I am so excited to introduce you to author, Dina Santorelli. I really enjoyed her first book Baby Grand and cannot wait to read the sequel, Baby Bailino!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Queens, New York, one of the five boroughs of New York City and about ten minutes from midtown Manhattan—two hours, if there’s traffic. J
Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?
Not really. We were more of a movie and TV show family. My mom took me to the local theater every Saturday to see a Disney cartoon and feature film.
When did you first know you wanted to write a book?
I think I’ve always been drawn to storytelling. I’ve found pieces of colored construction paper filled with stories I wrote when I was very young. And the stories were always thrillers—suspense-driven, edge-of-your-seat stuff.
Do you have any pre-writing rituals?
Not really. I just sit myself down and start to write—or, at least, try to write. Some days are easier than others.
Did you map your stories before writing or do you just let the words flow?
With my first novel, Baby Grand, I just let the words flow. By nature, I’m more of a “pantser,” as they say—I write by the seat of my pants. But there came a point, about a hundred or so pages in, that I found myself losing focus. And that’s when I put together a very general outline for the rest of the book. Nothing fancy. Just sort of a “this goes in this chapter, this goes in that chapter” kind of thing. That outline served as a roadmap to help me steer my way toward the end of the novel. I used that same process for my second novel, In the Red, which I’ll be publishing soon. However, for Baby Bailino, the sequel to Baby Grand, I made the general outline at the outset and filled it in, elaborated, delved deeper, etc., as I went along.
Do you have a dedicated writing space?
I have a little nook in my living room where I write. For Baby Bailino, I also spent lots of writing time at Panera Bread—so much time that I contemplated mentioning Panera’s Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans in my Acknowledgments. J
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I’m a freelance writer and editor.
What are you writing now?
I started writing a women’s fiction novel after I finished Baby Bailino, but I have put that aside to write the third book in the Baby Grand Book Series. I have a habit of moving on to something completely different after I finish a book—whether it’s reading one or writing one. After I wrote Baby Grand, I dove head-first into In the Red when, actually, I think my mind was more interested in writing Baby Bailino. I just didn’t realize it. Or maybe I wasn’t listening. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that I struggled through In the Red, which took me four years to finish. I like to think I learned my lesson, so when thoughts started turning toward the Baby Grand storyline again this time around, I listened and put the women’s fiction aside.
What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Did you know when writing Baby Grand that there would be a Book 2?
Not at first. I thought it would be a stand-alone novel. However, as I was writing one of the final scenes of Baby Grand, I got the sense that there was more to the story. I could see in my mind’s eye how things would play out, and it was in that moment that I made a major change to the storyline and decided to create Book 2.
What is your favorite thing about the fall?
Fall is absolutely my favorite season—the brilliant sunshine, the vibrant foliage, crunching leaves, cooler temps, corn mazes, Halloween (my wedding anniversary), apples, apples, and more apples! What’s not to love? J
About the Book:
It’s been two years since Jamie Carter escaped captivity and saved Charlotte Grand, the infant daughter of New York Governor Phillip Grand, becoming a national hero for foiling the kidnapping plot that incarcerated reputed mobster/entrepreneur Don Bailino—the man who abducted and raped her. As Governor Grand considers his candidacy for U.S. president, Bailino inexplicably escapes from prison, and soon Jamie’s fifteen-month-old daughter, Faith—Bailino’s biological child—disappears. Jamie sets off to find her and, in the process, finds an unlikely ally in Bailino, who is on the run not only from the FBI but from members of organized crime who have a score to settle. Can Jamie trust the man who once held her prisoner? Can she rely on her instincts? And can she again find the strength to save a child when, this time, that child is her own?
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