Meet Pamela Wight

10406662_10152533911299623_1229602538360204037_n

This week I welcome Pamela Wight to Reade and Write. Pam is the author of The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires and I’m thrilled to have her on my blog! Bonus: I might even get to meet her this summer!

Tell me about your books.

I’ve published two romantic suspense novels: The Right Wrong Man and Twin Desires. What’s interesting is that the two main female characters in these books are extremely different from each other: Meredith (The Right Wrong Man) is feisty, funny, and self-confident. Sandra (Twin Desires) is shy, quiet, and unaware of her attractiveness.

The Right Wrong Man    Twin Desires

Who is the audience for your books?

Originally I thought my books would be read mostly by women; however, I dislike the phrase “women’s fiction,” because women read thrillers by men – like Harlan Coben and David Baldacci – so why shouldn’t men enjoy fast-paced mysteries and thrillers written by women? Turns out that they do! I’ve had many men read both of my books and enjoy them (and write great reviews).

Tell me about the setting of Twin Desires—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

I wrote Twin Desires (with co-author Ashley Brandt) while I was living in the San Francisco Bay area, and it’s set in San Francisco and the beautiful coastal area of Stinson Beach. I ran the same streets that Sandra does in the book and visited an adorable cottage with a water view in the town of Stinson, a house much like the one Sandra is holed up in against her will.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

You may think I’ll say writing with a co-author, but the opposite is true. Ashley and I had such fun plotting out the obstacles that Sandra and main man Blake Worthington fought through. As co-authors, we were on the ‘same page,’ so to speak, about our characters and built an entire storyline about them, so we knew what to expect from them. But, as always, the characters surprised us and changed the plot as the suspense thickened. I think the hardest thing about writing the book was ending it – we didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters!

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

Emily Stone would be a perfect Sandra Eastman in Twin Desires.
Ben Affleck is a good actor, and handsome, so he would play both Blake and Alex Worthington with aplomb. I can see the film in my mind’s eye, and it’s fabulous!

Emily Stone  Ben Affleck

⦁ Have you written any other books? And are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

I wrote The Right Wrong Man after Twin Desires (but published it first). I created scenes in 2-4 page ‘pods,’ then would file it away, busy with my paying job and raising a family. Finally, I got serious with finishing it and formed a critique group. We four writers met every two weeks for two hours for over a year. Taking turns, at one meeting two of us would print out and read three new chapters, which the others marked up and commented on them. Two weeks later, it was the other two writers’ turn. This critiquing was invaluable to me in fine-tuning and completing my book. I published it in 2013 as an e-book, then in a softback edition.

Do you write every day?

Yes.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I like all (fiction) genres. If the book is well-written, I soak it in. As Ray Bradbury wrote in his book about writing: “Read those authors who write the way you hope to write, those who think the way you would like to think. But also read those who do not think as you think or write as you want to write, and so be stimulated in directions you might not take for many years.”

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

At my New England writing table, with the window open overlooking forest and overhearing bird calls, I travel to San Francisco and Cambridge, the Caribbean and Switzerland, Hawaii and Florence, as well as destinations unknown.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write. Read. Write. Read. Here at Reade and Write, I agree!

What is your favorite movie and why?

My first immediate answer is “Gone with the Wind.” I know it’s not PC now, but back when I was 11 and first saw the movie, I fell in love with the characters, the romance, the angst of unrequited love, and the reality of not seeing what’s right in front of you. I’ve watched the move over a dozen times since then, and receive the same reactions each time.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Write more. Read more. Write more. Read more.

Describe yourself in three words.

Creative. Loving. Kind.

Where can readers connect with you?

Website: www.roughwighting.net
Facebook: http://facebook.com/roughwighting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pamelawight
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelawight
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pam94920/

Where can readers find your books?

The Right Wrong Man is available in e-book and softback from Amazon (click here for link).
Twin Desires was published in e-book form in 2014, and the book’s second edition is available as softback on Amazon (click here for link), July, 2016.

Author Biography: Pamela Wight is a successful author of romantic suspense. Her first novel, The Right Wrong Man, got rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, Twin Desires, with Ashley Brandt as an e-book in 2014, and available in paperback in July, 2016.

Pamela earned her MA in English from Drew University, continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing, and teaches creative writing classes in Boston and San Francisco.

She lives in the Boston area with her “right man” and hikes the New England trails while concocting her third novel, As Lovely as a Lie. Wight travels frequently to the San Francisco Bay area for additional inspiration. She speaks to book clubs in both locations. Many readers enjoy her “weekly blog on daily living” called Roughwighting.

Thank you, Pam, for appearing on Reade and Write today!

Until next week,

Amy

 

 

 

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

11752472_10153452165336575_7575373432524977386_n IMG_4490

You may recognize the title of this week’s blog from Ecclesiastes 3: 4. The first eight verses of this chapter are my favorites in the Bible. They remind us that life will give us joy and happiness, but it will also give us sadness, loss, and grief.  The Reade family experienced both ends of the spectrum this week.

On Wednesday, June 15th, at 4:00 p.m. our eldest child graduated from high school. On Wednesday evening we held a party at home to celebrate Carolyn’s graduation. It was a time to dance, you might say. Family from many hours away and from right down the road came to celebrate, along with close friends and loved ones. We celebrated the beautiful day, the ceremony, Carolyn’s accomplishments, and her future- a bright beginning to a new phase of her life. The house was filled with laughter, jokes, photos, well wishes, and lots of good food. It was all exhausting, but in the best possible way.

It was almost exactly twenty-four hours after our first guests arrived for Carolyn’s party when I got a phone call that my grandfather, who has been living in a nursing home for the past five years, was being placed on palliative care. His time was growing short. Though the nurses felt he would probably survive at least another day or two, I made the decision to travel up to central New York that night with my daughters. Our plan was to get to my sister’s house by 1 a.m. Friday, get some sleep, and visit him to say good-bye in the morning. It was important to me because 8 1/2 years previously, I had been making my way up the Pennsylvania Turnpike to say good-bye to my grandmother when she passed away. I never got to say good-bye to her in person and I didn’t want to have the same regret again.

As tired as I was, I didn’t sleep that night. My stomach was in knots and I couldn’t relax because I was rehearsing the things I wanted to say to my grandfather. I didn’t know if he would be able to hear me or understand, but I wanted to say those things just in case he could. I let my daughters sleep in the next morning because they’d done such a great job keeping me awake during the long drive the night before.

The phone call from my mother came as my daughters were getting up. My grandfather had just passed away peacefully in his bed (“he went just like a whisper,” the nurse told us). It was now time to mourn. All I could think was that I had missed saying good-bye to him, too. Mom had asked the nursing home to hold his body for just a little while so that we could see him one last time.

I went in to see him by myself, and I held his hand in mine and told him all the things I had rehearsed, and more. There was something strangely comforting about it- he was no longer in pain and I knew he was listening from heaven. If I had told him those things while he still lived, I would never know whether he heard my words or not. My girls talked to him, too, and my husband and my son said their final words to him over the phone.

For those of you who have read Secrets of Hallstead House, you may have noticed the dedication page, which reads For Papa. That’s him. He was the one who made it his mission when I was little to show me the St. Lawrence River. He would take our family out in his boat and we would spend long days in the sunshine, swimming in the river, fishing off the side of the boat, and picnicking. He taught me to water ski. And to this day Fresca is my favorite soda because of him. He and my grandmother taught me what grandparenting is all about from the time I was born (and up until my own parents became grandparents), and I am forever grateful to both of them for all their love and support. I will miss him, as I miss my grandmother.

The picture at the top of this post was taken almost a year ago, when he had a chance to visit the farm where he grew up.

Meet Maggie King

Maggie King Author Photo 72

Today on Reade and Write I welcome Maggie King, author of Murder at the Book Group. I’m thrilled to have her here to discuss her book!

Tell me about Murder at the Book Group.

Murder at the Book Group, set in Richmond, Virginia, is the story of two women. Carlene Arness is a mystery writer who dies after drinking cyanide-laced tea at a meeting of her book group. Hazel Rose is an aspiring romance writer who decides to find out who killed Carlene. In the process she uncovers many scandals and secrets about Carlene. She also finds out a lot about her fellow book group members that amazes her.
Hazel is a reluctant investigator. She isn’t brave and she didn’t especially like Carlene. But Hazel has a strong sense of justice. And she was once married to Carlene’s husband and he has a special place in her heart.

Hazel’s also in a rut. She’s in an on-again, off-again relationship and as the story opens it’s clearly off again as her sometimes lover has been seen in the company of a fiery redhead named Molly. Hazel’s trying to write a romance but finds it hard to be inspired when her own love life is non-existent.

It’s unfortunate that it takes murder to get Hazel’s life back on track. Which just goes to prove that old adage: every cloud has a silver lining.

Murder at the Book Group Front Cover

Who is the audience for the book?

Anyone who enjoys traditional mysteries that focus on relationships gone awry; anyone who loves learning about new authors; anyone in a book group.

Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

I chose Richmond, Virginia, because I live here. I didn’t have to do much research beyond verifying distances and temperatures. As the story was published in 2014 but set in 2005, I needed to be sure that any references were not post-2005.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

Finding the time amid juggling responsibilities. Also, I had to make writing a priority—ironically, it took giving up my two book groups to finish Murder at the Book Group!

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

Hazel Rose: Melina Kanakaredes or Andie McDowell.

Vince Castelli: Joe Mantegna (with white hair and blue eyes), George Clooney, Jonathan Goldsmith, or David Strathrain. My true preference is a younger, and living, George Kennedy.

Lucy Hooper: Madolyn Smith, Jaclyn Smith, or Rachel Ward (but I really picture the late novelist and actress Jackie Collins for my Lucy character).

Kat Berenger: Jean Kasem.

Have you written any other books?

Murder at the Moonshine Inn, #2 in the Hazel Rose Book Group series, comes out in November, 2016.

I’ve contributed stories to two anthologies: “A Not So Genteel Murder” is featured in Virginia is for Mysteries (2014) and “Reunion in Shockoe Slip” in Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II (2016).

VIFM Front Cover        VIFM II front cover

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

I have a group of readers, but no formal group. I’d like to find a small group of 3-4 writers who understand the mystery genre.

Do you write every day?

Generally, I write five days a week. But I think about writing 24/7.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

My list of favorite authors is a long one and include Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, Susan Wittig Albert, Robert Crais, Rochelle Krich, Jane Austen, and Barbara Pym. I mostly read mysteries (cozies, police procedurals, and PI sub-genres), but also enjoy contemporary fiction, classics, and biographies.

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

It’s hard to pick one place. I want to visit Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, South America, Italy, and Antarctica (Antarctica would be the ultimate adventure)

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write every day even if it’s just for fifteen minutes—that’s how you maintain momentum; walk daily to clear your head and encourage inspiration; take classes; never let anyone discourage you from writing, no matter how wise you consider them to be; write short stories—that’s how many authors, myself included, first get published.

Consider reading and writing poetry to make your fiction come alive. Acclaimed mystery writer Walter Moseley considers poetry to be the basis of all writing and suggests that reading, writing, and studying poetry gives fiction writers a deeper appreciation of the nuances of language (a poetry class is on my to-do list).

What is your favorite movie and why?

Double Indemnity. It’s the ultimate film noir—dark, steamy, loaded with atmosphere and sizzling dialog, with characters sleazy as all get out.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Listen to my heart and follow my dreams. Stand tall and be confident.

Describe yourself in three words.

Caring, conscientious, courageous; how’s that for alliteration?

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?

Why did I write Murder at the Book Group? I like to write and read about people at a crossroads in their lives. In Murder at the Book Group both the sleuth and the victim are standing at a crossroads—Hazel Rose is at loose ends in her life, stuck in a rut. She isn’t unhappy but she isn’t fulfilled either. As for Carlene Arness, the victim, she’s recently published her first mystery but her marriage to Hazel’s first husband is falling apart. Carlene wasn’t cut out for monogamy and her eye has started to wander.

Unfortunately, Carlene doesn’t get to cross the road—but solving her murder gives Hazel the opportunity to grow and get out of her rut.

Where can readers connect with you?

Website: http://www.maggieking.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaggieKingAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaggieKingAuthr
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggie8881
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maggie8208/?hl=en

Where can readers find your books?

On Amazon or wherever books are sold.

Murder at the Book Group: http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Book-Group-Mysteries/dp/1476762465/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465242896&sr=8-1&keywords=murder+at+the+book+group

Virginia is for Mysteries: http://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Mysteries-Sisters-Crime/dp/1938467647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465242988&sr=8-1&keywords=virginia+is+for+mysteries

Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II: https://www.amazon.com/Virginia-Mysteries-II-Sisters-Crime-ebook/dp/B01AKWNHRK?ie=UTF8&keywords=virginia%20is%20for%20mysteries&qid=1465242988&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Author Biography:

Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.

Thank you, Maggie, for visiting Reade and Write today!

Until next week,

Amy