Thursday, February 28, 2013

Author Lyndi Lamont is My Guest Today--Read About Her Books and the Tarot!

Today my guest is Linda McLaughlin, writing as Lyndi Lamont. She and I share a fascination with the Tarot, and we both put Tarot card readings in our books. I've had several Tarot readings that were bang on, and have 2 decks myself, but reading them isn't one of my special gifts. It takes a very gifted reader to interpret them right.

Read about Linda, her books, and the Tarot!

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing and theater with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California with her husband.

Her first book was Worth The Risk by Lyn O'Farrell. Now Linda writes historical and Regency romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.
 
She also writes sexy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont.
 
* * *
 
 
My thanks to Diana for hosting me today. 

I have long been fascinated by the Tarot, and when I was doing research for Rogue's Hostage, I came across a reference to a Protestant minister railing against Freemasons use of "devil's cards'. Right away, I knew he hadn't been referring to the standard playing deck, but to the Tarot, since it was used for divination.  

The origin of the Tarot is fairly murky, with claims that it dates back to the Egyptians, but it appears to have originated in Italy during the Renaissance. At least, the oldest extant cards date to that era. The decks we are familiar with today, like the Rider-Waite, didn't exist back in 1758 when my book takes place, but I discovered one that did exist in 18th century: the Ancient Tarot de Marseille. Lucky for me, the deck was still available and I was able to purchase it.  

The suits are Baton (Wands), Coupe (Cups), Epee (Swords) and Deniers (Coins or Pentacles-). The cards of the Major Arcana are similar to those of the Rider-Waite decks, but the suit cards are not. The Rider-Waite deck was the first one to have a unique picture for each card. The Marseille Minor Arcana are more like the pips of the standard playing deck, with a number and the symbol of the suit. This makes it much more challenging for an amateur like me to interpret.  

In the book my dabbler in the occult is my heroine's brother, Gideon Harcourt. Son and grandson of Calvinist ministers, Gideon rebelled, seeking enlightenment in the forbidden, including Tarot. He's an officer in the Royal Americans, the only British regiment of the time open to the foreign-born, many of whom were German and Swiss. Gideon is also a Freemason, a topic for another day.

 

When his sister Mara is taken hostage by a French & Indian War Party, Gideon vows to find and ransom her. He periodically consults the tarot in an attempt to divine the future. Several cards recur in the readings: Le Maison de Dieu (what is now called The Tower) and The Lovers. The latter card perplexes Gideon, who is unaware that Mara is falling in love with her captor Jacques.  

Rogue's Hostage

By Linda McLaughlin

Historical Romance

 

4 ½ stars and a Top Pick from Romantic Times!

Romantic Times Nominee—Best Small Press Romance of 2003!

2nd Place - Lorie Awards - Best Historical Romance!
 

His hostage...   

In 1758 the Pennsylvania frontier is wild, primitive and dangerous, where safety often lies at the end of a gun. Mara Dupré's life crumbles when a French and Indian war party attacks her cabin, kills her husband, and takes her captive. Marching through the wilderness strengthens her resolve to flee, but she doesn't count on her captor teaching her the meaning of courage and the tempting call of desire. 

Her destiny... 

French lieutenant Jacques Corbeau's desire for his captive threatens what little honor he has left.  But when Mara desperately offers herself to him in exchange for her freedom, he finds the strength to refuse and reclaims his lost self-respect. As the shadows of his past catch up to him, Jacques realizes that Mara, despite the odds, is the one true key to reclaiming his soul and banishing his past misdeeds forever.
(Previously published by Amber Quill Press)

Short Excerpt:
Swords. There were swords everywhere.
Gideon sat in the privacy of his tent at Fort Ligonier and stared at the cards spread before him. The dominant suit was definitely swords, which was no surprise under the circumstances.
The flickering light of a candle cast shadows on the sides of the tent and cast a yellow glow over the brilliantly colored cards. The hour was late and the camp quiet, but Gideon had been unable to sleep. He did not often consult the tarot, but his concern for Mara made him desperate to find answers in any way possible.
And matters would soon be coming to a head. A few days ago, an expedition made up of provincial and Highland troops, including his young friend Cameron Shaw, had left camp headed for Fort Duquesne. If the cards were correct—and the message they told was crystal clear—then Major Grant and his men were in trouble.
In that case, two possibilities occurred to Gideon. The French could leave the safety of the fort and attack the advancing British in force, as they had three years ago with Braddock. However, since it was late in the season, it was also possible that their native allies would tire of the white men's war and go home to hunt for the winter, which would leave the French more vulnerable than ever. Still, a prudent soldier always prepared for the worst.
Gideon sighed and gathered the cards into a pile. His grandfather would be turning in his grave if he knew that his grandson was playing with "devil's cards", as he had called them.
Rogue's Hostage is now available as an electronic download from Barnes and Noble and coming soon to Amazon and Smashwords. For more information and to read an excerpt, go to http://www.lindamclaughlin.com/rogueshostage.html
This is the fifth stop of my Rogue'sHostage Blog Tour. Leave a comment here with your email address to be entered for a $10.00 gift certificate of the winner's choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc. Contest ends March 3. 




 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Author Tina Gayle is my Guest Today

Today I'm hosting Tina Gayle, born in Texas, the place of her heart and where most of her family still lives. The youngest of four daughters, she grew up a dreamer.

She worked for years in the business world doing a variety of accounting jobs. Then when her two sons were little, Tina decided to go back to school to get a degree in MIS. She only used this degree a few years before deciding to follow her passion for writing romance.




Her first book, Pregnancy Plan, was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007. Next, she tried her hand at writing a paranormal story. Mating Rituals came next and is a farther step away from her other contemporary stories with more off-world fantasy elements. Then she wrote two more contemporary, Baby Decision and Youthful Temptations. She is currently working on a series about four executive wives. The ebooks will come out in 2012 and 2013.

Married twenty-five years, she and her husband love to travel and can’t wait for Mike to retire so they can do it more.

Always working on perfecting her craft, Tina is a member of RWA, attends writing conferences, and can be found in a number of writing classes. She also loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at
tinagayle@roadrunner.com

Here's a synopsis and excerpt from SUMMER'S GROWTH:

Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance. 

After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart. 

Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery. 

Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate. 

Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died.  

Can these two women achieve their goals?
 


Excerpt:

Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.
She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.
“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”
Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent.
“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved.
The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?
Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events.
A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate.
“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.”
The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano.
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.
“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.”
Opal disappeared.
With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.
Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do? 

Click below to read a chapter:
http://www.tinagayle.net/SGchapter.html

Click below to purchase:
https://www.google.com/search?q=%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smashwords.com%2F%22+target%3D%22_blank%22%3E+www.smashwords.com%3C%2Fa%3E&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&rlz=


Find Tina Gayle everywhere! 
Home - www.tinagayle.net
Blog - www.tinagayle.blogspot.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorTinaGayle
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1641826.Tina_Gayle

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/tina.gayle
Google + - https://plus.google.com
Linkin - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tina-gayle/11/689/759

 


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Lincoln Buffs--Why and How?

What Makes a Lincoln Buff?

Abraham Lincoln has fascinated me since I was eight years old. I don’t know what got me started, but it might’ve been a book which I still have, titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, written in 1895. When I was in 3rd grade, in the mid-60s (which shows how long I’ve been a Lincoln nut), my teacher asked us to bring a book from home. My mother suggested I bring this Lincoln book, which even in 1966 was in bad shape—strips of Scotch tape barely held the covers to the spine. In the wisdom of an 8-year-old, I demurred, saying, “This old book? She’ll think we’re poor!” My mother corrected me: “No, she’ll think we’re rich. Books like this are rare.” The teacher was duly impressed.

I still treasure that book to this day, and it’s one of many on my “Lincoln shelf” which holds books about our murdered president, his wife Mary, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and his family, and the conspirators who faced the gallows or years of hard labor because Booth, their charismatic leader, sucked them into his insane plot.In 2002, I began research on A Necessary End, which combines two genres I’m passionate about—history and paranormal. I joined The Surratt Society, based in Maryland, and attended their conferences and tours. Trips to Lincoln's home and tomb in Springfield, Illinois, Gettysburg, Ford’s Theater, and the house he died in, Petersen House, brought me close to Mr. Lincoln’s spirit. My travels also acquainted me with Booth’s brother Edwin, the most famous actor of his time, and his unconventional family. A recording of Edwin’s voice reciting Shakespeare on one of Edison’s wax cylinders still exists at http://www.britannica.com/shakespeare/browse?browseId=248018My paranormal experience includes investigations at several haunted homes, restaurants and graveyards. I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’ve gotten responses with my dowsing rods and I made a ghost laugh at the Jumel Mansion in New York (see the story and photos on my blog, www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com).Tragically, we’ll never hear Abraham Lincoln’s voice. But his spirit lives on. In my book, which is fiction--but we all know that novels are fictionalized truths--I gave Booth what was coming to him. He got his justice in real life, but in A Necessary End, he also got the paranormal twist he deserves.And I enjoyed sticking it to him!

Friday, February 22, 2013


Friday, February 15, 2013

An Interview with Lois Winston, Author of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries Series


Today I’m hosting Lois Winston who writes the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series featuring magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Kirkus Reviews dubbed it, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” Other books in the series includes Death By Killer Mop Doll, Crewel Intentions, and the recently released Revenge of the Crafty Corpse. Lois is also published in women’s fiction, romance, romantic suspense, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. In addition, she’s an award-winning crafts and needlework designer and an agent with the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency. She’s also the author of Top Ten Reasons Your Novel Is Rejected.
Lois started out wanting to be an astronaut. Severe motion sickness killed that career path, so she went to art school. Eighteen years ago she was bitten by the writing bug. After ten years, countless rejections, and much perseverance, she sold her first novel.
 
 
 
About Lois . . .
 
If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?
 
What I’d like to do is share a romantic dinner, complete with bubbly and crème brûlée, with my husband. What I’d probably wind up doing is try to make a dent in my to-do list. Why? The first because I’d like to, the second because I have to.

What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
 
I’m a very eclectic reader. It really depends on my mood. My favorite genres are amateur sleuth mysteries and romantic comedy when I need a good laugh, women’s fiction when I need a book that will tug at my emotions, and historical fiction when I’m in the mood to learn something along with enjoying a good read.
 
What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?
 
I love just about anything by George Gershwin and Cole Porter. I love classic jazz and classic rock ‘n roll, and I’m a big fan of Broadway musicals. I also love listening to Andrea Bocelli. When that man sings, my insides melt!
 
What is your stress buster?
 
Treating myself to a facial and/or a massage.
 
What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food?
 
Coffee! (Is that a food? All I know is I can’t live without it.) For comfort food, bring on the chocolate! And the crème brûlée, the Napoleans, the pretzels (especially chocolate covered ones)...heck, just bring me desserts!
 
Describe yourself in one word.
 
Impatient. (When God was handing out patience, I was too impatient to stand in line.)
 
If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
 
To have unlimited wishes. That way I don’t have to choose just one wish. (Pretty sneaky, huh?)
 
What’s your biggest regret in life?
 
Not growing a backbone sooner.
 
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
 
That’s classified. If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
 
What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)
 
I’m frustrated by all the politicians who put their own interests ahead of the good of the country. We elected them to represent us. They seem to forget that as soon as they arrive in Washington.

What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?
 
To win Powerball or make the New York Times bestseller list. I’d be happy with either, but both would be even better.

How would readers find out more about you?
 
Visit my websites, http://www.loiswinston.com and http://www.emmacarlyle.com and Anastasia’s Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com

Your writing . . .
 
When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
 
I began writing my first novel in 1995. It took me about three months. When I finished I had a 50,000 word romance that spanned 35 years. Obviously, I had a lot to learn!
 
Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?
 
When I began, I didn’t have a clue as to how to write a publishable novel (Hence, the 50K manuscript that spanned 35 years!) I knew how to construct grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs, how to structure my thoughts, how to punctuate them properly – all those things you learn in English class in high school – but that was about it. The last piece of fiction I had written was a very short story back in Freshman Comp in college. I had a story in my head and put it down on paper. After I received a boatload of rejection letters, I set out to learn how to write a novel. I joined several writing organizations, took classes and workshops, attended conferences, and joined a critique group.
 
How did you feel when you receive your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc. to commemorate the occasion?
 
Stunned! I’d been trying for so long to get published that when it finally happened, I just sat there in disbelief. I thought about doing a Snoopy dance, but I’m such a klutz that I’d probably fall and break a leg, so I Snoopy danced in spirit only.
 
Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent? 
I wish I could write faster. It takes me about nine months to write a novel, but I’m juggling three jobs – that of a published author, a literary agent, and a designer. It would be nice to be making enough money from my writing that all I had to do was write.
 
What kind of books do you love/hate to write? Why?
 
I love to write books with strong female protagonists, whether I’m writing mystery or romance. I don’t want to read or write stories with shrinking violets or damsels in distress who need to be saved by a hero who sweeps in at the last minute.
 
What do you think about editing?
 
Editing is crucial. In my work at the agency I see far too many submissions that suffer from overwriting, filler, and way too much back-story. I’ve given workshops about this and after much prodding from people who have taken my workshops in the past, I wrote Top Ten Reasons Your Novel Is Rejected. Most of those reasons revolve around a lack of editing. Authors need to learn to self-edit their work.
 
Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
 
Because I have a desktop computer, I’m limited to writing at my desk in my office. When the time comes to replace my current computer, I’ll probably get a laptop. It would be nice not to be chained to one location when I write. I’ll never be one of those authors who heads for the coffee shop, though. I need total quiet while I’m writing. I don’t even listen to music while I’m working on my novels.
 
I usually spend my mornings on business and errands and write in the afternoon.
 
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
 
Since I’m writing a series, my main characters are already established. Each book involves Anastasia taking on additional work to help whittle down her massive debt. Once I decide on a venue, I figure out a way to insert a murder. However, the actual writing doesn’t begin until I come up with a great opening line. I’m a true believer in authors needing to grab readers and draw them into their books with a killer (not necessarily literal!) opening sentence.
 
What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?
 
Well, of course, I’d recommend my own Top Ten Reasons Your Novel Is Rejected. I also think writers would do well to study Debra Dixon’s Goals, Motivations, and Conflict, Christopher Vogler’s The Hero’s Journey and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King.

What is your must-have book for writing?
 
It’s so important to know the basics of writing before you begin to write. Too many writers believe grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation aren’t important, that an editor will correct all of that. Not true. If you don’t know the basics, no editor is going to be interested in your work. For that reason, I recommend all writers have a good grammar/punctuation book (I recommend ReWrite Right! by Jan Venolia and Woe Is I by Patricia T. O’Conner. Both are very easy to read and understand.) I also keep a Thesaurus and dictionary handy.
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
 
If you have a passion to write, keep writing, no matter how many rejection letters you’ve received. Some of the most successful authors spent years where you are right now. Very few writers have instant success. However, if you’re writing because you think it’s a quick way to make a lot of money, think again. I know NY Times bestselling authors who can’t afford to quit their day jobs.
 
Your books . . .
 
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
 
I write humorous amateur sleuth mysteries, romantic comedies, humorous women’s fiction, and romantic suspense. I prefer to write books that make people laugh. There’s too much going on in the world to scare us. I’d rather give people a break from reality. Laughter releases endorphins, and endorphins make us feel happy.
 
Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
 
Wow, this is a hard question to answer. I have a particular attachment to Talk Gertie To Me, the first book I sold. It’s the story of a small town mom, a daughter who’s gone off to the big city, and the daughter’s snarky childhood imaginary friend who reappears after one very devastating day.
 
Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
 
I get the majority of my ideas in the shower or while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. In both cases it makes it very difficult to jot down the ideas, but it’s easier in bed. I keep paper and a pen on my nightstand. I’ve been known to jot notes on the steamed up shower stall!

Which book is the closest to your heart? Why?
 
I’m very attached to my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series. Of all my characters, Anastasia is the most like me, and I’ve put many of my own experiences into those books (although unlike Anastasia, I don’t stumble over dead bodies – at least I haven’t so far and hope to keep it that way.)
 
Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?
 
Writing can be a very cathartic experience. Creating Anastasia’s communist mother-in-law was a way for me to deal with my own difficult relationship with my mother-in-law. Although I’ve taken artistic liberties in creating Lucille, much of the source material comes directly from my own experiences with my mother-in-law. And yes, she was that difficult and nasty a woman! My husband and his sister will vouch for that.
 
Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why?
 
As I mentioned above, that would be Anastasia. Like Anastasia, I have a background in art, and I worked for several years as a crafts editor, not for a magazine but for two craft book publishers. I also raised two sons and had the misfortune of living under the same roof with my mother-in-law for six long years. Luckily, my husband is very much alive and nothing like Anastasia’s dead louse of a spouse. Also, I never had a menagerie of pets living under my roof thanks to allergies.
Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why? 

In the hero department, that would be Luke Bennett, the hero of Hooking Mr. Right, one of my Emma Carlyle romantic comedies. Luke has been dubbed New York’s most eligible bachelor, the man who puts the “man” in Manhattan, but he’s a bit headstrong, often acting before he thinks. When he and Thea Chandler, his new next-door neighbor meet, it takes the intervention of Cupid, Luke’s matchmaking alley cat not only to bring Luke to his senses but to knock some sense into him. 

My strongest heroine is definitely Anastasia. I’ve dumped a ton of problems on that poor woman, and somehow she manages to stay sane while digging her way out of massive debt, dealing with a dysfunctional family, developing a relationship with her mysterious tenant, and figuring out whodunit. 

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?  

I’ve learned it’s useless to argue with my characters. They always wind up being right. 

Tell us more about your latest release, Revenge of the Crafty Corpse, published by Midnight Ink.  

Revenge of the Crafty Corpse is the third book of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. In this installment Anastasia is still trying to deal with the aftermath of her dead husband’s deceit.  Because she has more bills than you can shake a crochet hook at, she takes on a second job teaching craft classes at her mother-in-law’s assisted living center. It seems like a harmless way to supplement her meager income. But when Lyndella Wegner—a 98-year-old know-it-all with a penchant for ruffles and lace—turns up dead, Anastasia’s cantankerous mother-in-law becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Upon discovering that Lyndella’s scandalous craft projects—and her scandalous behavior—made her plenty of enemies, Anastasia sets out to find the real killer before her mother-in-law ends up behind bars.

Any new projects, work in progress? 

I’m currently working on the fourth Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery. I also have plans to publish more Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries. These are 10,000 word short stories available only as ebooks. The first book, Crewel Intentions, came out the end of November and featured Anastasia meeting back up with a character from the first book in the series.

Visit Lois at http://www.loiswinston.com, visit Emma at http://www.emmacarlyle.com, and visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers character blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.

 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guesting on Lyndi's Love Notes Today

Today is Abraham Lincoln's 204th birthday, and in honor of this day, I'm offering my Kindle version of A Necessary End for free on Amazon. Click below: 

 
I'm also guesting on Lyndi's Love Notes today. Check it out!
 
http://lyndilamont.com/blog/2013/02/12/guest-blogger-diana-rubino/

Thursday, February 7, 2013

AN INTERVIEW WITH LAWRENCE W. GOLD, M.D., AUTHOR OF MEDICAL FICTION & ACTION THRILLERS


Today I’m hosting Lawrence W. Gold, M.D., author of several medical action thrillers which have been enjoying phenomenal sales. RAGE is his latest title. Below is Larry’s bio and my interview with him.
 

 
 
 I was born in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, moved to Queens, and then, as New Yorkers say, we ascended to the Island.
After graduating from Valley Stream Central High School, I went to Adelphi, a college then, a university now, and then to medical school in Chicago.
The war in Vietnam interrupted my postgraduate training with a year in Colorado Springs and another as a Battalion Surgeon in Vietnam. I spent seven months in the Central Highlands with the 4th Infantry and five months in an evacuation hospital in Long Binh outside Saigon where I ran the emergency room.

I returned intact in 1968 to complete my training in internal medicine and diseases of the kidney, nephrology.

I worked for twenty-three years in Berkeley, California in a hospital-based practice caring for patients with complicated illnesses often in ICU and served as Chief of Medicine.

My wife Dorlis and I retired in October 1995 and sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge for a life at sea in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Four years later, exhausted from repairing everything on board, (often many times) we sold the sailboat and within a year took the lazy man’s out; we bought a Nordic Tug, a trawler. We motored around Florida, the Bahamas, the entire East Coast and completed two ‘Circle trips’ to Canada and back, eight months, the first time, five months, the second.

I wrote professionally as a physician to inform but rarely to entertain, at least not on purpose.

The original FIRST, DO NO HARM was published in April 2007. NO CURE FOR MURDER, August 2011. THE SIXTH SENSE, 2012, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, 2012, and RAGE, 2012.

In the last few years, I’ve written three screenplays based on my novels and hope to see one or more produced for the screen. I submitted my screenplay, Rage to the 80th Annual Writers Digest contest and won honorable mention (57 out of 11,000). Freud’s Law, a proposal for a TV drama series is based on RAGE.

We live in beautiful Grass Valley with 15-year-old Mike, a terrier mix and Bennie, a 7-year- old purebred Yorkie who looks like he’s on steroids, but he’s not.

How do you relax?
      After writing most of the day, I need to veg. TV or a good book before the fireplace.

      What kind of books do you love to read? Why? 
      Mostly, I read the book types that I write. Adventure, thrillers, mysteries, interspersed with non-fiction on subjects that catch my attention.

      What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?
      Classical and oldies.

      What is your stress buster?
      When depressed I watch Dave or The American President or anything that Aaron Sorkin has written, or play the piano. 

      What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food?
      Anyone who says they don’t like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies is lying.

      Describe yourself in one word.
      Determined.

      If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
            A peaceful world free of political strife.

            What’s your biggest regret in life?
            Starting too slow and working hard to catch up.

      What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
      Retired early and left a lucrative practice for a life at sea.

      What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)
      Humanity can do much better, but it doesn’t.

      What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?
      I wish I had the talent to be a great musician.

      How would readers find out more about you?
     Visit my website: www.lawrencewgoldmd.com

            Your writing: 

      When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
      My first novel was FIRST, DO NO HARM. It’s based on my experience as a physician in a community hospital.

      Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?
      I knew little or nothing about the craft of writing. Had good ideas, but no effective way to have them come through. I met my agent is a fiction critique group. She encouraged me and demanded excellence.

      How did you feel when you receive your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc to commemorate the occasion?
      Felt great. Although less important today, the contract labeled me as a “published author.”  

      Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?
      Although I enjoy writing, it’s work. It takes energy and determination. I wish I could bottle those days when the writing and the ideas just flow.
      While many writers hate editing, I enjoy it (except for line editing) as I always find something to improve.

      What kind of books do you love/hate to write? Why?
      I won’t write anything I don’t like. I’ve started several novels of value, but have abandoned them because they weren’t “commercial enough”. If I was famous, I could write anything I liked without such considerations.

      Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
      We live in a forest in the Sierra foothills. My desk sits before a window and I can watch as wildlife passes by, esp. deer. I’m a morning person.

      How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
      Either the plot of the characters come to me first, but either way, I keep a firm grip on the ultimate plot line goal. I agree with Stephen King that characters will show you the way.

      What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?
      Sol Stein’s books on writing are a great start. Too many other great ones, but I’d recommend trying to write a movie or TV script. Scripts never let you tell anything. You can only show.

      What is your must-have book for writing?
      Too many books.
      Software: Thesaurus.com and Masterwriter.

      What is your advice to aspiring writers?
      If you have a creative mind, the rest is craft. Learning the craft isn’t easy and takes time.

            Your books:

      What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
      Medical fiction and action thrillers.  I see the need for medical fiction that can be compelling and yet, reflect reality.

      Among those that you’ve written, which is your favorite book and why?
      That’s like asking which of your children do you like best.
      I love The Sixth Sense for the best combination of medical drama, humor, and its potential to teach painlessly.

      Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?
      Who knows? Often they come from some event, circumstance etc. that annoys me enough to write a letter to the editor or write a novel.
      I jot notes in my iPhone. If you have a good idea and don’t write it down somewhere, it’s likely to disappear.

      Which book is the closest to your heart? Why?
      WATER FOR ELEPHANTS: great characterizations and emotional depth.
      My novel FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, about the persistent practices of faith healers that kill and injure children.
 
      Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?
      All of my characters are composites. Jacob Weizman in NO CURE FOR MURDER is based on several elderly physicians I met in practice.

      Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why?
      None, really. Many have characteristics I’d love to claim or at least inspire to.

      Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?
      No sexy or hot in my work, but many lovable characters (I hope).

      Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?
      Yes, like Stephen King, I let my characters go where they may, trying to keep them as close as possible to the plot line.

      Tell us more about your latest release:
      RAGE: When normal people suddenly become violent, it’s up to Michael Rose, a forensic psychiatrist to understand what happened and why.

      Any new projects, work in progress?
      TORTURED MEMORY should be out soon. Abbie Adler is a child psychiatrist who specializes in abused children. As a victim of abuse herself, she brings a special understanding to her patients. The police find Abbie one morning in a catatonic state. She’s been traumatized, but remembers nothing. The novel: what happened? Why did it happen? What lies ahead? 

Click below for the slideshow for Larry’s novels:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX7sb_QK2dc

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