Tuesday, January 13, 2015

J.S. Quelch-- Twelve Question Tuesday



J.S. Quelch
Today I am pleased to welcome Oak Tree Press author J.S. Quelch to Twelve Question Tuesday.

1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you. 
a. Music is my first love. Listening to, writing, and playing it. Writing Karl and the Kooltones, a life story of a musician, was a natural extension of that.
b. I am a jack of all trades, a master of none.
c. I believe social media makes people less social and is the greatest time waster of our time. 

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person? 
Neither. Allergies run high in my family. 

3.  Tea or coffee? 
Coffee with freshly roasted beans from Up Café http://www.upcafe.com/ I grind myself. 

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.) 
Boxer-briefs in winter, commando in summer. 

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote? 
The first copyrighted piece I wrote was a song called $7 Fine about 20 years ago that I still play with my band Woodshop (like Woodshop The Band on Facebook). The song tells the story of a trip to the Indianapolis 500 that is also loosely chronicled in Karl and Kooltones. 

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer? 
After I signed a publishing contract with Oak Tree Press. 

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written? 
Definitely Karl and the Kooltones. It was a project I worked on for over seven years. 

 8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you? 
My second son was born with complications. The first 30 seconds after he was born he wasn’t breathing, and it was like I couldn’t breathe either. Fortunately the nurses resuscitated him and he’s a fine young teenager now. 

9.  How did you end up getting published? 
I did a lot of research at the library and on the internet and identified a large number of publishers. I did more research and narrowed down the list to publishers that specialized in newer authors and literary/urban fiction. I sent out about 15 queries and decided to select the offer from Oak Tree Press. 

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen? 
Fighter. I’m an avid sportsman and quite prepared for any kind of apocalypse. 
 
11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
Picking up and moving to Montana for a summer in my twenties. I had no money, no job, and nothing to lose. It turned out to be one of the greatest adventures of my life. 

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that. 
Rich. Not because I’m greedy or need the finer things in life, but because I value privacy famous people don’t enjoy.

J.S. Quelch
Author of Karl and the Kooltones

Available at Oak Tree Press http://oaktreebooks.com/
 
 




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Twelve Question Tuesday- Nancy LiPetri

Today, I am re-posting the Twelve Question Tuesday of writer Nancy LiPetri in celebration of the release of her novel, The Wooded Path, which is now available.

1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you. 

I have a sense of humor you may not pick up on right away, and amuse myself by having characters say and do things that keep my friends guessing about the real me.

Nature is one of my greatest passions, right up there with my kids and hubby and writing—I’m a shameless ‘bird nerd’ since moving to NC nine years ago, have had my yard certified as a wildlife habitat, and am always looking forward to exploring the next trail, park or beach.

I really enjoy working out, not only to try to stay in shape and ward off everything that stole my mother’s golden years from her, but because being a regular in group pilates, yoga and spin is my big social break away from my home office where I talk to my dog and cats all day. Thank goodness for Facebook friends, too!


2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person? 

Although my recent Facebook photo posts are my daughter’s German Shepherd, son’s puppy and my own sweet old golden retriever, when forced to pick, I’m first a cat person. We have two I find endlessly exquisite. Have always lived with a cat and always will. Besides, there are reasons my wonderful golden is nicknamed Marley Money-Pit Inconvenience.

3.  Tea or coffee?

Tea. Have been fortunate to get spoiled with longjing direct from China, thanks to hubby’s travel. Coffee with creamer is just a weekend treat.

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando? (Either what you prefer or what you prefer on others.)

Boxer-briefs. They show more shape than boxers, yet leave something to the imagination.

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote?

I kept a diary all through childhood and into college. People always knew to get me a new one for Christmas, you know, the kind with the little lock and key. Guess it’s no wonder my first novel has a “Dear Diary” character. The first multi-page story I remember writing was about horses (I was into The Black Stallion series at the time, in elementary school).

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?

Well, I’ve been a copywriter all my adult life, so have called myself a writer for decades. Always wrote for a hobby, too. But not until signing with Oak Tree Press did I call myself an author.

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written?

The Wooded Path because it made one of my early readers say exactly what I hoped for, that it’s intriguing and fun and made her say, “Hey, that’s me!”

8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?

 Having teenagers. Giving up the control over what’s dearest to you….  I know I sprouted gray hairs when they began to drive. 

9.  How did you end up getting published?

Becoming an empty-nester finally got me the time to complete and polish a manuscript (I know other authors get it done amid the chaos of a really busy life, but I lose hours of reality when I write, and was afraid of letting too much slide), and then over months of querying publishers I received enough positive response to keep trying until I found the right match: Oak Tree Press.

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?

Fighter! Been wanting to try out this kickboxing on someone. Elbow strike!

11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?

Hmmmm, what daring thing could I share? Getting married before we both had graduated and had “good” jobs, not knowing where life would take us.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.

I’m a practical girl, and I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy all the attention and lack of privacy that comes with fame, so have to choose rich. But I wouldn’t change my comfortable lifestyle…oh except for maybe buying myself and my daughter more horses…and land for them…and a hot stable hand to help us….


Blurb for The Wooded Path available now:

Ever wonder if you’re normal? Laine McClelland sure does. When the mysterious disappearance of a bunco friend, Paula, shakes her Lake Norman neighborhood, her seemingly perfect world is suddenly filled with dark thoughts, dangerous temptations and surprising confessions. What is normal once you realize life’s short, anyway? Was her marriage ever enough? She finds herself risking it all…and afraid of what really happened to Paula.



Nancy LiPetri lives on Lake Norman, North Carolina, the setting of The Wooded Path. Originally from landlocked Iowa, she has enjoyed living on both coasts as well as in her husband’s native Chicago, taking her family and copywriting career with her and gathering inspiration for her fiction along the way.

Visit her on Facebook. And to find out what it’s really like on Lake Norman, visit her at
www.NancyLonLakeNorman.blogspot.com

Buy The Wooded Path at http://www.amazon.com/Wooded-Path-Nancy-LiPetri/dp/1610091620/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415337044&sr=8-1&keywords=nancy+lipetri

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Setting the Stage for Suspense by Janet Greger


Today, please welcome the guest blog of fellow writer Janet Greger, "Setting the Stage for Suspense."
 
Are the settings in your novels as insipid as the description of Prince Charming in most fairy tales? Do you describe a couple of physical characteristic, but don’t mention anything about the personality of the locale?

Curiosity draws readers to certain locations. I bet many readers purchased a copy of Clavell’s Shogun before they traveled to Japan and reread sections of The Da Vinci Code before they visited Paris or Scotland. I dislike winter, but Smilla’s Sense of Snow made me want to visit Greenland.

I’m hoping readers, who want to “see” more of Cuba than vintage American cars, will read my new medical thriller Malignancy. I juxtaposition the past and present of Cuba. For example, in Malignancy you’ll learn about cutting edge research being done in Cuban medical centers as Sara Almquist, an epidemiologist and my protagonist, sets up scientific exchanges among Cuban and U.S. scientists. It’s not far fetched; one group of Cuban researchers has patented a vaccine against one type of lung cancer. You and Sara will slip into La Floridita Bar, made famous by Hemingway, in Old Havana to meet a mysterious Cuban. Is he just a physician or is he a spymaster? As you and Sara discover historic quirks in Colon cemetery, you might bump into Sara’s past.

Some locations breed intrigue. The steamy and seamy sides of New Orleans have been featured in many novels. Think about: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, Jambalaya Justice by Holli Castillo, and The Pelican Brief by John Grisham. These novels would not have resonated with readers if they were set elsewhere.

I think Bolivia is one of those mysterious, volatile places. The country is for the physically fit - much of the country has an altitude of over ten thousand feet. Bolivia has arguably some of the most colorfully dressed indigenous people in the world. You’ll see them with Sara Almquist in Ignore the Pain, as she climbs the narrow stone steps to the roof of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz and looks down on the Witches’ Market. If that doesn’t sound exciting, please note henchmen of a drug lord are chasing Sara. You’ll also get a different view of coca, the source of cocaine, as you watch Sara question miners at the infamous silver mines of Potosí. She’s there on a public health mission, and Bolivia is a textbook-lesson on public health problems.

Other locations breed nostalgia for a happier or perhaps simpler time. Western fiction can be set in a number of states in the US (Kansas, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, or New Mexico), but generally the setting is the same – a spare, dry land that exudes loneliness. The protagonist generally looks like the land. He’s spare, often almost gaunt, dry with little to say, and independent because he has to be to survive on the land.

What’s the personality of the locales in your novels? Have you used them to set the stage for suspense?

Blurb for Malignancy. Men disguised as police officers shoot at Sara Almquist twice in one day. The Albuquerque police suspect Jim Mazzone, a drug czar who Sara has tangled with several times, will order more hits on Sara. Thus when colleagues in the State Department invite Sara to arrange scientific exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, she jumps at the chance to get out of town and to see the mysterious Xave Zack, who rescued her in Bolivia again. Maybe, she should question their motives. 

Malignancy is available at Amazon: http://amzn.com/1610091779,

Malignancy is the sequel to Ignore the Pain.

Ignore the Pain 
Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past in New Mexico is chasing her through the Witches’ Market of La Paz and trying to trap her at the silver mines of Potosí. Unfortunately, she can’t trust her new colleagues, especially the seedy Xave Zack, because any one of them might be under the control of the coca industry in Bolivia.

Ignore the Pain (paperback & Kindle) is available at Amazon: http://amzn.com/1610091310.


Bio
 JL Greger is no longer a biology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, instead she’s putting tidbits of science into her medical mysteries/ thrillers. She and Bug, her Japanese Chin dog, live in the southwest of the Untied States.

Her novels include: Coming Flu, Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight, Ignore the Pain, and Malignancy. You can learn more about her and her writing at her website: http://www.jlgreger.com and blog JL Greger’s Bugs: http://www.jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.