Tag Archives: Mystery

Interview with N.J Kulkarni, Author of The Hawa Mahal Murders

Hello,

Today’s interview is with N.J. Kulkarni, author of The Hawa Mahal Murders.

Please enjoy.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I write under the name of N.J Kulkarni and I live in Pune, India.

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My book is a crime thriller titled “The Hawa Mahal Murders.’

3) What is the book about?
The story focusses on two characters: a troubled housewife trapped in a bad marriage (her second), and a police officer desperate to prove himself but stymied at every step by a crooked boss and a corrupt system. When a series of murders take place in a posh locality in Mumbai, all hell breaks loose, and senior police officers scramble to save the Chief Minister’s son and frame an innocent watchman.

My novel is a psychological thriller and delves deep into the minds of the main characters, including the serial killer, and touches upon societal issues in India, like corruption, the social divide, and women’s issues.

4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I was inspired by the setting. I used to live in a beautiful but old building in Mumbai. It was out of place amongst its neighbours and that set me thinking. The actual story and characters are from my imagination. It was the setting which triggered the story.

5) How long did it take you to write it?
More than two years.

6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I had read a lot of detective and mystery novels but when I actually started to write one, I realised how difficult it is to insert clues in the right places so as to keep up the suspense. There was a lot of painstaking detailing work required and constant going back and forth. It was a learning experience for me.

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
I have an author website: https://www.nitajatarkulkarni.com/

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors?
I published a book fairly late in my life (I was 60) and there were a lot of doubts along the way. I didn’t think I could actually do it. If I had to say anything to aspiring authors it would be: Believe in yourself.

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I like to read crime thrillers and in fact, all genres, including non-fiction. I do love new authors but currently, as I am in the midst of writing two more books, my reading has slowed.

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
My three favourite books are Gone with the wind, Wuthering Heights and Anna Karenina.

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
No pets! Allergic!

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I use the Kindle app to read both on the ipad and iphone.

 

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Sophie Jupillat Posey, Author of The Four Suitors

Hello,

We have a second interview today. It is with Sophie Jupillat Posey, author of The Four Suitors.

Please see it below.

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I am Sophie Jupillat Posey and I live in Florida.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The Four Suitors. It’s a medieval mystery/romance fantasy for young adults.
3) What is the book about?
It’s about a spoiled brat of a princess who gets roped into being courted by 4 suitors chosen by her parents. She must do so, or she won’t get the crown. There’s an artist, astronomer, philosopher and necromancer. She balks against their teachings. But as she does so, she finds that her kingdom is falling apart. Has been falling apart for a while and it’s accelerating. The newest debacle is the increase of deaths in the peasantry. She needs all of her suitors’ help to uncover who is behind the rising deaths of her citizens.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I came up with the idea after talking with my husband about my adopted mother; who always bragged about how many boyfriends she had when she was younger. Four at a given time to be precise. Suddenly an image of a spoiled princess with 4 suitors came to my mind. From there, I knew I wanted to craft a mystery and a way for the character to redeem herself gradually. The rest filled itself in as I wrote.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
It took 2 years to write and 1 additional year to re-edit.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
This story started as a novella. I was satisfied with it, but felt I could add more. Several months later I did add more and made it a full novel. I learned that writing novels is hard but thrilling; I’d only ever written novellas and short stories up to that point. And that editing is just as important as getting the story down.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Success tips: my most important tip would to never give up; it’s cliché but it’s true. There will be plenty of inner and outer obstacles you face as a  writer. There are many excuses to give up writing. But it is much more fulfilling to plod on and finish that book. And also to let a project sit for as long as it needs. Too many people are so impatient to publish they skip crucial steps. Time is important, because you can better see errors whether they are grammar ones, or plot holes.
I was fortunate to have my work edited by David Curran, a friend of mine and former journalist. His eagle eyes spotted more than one error others and myself had missed. IndieDesignz made my cover art and I love it. She is my go-to designer.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
I enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and paranormal works for young adults or adults.I also sometimes enjoy horror, if it’s more cerebral. Not a fan of gore. I enjoy poetry too but am very picky about which kind. I am open to reading new authors when I have time. I am currently a part-time student, a full-time teacher, a composer and a writer. It’s not something I can do on a regular basis but I’d be willing to do it every so often.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
That’s a really hard question: I have so many. I would say my favorite is Ivanhoe. It made me fall in love with medieval era stories from a very young age. The romance, the adventure, the disenfranchised main character, the strength of the women in the novel, the style… It was all stuff I hoped to one day be able to write, in my own way.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Currently none. But growing up, my family had 5 cats, 1 dog, 2 turtles and 1 bird. Later on we had 2 ferrets, 2 rabbits and we even fostered 5 raccoons.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
Nope. I borrow my husband’s if he gets a digital story. I’m more of a hardcopy girl. 
*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Jeanette A. Fratto, Author of No Deadlier Destiny

Hello,

Below is my interview with Jeanette A. Fratto, author of No Deadlier Destiny.

Please enjoy!

Thanks,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
Jeanette A. Fratto (Bernard is my husband and he doesn’t write) I live in California
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
“No Deadlier Destiny”    – mystery, set in southern California
3) What is the book about?
It is the third in my probation officer series. A convicted felon escapes while being transported to prison,
and sets his sights on revenge. Probation officer Linda Davenport wrote his sentencing report, which the
judge followed, and her life is now threatened. She goes into hiding. When she thinks she’s safe, she isn’t.
Not knowing whom to trust, she takes matters into her own hands and risks everything dear to her, including
her life.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I had a 26-year career with the Orange County, California Probation Department. My experiences gave me
many ideas.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
Over a year. I don’t write every day.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
Yes. Writing a novel is a lot of work and the marketing is even harder. I felt rewarded when many readers
told me they liked learning about probation, an aspect of the criminal justice system rarely written about
by mystery writers, while reading an engrossing story line.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
No video. The website for my novel is: www.outskirtspress.com/nodeadlierdestiny
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
I wish I did have success tips. Depending on your genre, find your audience, offer to speak at book clubs, library events,
get your book on consignment in local bookstores, ask for interviews in local papers, and have a nice business card
made up with your book and your contact information. People can’t buy your book if they don’t know about it.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Mysteries are my favorite, although I read other fiction. I’m open to new authors and doing a review, but
I don’t care for fantasy or science fiction and could not give a fair review for that genre. I reviewed your book,
“Surfing the Seconds.”
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
I’ve read hundreds of books and can’t really pick a favorite of all time. I’ve loved “Snow Falling on Cedars,”
“The Time Traveler’s Wife,” and “Molokai.”
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
No pets. Years ago I had two cats. They passed away at ages 14 and 15.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I have a Kindle. I rarely use it. I much prefer a book.
*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with George Stratford, Author of I Spy Bletchley Park

Hello,

Today’s interview is with George Stratford, author of I Spy Bletchley Park.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

I publish novels under my own name of George Stratford, and I live in the south coast holiday resort of Bournemouth, England.

 

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

Currently, I am more than halfway through writing a new murder thriller set in the popular music world of 1970s London, but my most recently published novel is an historical adventure/thriller titled, I Spy Bletchley Park. This has been excellently received and reviewed here in the UK.

 

3) What is the book about?
This story is set in the years leading up to and during WWII. Embittered by the government’s seizure of her father’s large estate, Lady Margaret Pugh is recruited as a spy by Hermann Goering during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. With her former estate bordering the town of Bletchley, once war is declared, the strange comings and goings at the nearby Park mansion gradually attract her attention. In an attempt to discover more, she deliberately befriends a young working-class WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) who is stationed at BP as a Morse Code Receiver.
The girl is Betty Hall, especially chosen for her ability to receive and accurately type high-speed messages. Before joining the WAAFs, she was also a budding child prodigy as a classical pianist. Her friendship with Lady Margaret is noted by Naval Intelligence, who are already beginning to suspect the aristocrat of spying on the country’s most secret establishment. A shocked and apprehensive Betty is recruited to assist them. Completely untrained for this kind of counter-espionage work, she can only do her best and hope.

Before long, the two women inevitably clash, and a desperate Betty finds herself as the only person in a position to save Bletchley Park from complete destruction.

 

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

My late mother was a WAAF stationed at BP for two years during WWII, and subsequently at one of the vital Y listening stations. Like so many others, she never breathed a single word of this until the 1980s when the secret had already become common public knowledge.

I wanted to write a fictional tribute to Mum. The codebreakers themselves have (rightly so) had volumes of both fictional and factual stuff written about them, but how about an adventure story featuring one of the less acknowledged workers in a heroic role? That was my reasoning at the start of things. After that, it was quite a logical move to create a spy who would place Bletchley Park in great danger. And better still, a female one with an aristocratic background in complete contrast to Betty’s south London working-class upbringing. Once Lady Margaret had been created, all the other pieces began to fall naturally into place.

 

5) How long did it take you to write it?

The amount of research required for this story was enormous, so if you include that, the whole process took me just about a year.

Spending time at the current Bletchley Park site was of course a mandatory requirement, and whilst there I was fortunate enough to become friends with one of the dedicated volunteer workers who do so much to enhance the centre’s visitor experience. John Bladen was a mine of invaluable information. Numerous times throughout the course of that year I needed to get back to him with some question or other on historical or technical detail, and he was always only to happy to help. I owe John a lot. So here’s another great big thank you, mate.

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I suspect that you mean aside from the obvious mass of information during research that amongst many other things took in: the 1929 Stock Market crash; British politics of that era; the1936 Berlin Olympics, especially the equestrian events; and a host of personal details concerning Hermann Goering.

What I did learn was to totally rubbish the theory that females can’t keep a secret. At one time or another during the course of WWII, approximately eight thousand women (mostly WAAFs and WRENs) worked at Bletchley Park. Just like my own mother, not a single one of them ever sought to break the Official Secrets Act that they had all signed. Forty years were to pass before they were free to talk about their part in something that was truly amazing. How’s that for keeping Mum?

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Please do come and visit my website at georgestratford.com . Amongst other stuff, you can read an extract from I Spy Bletchley Park in which Lady Margaret is first introduced to Hermann Goering by a Nazi loving former boyfriend. This extract is not available to read anywhere else. There is also lots of info here about my other novels, together with a middle grade children’s story set in the Philippines, and a memoir of my time when I went from being an out of work no-hoper to an award-winning copywriter at the world’s most famous advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. Mad Men? More of a Mad Ride, I’d say.

 

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

The best tip I can pass on is always use the ‘Read Aloud’ function to check your manuscript. With anything that you have written yourself, the eye so very often will read what it is anticipating seeing rather than what it actually there on the page.

Being an editor myself who has worked very closely with best-selling fantasy author Brian D Anderson on fourteen of his novels, including all of The Godling Chronicles and the Dragonvein series, I know how well this simple trick can work.

 As for cover designers, I’ve always found Lou Harper to be efficient, speedy, and very reasonably priced.

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

 Adventure stories and thrillers, sometimes with an historical background in the way Ken Follett does them, are my most preferred reads. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed quite a bit of Stephen King’s work, especially the Mr Mercedes (Finders Keepers) trilogy.

Thanks to my work with Brian, I am now also rather more open to some kinds of fantasy work as well.

I always try to set aside at least half an hour a day (usually just before hitting the pillow) to read a new book. Of course I am open to new authors, and am very happy to post a positive review when I feel it is deserved. The only problem is, if I find that I can’t get on with a book, I would rather not post anything at all than be destructive. Why stamp on something when others might genuinely enjoy it?

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

 My thesaurus: Without it, where would I be when I’m stuck for the right word?

 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

No pets as such, although I do have a make-believe Dobermann posted outside my door to keep away unwanted visitors when I’m on a writing roll.

 

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

Yup, I’ve got what might be termed as a pretty ancient kindle that still gets used a fair bit. The truth is though, I honestly prefer the feel of a proper book in my hand. It’s also so much easier to flip quickly back to check on something with physical pages. You know, when a character who we haven’t seen for several chapters suddenly appears again and you need reminding of who exactly they are. This is especially true if you find you only have time to read in small daily bites the way I tend to do.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Susanne Leist, Author of Prey for the Dead – Book Two of The Dead Game Series

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Susanna Leist, author of Prey for the Dead – Book Two of The Dead Game Series.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

 

Susanne Leist

New York

 

2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

 

Prey for The Dead, Book 2 of The Dead Game Series

Paranormal suspense

 

3) What is the book about?

 

Prey for The Dead is the second book in The Dead Game Series. My main character, Linda, and her friends find themselves faced with the return of The Dead vampires. These vampires aren’t as peaceful as the vampires living in Oasis, Florida. A love triangle develops where Linda is caught between a hybrid—half vampire and half man—and a vampire. Their adventures take them to an exclusive club in Disney World and the swamps of southern Florida to defeat the evil vampires.

 

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

 

Vampires living in Florida came from my overactive imagination.

 

5) How long did it take you to write it?

 

The book took me a year to write, a year for others to proofread, and six months for me to edit.

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

 

My publisher edited my first book, The Dead Game. I used the ProWriting Aid program to edit my second book, Prey for The Dead. The program gave a more comprehensive edit than the Outskirts Press’ editor. I felt confident enough to send my book for a Kirkus Review. The reviewer liked the story and the supernatural mystery. 

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

 

My author website is https://www.susanneleist.com/

My blog is https://susanneleist.wordpress.com/

 

I have book trailers. My newest one is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pILNxaD5XlI

 

 

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

 

My best tip for a new author is to have your promotions prepared in advance before you launch your book. I learned this from experience.

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

 

I read all genres. I don’t stick to the same authors. I enjoy reading books written by different authors.

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

 

My favorite is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. This book led me to read mysteries, and it set my expectations for future books. For me to enjoy a book, it must have plenty of twists and turns. Thank you, Agatha Christie.

 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

 

I have a Maltese. His name is Nounous, which means a teddy bear in French. My daughter gave him his name.

 

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

 

I own a kindle, but I read e-books on my computer. I prefer paperback books.

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with Donald Firesmith, Author of The Secrets of Hawthorne House

Hello,

Today’s interview is with Donald Firesmith, author of The Secrets of Hawthorne House.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

Interview:

1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My name is Donald Firesmith and I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2) What is the title of your newest book, and what is the genre?

My newest book is The Secrets of Hawthorne House. It is a young adult modern urban fantasy.

 

3) What is the book about?

On moving next door to a dilapidated Victorian mansion, 15-year-old Matt meets Old Lady Hawthorne, the town’s infamous recluse who is said to be a witch and a murderess. When her niece arrives with her three children, something extraordinary happens. Matt meets Gerallt, the strange boy destined to become his best friend. And when Gerallt divulges the Hawthornes’ family secret, it changes Matt’s life forever.

This is the story of an unlikely friendship, the clash of two radically different cultures, secret magic, and a search for the lost Hawthorne treasure.

 

4) Where did you come up with the idea?

I wanted to show how two boys from totally different backgrounds and with opposite beliefs could eventually become friends and learn to accept each other.

 

5) How long did it take you to write it?

About 15 years. I worked on the book for a couple of years until I was about 90% done, but I could not think of the right ending. I put the manuscript away and wrote five other books. One day, I pulled out the manuscript, re-read it, and realized that I knew how it ends. It took me about another year to complete and go through the rewrite and editing process.

 

6) Did you learn anything from the project?

I learned that sometimes the best way to complete something difficult is to put it aside and do something else. That not only gives you a new perspective that helps you solve the problem; it also gives you time to practice and hone your craft so that the end result is much better than it would have been otherwise.

 

7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

My author website is http:/donaldfiresmith.com, and my blog is part of it. I’m in the process of producing a trailer for my most recent book.

 

8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

Keep writing because even if practice doesn’t make perfect, it does make improvements. Each one of my books is better than the previous one. The Secrets of Hawthorne House would not have won the 2019 Readers’ Favorite silver medal in the young adult urban paranormal category had I completed it over a decade ago.

Be an indie author; it is very easy with ebooks and print on demand. It also gives you so much more artistic control and better royalties.

Use editing tools (e.g., I use Grammarly and AutoCrit) in addition to human editors. Also, the more beta readers, the better. No matter how many people edit and read your book, some mistakes will always slip through, which is another reason to be an indie author. Each time someone  points out a problem, I go in, fix it, upload the new files, and the new version is available in a matter of hours.

Rudi Parfaite did the cover of The Secrets of Hawthorne House, my most recent book. He is the lead environmental artist for a Paris-based gaming company. He took my architectural drawings of the old mansion and perfectly recreated it. His cover deservedly won a best cover of the month award.

 

9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I write the kind of novels I like to read: speculative fiction such as science fiction, traditional and paranormal urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror (with monsters, not psychopaths). I read a lot of authors who have not yet made a name for themselves. Knowing how critical reviews are, especially for indie authors like myself, I always leave a review for each book I read.

 

10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?

The Tolkien trilogy (yes, I know it’s not one book but three) because I can be read over and over again without it ever getting old. When I spent a year studying in Germany, I wanted to immerse myself in written and spoken German. Tolkien was the only English-language book I allowed myself to take with me.

 

11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

Our family has two dogs (one quite neurotically needy) and a wonderful cat.

12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I own a Kindle Fire, and I love it. Not only is it a great way to read; it is surprisingly inexpensive for being such an unexpectedly powerful tablet computer.

 

As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Interview with B.R. Bentley, Author of The Banker’s Box

Happy Friday!

Today’s interview is with BR Bentley, author of The Banker’s Box.

Please enjoy!

Best,

-Vincent Lowry

 

Interview:

What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?

B.R. Bentley (pseudonym). I live in British Columbia, Canada.

 

What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?

The Banker’s Box – Mystery/Crime

 

What is the book about?

The unanticipated consequences of a casual remark leading to the unexpected disappearance of a flamboyant banker.

 

Where did you come up with the idea?

All my novels are inspired by real events as is this one – inspired by the disappearance of a local banker.

 

How long did it take you to write it?

About two years – interrupted fairly frequently by my boxer dog. High energy and very demanding.

 

Did you learn anything from the project?

Crime and politics are a continual influence on our everyday lives.

 

Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?

Author website is www.brbentley.com No book video.

 

Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?

Read Stephen King’s book – On Writing…it’s my writing bible. Have used several editors all of whom added value. Also used Beta readers – essential. Latest cover designer did excellent work on interpreting what I I tried to outline verbally.

 

What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?

I read pretty much anything. I’m studying Novel Writing and writing my next novel at the same time so limited time for reading and reviewing new authors. That said I’d be happy to engage for brief conversations (skype, WhatsApp  etc.) if it helped another writer with their work.

 

What is your favorite book of all time and why?

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Peyton. I loved the ‘voices’ in the book. Smacks of authenticity.

 

Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?

Dog and cat. My wife also has a horse.

 

Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?

Still prefer paper. So hard copy books although I do read university and other material on my Samsung laptop.

 

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized