Author Interview

What You Don’t Expect When You Are Expecting…

 I’m excited to introduce you to the coolest doctor I know and her book, What You Don’t Expect When Your Expecting.

This book is a must read if you are thinking of or are pregnant and will also be an appreciated gift for an expecting mom.

About the Author

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko is the owner of a large multi-doctor practice in southeastern Pennsylvania and is the Clinical Director of Bloom Holistic Care for Pregnancy. She has been certified by the ICPA in Webster Technique and with their Pregnancy and Pediatrics program since 2002.

A former college athlete herself, Dr.Brandie is also trained as a sports chiropractor.

After almost losing her daughter in 2007 and not being able to practice, she extrapolated the procedures and research to pregnancy in a safe way.

Dr. Brandie is a popular speaker having spoken at the Inspired Families conference at Temple University. She frequently lectures to physicians groups at hospitals and private practice as well as mother’s groups and aligned businesses.  As a paramedic she worked in emergency rooms for many years.

The mother of two gorgeous girls, and married to chiropractor, Dr. Arthur Nemchenko, Dr. Brandie lives in Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania.

About the Book

What if your pregnancy isn’t the dream you always imagined and instead has into a living nightmare?

What if instead of your doctor telling you these aches and pains are normal and there’s nothing that can be done, you had a practitioner that not only listened to you but helped you?

It is possible.

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko, a pregnancy chiropractor with over a decade of experience has developed a self-help run-through that has helped thousands of patients in her private practice near Philadelphia.

In her “keeping it real” and humorous manner, Dr. Brandie not only gives you the tools and mechanics of what you can safely try, she also “gets it” and helps you find ways to cope and think differently in this “new but temporary normal.”

Breaking down the typical cases she sees in her office, she explains why these things happen and what you can STOP doing today to help you break the pain cycle so that you can do the things you need to do, even while pregnant.

You’ll also learn:

  • Your second pregnancy is often worse and comes with predictable pains and what you can do to ease the pain and better yet how to keep it from occurring.
  • How to think critically about the decisions you need to make for you and your unborn baby.
  • How you can ask and get the support you need.

With dozens of case studies and personal insight Dr. Brandie can help radically change your pregnancy from one that is painful to one that is enjoyed.  Pregnancy should be one of the most special times in your life and remembered for the joy not the pain.

The goal of this book is to guide you to the best support team and practices to ensure you have the pregnancy of your dreams.

This book will make an appreciated gift for anyone who is expecting or planning to have children.

The Book Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/288629690

The Interview What has been your most challenging case as a chiropractor?

I think any case I’ve managed where the mama HAS to work and has a challenging physical health condition, either a herniated lower back disc and she can’t stand or groin pain and by all intents and purposes she cannot lose income to support her family but can barely work. That is challenging to navigate to make sure we get her issue under control the fastest and safest we can and to help her navigate and modify her job responsibilities to keep her at work but not hurting herself or that babe.

You are a successful entrepreneur, mother, wife, doctor with multiple practices and now you’ve added author to your list of accomplishments, how do you stay focused? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Focus is SO hard for me.  Motivation is not. I stay focused by trying to delegate all that I can have someone else do (which I typically enjoy more) and do what only I can do.  

My mission is motivating to me because I know there are so many mamas out there who are hurting that should be enjoying this time.  

Focus is important and as someone with Executive Function Disorder and ADD (which in a TED talk were cited as the “Entrepreneur’s Disease”), I can handle multiple things at once and switch between tasks.  Recently, I resigned from being a Board President of our local ambulance and resigned from reviewing other doctors to really focus on my practices and my book. I’m realizing to be more effective in my impact – I need to be a laser beam instead of a disco light.  🙂

One course I just took that I found immensely helpful was Life Hack Boot Camp with Demir and Carey Bentley.  It taught me to systematize my actions and line them up with my goals to make sure I’m not spinning my wheels and instead am pushing myself forward.  

As a doctor how do you keep yourself and your practice up to date on the latest treatments?

I attend a lot of continuing education classes and take a diversified approach to coursework because much of how I treat pregnant women is actually from my training and study with athletes.  I don’t know any population that needs help getting back into the game of life then pregnant women. So much is on the line!.

You work primarily with pregnant women. I’m guessing in most cases the first time you see them they are in pain and at their wits end. What if they saw you earlier in their pregnancy, why should a healthy pregnant woman seek chiropractic care?

If you get twinges, things could get out of hand quickly and it’s always good to get checked out and get a game plan to manage their pregnancy.  

You have so much going for you, why did you write this book?

Pregnancy is such a special time and it should be enjoyed.  I hear a lot of women struggling who are not local and wanted to get help and I wanted to extend my reach.

You and your husband (also a doctor) work together, have children and live together, how do you stay married?

Humor.  🙂

It isn’t uncommon for women to experience skeletal issues after delivering babies. What causes those issues and what can you do for them?

 

Carrying babies is so hard.  Even though they are tiny, it’s weight on muscles that aren’t used to holding that.  On top of it you aren’t sleeping and are doing postures that you aren’t used to – with more weight in the front sometimes if you breastfeed.  The most common issues AFTER birth is upper back pain, wrist pain, and headaches.

Authors often compare the writing of and the production process of a book to a long and difficult pregnancy. Now that your book baby is finally here, will there be siblings?

Ha!  I’ve already started my next two; one for husbands and one for chiropractors so you could say that I’m expecting twins!  

As a doctor and business owner how has networking helped you and do you have any tips for other women on making the most of networking opportunities.

 I don’t network in the traditional way of networking and in fact, it’s a huge joke at the Main Line Chamber that I can be found at a large event in the bathroom waiting for the speakers to start.  As an introvert, I much prefer one on one or small group chats. I see networking more as connections. I love connecting people to help them and have found my patient’s jobs, connected them to like minded groups and have even introduced them to people in the office and they became friends.  Life is about helping others and that’s what I see networking as.

What is your favorite go to local restaurant? What are you ordering?

Our new favorite is J. Alexander’s.  It’s gorgeous and has great food. I am partial to their steaks and their mac and cheese is out of this world.  

For more about Dr. Brandie visit her website.

 

 

 

Knight In Tarnished Armor…

 

Sadly I think we all know someone who is in or who has been in some sort of an abusive relationship or maybe you are in one ore where in one yourself.

I met Pam a few years ago and she is so inspiring and so dedicated to the domestic abuse cause.  With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to her and to congratulate her on the release of Knight In Tarnished Armor. It’s a great book and a moving story.

The Author:

Pam Lambert is a speaker, writer, blogger and “comforter” of domestic violence victims. Whether it be on paper, on a stage or on the Internet, she’s an outspoken advocate for domestic violence awareness. As a survivor herself, she knows what it’s like to be under the control of an abusive partner and the hopelessness a victim feels being trapped, enduring emotional and physical abuse in silence. Pam works with victims and their families to help them escape abusive relationships, adjust to their new life while restoring their joy and hope for the future. Her goal is to help remove the stigma of domestic violence so that people will be willing to step in and stop abuse, bring justice to the victim and awareness to prevent it from happening in the first place. When she’s not advocating for victims, she enjoys hiking, walking, reading, traveling and spending time with her huge, crazy, supportive family.

The Book:

It was a fairytale courtship and, as in most cases of domestic abuse, Pam’s talented and kind husband didn’t show his darker side until they were married for a couple of years. He showered her with love and affection, making her feel like the luckiest girl on earth. In Knight in Tarnished Armor, Pam invites the reader behind closed doors and drawn curtains and into the broken heart of an abusive marriage. She’s honest in laying out the daily struggles of living with someone who used threats, physical harm and mind games to control and make her think she was going crazy. And then he would turn on the charm, act like nothing was wrong, and once again be the loving man she married. The abuse continued to escalate and there were many nights she was afraid to fall asleep, positive it would be the night he would kill her while she slept. After several years, she finally got a restraining order to have him removed from their property and filed for divorce. The whole process took years, working its way slowly through the legal system, but everything was finally settled, and she was free of her abuser and anxious to become a voice for other victims. Knight in Tarnished Armor is an honest, real life, inspiring account of one woman’s victorious escape from heartbreaking betrayal and out of the grip of her abusive husband. Included also is encouragement, guidance and a safety plan with a checklist of things to do if you think you may have to flee an abusive relationship. The freedom Pam felt upon learning her abuser was dead empowered her to dedicate her life to giving encouragement and hope to other victims. She also works with victims’ families and friends, to guide them in the most effective ways to help their loved ones. And she’s committed to educate and inform the public, to speak out whenever possible as a voice for victims of domestic abuse. This compelling story provides a window into the victim’s thoughts, experiences, and trauma within an abusive relationship. The dreams of what it should collide with the reality of what is, revealing the strength, courage, and faith it takes to respond God’s way. Practical ways to move forward through and beyond the experience stirs hope within the reader. The book provides a voice for individuals who suffer abuse from others. FOCUS Ministries will use this book as we minister to victims and families of domestic violence.

The Interview:

Working as a domestic violence advocate is serious business. How do you qualify?

On the job training! I’ve spoken with social workers and advocates who have chosen their profession, not because they were victims, but because they want to help. They have all told me that being a victim is a huge benefit when you are dealing with domestic violence situations. There’s also a bond between victims which is hard to explain, but when two victims meet, they aren’t strangers for long. In addition, I have taken, and continue to take, many on-line courses. In fact, I will be attending the PCADV conference in Lancaster PA in two weeks for training. And I took an extensive course in Chicago when I started working with victims. And I read constantly…anything I can get my hands on, about domestic violence. Plus, I have hours upon hours of working with victims and I learn so much from them.

Isn’t it difficult to stay detached from victims that you are advocating for?

At first it was terribly hard. My wounds were nowhere near healed and I kept tearing them open by listening to the stories of other victims. At one point, I was so invested with one of the victims, I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought I heard her calling my name. I was half way dressed before I realized how ridiculous it was. That’s when I realized I needed to step away for a while. At the time, I was writing my book, which was hard to do anyway, and then having the other victims leaning on me when I was barely strong enough to stand myself, I did have to take a break. It’s much easier now to detach. You must, or you are constantly torn up and not any good to anyone.

How do you do it? Well, I stopped putting myself in their place…which was what I was doing at the beginning. Now, I’m standing outside, seeing the big picture, which is something you can’t do as a victim because you so exhausted just trying to stay alive and sane. I also pray a lot! I know that for me to help them, I can’t think like a victim, I have to think like a survivor.

You volunteer to go into prisons to speak with abusers. Are they receptive to you?

Oh my! They are a captive audience! I love to speak in prisons. I especially like the question and answer sessions at the end. So many of them have been victims of child abuse, so they are no stranger to abusive situations, but they need to see the woman’s perspective. Several men have told me they were doing time for beating or killing their mother’s abuser. The best experience was when I went to the woman’s prison for an entire day of domestic violence awareness. There are so many women who are incarcerated because their abusers forced them to do something…carry drugs, drive the get-away car, whatever…that broke the law and they were caught and thrown in jail. But if they hadn’t done what the abuser made them do, they might be dead!

Do you think it makes a difference?

I sure hope it does! I have had inmates talk to me afterwards and tell me they had no idea that their behavior was abusive because they never physically hurt their partner. One man was crying when he told me he knew now why his wife left him. He said he never hit her or did any harm to her physically, but he did control her every move, how she dressed, who she was- allowed- to be friends with…he thought he was being protective, and he was smothering her spirit!

As a survivor of domestic abuse and looking back what were the earliest red flags, behaviors you missed that may have signaled what was to come?

I do a whole talk on the red flags. My husband asked me to marry him 10 days after we met…that’s a red flag. He wanted to spend all our time together…that’s a red flag. Our relationship was too good to be true, he was a perfect match for me…that’s a red flag. All those things seem romantic and lovely when you have been swept off your feet by the handsome, intelligent, funny man of your dreams. And all that made me over look the fact that there were inconsistencies in his story, he blamed everyone else for his problems and he was very vague about his past, other red flags that I should have seen, but was blinded by love.

What advice do you have for women living with an abuser, needing a plan to get out safely?

Prepare yourself for the day you will leave. Put money away, gather all your important papers and give them to someone to hold for you or open a safe deposit box and put them in there. Find a safety plan on line…there’s one in my book and on my website, PJLambert.com. Read over it and do as much as you can without him knowing. If you have a local shelter, visit it and ask them for advice. They are not just a place to stay, they are a treasure chest of information, helpful tips and good advice. Find someone you can trust, a family member, friend, co-worker and let them know what’s going on. Keep a journal…I can’t stress how important that is. Nothing emotional or elaborate, just a record of the abuse, the date, time, who was involved, what happened, and the injuries, if any.

How can someone help a loved one or a friend that is being abused?

Listen, don’t judge, don’t give advice, just be there for them. Don’t bad mouth the abuser. She’s fragile and exhausted in every way… physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…she doesn’t need someone telling her what she did wrong or what to do now. She’s had years of someone telling her what to do. Just give her support and comfort. If she needs a place to stay and you can provide it, by all means, do that. If she has to go to a motel for a couple nights and can’t afford it, pay for it. If she needs a baby sitter while she goes to court, watch her kids. Just do whatever you can to make her life easier. It’s not forever, it’s just until she gets out, safe and back on her feet. Listen…I can’t stress how important it is for a victim to feel like someone is hearing them. Don’t listen with your eyes on the tv or looking at your phone, give her your 100% attention, even if you have heard it before and you’re tired of hearing it. She needs to get it out to heal.

You hold support group meetings in your home tell us about that.

I love Carefree Coloring! I noticed in dealing with victims that they don’t look at your when they talk. They are embarrassed, ashamed, confused, whatever, so they play with a napkin or pick at their fingernails. I had jumped on the adult coloring bandwagon and enjoyed it so much. It is so relaxing! I had an idea that perhaps I could combine a victim/survivor support group with a coloring party and it’s a huge success. To be truthful, I just supply the location and supplies. The ladies start chatting as soon as they come thru the door and they share stories and encourage one another and laugh and cry and it’s just wonderful. As they color, they are relaxing, they don’t have to be ashamed because everyone in the room knows exactly what they are have experienced. They give each other advice and they are even calling each other during the week. The other wonderful thing about it is, if they are still in an abusive situation, they can tell their abuser they are going to a coloring party (because they are!) and can even take- home proof. It has worked out beautifully!

Was writing the book therapeutic or empowering or both?

It was excruciating! It took me five years. I would type a bit and then get up and pace back and forth until my heart rate calmed down. I’d have to put it away for a while. I wrote the beginning easily, the good years. Then I wrote the end. But that middle part…to describe the abuse…it took all I had. And I left out so much, especially the sexual abuse. Once it was done, it was a huge relief. And then I started hearing people say that it helped them, that they bought it for their daughter/sister/aunt, that they couldn’t put it down once they started reading it, that they understand domestic violence so much better now…that’s when I realized how powerful words can be and how much it helped me to help others. Until then it seemed my experience had no purpose, but when I realized telling my story was helping other victims, that’s when it felt empowering. And it was therapeutic getting that all out. I didn’t realize it at the time because it was so painful, but I felt cleaned out when it was done.

Why did you decide to use your real name verses a pen name to share such a vulnerable painful time in your life?

I had originally written it under the pen name Erin Donovan because when it was published the first time, my husband was still alive. I knew that if he found out I wrote a book and revealed all his dirty secrets, he would kill me. Now that he’s dead, I WANT the world to know who I am, what I went through and how domestic violence can happen to anyone, even a middle class, white bread, preacher’s daughter. I don’t want to hide behind a pen name. When I gave my first speech after my husband died, I was introduced as Erin Donovan. At the end, I said, “I was introduced as Erin Donovan. However, that is not my real name, just one I’ve had to use because my ex-husband would kill me if he knew I wrote this book. On April 1, 2013, my husband committed suicide, so I’d like to introduce myself by my real name…Pam Lambert.” I got a standing ovation. That was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever said. No more hiding, no more looking over my shoulder, no more “burden of awareness”.

Are you planning to write another book?

As a matter of fact, yes! It will be a book of encouragement for victims and survivors. What is your favorite local restaurant, and what are you ordering? There’s an Italian restaurant that hangs off the side of the mountain and overlooks Johnstown and the whole front is glass. The food is fantastic! I always try something different, but the one thing I always get is the crab dip appetizer.

~~~~~~

Read Pam’s book if you would like to learn more about my journey from loving wife to domestic violence victim, to survivor, to advocate. If you are searching for someone to speak at your next event, please contact her. Those of you who are looking for someone to talk to, visit my sit and sip page.

https://pjlambert.com/

 

Baby Carter

Happy Release Day Baby Carter

Dina is one of the first writers I connected with when I started blogging. That was 8oo+ posts ago. Since then we’ve actually met in real life and she is lovely.

I’m also a fan. I loved Baby Grand and Baby Bailino and have been anxiously awaiting the next book, Baby Carter. 

I highly recommend this series.

ABOUT the Author

Voted one of the best Long Island authors for two consecutive years, Dina Santorelli is the author of the Baby Grand Trilogy, a contemporary thriller series. She has been a freelance writer for 20 years and has written frequently about parenting, travel, entertainment, pop culture, and the military. Dina currently serves as the executive editor of Salute and Family magazines for which she has interviewed many celebrities, such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Mara, Michael Strahan, Norman Reedus, Vince Vaughn, James Gandolfini, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Kevin Bacon. Since 2010, she has collaborated on a variety of nonfiction titles, and her book Daft Punk: A Trip Inside the Pyramid has been published in several languages. Dina also lectures for Hofstra University’s Continuing Education Department and is a SELF-e Ambassador for the Library Journal. For more information about Dina, visit her website.

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The Five Year Marriage…

I’m  happy to introduce you to one of my favorite people, the mother of modern marriage Annmarie Kelly. Her latest book The Five Year Marriage is a game changer!

*Be sure to leave  a comment for a chance to win a copy of the book!

The Author:

As the founder of The Victorious Woman Project and author of Victorious Woman and Victory by Design, she excels at shaping life’s challenges into victories. Annmarie built a successful business, Skillbuilder Systems, is the host of the popular radio show, The Friday Happy Hour, is an empowerment speaker, hosts the annual Girlfriend Gala and she has been married six times, each time for just five-years and each time to the same man.

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Streetcar to Justice…

Preparing for this interview I was awed by the passion the author has for history and how that passion has fueled her impressive writing career.

Meet The Author

Amy is a New York Times Bestselling Author, and an American Library Association “Notable Book” and Peabody Award Winner. She is also a Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author.

Her books have been published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Kodansha, and Doubleday, among others. She has been represented by William Morris Agency (now William Morris Endeavor Entertainment) since 1991.

She is the author of two novels, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society and Miss Dreamsville and the Lost Heiress of Collier County, both published by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books imprint, as well as seven nonfiction books including Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years, a blockbuster bestseller which spawned a Broadway play and television film.

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Angel Bumps, Hello from Heaven…

Angel Bumps, Hello From Heaven I got to know Anne Bardsley in a Facebook Group we’re both members of and I know for sure I cannot wait to meet her in real life! We have so much in common and during a recent phone call I found out she grew up in Wayne, Pa. and I had been in Wayne that day for lunch. She lives in a Florida beach town now and plans to do only 3-things a day and one of them is to go to the beach! I’m looking forward to her coming ‘home’ for a few book signings. Anne gets up at 4:30 am while it’s peaceful and quiet (until she cracks herself up) to write in her sunroom.

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Someone Took The Cork Out Of Her Lunch…

I  love introducing you to the best authors and Vikki is one of them. She is also very funny!

About the Author

Author Vikki Claffin

Vikki Claflin is an award-winning humor writer and blogger, public speaker, and former newspaper columnist who lives in Hood River, Oregon. Her celebrated humor blog Laugh Lines shares the hilarious ups and down of midlife.

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A Quack and a Daisy…

I love introducing you to authors and their fabulous books. This author, Aileen Stewart is the first children’s author I’ve featured here. She is also a friend and we share the same publisher. Aileen is extremely busy with marketing, writing and her family so I appreciate her taking the time to do an interview for us.

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Ghosts, witches and rescued kitties…

I love introducing you to authors. I met Chrys Fey through The Insecure Writers Support Group. I hope you enjoy getting to know her and her work as much as I did.

About the Author

Author Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey is the author of Hurricane Crimes and 30 Seconds. She is currently working on the sequel to Hurricane Crimes that’ll serve as book two in the Disaster Crimes series.

When Fey was six years old, she realized her dream of being a writer by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida where she is waiting for the next hurricane to come her way.

The Interview

You write in several genres, what is your favorite genre to read?

I read just about every genre, but I especially love reading the genres that I write – romance, romantic-suspense, and supernatural/paranormal.

 What was the last book you read?

 ’ve been reading a lot of children’s and YA books lately, so the last book I read was A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time Quartet #3).

Did you grow up in a household that encouraged reading, writing or both?

 Oh yes, I did. My mom would take me and my siblings to the library at least once a week during our summer breaks. I thought of those trips as library sojourns. And she was an aspiring author, too. She wrote many children’s books and read them to us. I would watch her, at the dining room table, writing and illustrating her stories and I knew that was what I wanted to do when I got older.

Do you have a designated writing space? A schedule? Any rituals?

 My desk is in a section of my bedroom. I have a “Wall of Accomplishments” and a “Wall of Inspiration” to motivate me while I write. My one ritual is to listen to music. Music is my muse. As for schedules, I don’t really have one, but in the morning I get all of my blogging and social media done. Then in the afternoon and evening, I try to write. I say “try” because some days just aren’t writing days.

 Share your journey to publication:

In the beginning, I had only published a few flash fiction pieces online and a couple of poems. I was trying to get an agent for the first book in a series, which features Avrianna Heavenborn, the detective in Ghost of Death, when I came to the conclusion that I’d have to break into the publishing world with something else. Enter, Hurricane Crimes. I sent Hurricane Crimes to one small press and got an acceptance. That came after years of no success, though. Since then I’ve published a novella (30 Seconds) and two more short stories (Ghost of Death and Witch of Death). Some things happen for a reason…even rejections and setbacks.

 What are you writing now?

I am working on book three in my Disaster Crimes series. Book one is a short story, Hurricane Crimes, and is available on Amazon. Book two is a novel and is the hands of my editor. I am currently awaiting word on its fate. But that’s not stopping me from writing the next story in the sequence. If nothing can stop my characters, not even disasters, than nothing can stop me from writing about the next disaster they face. 😉

 Coffee, tea, wine or whiskey?

 Tea. I’m a sucker for hot tea even in the summer…in the heat of Florida. I drink green tea every morning. Chai, chamomile, and lemon-ginger are three of my favorites.

 Any pets?

 Yes, I have four kitties that I rescued as babies. They were born outside my old apartment complex a couple of years ago and were in danger, so I took them in. They are named Cole, Clover, Milo and Otis. 

 The Books:

Witch of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey Witch of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Reid Sanders doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but when he’s faced with a crime scene that defies the laws of nature, he has no other choice but to start believing. And solving a magical murder involves working with a witch.

Liberty Sawyer embodies the look of your classic evil witch, so, it’s no surprise when she uncovers the murderer is a witch that she becomes Reid’s number one suspect. If she can’t convince him otherwise, more people could lose their lives to dark magic, including her.

Witch Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Ghost of Death Blurb:

Chrys Fey cover

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case.

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

Ghost Book Links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose Press / NOOK / KOBO

 

Connect with Chrys here-

Author Links:

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads

Thank you for reading and thank you Chrys,

Doreen

 

 

 

The Caregiver…

I belong to a writer’s group, Lower Buck’s creative Explorers. It is such an inspiring and talented group. The latest published author in our group is, Maria Casale. I had the privilege of listening to her read excerpts from her new novel The Caregiver as she wrote, rewrote and edited. Maria’s writing is lyrical, just beautiful. I am looking forward to reading the ‘finished’ product.

The Author:

Author Maria Casale

The Book:

Author book Caregiver

When Lillian Thomas is hired to care for cantankerous, bedridden Ellen Wilmot, it is Ellen’s beautiful, strangely familiar old house that immediately claims her devotion. But when Ellen’s daughter and granddaughter come to stay, Lillian finds herself drawn into the family’s loves, lies and resentments. And she faces a terrible choice…. The Caregiver is a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be “the help.”

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, so when I was little I said “Hey!” instead of “Hi,” but I mostly grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

Yes, my parents both loved to read.  My mother always had a book in her hand—even when she shouldn’t have had a hand free for it.  She had an elaborate system for reading while washing dishes.  She really fostered my love of reading and always gave me books—when I grew up and had to choose my own books I found it kind of overwhelming at first.  My parents were also very conscious of writing and very tough critics: when I had to write my first book report in fourth grade my father told me that the correct way to learn to do this was to read the New York Times Book Review section.  He was serious!

New York Times Book Review

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Maybe, in a vague kind of way.  I have always loved books.  If I had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, reader would definitely win.

For a long time I didn’t really think of myself as someone who could write a book.  When I was younger I wrote poetry.  I came in second in a school poetry contest and decided that was it.  I figured even someone who came in first had very little chance of making a life as a poet.  The person who came in second better just give up!  I really stopped writing then other than for school or work.  When I started writing a lot again in my thirties, I wrote a bunch of interconnected short stories, and then I got the idea for The Caregiver, and finished the first draft in ninety days.

Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I can write anywhere, any time.  I just need a really nice pen and a spiral notebook (I’m a lefty so I need to write on something that lays flat in the middle).  When I don’t feel like writing I buy new pens and notebooks to coax myself.

sword pen

Did you map your story before writing or did you just let it flow?

The Caregiver was a let it flow project—I definitely found out what was going to happen as I went along.  I’ve written other projects with a little more mapping out ahead of time—just loose outlines, basically.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those writers with story boards and reverse outlining and so forth.  That isn’t fun for me, and I know if I’m not having fun I won’t do it.  So I stick with a level of (dis)organization that lets me feel like writing is an adventure.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

No.  I’ve made a pretty conscious choice to make writing portable.  Coffee shops, libraries, my dining room table, my bed—as long as I have a notebook, pen and sometimes my laptop, I’m good to go.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, and it requires me to write horrible, passive-voice bureaucratese!  I sometimes think this is some kind of special torture designed for novelists, or maybe just lovers of strong verbs.  I have great coworkers, though.

What are you writing now?

I’m working on a couple of projects at once, which happens fairly often (see disorganization, above).  My primary project is a novel called Snow Angel, about three cousins whose mothers are three sisters.  I’m interested in how patterns repeat and change down the generations.  And there are some family secrets, and a dead body.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Irish Breakfast tea.

Tea 2

Your guilty TV pleasure?

X-Files reruns and Downton Abbey.

The Caregiver is available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Maria-Theresa-Casale/dp/1502420953/ref=sr_1_29_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427819023&sr=8-29&keywords=caregiver

Maria blogs about reading and writing at http://bookwormrrriot.com/

Thank you Maria and thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

 

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