Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tour for Another Man’s Poison by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa. I’m featuring an interview with the author! Goodreads, Purchase, and Rafflecopter Giveaway links are located below the interview.
Question #1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? Do you enjoy your day job? I no longer have a day job and am able to devout myself completely to writing, running errands, playing Spider Solitaire, watching Criminal Minds re-runs (isn’t Thomas Gibson an absolute hunk?), and on rare occasions cleaning.
Question #2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? I write every day, though many times it ends up sporadic. When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? I never set a word or page goal – I go more by “scenes” that need to be completed. How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing? I love listening to music while I write, especially if the songs are in sync with the character’s age or musical preferences. If the story takes place during a specific period in time, the 60’s for example, I’ll write listening to The Beach Boys or The Beatles.
Question #3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reigns” of the story? My characters always hijack the stories, in addition to the story lines! Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you? Mostly I’m a “seat of my pants” writer. I sometimes write a rough outline, but I rarely follow it. When I write, the story goes off into different (and sometimes more interesting) directions!
Question #4: How did you break into the publishing world? I started off writing short stories for small literary magazines and publications. During that time, I thought I needed more writing discipline, so I applied to a local newspaper as a reporter. Based on a sample of a mock story I came up with, they actually agreed to hire me! How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Plenty! I kept a long list of rejections in Excel and still have it. I attach it to the emails I send to writing friends whenever they complain about how hard it is to get something published. Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful? I did quit writing for about a year, but it was impossible to never write again. Writers have to write, whether or not someone wants to read their stories or publish them. We’re born to write.
Question #5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? I go through at least three revisions. Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? I have one trusted beta reader, and two other writers who critique. As a group, we all critique/gently suggest/nudge/encourage and discourage each other. Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them? Absolutely! I don’t open the file for at least two weeks after I’ve finished a manuscript. Even with all that editing and critiquing, it’s impossible to catch every single error. Our minds play tricks on our eyes and we automatically insert words that aren’t there but should be. After that, I leave it to the publisher’s editing pros to pick up whatever might have been missed.
Question #6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. I have such a twisted, miserable dark side! There are so many things I’d love to do but won’t because it’s immoral or illegal. It’s so much safer to assign this bad behavior to a fictional villain/alter-ego. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it? As Another Man’s Poison is about a poisoning, there are plenty of real life, famous villains I used for inspiration. They are mentioned in the book after the crime is solved – but I’m not doing a spoiler!
Question #7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional? I’m sitting at my desk laughing my *ss off right this minute because all my relatives, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, both living and departed, have shown up in my Jersey Girl series in one way or another. I am Colleen Caruso, even my newspaper editor tells me so. My mother is Colleen Caruso’s mother. Colleen’s siblings are mine. Ken Rhodes is my husband magnified. Colleen’s best friend is a combination of two of my closest friends. I use actual family names, occupations, and personality quirks! I’m sure my brother and sister want to strangle me for doing this – and wouldn’t that make a great story?
Question #8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why? I’d love to write about Molly Pitcher (a local hero in my Central Jersey area) or Eleanor Roosevelt. I’ve always admired very strong women, and it would be an honor to write about them.
Question #9: What are some great books you’ve read recently? I haven’t read much fiction lately, and rarely do when I’m working on a book. Last week I re-read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls when I learned the book was made into a movie. If you really believe you had it tough growing up, read this account of a frightening childhood and stop whining.
Question #10: What books have influenced your life the most? I can’t think of any book that actually influenced my life. I’ve read many that gave me a broader perspective such as 1984, Lord of the Flies, and The Color Purple. As for non-fiction, I re-read Man’s Search for Meaning periodically to remind me that you can survive just about anything if you have a reason to live.
Question #11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day? Aww! Ken Rhodes, without a doubt! And it wouldn’t be a day. I’d rather have a very long, lovely, sensuous night. You already know what I’d be doing.
Question #12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work? I sometimes do read my reviews, and was surprised by some and honestly perplexed by others. I had one review that irked me, but I would never think of responding. Purposely miserable people aren’t worth the effort of a response. Most of my reviews are, thankfully, positive and extremely funny. I was pleased that one reviewer loved a young cop in the Jersey Girl books, James O’Reilly, who is a secondary character, and he’s fast becoming her favorite in the series. I purposely modeled him using the personalities of my own sons (same age group), so it’s a thumps-up for my kids!
Synopsis of “Another Man’s Poison”
Has our Jersey Girl finally bitten off more than she can chew?
Crime reporter Colleen Caruso has an appetite for romance … and trouble. When someone tries to poison Ken Rhodes (her handsome boss and boyfriend), Colleen vows to hunt down the culprit and serve them up to the police. She’s whisked away into the scrumptious world of restaurants and gourmet food as she tangles with four culinary divas from Ken’s past.
Trouble is, Colleen doesn’t know when to turn down the heat. Is this Jersey Girl’s investigation a recipe for disaster? Or will the poisoner get their just desserts?
Thanks for joining me today for this latest blog tour stop for Another Man’s Poison by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa. If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, just click on the banner below. The banner will take you to the main tour page with a list of all participants!