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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thank you Karin Kaufman for tagging me for your "blog hop"  entitled, "The Next Big Thing."  Yes!  I do have a WIP (work in progress) and consequently it does seem like my blog has been too quiet lately.  Don't be fooled!!  That does not mean that stories are not cooking!

Here are my answers to Karin's questions followed by a few writers for you to explore.

1. What is the title of your book/WIP?

My newest book is just beginning.  I have not decided for sure on the title.  I am hoping to keep "Night" in the title, but it may not work.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

A trip to France in April.  I'll incorporate quite a bit of action in France.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Mystery / suspense but with a healthy dose of clean romance, like the others.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh my.  Don't know...  Maybe Katie Holmes (she's available, I hear) and maybe Hugh Jackman?  Maybe someone totally new.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

An innocent trip to France to relax and sort out her life lands Clare square in the middle of international intrigue and danger.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Not yet!

7. How long did it take you to write?

Still a WIP.  I hope to have it done in December.

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to?

It is most like my other books.  Strong female characters, strong sense of place, suspense, romance.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

In a way, every author.  I have read so much and have learned so much from others!

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

While all my books are "stand alone" this book as well will be most fulfilling, I think, if one reads it after reading the others: Night Walks Softly , Should Night Come  and Silent Night.   Characters from all three books will reappear and their stories will continue in context with Clare's story in book four.

Some writers to watch whom I have tagged:  
Gail Baugniet :
Karin Kaufman:
Nadine Feldman:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Interview with Dina Silver

    One Pink Line Dina's blog

  1. 1.  Tell me about your story, not just an overview, but what it is that makes it special to you.
Image of Dina SilverOne Pink Line is very special to me because it was inspired by a girlfriend of mine and her life experiences. She found herself unexpectedly pregnant at a young age, just as she was graduating college, and was faced with many difficult decisions. After hearing everything she went through, I found that at the core of her experience was a really wonderful love story…and I just had to write about it. It’s also special to me because it’s sort of a blend of my experiences and hers, and from what I can tell…it really seems to be touching people.

  1. How do you develop a character?
  My characters are almost always based on people I know, or people I’ve met throughout my lifetime. The great thing about even the goofiest person in our lives is that there is always some one who can relate to them. Everyone’s had a crazy relative, a snobby friend, a jerk of a boss - so for me it’s merely dipping into my own reality show and finding the things that make certain people interesting and impactful. Even if someone is a shy, mousy wallflower, they can still have a bold impact on your story.

      3.   How does plot happen for you?  Does it evolve as you write or do you outline it in advance?  Describe the process.
  I am not a fan of writing an outline. I have written two novels so far and each one has literally spilled out onto the computer when I sat down to write. I truly don’t believe I could write a story unless I have it worked out in my head first. I’m not saying that character studies or plot development are a waste of time, it simply works better for me to write in a more freestyle manner.

  1. I see that you have written your book in the first person.  Why did you choose that point of view?  In what way does it make your work stronger?  Did the POV present challenges for you?
  Both of my novels are written in the first person, so I guess this is the POV I’m most comfortable with. While it does limit you to only one person’s opinions and interpretations, it’s easier for me to channel myself into my protagonist if I can hear her voice and write through her emotions.
  1. What personal experience do you bring to your book?
  A great deal, actually. Many of the scenes in both, One Pink Line, and my next novel, Kat Fight, are lifted from my own life experiences. It can be very therapeutic!
  1. What other projects have you written?  What plans do you have for the future?
  My next book, Kat Fight, will be released this June. It’s a romantic comedy, and my goal with this one was to really concentrate on the comedy. I always try to infuse as much wit into my work whenever possible, and Kat Fight really delivers in that department.
7.  What else can you tell us about yourself or your work that we might find of interest?
Just that I feel so grateful to be able to self publish and finally have my writing available to people. That being said, it’s still a ton of work. I spend hours (not 2 or 3, more like 6) a day trying to market my book and myself and reach as many people as I can. The work truly begins once the book is done!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interview with Karen Bergreen

What a treat !   This week I was lucky enough to interview Karen Bergreen, an attorney turned stand up comic, a mother and a writer.  Karen's novel, Following Polly,was deemed better than The Nanny Diaries by one reviewer.  That got my attention.  

Following Polly has been recommended by both The New York Times and O Magazine.  Karen plans to release her second book, Perfect is Overrated, in July.  

Perfect is Overrated looks like another great Chick Lit type book.  Here is a bit from the "blurb" on Amazon.  

"What the best cure for post-partum depression? After years of barely moving, Kate springs back to life when the mothers-you-love- to-hate in her daughter’s preschool begin to turn up dead." 

Here's her take on what she does and how she does it!

1. Tell me about your story, not just an overview, but what it is that makes it special to you.

 I grew up in Manhattan, attended Harvard College, went to law school and worked as a lawyer at a well respected firm, but my parents really wanted me to become a starving stand-up comic so I gave up everything I knew and started from the beginning.
2. How do you develop a character?

 I always say start with the truth and end with a lie.  You don't want to describe your best friend or mortal enemy on paper--that's what all those years in the law has taught me. I usually obsess over a particular aspect of an individual I may or may not know well.  For example in Following Polly, I created Mona Hawkins, an unpleasant casting director. I do some acting, and there is a particular casting office I can't stand.  Every time I'm there, the assistants along with their boss spend more time studying the various NYC takeout menus than in moving along the auditions.  It's like a big lunchroom over there.  But the woman who owns it is super skinny and sneers at the non waify actresses--even if the script calls for someone with a little chunk. 

But that isn't interesting enough for me to put in a comic novel.  So I make the boss a former chubster who has had bariatric surgery but still wants to eat all of the time. She is obsessed with every restaurant in the neighborhood and forces her underlings to code the menus.  She eats ten bites of ten entrees every day for lunch and refuses to let anyone give the leftovers to the poor.  From this, her character grows.  Anyone who does this isn't nice to work for.  And then I imagine all sorts of horrible things a mean, hungry, control freak boss could do to people over whom she has power. It's kind of fun.
      3.  How does plot happen for you?  Does it evolve as you write or do you outline it in advance?  Describe the process.

Plot for me starts with a premise. In Following Polly for example, I asked the question: what if someone were to follow someone else around obsessively?  Again, this just isn't interesting enough to sustain a whole novel.  So I ask, what could make it interesting?  I know, I say to myself: the followed person ends up dead.  And then to make it more interesting, the follower is the obvious suspect because she has left a trail of evidence. 

Alas, I  then have a problem, I want the book to be a fun, and death is less fun than no death.  But all is not lost.  I make the character Polly so loathsome, we don't mind that she is killed.  And I make Alice so sympathetic that we don't mind that she is so insane that she followed her.  So I have to do the back story on both.  The remainder of the  novel moves forward by Alice getting out of the situation based upon what she learned while she was following Polly.  And because I need to have a little romance, I  throw in my fantasy love story.  
4. Do you write in first person?  Third person?  Why did you choose that point of view?  In what way does it make your work stronger?  Did the POV present challenges for you ?

I write in the second person.  It's all about you M.H. --haha

First person is easier for me. I have a lot of acting training so when I write I become the character I'm writing. I became Alice in Following Polly--Alice is funny, un-confident, and insecure--she is sort of an orphan, and she has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up.   In my new book Perfect is Overrated,  I became Kate. Kate is way more confident and competent than I am, but I write as if I were incredibly self-assured.  Becoming the character makes it easier to write. 
5. What personal experience do you bring to your book?

Interestingly, I followed a person and then she was murdered and I was the suspect--Nah, but wouldn't that be awesome.  I bring some of my emotional life to the book.  Like Alice, in Following Polly, realizing my hopes and dreams didn't come easily to me.  I was paralyzed by other people's expectations of me. As for Perfect is Overrated, my upcoming novel, the protagonist is getting through post partum depression.  I pulled some of my own struggles from when my children were very small.  The book also satirizes some of the Mommy-types with whom we are all familiar.
6. What other projects have you written?  What plans do you have for the future?

Perfect is Overrated will be out in paperback and in all of the e-books in July. I am going to keep writing more of these coming of age for women tales.  I also have an idea for a YA.
7.  What else can you tell us about yourself or your work that we might find of interest?
As I said, I am a comic. I perform all over the country.  I love Facebook and I write funny posts. Friend me

Karen Bergreen
Following Polly: A Novel

Here are links to Karen's two books:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Interview with Gail Baugniet

Author Gail Baugniet treated me to one of her Fast Five interviews.  Gail Baugniet's blog post is HERE

Here is a peek:

FAST FIVE: Maureen, can you share with us a more detailed account ofNIGHT WALKS SOFTLY and your research for the novel?

M.H. GERBER: Night Walks Softly is Anne’s story. We start in the middle of the action; Anne has already fallen in love, decided to leave Chicago and her job at the Art Institute, a job, not a career, to marry Dan Stedman. Dan’s dream is to go back to the town of his roots, to open a law practice, and to have a life that matters all while surrounded by family and community. He is steadfast and rooted, qualities that Anne finds appealing from the start. She has never felt “solid” in her setting; she is looking for meaning. Anne wants connections........

Sunday, January 15, 2012

P. 82 Blog reviews p. 82 of Silent Night!

Herb Mallette is an author with an interesting concept.  He is asking authors to share page 82 of their books, and using this one page, he'll write a review and decide if the book is compelling.

 I like page 82 of my newest book; therefore, I thought that maybe he should take a look.

Click on the link to see his response, and his review of page 82 of other works, some famous! get a peek ahead into Silent Night.  Just a peek though!  Hopefully some of you will read Silent Night, my most romantic and hopeful book yet.  Take care!

Herb Mallette's review of page 82 of Silent Night

Monday, January 2, 2012

Night Walks Softly. On 5-star books again for January!

Night Walks Softly has been selected for another month on 5 star books!  Go to their site to find great books for your kindle or nook.  Night Walks Softly on 5-star books.
  Breaking news!  Should Night Come just selected!!