Tag Archive | Author Interview on Marcia’s Book Talk

Interview with author Peggy Edelheit

In the first author interview for 2017 on my blog, I have the great pleasure of welcoming Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison mystery series, and non-fiction memoir THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, to Marcia’s Book Talk.

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Peggy Edelheit, author photograph

Welcome, Peggy, it is lovely to have you here!

*

Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Since the end of 2009 /2010

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

THE PUZZLE by Peggy Edelheit

*

Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: All of my mysteries have some true life experiences weaved throughout them. I’m not admitting to which experiences or how many of them are…chuckle. I leave that to the imagination/enjoyment of the reader deciphering those mysteries.

*

Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

A: I try to write everyday. I have a designated area where I work and can shut out any distractions. I surround myself with family photos and mementos that bring a smile and inspire me. I have a leather journal to jot down notes when a thought or idea hits me and I don’t want to forget it, regardless of where I am.

One thing I have always done is when I am in the heat of a scene; I often close my eyes to visualize it, taking note of minute details for realism. Of course, when some scenes have happened it comes naturally, as I recapture scenery, details, and dialogue that caught my eye and ear when it actually happened. I’ve also been known to swap dialogue to see how it plays out coming from another character.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep my readers in the loop. I let them know exactly what Sam is thinking and seeing as the story unfolds. If I lose my reader, they may give up on me and not come back. I try to keep the reader engaged. And I try not to forget they are looking over my shoulder.

I have found readers like details that enrich a scene, not detract from it. Unnecessary filler is often used to stretch books. I find when I’m reading a book with fillers; I tend to brush past those pages to get to the meat of the story and action. So I try to avoid it, only adding what I think a reader needs to know, to understand the subject matter at hand and it doesn’t hinder the flow of the story.

*

WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

WITHOUT ANY WARNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I do read all genres and appreciate the varied storylines. There is so much talent out there; sometimes it is hard to pick which one to read. I’m a voracious reader and travel with my eBook reader. I can’t sit and do nothing, while I wait in line, travel, etc. But I continuously drift back to mysteries. I love trying to undo all the strings to figure out who the culprit is and always appreciate an author’s skill when they cleverly place clues in plain sight. I do that all the time in my mysteries. It is only when the reader gets to my surprise endings that they tell me they go back and realize my hints and innuendo leading them to the answers at the end.

*

Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: I would have to say there are so many talented authors out there that each one has taught me skills over the years through reading their books and appreciating their individual and unique styles. I don’t think I could pinpoint and single out one or two. Today the talent out there is mindboggling. When I see talent I will support that author if it helps them get recognized for their gifts in relating unique stories.

*

THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

THE RIVIERA IS BURNING by Peggy Edelheit

Q: After reading your memoir of a family summer in the French Riviera, THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, which I found an utterly compelling page turner, will you be writing further non-fiction books of other notable experiences in your life?

A: I’ve been asked that a lot and am mulling that over. The reason I wrote that book was I wanted to put pen to paper before I forgot any relevant details by giving a firsthand account of what we went through as a family from my point of view only. My mysteries are told from Samantha’s viewpoint. I thought if told from that perspective the reader would experience what I was thinking and going through emotionally and physically at my doubts and indecision, not knowing how it would all end. To this day, I still have a fear of fire and what it can do.

*

Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

A: I think they all are close to my heart, as they all have an element of truth to them. Each book takes place in a true-to-life setting where I have lived at one time or another and did experience a few of the incidents I relate in each book. Ex: that horrific ice storm in Book 1 The Puzzle; my becoming fascinated by the oddities of our gardens and property in France in Book 3, 86 Avenue du Goulet; the break-in in FL by a thieves chiseling out the window and throwing it into the pool to gain entry in Book 5, Mouth Of The Rat; my broken leg in Book 6, Death Knell In The Alps; my other broken leg in Book 8, The Lush Life, along with my rehab, which included my wheelchair and learning how to walk again; which led to Book 9, Too Close For Comfort, etc.

*

MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

MOUTH OF THE RAT by Peggy Edelheit

Q: You have written a multi-part series in the Samantha Jamison detective novels and are currently in the tenth instalment. Will you be writing any other book series?

A: Although it is a series, I wrote each one as a standalone mystery, giving just enough background in each one (not to bore readers) as to who the characters are and how they are relevant to that mystery. Although I have had feedback from readers that they’ve enjoyed the series more when read in order. It is their choice. I’ve had people read them in the usual places: planes and trains, and even in their cars on the way to work, and standing in line at the bank reading on their iPhone. I try to make the chapters not too long so people can pick up and put down the mystery easily and not have to repeat reading chapters to recall who and what is going on. I am now writing #11 in the series.

*

Q: You have mainly written in the detective/mystery genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A: I have toyed with that idea often, but then Samantha, my protagonist, whispers in my ear another idea for another mystery. Truthfully speaking, I think she has a vested interest in not losing her job as a sleuth. There is some of me in her. (Not saying how much) Maybe she’s my alter ego. But most of all, I have fun with it and embellish where necessary. (Quite often!)

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

NO HOPE IN NEW HOPE by Peggy Edelheit

*

Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: What is out there today in original series: Cable, Netflix, Amazon, I am amazed at the intelligent writing and smart programming, it would be impossible to single out any one. I’m not trying to be evasive, it’s that the consumer has so much more to choose from as far as such varied choices in multiple genres. Good ones!

*

Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: I love cooking and have pots and pans hanging everywhere in my kitchen that overlooks my gardens (another love) as well as old clay pots filled with cooking utensils, flowers, family memorabilia placed everywhere. I do that on purpose so it calls out to me at the end of the day to create something or bake something to relax and unwind from my day. I set tables that encourage lively conversations and much lingering.

I once whipped up a dinner in an hour for 14 friends and family. I felt inspired and began calling everyone at the last minute.

I stared at my table while everything was cooking and prepared. Hmm… I then picked out (I refer to it as going shopping in my house) items as my theme. I quickly began collecting old leather books of odd sizes from my collection and began stacking them haphazardly along the center of my long table in the kitchen. Then put old candlesticks of various heights throughout. Than perched old photos, wire-rimmed glasses, an old pipe, a few cameos, and bookmarks I ‘ve collected from all over the world. Then I set the table, dimmed the lights just as my hubby cranked up the grill outside and the guests began arriving, stunned I had pulled off such a coup! Truth be told, I just love doing it. We all lingered for hours over dinner, wine, and then coffee, telling humorous family/friend stories.

It’s times like those that I absorb dialogue, the natural way people interact and talk, joke, and laugh. I am always listening for the cadence and trueness of language. People don’t speak grammatically correct either.

I was once given a mug that proudly sits on my desk in my office that says: Watch what you say, it may end up in my next novel. Trust me, it does!

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT by Peggy Edelheit

*

Q: Have you written any short stories, either unpublished, or aim to eventually publish?

A: I’ve written brief true stories I have on my website. If readers have read some of them and also my mysteries, they will find that a few of them have found their way into my mysteries. That is what I meant about keeping it real. People have asked where I get my ideas. Read some of those blog/posts and you will find out. I don’t live an ordinary life. I love every minute of it!

…Okay, okay, maybe some instances I’d just as soon forget.

*

Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

A: Good question with unusual answers. I am left handed, but can cut with scissors only with my right hand. I can only throw a ball, play tennis with my right arm. I eat with my left hand. I don’t know what that says about me, but I can tell you I am real creative (mind wise) for getting into trouble both on paper and off.

*

SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

SAVING SINDIA by Peggy Edelheit

Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A: I am in the middle of #11 in the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. This one had numerous delays. I refer to that as life interrupted, throughout this last year. As usual, it is an unusual mystery. I’ll leave it at that for now.

Thank you, Marcia.

I’m honored and appreciate you thinking of me for the interview. It was fun.

And to all those readers out there, remember to chase your dreams not someone else’s. Everyday is a blessing.

All the best, Peggy

It has been a sheer pleasure to have you on the blog Peggy.

*

I am certain you will join me in thanking Peggy today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Peggy, she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Amazon.com

*Peggy’s website

Interview with author Tamara Ferguson

Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Tamara Ferguson, author of romantic-suspense books THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, the first part of the KISSED BY FATE series, the TALES OF THE DRAGONFLY book series, and TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED, amongst her works, and welcome her to my blog.

Tamara Ferguson, author photograph

Tamara Ferguson, author photograph

Welcome, Tamara!

Thank you Marcia for having me. I always enjoy our visits!

Likewise Tamara!

*

Q: For how long have you been writing?

A:  Probably about 6 years – but much more seriously the last 3.

*

Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: Once my autistic son graduated from school and didn’t enter the vocational program he was supposed to because of our state’s budget cuts, I was forced to become his full time caregiver. So I guess you could say that ALL my life experiences are behind my writing. I write about what I know; since autism and disabilities are very much a part of my life.

*

Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?

TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson contained in MOTHER'S DAY MAGIC box set

TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson contained in MOTHER’S DAY MAGIC box set

A: I prefer to write after a good night’s sleep. I find that what I write later in the day doesn’t always make as much sense as what I write when I’m fresh.

*

Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?

A: I read a lot of suspense and romantic suspense, but I actually love to read historical romance. And because there were a lot of authors in the historical genre who I enjoy, I began writing contemporary-partly because I found a lot of contemporary romances I began reading didn’t always seem to hold my interest.

*

Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?

A: When I was younger, I would have had a totally different answer for this. I enjoyed lighter romance/chick lit. But now I’d say there are three authors – Mary Balogh, Linda Howard (I love her later romances more than her earlier) & Nora Roberts. All three mix up a great blend of humor & romance, while Linda Howard and Nora Roberts add in the suspense. One of my favorite stories by Linda Howard is Open Season-it’s made me laugh each time I’ve read it.

*

Q: After reading THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, which I found to be an entertaining novel, I enjoyed the romance between Kate and Murphy, but also liked the supporting characters, who backed up the protagonists in a wonderful manner. The detail of home construction was also another striking feature of the book, adding authenticity and background to the characters’ occupations. What inspired you to write this story with its rich tapestry of characters and situations?

THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A: The home improvement is easy – I do all these things myself. I was a single parent for many years and had a house to keep up. The house I live in now has a list of never-ending problems that have been really hard to keep up with. But all my stories feature strong women who are not necessarily looking for love, so it’s easy giving them jobs pertaining to what I’m the most familiar with.

With this story, I wanted to go in a different direction with my writing. I wanted to write something with a little lighter subject matter and a lot more humor. After getting some critiques from the RWA, I was told that this story would fit perfectly into the new adult genre-which I’d never even heard of! And so began my transition as a writer.

Working with an editor (DS Williams) really helped with this a lot. After my critiques, I began thinking in terms of my target age groups. This makes a big difference in the formality of my writing and use of contractions, etc.

And each editor is different, in the way they approach my stories. Sometimes the slightly older school editors don’t really understand that my way of writing- as far as new adult – is totally intentional.

*

Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?

TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED by Tamara Ferguson

TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED by Tamara Ferguson

A: My favorite story is usually the one I’m writing at the time! But the story I think I’m the proudest of (so far) is Two Hearts Surrendered, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight is probably closest to my heart because two of my characters are based a little on myself and my autistic son, as well as the troubles and struggles I’ve dealt with as his caregiver.

*

Q: You have participated in several book compilations with other authors covering themes such as Magical Weddings, Mother’s Day, and A Touch of Passion. How is the experience of writing on a specific theme in combination with other authors?

MOTHER'S DAY MAGIC box set contains TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson

MOTHER’S DAY MAGIC box set contains TWO HEARTS UNSPOKEN by Tamara Ferguson

A: You know as far as the theme, most of us are off doing our thing for several months while we’re writing our stories. The time we need to work together the most is when we’re approaching our release dates-and this can be really difficult. I’ve had a totally different experience with each group I’ve worked with- but mostly good. I’ve made a lot of good friends. I find the more I get involved in anthologies, the more of a promotion person I’m becoming.

*

Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?

A: I’ve always liked NCIS- and probably won’t ever get tired of it. CSI and Law & Order I’ve liked, but am so SICK of the reruns. Seems like everyone shows the same ones over and over again. I liked HOUSE a lot too. I do enjoy old movies BUT even Turner Classic Movies has become slightly monotonous. The most popular movies are shown so much, that I kind of get sick of them. I used to like their format when they featured the same star the entire day.

*

Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?

A: What IS spare time?? In the old days it was gardening and floral design (I still have a home business) as well as big time home improvement projects, but since I began writing and particularly since I began using social media, I seem to behind my computer from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night.

*

Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the romance, military, new adult and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?

A TOUCH OF PASSION box set contains THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A TOUCH OF PASSION box set contains THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS by Tamara Ferguson

A: It’s strange that I like to read historical, but I don’t want to write it. Right now I’m at a crossroads – I’m trying to decide what kind of story I’d like to write for a new anthology I’ll be in next year. Do I want to go light – and do more of a chick lit theme (which I’ve never really written)? Or do I want to stick to slightly serious subject matter, but still inject a lot of humor? I seem to be best at this, I think. I am not especially inclined to write fantasy, there are just too many authors out there already tackling this, but I think I’d enjoy writing a Christmas ghost story at Dragonfly Pointe. I’m a fan of old movies and The Canterbury Ghost and Topper are a lot of fun to watch.

*

Q: Have you written any unpublished short stories, you eventually aim to publish?

A: I haven’t had much in-between time lately. Every time I’ve finished up with one anthology, another one has come along. So I am kind of a write on demand person lately. I think I do have a short story tucked away somewhere – that need a lot of work! And I began Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence last year, but I know I’ll be completely changing that up when I go back to it. I really want to revise my first TOD In Tandem – but I know it will require an awful lot of work!

*

Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.

MAGICAL WEDDINGS Box Set

MAGICAL WEDDINGS Box Set

A: I’m right handed but I use both hands to manipulate my laptop. I’ve had some hand, arm and shoulder issues too; not because of my writing, but because of the time I spend on twitter!

*

Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?

A:  First of all, the revised Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight will be released on June 28 with a new cover created by the award-winning Blue Harvest Creative. I’ve joined their author team for the next year after winning a huge prize from Readers’ Favorite. Two Hearts Undone (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance #3) is due to come out any day now in Annie Acorn’s 2016 Romance Anthology, and I’m currently writing Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence. It should be released sometime next spring. I’m also working on the first novella of a new series to be featured in the bestselling Wedding Pets & Kisses series, which will be released in March of 2017.

*

I am certain you will join me in thanking Tamara today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Tamara she is available on:

*Twitter

*Goodreads

*Facebook TOD

*Kissed By Fate

*Amazon.com

*Tamara’s website TOD

*Kissed By Fate

*Tamara’s blog

*Tamara’s LinkedIn

*Tamara’s G+