Monday, December 10, 2012

Blog Hop: The Next Big Thing

For this week's Blog Hop, I am pleased to introduce two sensational new authors: Genara Necos, a Dominican-American author of Literary Women's Fiction and Patricia O'Sullivan, a prolific author of Historical Fiction. Please check out Patricia's  blog hop posting for "Legend of the Dead" at
plus the four additional authors she is tagging.

But now, Genara will will be speaking about her WIP, a labor of love titled "By the Waters of the Zambezi" which sends us on a Western woman's harrowing, life-changing journey to the heart of Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

Genara, thank you for guest-hosting this weeks blog!
What is the (working title) of your book?

By the Waters of the Zambezi

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The novel is set in Zimbabwe in the 90s, when Mugabe still had good relations with the West and there was a lot of hope for Zimbabwe being a post-independence success story. I lived in Zimbabwe in the 90s and found it a heady and interesting place to live both culturally and geographically. When I returned to New York I missed Harare and the idea to write about it stemmed from a desire to reconnect with that part of my life.  That lead to my writing a love story set in Harare, the Dominican Republic and New York. 

What genre does your book fall under?
Literary romance-  The story is about a Dominican American sociologist who leaves New York after a tragedy.  Landing in Harare, where she’s free to be herself she finds love with an ex-guerrilla turned sculptor.  He seems to be the answer to all of her longings but has a hidden, violent past that could threaten their new found love. 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I think only Idris Elba could play Farai the lead character, he’s rugged, elegant and sexy, three qualities you rarely find (simultaneously) in one man.  The female lead could be Salma Hayek because she’s intelligent, strong willed and sexy like the heroine.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“Go the Way your Blood Beats.”  It’s a James Baldwin quote about living your passionate love despite what society expects from, and wants for, you. 
 
Farai: Not your average ex-guerilla turned sculptor.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I think I will try to find an agency to represent me.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  
It took me 10months, but I dropped it and picked it up years later. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Joyce Carol Oats, “Because it is Bitter, Because it is My Heart”  Zora Neale Hurston, “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Zimbabwe, the land and its people inspired me to write the book and an interest in old fashioned love stories. 

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
The book is about how perfect love casts out fear, it’s about risking yourself for that man or woman because that’s what our life demands.

Thank you Genara!  We are anxiously awaiting "By the Waters of the Zambezi" to learn more about the mysteries of Zimbabwe and to find out what happens to Farai and his lady love.

Only in Zimbabwe:  A breathtaking view of Victoria Falls.



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Blog Hop….The Next Big Thing

Mary Tod (from http://awriterofhistory.com/) tagged me for a blog hop called THE NEXT BIG THING. The idea is to talk about my most recent novel, answering 10 questions, and then tagging another group of authors to do the same the following week. My topic is "Spy Island" a forthcoming historical spy thriller.

What is the working title of your book?
Spy Island
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Spy Island blends real life events with fictional elements. It started out from an inspirational idea that I could weave an adventure story around the fact that the U.S. acquired a Danish Caribbean colony in 1917 that had a well-entrenched German spy ring operating pretty much out in the open. I wove the narrative of the island girl who rescues the German U-boat deserter who is later blackmailed into committing espionage around this premise, which resulted in an old-fashioned spy thriller with an exotic Caribbean setting.

What genre does your book fall under?
It's both Historical Fiction and Spy Thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Abigail Maduro:    Odeya Rush
Erich Seibold:        Daniel Brühl
Nana Jane:             Alfre Woodard
Cooky Betty:         Octavia Spencer
Judge Henrik Neergaard:   Bernard Hill
Herr Dreyer/Langsdorff:     Christoph Walz
Jens Jørgensen:      Max von Sydow

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A precocious island girl befriends a German U-boat deserter, then teams up with him to rid her island of a nest of German spies.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Three years.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to transport the reader back in time, to the height of the Great War, to a fading sugar colony in the West Indies. My goal was to recreate life as it was back then. The fact that so much of the story is based on truth is icing on the cake. The trick with Historical Fiction is to keep digging until you get the real story.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
"Spy Island" will be self-published on Amazon.com in time for Xmas.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
"Spy Island" has the runaway German soldier theme like in "Summer of My German Soldier", an exotic setting like in "Nim's Island", and spy thriller elements like a Ken Follett novel such as "Hornet Flight". 

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
Readers who love the Edwardian period through WWI will love "Spy Island" because it immerses the reader in that era. The period dancing and music, horse carriages sharing streets with motorcars, victrolas playing in the background, the end of the colonial era, it's like watching one of those old Geoffrey Holder 7-up commercials.

"Spy Island" also boasts an international cast of quirky characters that range from a witty Irish sailor to Old World Danish characters, German spy characters, colorful West Indian characters and a spirited heroine who will capture your heart. So pour yourself a rum & coke, add a twist of lime, and let yourself be transported back to the old West Indies. You'll be in for a Helluva time!

Can this girl save her island from a nest of German spies?

 



And now to tag our next awesome author:
 For Wednesday, December 12th:
I am pleased to introduce Patricia O'Sullivan, a prolific author of historical fiction  whose current novels are "Hope of Israel" and "Legend of the Dead". She specializes in American history during the colonial period and blogs about it at  http://legendofthedead.blogspot.com/
 

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Special Treat: My Daughter's Hurricane Sandy Essay

I decided to share with you my daughter's essay about her Hurricane Sandy experience. Hold on to your hats!

Hurricane Sandy

     When the hurricane had just started, and by the time the wind started picking up (5:00pm), my father, sister and I decided to go on a walk. Bundled up in boots and a nice warm coat, we set out. The wind whipped all around us, causing our hearts to race. On our walk we saw a house with half of the roof blown away--it was a real tragedy. Thanking G-d that our house was intact and warm, we proceeded.
     While we were walking, a very strong wind blew just over our heads, sounding precisely like an airplane.  My father decided that since the wind was getting a little out of hand, we walked back home. It was a really amazing experience because we were practically walking through a hurricane! But there were many of those who were not as fortunate and got their houses blown away. So we have to thank G-d for our house.