Author interview with Eric Small

Two Freddies Tour

Eric, we’ve known each other a few years now, going back to when you finished the work on book one of this series, BRAZIN GAMBIT. I loved that book and am enjoying this one just as much! Arnie and Zellie feel like friends now and of course, the Middletown NJ region is familiar to me, so I enjoy “visiting” some of those spots again. But even if I wasn’t from NJ, I’d love these people.

I was happy to see you back with Publicity Book Tours so I could be part of your blog campaign. Let’s get started with your interview! 

How would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb? Try to describe your book in one sentence.

Unlicensed detectives dodge a falling corpse, navigate a gauntlet of deception and murder, and enjoy the distractions of romance.

When did you begin writing? How long have you been writing?

I began by writing history papers. I continued writing in college, but once again, non-fiction – mostly history and political science.  I continued writing non-fiction throughout law school and for thirty-two years as a government attorney. I only began writing fiction, which I have always loved to read, within the last four to five years. And writing fiction is very different from drafting a legal brief. For one thing, it’s a lot more fun.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I don’t listen to music when I write. I start focusing on the music instead of concentrating on the words on the page.  Oddly enough, I don’t mind having a baseball game on in the background. For some reason, I’m able to ignore the announcers, and only get distracted if there is a loud crack of the bat, when I look up, see what just happened, and go back to writing.

Do you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write longhand?

I write on a desktop computer for the most part. When I have the baseball game on, I use my MacBook Air.

What’s your favorite part of writing a book?

I love creating new characters. It’s by far my favorite part of the writing process, and one I had no opportunity to do in my prior career.

Who’s your favorite character in your new release?

I like many of the characters in A Tale of Two Freddies, but if I have to choose, I think my favorite is Jake Rothberg. I grew up knowing people just like Jake, who were gruff on the outside but had hearts of gold. Also, I love great deli.

Did you do any research before start or during the writing of the books?

I did a lot of research during the writing of A Tale of Two Freddies. While I invented the characters and fictional venues, the book is set in a real place. So I needed to keep the roads and landmarks accurate. Arnie and Zellie knew nothing about the requirements for getting a private detective license, and neither did I before I researched New Jersey’s Private Detective Act of 1939. And while I read The Brothers Karamazov a number of years ago and liked it very much, I needed a refresher. I had never seen the movie or even knew of its existence before I looked, but Arnie and Zellie are movie buffs.  So, I researched the book and rented the movie.

What book is currently on your nightstand?

I’m currently reading The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway. I just checked, and there’s a 1957 film based on it starring Tyrone Power, Ava Gardner, Mel Ferrer, and Errol Flynn. I’ve never seen it, but maybe Arnie and Zellie will watch it in a future book. You never know.

How can readers stay in touch?

I welcome e-mails at eric@ericsmallbooks.com or comments on my website: www.ericsmallbooks.com

What is the last book you’ve read?

The last book I read was one a friend lent to me titled A Cold Day in Paradise, a mystery novel by Steve Hamilton. And it’s a good one.

How many more books can we expect in this series?

At least one more. I’m pretty far along in writing the third one, so I have a fair degree of confidence that I will finish it. I won’t rule out anything beyond that, because I like Arnie and Zellie, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. And who knows? I may want to write something completely different.

Thank you for joining us, Eric and I know readers are going to totally enjoy A TALE OF TWO FREDDIES. The unique twists will definitely keep readers turning the pages. I’ll be watching for book 3! 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

WHAT’S IN A NAME? MORE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DK Ludas and some mutual friends of the Sisters in Crime NJ chapter are spending today in lovely Cape May County at the Stone Harbor Library where they are doing a mystery authors meet and greet. Our current inspirational, MERCIFUL BLESSINGS will be front and center, but we also didn’t want to miss the opportunity to spread the good word about book 2 in the Amazing Grace Trucking Series, too – KEEPING FAITH which will be out later this fall from Two Stone Lions Press.

Some of you may know book 2 from it’s intended title, OLD FAITHFUL, which features Faith Blessing-Walker, sister of Hope and twin of Grace. One of our treasured beta readers mentioned that since Old Faithful is the name of a well-known and much-visited geyser in Yellowstone National Park, maybe we should change the name of this book. After all, did we want people thinking it was about a geyser?

Well, we asked some others, who after much thought and contemplation acknowledged that they could see that point. It took them some time, but the consensus was that perhaps we should find a different title.

From the onset of the development of the series, Daria and I wanted some specifics in place for each book. 1) they’d all be inspirational in nature and Christian-faith based, 2) they’d all take place in and around Merciful, Florida which is fictionally set in Alachua County, Florida, 3) the second book would be focused on Faith, the third on Grace, and the fourth on some strong secondary characters, 4) the covers would all contain an image of a small community church, 5) the titles would have two words in them that should be a play on words.

So, we decided on retitling book 2 of the series to KEEPING FAITH. As the challenges unfold in the story, Faith and others are forced to “keep” faith or succumb to the despair of life’s trials. Faith is also faced with the demands of physical therapy to regain her ability to walk and be independent again so others are “keeping” faith for Faith. And maybe most importantly for Daria and me, we know that the Lord keeps us all in his care. He never abandons us. And so, the new title seems a great fit. Thankfully our very wonderful publisher agreed and is working to redo the book cover which will be available soon.

We’re delighted and thankful that she spoke up because the new title has brought with it energy we needed to power through the revisions. So, not unlike the wedding that gets called off at the rehearsal dinner because it is the wrong thing to do for that couple, be willing to rethink that title you may have been wedded to for a long time. We hemmed and hawed but this author/reader is very savvy and her input is too valuable to ignore.

So not only are the Blessing sisters blessed, but Daria and I are mightily blessed, too. We have each other as friends and co-authors, we have such wonderful friends who read and give of their time for us, and we have a publisher who believes in us. We wish you blessings in your reading and writing journeys, too.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Received a Book Excellence Award!

Book-Excellence-Award-Winner-Blog-Feature-Image-1200x630I am incredibly excited to announce that I have been recognized as a Book Excellence Award Winner for my book, STILL SHOT in the Action Category.

To all of you who have offered your congratulations, THANK YOU and I send you a warm Chastity Creek hug!

Out of hundreds of books that were entered into the Book Excellence Awards competition, my book was selected for its high-quality writing, design and overall market appeal.

The book was released in 2016 and is about a Private Investigator and her husband who travel to New Orleans for a family wedding and find themselves up to their armpits in murder, mayhem and a family in deep trouble.  Caught up in a macabre play as fraught with intrigue as Macbeth, the twists and turns will leave you hanging onto your seat!

The book is perfect for action and mystery readers from 17 to 70.

You can get a copy for yourself at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

The next book in the series, GONE IN A FLASH will be released in November 2019. I’ll let you know more about those details as we get closer to the launch date. Thanks always for your support!

Posted in Writing and Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Interview with David Baldacci

DB-bookcase-200x300

I promised a weekly blog – and I love you all – so I wanted to post something of value. But NaNoWriMo is added to the normal towering pile of things to complete – so I read this awesome interview in my Killer Nashville Magazine and I know you’ll enjoy it! Have a blessed week!

IN THIS KILLER NASHVILLE INTERVIEW, AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR DAVID BALDACCI GIVES US A BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK AT HOW HE MAKES HIS CHARACTERS AND LOCATIONS COME TO LIFE AND HIGHLIGHTS THE DIFFERENCES IN WRITING A STAND-ALONE NOVEL VERSUS A SERIES.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing and Marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NEW BOOK TITLES JUST IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS FROM WC PUBLISHING

THESE BOOKS CAN BE PURCHASED WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD! INDIE BOOKSTORES CAN ORDER FOR YOU OR YOU CAN ORDER ONLINE THROUGH AMAZON, BOOKS-A-MILLION, OR BARNES&NOBLES! Please remember to write and post reviews wherever you can!

Heart Lies Fnl Kindle Cover 110118

FICTION/MILITARY/LITERARY

Life has a purpose and our hearts can lead the way – if we let them. Cory McGuire

This novel is about being brave enough to risk our hearts in order to care about others, even when we have been hurt too many times.

A young man goes on his journey in search of finding out where his heart truly lies. We are all on that journey to some extent – or have been. It’s a story about heroes and the sacrificial love it takes to be one – on a military mission or in our homes.

ON SALE NOV 11 IN PRINT AND KINDLE FORMATS

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

case11.000x8.500.indd

POETRY/PHOTOGRAPHY/TRAVEL

Through this beautiful hardcover book, Dr. Goldfarb hopes to inspire readers not only to visit the beautiful cities and countrysides of Japan but to observe their surroundings, no matter where that might be and note their specialness, their uniqueness. Japan Inscape is an emotional response to an entire life of surgery and family, surfaced through poetry and photography. The mood alternates between chaotic city spaces and tranquil countryside, commonplace and monumental. His reflective trip to Japan captured, in photographs and Haiku, both the historic and modern aspects of this island nation.

AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 22, 2018; Kindle Pre-Orders Available Now!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing and Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stretching Our Comfort Zones

NQ Promo Pic 2018The FWA 2018 Conference offered some neat “extras” this year including an affordable, professional author headshot studio and a recorded video interview session for the Meet the Authors Show with Dr. Philip Levin. Since I’d just had the headshot done at JC Penny not long ago, I decided to invest the small requested fee in doing the interview. (Fees benefited the Florida Writers Foundation to combat illiteracy in Florida.) Dr. Levin made the interview fun and easy, but I was sweating it for two days beforehand. I’m not particularly comfortable in front of a camera lens but I thought I’ve got to stretch this comfort zone some! Take a look at the results of a mobile studio interview with a rookie interviewee and a pro interviewer: NL Quatrano on Meet the Author with Philip Levin

On September 28, I was interviewed on the syndicated radio talk show, BIRDSONG, and I had a blast – but no cameras were involved, so aside from fearing that I’d sound like Minnie Mouse, I wasn’t as nervous. The nice thing about radio is that you can have it playing in the background while doing other things, so listen to the show! https://www.talkzone.com/episodes/LegalChannel/BIRD092818.html) Be prepared to laugh, to ponder, and to be engaged with this show.

What’s the value of all this out-of-the-box activity, you may ask? Well, Leonard and Philip and I are all authors and spending time with one another in these formats helps spread the word for us all. And, media like video and audio help spread the word exponentially compared to print and static web presence, so they are powerful tools for all of our social media like websites, FB pages, Twitter, etc. AND, I learned things, had fun, and grew as a person and an author!

Moral of this story: If it’s not immoral, illegal, or dangerous to you or others, don’t let discomfort keep you from trying new things! Be willing to learn something new every week – it’ll keep your body, mind, and spirit in good shape!

Keep writing and reading!

I WISH TO EXTEND A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS NATION AND OUR FREEDOMS. THE PRICE YOU ALL PAY IS TOO HIGH AND YET IF YOU DID NOT – WERE NOT WILLING TO – THEN WHO WOULD BE GUARDIANS OF THIS UNIQUE AND INCREDIBLE COUNTRY? May God Bless you all today and always. 

Nancy Q. 

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing and Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WRITERS AND FRUSTRATION

Orange Juice by Andreus

Orange Juice by Andreus http://www.dreamstime.com

I’ve been in touch with – and made aware of – a lot of writing frustration over the past 4-6 weeks. I’d like to offer some suggestions that may empower you to write anyway.

The most common comments include, “I don’t have any time to write”; “This story just isn’t coming together”; “My publisher is not happy with this latest story”; “Sales really stink” – I can list many more, but in the interest of time for us both, I won’t.

I send us all a hug on this stuff. And hugs sent my way are appreciated. We’re all in the same boat even if not at the same time. And, I think that the bottom line sometimes just needs to be, “So what? This too shall pass.” We’re human. We have things to learn. We get sidetracked. So what?

A healthy quality of life includes the ability to live with joy on a daily basis regardless of the circumstances. It’s the result of a healthy spirit. Of being present to the moment we are currently in. We cannot have healthy spirits without balance. We won’t have balance if everything, every day, is about us or our writing. (We also won’t have friends.) And, it’s easy to get down that rabbit hole without a clear way back – I’ve been there myself a time or ten in the 20+ years I’ve been writing professionally.

We have to make our writing a priority, but it isn’t who we are and it won’t work well to be an obsession. I suggest that it must rank higher than twenty hours of television per week or hours upon hours of video games. I recommend giving up social media except for carefully selected, and disciplined viewing. Set up times per week, or per day if you must, to do your viewing. Then get out and get back to work. This includes research.

We don’t always get what we want and we often don’t get it when we want it. Sorry, these are just facts of life. They apply to me and Bill Gates equally. But, do we have all we need to be at peace, to be safe, to be healthy at this moment

GRATITUDE: Thankful people are happy. Happy writers write more words per year. Balance comes along with being diligent about being grateful. Be constantly thankful for all that you have: safe, clean water, electricity, clean air to breath, funds to pay the bills, food, health, a roof over your head, friends who love you, etc. Be thankful for what you don’t have: a catastrophic illness, the death of a child, the loss of a limb or sense like hearing or sight.

MIND OUR OWN BUSINESS: Let others run their own lives. Running anyone’s life but our own will eat up so much time and energy that there isn’t anything left for our writing – and it will not be successful or productive. Limit your exposure to Facebook, YouTube, and political news if you want your spirit to stay healthy.

HELP OTHERS: Participate in the world around you where you can. What passion lights up your heart? This is a world of many needs. Mentoring a student might be one, or helping the local library be what makes you smile. Maybe you help out at or through your faith community. Hats off! Don’t give it up – we grow by helping others.

ENJOY OTHERS: Don’t ignore your friends and family, but also let them know that you have a writing schedule and we appreciate them helping us stay on it. When they ask what you’re writing, reply, “The Great American Novel” – regardless of what you are really writing. BUT, don’t share your manuscript or ideas with friends and family until you’ve written at least your first draft. The influx of THEIR ideas will create a frustration level that will be hard to get past as you try to please everyone. I can guarantee you won’t be pleased with the result and you may even just quit altogether.

GROW YOUR KNOWLEDGE: Join a professional writer’s organization that can help support your growth in terms of skills, knowledge, and friendships. If your hobby is knitting, then you’ll probably have a blast joining a group that meets a few hours a month to knit projects that help others. Makes sense that you should be spending time with writers – others who understand what it’s like to have characters make you crazy with their insistent plot changes, or an experienced group that can help you learn to market that passionate non-fiction book that is almost finished.

BE KINDER TO YOURSELF: Be sure to schedule time and activities that take care of you. If it’s a spiritual retreat once or twice a year, be sure to do it. Love movies? Get yourself there, with or without your favorite movie-going buddy. Take a walk on the beach or in the woods regularly. Get out there in the fresh air for a round of golf every week with your pals. And I recommend that you write a max of 6 days a week – even God took off one day, remember? And He too was in the business of creating things. We are no good for anything or anyone if we are too tired, too hungry, too lonely, or too angry.

Keep reading and writing – I’m sending you hugs! See you next week.

Nancy Q.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing and Marketing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment