End of the Month Review – JUNE 2017

Greetings! Here we are at the end of another month! Where does all the time go?!?! I can tell that it’s summer though because I didn’t read nearly as many books as I have in the previous months of this year, which I knew would happen. During the summer I’m often working in my water garden or taking nature walks/nature photography, all kinds of things that take me away from reading as much. Consequently, I didn’t get anything on my backlist read this month. I did get one extra book from NetGalley done and two books that I read just for fun done on top of the blog tours and other reviews I had commitments for.

Let’s take a look at this month’s statistics! I’m excited about them because they’re moving up and up and that makes me happy!

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Site Statistics

I’m excited about this month’s statistics. I’m up to 90 WordPress followers, 8 email followers, and over 1000 followers on social media, thanks to an ad I placed on Facebook promoting my blog! The blog itself had over 500 views this month, over a hundred more from May! More people visited my blog last month than before as well, with over 200 people from 21 countries visiting! I also had almost double the comments in June than I did in May!

I’m excited by all this because it means I’m doing something right and really have hit my rhythm and that makes me happy. Of course, I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing and my blog, the aesthetics and style as well as content.

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What I Read/Posted This Month

As I mentioned above, I didn’t read nearly as many books this month, finishing only 10 books. However, those that I finished, I really enjoyed. 🙂 Here’s a run down on what I read and each book’s rating. Each cover image is linked to the book’s review.

4.5 to 5 star books

Book Cover: Once Upon a Spine: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle - Background shows a bookstore front window - foreground has tea service sitting on a wrought iron table with a cat on the table and a copy of Alice in Wonderland on a wrought iron chair

Once Upon A Spine by Kate Carlisle is the 11th book in the Bibliophile Mystery series. It’s the only truly 5-star book this month (sometimes I’ll mark 4.5 books up to 5 on Amazon and Goodreads).

 

 

Book Cover: The Frog Princess Returns - Tales of the Frog Princess by E.D. Baker - Pink background - Vignette picture of the Princess with the Frog prince on her shoulder talking to a fairy

The Frog Princess Returns by E.D. Baker is a wonderful addition to the Tales of the Frog Princess series.

 

Book Cover: Treble at the Jam Fest - A Food Lovers' Village Mystery by Leslie Budewitz - background has a country music stage with guitars, double bass, and drum set - Foreground has a table with jam for sale, a pitcher of lemonade and two cats sitting on the ground

Treble at the Jam Fest is the 4th book in the Food Lover’s Village Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz. I was thrilled to see this series make a come back with another publisher and it didn’t disappoint!

 

Book Cover: All Signs Point to Murder - a Zodiac Mystery by Connie Di Marco - Study setting with a window overlooking a garden set up for a wedding - foreground has a white table full of candles, astrological charts and a bridal bouquet

All Signs Point to Murder is the 2nd book in the Zodiac Mystery series by Connie di Marco. This was just a delightful, fun read. 🙂

 

Book Cover: The Witch and the Dead by Heather Blake - purple background on top and bottom of the cover where the text is - middle section shows an illustration of a young white lady with dark hair sitting on a tree stump under a willow tree with a black cat at her feet.

The Witch & the Dead is the 7th book in the Wishcraft Mystery series by Heather Blake. This is one of my favorite cozy series and this one didn’t disappoint!

 

Book Cover: "Stuck: The Penningtons Investigate" by C.T. Collier - green background with brown lettering - a stiletto is seen standing straight up in a wooden desk

 

Stuck: The Penningtons Investigate is the 2nd in the series by C.T. Collier. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more in the series!

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4 star books

The rest of these books were given 4-stars each! They were still fun reads and I still recommend them.

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Other Posts

This month I did more than just book review posts. I had one author interview post, a book tag, something I reblogged from a fellow blogger’s site, and several posts on things that are happening in my life.

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Looking Forward to July

July’s looking pretty busy. Here are some of the books I plan on reviewing this month.

This is a trio of middle grade books about each girl exploring either her own city or a city she’s visiting and learning about herself at the same time. I’ve finished the first two and am working on reading the third now. When I’m finished with the third, I’ll review all three at once.

These five books are books that I have committed to reviewing on specific days as part of blog tours or other review crew commitments. I’m looking forward to all of them!

These six (6) books are ones from my backlist that I hope to review this coming month. Four (4) of them are picture books and I’ve already started on “The Other Einstein” so I think it’ll be easily do-able to get them all done.

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Finally, this book has been on my to-read list for a while now. Earlier today, Jay over at this-is-my-truth-now, stated that he was going to read it this month and was looking for someone to do a buddy read with him. I volunteered so we’re going to work out when to start and all that.

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I’m looking forward to this month and seeing what it brings! Thanks for joining me on my journey!

HappySummer-BeachBears&SandCastle

 

Blog Tour: Death on West End Road – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Large Banner: Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents: Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle - June 19-June 30, 2017 - banner includes the author's photo and the book cover

Today I’m happy to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle. My post today consists of an interview with Ms. Doyle.  There will be the requisite links to purchase the book at the end of this post!

First of all, a massive “Thank you!” to Ms. Doyle for being willing to answer my questions. I tend to ask questions with multiple parts and she didn’t back away from any of it! Okay, on to our questions and answers.

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?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I run a small press called Dunemere Books with my sister, author Liz Carey and a friend Tiffany Palmer. We publish destination fiction with a strong sense of place in the mystery, YA and middle grade categories. We focus primarily on series.


Question #2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: When I am writing a book I try to write every weekday. I work at the New York Society Library in the quiet room. I usually write for three hours. But if I’m on a deadline I write at home. I can go into hyper-focus and ignore the noise around me quite well actually, as long as my sons and husband don’t bother me! It’s actually usually my dogs who tend to get in my way because they like to sit next to me and lick my fingers when I am typing.


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? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: There are some characters that just write themselves. I feel like my body and fingers are a conduit for Larry Lipper, who is a crime reporter in my books. He is very politically incorrect and a childish narcissist, and I like to think that I am not, so he truly speaks through me. I usually do a rough outline and then set off from there. It is always exciting when you are stumped by something and then reread your draft and realize you had subconsciously laid down clues to that question all along and the answer is so obvious.


Question #4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I’ve been rejected hundreds of times. Literally. Not just for my books but for my screenplays and my film pitches. I started as a screenwriter with Jill Kargman (now the star of her own show called Odd Mom Out on Bravo) and we used to go and pitch all of the studios, all of the networks and all of the production companies all the time. We had to come up with original takes on movies or shows or create our own. We had people tell us it was the best pitch they ever heard and then never return our agent’s call. We had studio executives tell us they would love to work with us and they thought our pitch was the best but they would rather work with a male writing team because ‘they were so cute.’ Rejection really propels me, though, and perhaps I am a masochist. In the very beginning I was dissuaded but now it makes me take on the attitude, ‘I’ll show them.’ And things don’t have to be done in the traditional manner anymore. Despite the fact that my books were on seven bestseller lists and translated into 9 languages and I was on the “Today Show” and featured in dozens of magazines I had a difficult time finding a publisher for my mystery books. Rejections all around. So I just co-founded my own small press with two partners and raised money and hired editors, copy editors, designers and publicists who are on staff at the big publishing houses to freelance for us at Dunemere Books. I see it as taking control of not only my work, but the type of books I want to see published. I feel excited every time we commission another author’s book.


Question #5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I probably go through three revisions. I have two editors that read everything I write then I have another editor and a copy editor. I do think it helps when you let a book percolate. It doesn’t always mean that I will put down a book for a while, although I usually do for a month, but sometimes when I get the idea for my next book I let it germinate in my mind for several months.

 


Question #6:  A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: In my latest book, DEATH ON WEST END ROAD, I actually feel like there are several villains. In this book my heroine Antonia Bingham investigates a cold case—the murder of sixteen-year-old Susie Whitaker who was bludgeoned to death with a tennis racket. Often in cold cases, there are people who know a lot more than they say and that can make them complicit, especially if they never stepped forward. Silence can make you guilty just as much as if you actually committed the murder.

I think the best villains are the most innocuous people. On ‘Law and Order” they always would interview the next-door neighbor who would describe the suspect as ‘a quiet, every day guy.’ It’s the ‘every day guys’ who are the most chilling.


Question #7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: Not really. When I wrote ‘gossip lit’ there were people who thought they were portrayed in my book and were offended, so I make sure not to write about anyone I know. It’s funny, though, someone recently said to me that they know who every one in my first two mystery books is based on and I thought, really? Because I don’t. Sometimes you take little bits from people’s backstories but it is always a compilation.


Question #8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I’m also a journalist so I like doing profiles of people. I would really like to write nonfiction and perhaps a biography on some major business people—like in the way Walter Isaacson wrote about Steve Jobs. But those books are so daunting because there is so much research and you have to be so careful. I just read Alec Baldwin’s new autobiography and I wished I had been his editor or ghost-writer. There were so many holes in the book and I was left with more questions than answers. When a biography or autobiography is done well it is so exciting. I really liked Mia Farrow’s What Falls Away and Andre Agassi’s Open. I’d love to co-author a book like that.


Question #9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I just read The Rosie Project and LOVED it! Loved. I laughed, I cried, I devoured it. I gave it to my husband and one of my son’s who also loved it. I highly recommend it. I recently read Alafair Burke’s The Ex, which was a fast exciting read.


Question #10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I think one of the most important things is timing when it comes to books. Sometimes you read books too early—like I wonder why my school had me reading Madame Bovary in ninth grade, what did I know about discontented housewives and adultery—and sometimes you read them at the very perfect time. I was a Russian Language and Literature Major at Barnard College and read a lot of the great Russian novels during that time. In the fall of my senior year my father died. A few weeks later my family went skiing in Vermont with my aunt and uncle. I would ski all day then come home and read War and Peace by Tolstoy. It was the perfect setting, the perfect time in my life and the perfect book to transport me away from everything. It is one of my favorite books to this day.

Other favorite books are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; The Secret History by Donna Tartt; The Alienist by Caleb Carr; Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow; Big, Little Lies by Liane Moriarty; Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and The Black Echo by Michael Connelly


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?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I would spend the day with Marty, who is the chef who runs the kitchen under Antonia at her The Windmill Inn. A kitchen veteran, a military veteran, and a no-nonsense guy who possesses a lot of culinary skills, Marty is someone who you could learn a lot from. I am a big fan of cooking—Top Chef is my favorite TV show—and I fancy myself a wannabe chef. I worked at The Barefoot Contessa—Ina Garten’s gourmet food store—in college but I never worked in a restaurant. I would love to learn how to execute the line, and learn proper knife skills. I think Marty could teach me all that. Although, he would be tough so I would really have to be on my toes!


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?

Ms. Doyle’s Answer: I read most of my reviews, yes. When the book is new for sure I read all. Sometimes I go back and look at what people are saying about my older books on Goodreads and on Amazon. My early books were very polarizing: people either loved them or hated them. And that’s fine; they are not everyone’s cup of tea. It didn’t hurt my feelings if I received one star for those because that just meant the reader completely doesn’t respond to me. The more interesting reviews are the three star out of five reviews, and you can really learn from those. I took a lot of the constructive criticism from my first two Hamptons Murder Mystery books, and incorporated those notes into my latest books. Now there will be—and actually already are—some people who loved the first two books and wished I hadn’t made changes but I had to experiment. Some people thought the first two books were too long and had too much description so I streamlined this book and made it more procedural. I’m interested to hear what people think. I can always go back to longer and more descriptive books for the next one!

 

Author’s Links

Book Cover: Death on West End Road - a Hamptons Murder Mystery by Carrie Doyle. Background is beige with little white dots, there's hydrangea flowers, a tea pot and a glass of liquid with lemon slices

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Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

 

Thank you for joining me today for an interview with Carrie Doyle! And thank you to Ms. Doyle for being willing to answer my questions! If you wish to visit any of the other stops on the tour, click on the banner below and it will take you to the main tour page which lists all stops!

Medium Banner - Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours Presents Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle - June 19-June 30, 2017 - banner includes a picture of the cover of the book.

Monika Schröder – INTERVIEW

Along with inviting me to read her middle grade book, Be Light Like a Bird, Monika Schröder graciously agreed to answer some questions as an interview for me! Thank you for being willing to do that!

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Question #1: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a certain number of words or pages? How does music/other noise affect your concentration?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: I set aside about three to four hours a day to spend with my work in my studio. I am not always putting words on paper, but I stay “in the zone.” I need absolute silence.

 

Question #2: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or are you firmly in control of where the story is going? Similarly, do you outline your books or let the plot take you where it wants to go?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: I usually have an idea of the broad plot line and the ending. But after I got stuck with this method, I am now becoming more of a planner.

 

Question #3: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: The number of revisions varies. I re-wrote my first novel, THE DOG IN THE WOOD, 37 times. Now I don’t need that many revisions any more. But my new book, BE LIGHT LIKE A BIRD, also went through several revisions.

Yes, time is the best revision helper. It is always good to set a manuscript aside and then go back to it with fresh eyes. My husband, a former English teacher, is always my first reader. I appreciate his comments and once all his suggestions are incorporated I send my manuscript to my agent, who then gives his input.

line of books - some stacked, some standing, some leaning - books are blue, brown, red, green, and yellow
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Question #4: Your latest book, Be Light Like a Bird, is set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Did you travel to the Upper Peninsula to do research for the book? If not, how did you make sure you got all the details of what life is like there correct?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: My husband is from Michigan and we used to spend part of our summers at his family’s cabin near Sault Ste. Marie. In fact, my husband and I got married up there. We inherited the cabin and still own it. So I was familiar with the setting when I wrote the book.

 

Question #5: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: My first novel was rejected by the first editor I sent it to and I spent several years rewriting it. Yes, it takes tenacity to get published. My second and third book were published by the legendary Frances Foster, an editor with her own imprint at Farrar Straus Giroux. When she passed away it pulled the rug from under me. She was not only my editor but also my mentor and friend. After her death I had to find an agent and BE LIGHT LIKE A BIRD was rejected several times. So, even though I already had published three novels, I experiences set-backs. Sometimes it is hard to keep up the hope. Again, my husband is a great help. He coaches me through times of self-doubt and he is a great fan of my work.

(Blogger’s Note: I, for one, am super glad that you kept trying with Be Light Like a Bird because it really is phenomenal.)

 

Question #6: 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?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: I do read my reviews. It is painful to read bad reviews but in most cases I can find a kernel of truth in them. I might not agree with the weight a reviewer gives a certain aspect of the book, but I try to look at the issues raised with a clear eye.

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Question #7: What are some great books/authors you’ve read recently?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: I am a big fan of Avi’s work and I also loved Louis Bayard’s first book for kids, LUCKY STRIKES.

 

Question #8: What hobbies do you have/enjoy?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: I tend to a big flower garden and I look forward to gardening season starting again soon. I also love to bake and cook.

 

Question #9: Do you like to travel? If so, what was your favorite location to visit?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: My husband and I worked and lived overseas for 16 years. We have travelled a lot during those years. Now that we live in the US we don’t travel as much any more. But we recently visited Jekyll Island in Georgia and found it very beautiful.

 

Question #10: What is your favorite part of the writing/editing/publishing process? What is your least favorite?

Ms. Schröder’s Answer: My least favorite part of the process is writing the first draft. It is agonizingly slow and I have to force myself to keep on writing without looking back too much before I have reached the end of one whole draft. And that draft is usually very bad and then I make it better. I love revising, but my favorite part is probably when someone offers me a contract to publish my book.

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Once again, I’d like to say a huge “THANK YOU” to Monika Schröder for agreeing to answer my questions. Be sure to check out her newest book, Be Light Like A Bird!

Author Interview – Morgan Talbot

Welcome! Today I’m featuring an interview with Morgan Talbot, author of Smugglers and Scones. I’m very grateful that she was willing to answer my questions. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I have!

Morgan Talbot, author - White woman in her 30s or 40s, dark brown hair, wearing sunglasses halfway down her nose, a grey overshirt and a purple blouse

1) Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

I used to write every day like a mad thing, but I think I’m done with that phase of my writerly evolution. Nowadays, I still have a schedule, but it’s slower. Schedules are important for me, or I’ll just wander off and get interested in something else. I usually aim for a chapter per writing session, because that fits with my writing speed, chapter length, and pain tolerance—too long at any one manual task and I’m all achy for the rest of the day. Background noise is pretty useful for me—if I’m not in a coffee shop with the babble of voices, I’ll put on my headphones and listen to some Doctor Who soundtracks. Or whatever I’m into at the moment—right now, it’s the music from Doctor Who Series 6: Madman in a Box.

2) With this book, you not only create the storyline, but the whole backstory of the house and the author that lived there. How easy/difficult was that for you to do?

It took some time, but that kind of backstory/research is right up my alley, so I enjoyed every second of it. I also write epic fantasy under another pen name, so I’ve created entire worlds from scratch. Focusing more tightly on a single house and its famous occupant has been so much fun. I’ve spun all kinds of plots and events from Moorehaven’s past that’ll come out in future books. A building that old must have plenty of thrilling secrets, and I love discovering what they are just as much as everyone else.

3) How did you break into the publishing world?

About eight years ago, I first got published a startup small press I’d heard of through a friend on a writing site, but I soon found myself back out on the street due to creative differences. It felt more like I’d ricocheted off the wall of the publishing industry—confusing and disheartening. But I found a job reviewing indie books, and eventually the owner shifted to publishing instead. I had just written my first mystery novel, First to Find, and I submitted it with bated breath. To my delight, my book passed acquisitions and was accepted for publication. I’ve been very happy at Red Adept Publishing ever since.

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Continue reading “Author Interview – Morgan Talbot”

Interview with Vina Arno

As I stated a few posts back, I want to try to do some interviews with authors that I review. I’m grateful, that Vina Arno, author of “In His Corner”, was more than willing to answer the 15 questions I sent to her!  I didn’t quite manage to stay away from all the cliché questions, but I did try to mix in a few less common questions. I sincerely appreciate Ms. Arno taking the time to answer them!

Question #1: Are your characters based off of real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: The hero in my book, “In His corner,” is a boxer known as the Juggernaut. He is my homage to Tom Hardy’s cage-fighter character in the movie “Warrior.” I prefer boxing to mixed martial arts and I wanted the prestige of the Olympics, so I made my hero an Olympic gold-medalist boxer. My heroine is named Siena because she was inspired by the Italian city of the same name, which I visited in 2013.

 

Question #2: As a child, what do you want to do/be when you grew up?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I thought I wanted to be a stage actress! But I realize now that what I always wanted was to create and be immersed in a creative environment.

 

Question #3: As a new author, what is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? What is your least favorite? 

Ms. Arno’s Answer: My favorite part is the actual writing and building a story sentence by sentence. You start with a blank screen and end up with an entire manuscript. Even rewriting, which is difficult, gives me joy because it’s part of creating the story.
My least favorite is everything outside the writing process (querying, marketing, promotions, etc.)!

 

Question #4: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I didn’t go out to do research for this book. For my boxing hero, I watched documentaries and read books about the sport. For my ER-doctor heroine, my experience as a public relations specialist at a hospital came in handy. I drew inspiration from my interactions with doctors and hospital workers.

 

Question #5: Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? Conversely, did you make any marketing decisions that had an immediate impact on your sales?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: Every little thing helps in marketing, so even the less successful attempts are still useful.

 

Question #6: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages each day or do you just set aside writing time and whatever comes out, comes out.

Ms. Arno’s Answer: No, I don’t have a word-count quota. However, I do write every single day, year-round. For me, what’s useful is the actual habit of writing. It’s part of my routine and it’s something I look forward to every day.

 

Question #7: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I’m a copywriter and editor for a software company by day.

 

Question #8: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, or longhand? Why?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I write my novels on a computer, but I write random thoughts and notes in a notebook or any piece of paper available.

 

Question #9: How did you break into the publishing world?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: It was a serendipitous process that began with a trip to Siena, Italy. I wrote about my publishing breakthrough for Forbes. If you’re interested, you can read it here: 3 Career Reinvention Tips from a Reporter Turned Romance Writer.

 

Question #10: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: General Douglas MacArthur, the iconic World War II military leader. In fact, I recently completed a historical novel about him, which my literary agent in currently shopping to editors.

 

Question #11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book, whom would it be? What would you do during that day? (PG-13 please)

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I would love to spend time with both my hero and my heroine, but if I must choose just one, then I would shadow my heroine, Siena Carr, at the hospital. She’s an intelligent, big-hearted doctor, who’s beautiful inside and out. I was surprised that some readers misunderstood her, big time.

 

Question #12: Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: Unfortunately, no. And that’s why I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t discover the joys of reading until I was in high school. I didn’t start writing until I was in graduate school.

 

Question #13: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: I’m not a science fiction fan, but I finally read Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, “Fahrenheit 451”, recently. I was blown away by his writing. I loved it so much that I wrote about it on my blog. You can check it out, if you’re interested: Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” Transcends Science Fiction Genre.

 

Question #14: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: In high school, I discovered how powerful fiction can be after reading “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Many years later, reading Amy Tan’s “The Joy Luck Club” inspired me to start writing fiction. Nancy Horan’s “Loving Frank” gave me courage to write my historical novel about Douglas MacArthur.

 

Question #15: What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was the least useful or most destructive?

Ms. Arno’s Answer: Writing is a very humbling process. I learned that I can always improve my writing. “Don’t be precious” – this is what I tell myself when I’m writing. I can’t think of anything truly destructive. So far, even my negative experiences (such as rejections) have brought me positive lessons.

 

Again, many thanks to Ms. Arno for taking the time to answer these questions for me and for all of us! I hope the rest of you enjoyed the questions/answers as much as I did.

Being my first interview with an author, if anyone has feedback or has ideas for questions that you think would be good, please feel free to either comment here or message me. Thanks!