Synopsis: When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again. With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.
CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nancy Cole Silverman. Nancy began her writing career in radio and she says that like every writer, she hopes her characters are fascinating, her dialogue crisp, and her word choices clever. Welcome to my blog, Nancy.
CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?
NCS: Carol’s sense of justice is challenged when a deranged woman calls the station and confesses to murder.
CH: You take pride in crafting believable stories. So, where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?
NCS: Most of my ideas are loosely inspired by news stories. I spent twenty-five years in news and talk radio, so I guess you could say I have an ear for it. Matched with my imagination, the subject matter in each book is probably best described as a mash-up of both.
CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?
NCS: I think the fact that Carol works for a talk radio station, adds an element of mystery from the get-go. With radio, a listener and host never see one another. For me, it’s that faceless voice across the airwaves that starts the mystery.
CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?
NCS: People who know me think Carol Childs is me. The truth is, she’s younger, thinner, smarter and gutsier than I could have ever been. It’s always easiest to play Monday morning quarterback on a story you’re writing versus one that you’re living.
CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?
NCS: I’m a people watcher. I enjoy crafting characters after people I’ve seen interact with others around me. My characters are seldom based on anyone I know or have worked with, although friends will tell me they think so.
CH: Who was your favorite character to write?
NCS: Obviously, my protagonist Carol. She’s a complex character. In so many ways, she’s like a lot of modern young women, she wants it all—a career, a home, and a relationship. It’s her balancing act and fear of losing herself to a relationship at the expense of her job and self that keep her from being too predictable.
CH: Which character was hardest to write?
NCS: Misty Dawn, the once famous Hollywood Psychic to the Stars. I love her character, and I wanted to make certain she showed up on the page, as I saw her in my mind. She and Carol have a complex relationship because Carol doesn’t believe in psychics and Misty, who is now retired, has begun to lose her psychic abilities. Like many former, aging actors and people in the industry, she didn’t have a lot of money put aside for retirement and is close to destitute, but not without ideas. When she shows up on Carol’s doorstep in book four, Room For Doubt, she suggests Carol might need a housekeeper. Under Carol’s care, Misty’s abilities will start to return, which is both a good thing and bad thing for Carol. Stay Tuned. I’ve more planned for Misty.
CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?
NCS: Not really. It was my publisher who suggested I sit down and start writing a sequel. Only then, did I start to map out the idea for a series.
CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And how long did it take you to write this novel?
NCS: Shadow of Doubt, book one of the Carol Childs series, took me about two and half years to write. However, this was not my first book, but it was my first traditionally published book. Before that, I wrote about a half dozen books. It takes time for a writer to find their voice. Subsequent books in the Carol Childs series have each taken about a year. I think a series in many ways is easier to write than a stand-alone book. The author knows the characters, and the plot seems to come together much quicker.
CH: Is there anything in particular that you have learned about writing that you would like to share?
NCS: Writing the book is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t think most readers begin to understand that once the book is written how much more is involved in marketing the book, and that so much of that, regardless of whether or not the book is traditionally published or self-published, falls upon the author to do. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a privilege to do it, but between blog tours, speaking engagements, etc., I don’t have as much time to write as I’d always like.
CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?
NCS: There are so many. I like Joyce Carol Oates. I recently finished JoJo Moyes book, Me Before You—the woman can pull tears from me like no other author. I also am a big fan of Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Raymond Chandler and just about any mystery author.
CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?
NCS: I think the most exciting thing is that my books have found their way into the hands of readers who have enjoyed them. Writing fiction is the next step for me, and knowing that there are those who take pleasure in my work is such a reward. Thank you.
CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?
NCS: I’ve always written. I knew from the time I was a child, I wanted to be a writer, and went to college and got a degree in journalism because, for me, that was where the action was. The big difference was when I retired, I suddenly found that as a former broadcast person, I had to write copy that was longer than thirty and sixty seconds long. That’s about 75 to 150 words and a big stretch from an eighty-thousand-word novel.
CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?
NCS: I read a lot of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. Both these women have huge followings, and I figure they must be doing something right, so I’ve read nearly everything they have written.
CH: How to Find Nancy Cole Silverman:
- Nancy’s Website: http://www.nancycolesilverman.com
- Nancy’s Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/32i3my
- Nancy’s Author Page: http://tiny.cc/b4i3my
CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?
NCS: My book is available through any book store or at online retails like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
CH: Any closing remarks?
NCS: I love writing the Carol Childs Mysteries, and I’m thankful to Henery Press for allowing me free rein with my plots and twists. So often, I hear writer friends say their publishers have pushed for traditional, nicely wrapped endings. Henery has allowed me to put on the page the story as I feel it deserves to be told and end. I like to leave with a wow, which frequently is anything but traditional. Hopefully, it gives my readers something to think about.
Thank you, Cheryl, for hosting this interview. It was a pleasure.
CH: Thank you so much, Nancy Cole Silverman, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience. And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book. I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience.
Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Nancy Cole Silverman and Cheryl Holloway.
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