plot by studying novels that you might never write.  These can always be incorporated into the kind of writing you actually do.

What’s next for you?

I am planning to try something new by writing a romantic suspense novel with a heist/caper theme.  My heroine will be put in danger when she steals a valuable diamond from a powerful Russian oligarch. She and the hero must then come up with a plan to save her from the oligarch who is bent on revenge. I hope it will be an exciting combination.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Sally Fernandez

headshotSally Fernandez, a novelist of provocative political thrillers, wasn’t always twisting facts with fiction. Heavily endowed with skills acquired in banking, she embarked on her writing career. Fernandez’ focus on computer technology, business consulting, and project management, enhanced by business and technical writing, proved to be a boon. Her books of fiction also reflect the knowledge garnered from her business experiences, while living in New York City, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. Fernandez’ foray into writing fiction officially began in 2007 when the presidential election cycle was in full swing. The overwhelming political spin by the media compelled her to question the frightening possibilities the political scene could generate. As a confirmed political junkie, she took to the keyboard armed with unwinding events and discovered a new and exciting career. A world traveler, Ms. Fernandez and her husband, also the editor-in-residence, split time between their homes in the United States and Florence, Italy.

Tell us about your new release.

front-coverCLIMATIZED is my fifth novel and the first in the “Max Ford Thriller” series, featuring Maxine Ford as the female protagonist. Max debuts in her role as a private investigator and right out of the starting gate she is hired by the wife of a prominent senator to determine the cause of his untimely death. During her investigation, she discovers that three world-renowned scientists had lost their lives days before they were scheduled to testify before the late senator’s investigative committee on climate change. Meanwhile, a fourth scientist has gone missing. Max determined he is the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Following the many twists and turns, Max uncovers a powerful organization responsible for the killings. Cogent evidence is provided to the president, forcing him to make a crucial decision—to cover up a diabolical plot—or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar world-wide economy.

What led you to write this book?

While conducting research for two earlier novels, I discovered that there is a disconnect between the scientific data and the public policy as it pertains to climate change. And I am sure we could all agree that climate change is a topic up there with religion and politics, one that creates not only heated conversations, but much confusion. As with all my novels, I weave fact with fiction, holding to the words of Francis Bacon, who said, “The truth is hard to tell, sometimes it needs fiction to make it plausible.” Therefore, using this style of writing, I believe Climatized will help the reader put to rest much of the confusion and shine a light on the real science.

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?

Tackling an area of science where I had only a peripheral peripheral knowledge level was challenging and provided an unexpected education as I delved heavily into the science behind the causes of global warming. It also forged some interesting acquaintances. With Climatized, I altered my style slightly by incorporating a few real-life experts in my fictional plot, unbeknownst to them. One happened to be a New York Times bestselling author and the others where NASA Apollo Space Mission veterans and members of The Right Climate Stuff research team. After the manuscript was completed, I decided out of courtesy, to contact these experts and offer them a copy of the manuscript to fact-check to substantiate my research. I’m proud to say that the scientific data I weaved into my plot was spot on and I received their acclimation and full endorsement. Their continued support has been invaluable and has opened other avenues.

Which is more important characters or setting?

For my storylines to be plausible, everything between the pages must be believable, especially my characters. They tend to develop alongside me, like any relationship—notwithstanding my vivid imagination as I thrust them into various situations. But most important, the characters must stir emotions, good or bad, leaving the reader to want to learn more about them. The scenes are as important and must be vivid, transporting the reader to that place and time. Often I’ll use locations and real characters where I’ve shared experiences as a basis, but I also use locations, hotels, restaurants, or streets where I’ve never ventured. In those cases, I believe it is crucial that they be described accurately to add to the realism. Thanks to the Internet and satellite maps there is no reason not to make them as real as possible. Given my reel-to-reel writing style the reader always has a clear vision of the local scene.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet?

I am a tad embarrassed to admit that I tend to read the works of my male counterparts, attempting to step in the shoes of Thor, Baldacci, Silva, et. al. And while their plotlines stir me, I’ve never been overly carried away with their female characters. Maybe that is why I was so compelled to give Max Ford a stage of her own in this new series. But going through my “guilt” pile of books I’ve started reading Janet Evanovich and I’m loving her Stephanie Plum character. While Max may be my alter-ego, Stephanie is definitely Max’s.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

With all my novels, I have the same three goals: to create an entertaining read, to inform the reader, and to challenge the reader to ask the ultimate question, “What if?” In Climatized particularly, it is to arm the readers with the facts, so they can make an intelligent decision about a topic that is here to stay for some years to come.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?

My writing environment may vary with the offices in my home in the United States and another in my home in Florence, Italy. And while these locations may somewhat inspire aspects of my plot, they primarily provide a quiet haven for creating. Then comes the hotel room somewhere in the world, when my husband, who is also my editor, and I need a change of venue. What does not change is my ritual. Each day starts with a morning workout to clear my head to prepare me for six to seven hours of steady writing and/or research. At the end of each day, I’m greeted with a glass of wine from my husband. That’s when we discuss the status of the book, what I am working on, what he is editing, or what is in the offing. Both of us are retired from our corporate careers, so we’re fortunate to be able to ignore the phones and the daily disturbances. And he cooks the dinners. It’s an amazing collaboration with our days being filled with all aspects of writing and publishing books. The only downside—is when we are not—my husband calls it our Post-Partum Publishing Syndrome. Overall, call me incredibly blessed!

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?

To quote another luminary, Pericles said, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” As a long-standing political junkie, I take contemporary political events and weave them into a fast-paced, fictional, suspense thrillers. And you won’t be able to keep yourself from learning along the way.