Saturday, May 11, 2013

If music be the food of love, Polly has it made

Hi Polly. and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and tell us a little about you adventure. Apologies, Polly, I couldn't get your picture to load.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I got tired of saying to myself, “I wish I could write a book”! When I finally got serious about writing one I did it with specific goals: write the best one I could, get it published and then walk into my public library and see a copy of it on the shelf. Or even better, NOT see it on the shelf, because someone had checked it out! I’ve met that goal and what a great feeling it is. Every book I’ve created since that first one has been a gift.

What book are you reading now?
Typically I have two to three that I switch between. I’m reading “Killing Time”, the first book in Cindy Gerard’s new military romance suspense series, “One-Eyed Jacks”; Kathleen Woodiwiss’s, “Everlasting”; and “The Private Investigator’s Handbook: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Get Justice or Get Even”, by Chuck Chambers. That one is 50%  research material for my “Games People Play” character Reese Adams and 50% just plain entertainment.
In which genre do you prefer to write and why?

Historical romances are my favorite to write. Researching past eras rich in history and locations other than North America is fascinating. The “proper speech” of the upper classes comes easily to me and talking like a gutter snipe isn’t too hard either!

When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?

Playing classical piano music, a lifelong love, reading, digging in the dirt or repotting plants, and spending Wednesday through Saturdays in Bookmarks LLC, the second-hand bookshop I own and manage.  

What historical person would you want to meet and why?

Really, I have to come up with just ONE?! There are so many composers, authors and artists who have influenced the arts that I’d love to have a sit-down with but at the top of my long list would have to be Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. He was the predominant musical figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras, my favorite periods of music. I’ve studied all 32 piano sonatas and most of his smaller works. His chamber music and symphonies are tender and fiery with romantic melodies that pull at my heart. I’ve had the good fortune of being a member of choruses that performed his Ninth Symphony with some acclaimed symphonic orchestras, an unparalleled performance thrill for me. A large portrait of him, with his famous wild hair and deep scowl looms over my piano studio. Having him “watch” me play feels like I’m at a lesson and he’s critiquing my music. And has plenty to say about it!

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

Be patient and don’t compare your writing styles to other writers. We all have unique voices and none of them are wrong, right or even better. They’re just different.

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

1) I name inanimate objects. Stuffed animals, cars, plants. Naming stuffed animals isn’t unusual, I know, but for someone a zillion days past her childhood, my collection is large. I know where each one came from or who gave it to me and that often influences the name. My Camaro’s name is Val and all my cactus and succulents have names. The better that way.  

2) When I was a kid I would add a pleading postscript to my nightly prayers (after my parents tucked me in and left the room), for an alien to please, please, pick me up in his spaceship and take me to his planet. Must have been the adventuring traveller side of me.

3) If I could live somewhere other than I do it would be in a lighthouse. Water and circular rooms have forever been entrancements.

 Blurb for "Charades", first book in "The Games People Play" series.
A woman and her child are missing. Reese Adams is on the hunt for them, her first major case as a private investigator. It would be a lot easier if the missing woman’s brother weren’t in the picture. Ethan Chamberlain isn’t hard to look at or spend time with, if you like a man with perfect posture, proper speech and an affinity for antiques and expensive suits, but experience has taught Reese to be wary of men and she has no intention of getting to know this one or let him anywhere near her heart. 
Tired of women who want him only for his wealth and position among Denver’s elite, Ethan finds the headstrong, charmingly unsophisticated Ms. Adams strangely tantalizing. Her seeming indifference to him only adds to the allure. As she and her hodgepodge of friends take control of the search for his missing sister and nephew, shocking discoveries about their disappearance are unearthed. Reese’s determination to learn the complete truth exposes facts and feelings that are best left buried. People Ethan thought he knew aren’t at all who they seem to be.
While looking for answers, Reese captures the heart of the man she is determined to dislike, and in turn, Ethan patiently peels away her layers of distrust.
If they can only avoid getting shot at, they may have a chance at love.

EXCERPT: (first phone conversation between Reese and Ethan about his missing sister, Connie and her husband John)

Is he flirting with me? Sounded like flirting, based on dim recall.  "So. What are you going to do about Connie?"
    "There's not much I can do until I hear from her again. John won't be in the office until Thursday so that gives me another day to think about what he's up to."
    "There isn't much to go on anyway until Connie gives you more clues. But, hey, Chamberlain, she's a big girl. She can take care of herself, can't she?" Reese couldn't imagine what it’d be like for someone to be as worried about her as Ethan was his sister. So sweet, the whole brotherly thing.
    "Yes she can, but I've always looked after her."
    "It's just the two of you?"
    "Yes and before you ask, I'm the oldest, by four years."
    "Uh-huh. I kinda figured."
    "And what about you? Do you have brothers or sisters?"
    "No, and you can stop right there with the family questions."
    "All right. No more questions." He paused. “Miss Adams–"
    "It's Reese, in case you didn't know. Coming from an adult, 'Miss Adams' makes me feel eighty and pushing a walker.”
    "Reese it is then. And please, call me Ethan."
    Last names stuck with her better than first, but she’d never forget his.
    "So, Reese, could I interest you in going out one evening this week? Say, Saturday night?"
    "Go out? Like on a date?"
    "Yes, ‘like on a date.’"
    A date. How long had it been? A year? Two? And those had been only with cops and department personnel. Since then she'd sworn off seeing anyone involved in upholding the law. And in the past year she'd included anyone remotely resembling a male. Maybe she'd been in a dry spell long enough. At least Chamberlain didn't try to run down bad guys for a living.
    "Why?" she asked.
    "Yeah. We don't exactly match, in case you didn't notice."
    "No, I suppose I didn't. I was too busy enjoying conversing with you."
    Conversing? Reese rolled her eyes. Tut-tut. "Uh, okay, yeah, I guess so."
    He chuckled. "I must say that's the most hesitant yes I've ever been given."
    "Yeah, well…" She tried to ignore the roto-rooter business going on in her stomach. "I'm not too good at this whole dating thing."
    "Then let’s not consider it a date. Rather, a reacquaintance. How does seven o'clock Saturday night sound? We'll keep it simple. Drinks and dinner."
    "Simple works for me."
    "Is there any cuisine you don't care for?"
    "Yeah, raw."
    Another rumbly laugh. "All right. No sushi. I'm not fond of it either."
    "And nowhere fancy, okay? Those china and shiny silverware places with some guy hovering over you all night long creep me out. I mean, how the hell can you relax and enjoy your food when someone keeps stopping at your table to watch you eat?"
    "Agreed. But no steak and salad buffet restaurant. I do have my limitations."
    "What, no Bonanza?"
    He groaned. "No Bonanza, please."
    "All right. I guess I'm at your mercy then, Cham…. Ethan."
    "I'll try to make it as painless as possible…Reese."


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