Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm interviewed on my own blog! Ha!

(Good morning, everyone. I'm reposting a unique interview from 2011. I invited David Fingerman back over to talk about his new book, but as you will see, David turned the table on me. I hope you enjoy the conversation.)

I am honored to be making my third appearance on Susan Whitfield’s blog. Other than the release of my new mystery, Playing the Hand She’s Dealt, the amazing and fantastic sequel to the equally amazing and fantastic Silent Kill, my life hasn’t change all that much since my last interview here. So, for something a little different I thought it might be fun to turn the table on Susan and interview her.  Happily (for me), she agreed.
And as you can tell, David is sooooo modest. LOL.

Susan, welcome. First off, how does it feel being the interviewee instead of the interviewer on your own blog?
LOL. Well, David, I’ve been interviewed quite a few times but not on my OWN blog. I’m honored that you’re interested.

I'd be willing to bet a lot of people are interested.
When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer, and then a mystery novelist?

I’ve been writing since about third grade, so it’s pretty much been a lifelong dream. However, I didn’t really get serious about it until I was retiring from a high school principalship. They say write what you read, and I truly love a good mystery. I tried to write a steamy novel, but I blushed so much I just couldn’t go through with it.

What’s a typical day for Susan Whitfield?

Normally I grab a huge cup of joe (some people refer to my cup as a planter) and start writing. Unfortunately, right now I have to dress and go to physical therapy in the mornings because I tore me Achilles tendon, power-walking between writing sessions to get into better shape. That’s thrown my routine off and now I’m writing sporadically in the afternoons. So my routine is quite atypical right now.

Ouch! Here's wishing you a speedy recovery.
Thank you. I'm wearing an ugly heavy boot and my husband calls me a platypuss:-( 

LOL, brave man.
You’ve completed four Logan Hunter novels thus far.  How do you keep Logan Hunter fresh and exciting?
I have to remember to let her age and change over the course of the novels. She was inexperienced in Genesis Beach as an intern at the Genesis Beach Police Department, and then once she was an official North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agent in Just North of Luck, she tackled (quite literally) a serial killer in our beautiful Appalachian Mountains, got herself into all kinds of jams in Hell Swamp, and had truly life-changing experiences in Sin Creek.

In each book, she matured a little more, changed from heavy dark eye glasses to contacts, and married another agent. (I use internal thoughts in my first-person novels so readers can get inside Logan’s head and emotions.) Sin Creek was difficult to write because there’s so much raw emotion in it. Punch Street, the fifth novel in the Logan Hunter series, is about seven pages at this point. I’m currently writing a non-series novel, entitled The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood, about lifelong friendship.

We'll get more into the Goose Parade in a couple minutes.
How are you and Logan Hunter similar/dissimilar?
Boy, that’s a loaded question.

I try.
First of all Logan is over six feet tall, blond, and toothpick thin. I, on the other hand, am 5’6” and shrinking, have salt and pepper hair, and am not a toothpick. I have to admit there is a lot of me in Logan. I believe in saying what I mean and meaning what I say. I believe in doing what’s right even when it’s not popular. I like bending rules as much as Logan does, but I seldom break them completely unless there’s no other choice. She’s more adventurous than I am; I write adventures but you won’t find me sky-diving…unless I develop more courage or dementia as I age.

Well, let's keep a happy thought.
Changing gears for a moment, please tell us the history and thought processes behind the cookbook, Killer Recipes.
Ah, good question. I met a lady here in North Carolina who came to an event just to meet me. She’d written a cookbook and I bought one. Later, as we kept in touch, she told me how good sales were, and she was considering another cookbook. I started to think about that and all the wonderful recipes I have. Since I had a fairly large audience of writer friends from networking, I asked if folks would consider donating recipes for the cookbook in exchange for promotion at the bottom of each one.

I decided that all proceeds from this book would be donated to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in honor of my grandson, a cancer survivor. I didn’t think it would be right for me to pocket proceeds since the book  couldn’t happen without the support of other writers. Authors all over the country responded in an overwhelming way, and Killer Recipes has become a unique cookbook we can all be proud of. My publisher, L&L Dreamspell, liked the idea so much that they didn’t give me a chance to query, and they donate all of THEIR profits for this particular book as well. Good folks, indeed.

Indeed they are ~ and a great cause! And what a great holiday gift (hint hint).

Yes, giving this book is giving twice. You can order all of my books through my site, or and other online stores. They're all available in print or digital formats. I love having the cookbook on my Kindle.

On a very serious and scary note, and I’m sure it’s a nightmare of anyone who has reached any level of celebrity status, but I seem to recall you were harassed by a stalker some time back. I certainly won’t ask details, but what would you advise your fellow authors to do if ever in a similar situation?
Your memory is still sharp, David. While the person never came to my house and never called my house, she showed up at several of my signings and tried to discourage people from buying books. I really think it backfired, though, because it 's obvious that she is unstable. She wrote a personal attack on Facebook about me, and posted a terrible review on Amazon about what a bad writer I am. The post was up 3 weeks before I knew about it. I contacted and told them about the woman, our past, and the Facebook comment. They removed the review immediately. The scariest part was that the following weekend, I had a signing back in my home county, and she’d messaged me that she was going to go. I “unfriend” her, and contacted a deputy who worked with me when I was a principal. He arranged for a deputy to ride by the bookstore every few minutes during the hours I was there. She never showed. I guess she was playing with my head.

I’m not sure what I’d advise someone else. My situation was strange and it really wasn’t about writing at all. I’ve never had another experience like that and hope I never do again. However, after that lengthy answer, I will also tell you and readers to whatever you have to do to keep yourself safe. There are plenty of nuts out there.

That had to have been not only scary, but very frustrating and time consuming as well. I'm glad it's long behind you.

Thank you , David. I hope it’s over.
I see on your website that Punch Street is due out in 2012. Would you mind giving us a sneak peek into that novel?

Punch Street (working title) is the next Logan Hunter novel, dealing with bullying, a major issue that’s been around since the beginning of time but seems to be in the news so much more since Internet and texting arrived. Logan and another agent go undercover in a school to get to the bottom of a student’s death. Remember, not all bullies are children. They come in every size and package.

Not only an excellent sounding  plot - but very timely.
I also noticed that you’re working on a stand-alone book, The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood. Would you be willing to share any secrets on what that is about?

Writing this stand-alone has been a hoot, for sure. It’s about lifelong friends who’re now going through menopause, marital problems, and health problems. Their friendship endures even through misfortune and conflict. The title comes from the fact that they live near a pond that is overcrowded with geese, only one of many conflicts that arise.
I can already sense the fun you're having writing this. That's always a good sign that it will be an equally fun book.

What else does the future hold for Susan Whitfield?

My first goal is to get well and back to full-blown writing here shortly, complete Goose Parade and Punch Street, and dig into all the research I’ve gathered about my ancestor, a Knight of the Bath. I hope to write an historical novel about him, son-in-law of King Henry I.
It certainly sounds like you're keeping your writing plate full.

I have to stay busy. I don’t idle well.
Susan, thank you for being such a good sport and letting me turn the tables on you. I hope you had fun being on the other side of your blog.

I certainly did, David. That was a great idea and I appreciate your support. I also wish you tremendous success with your new book.
Thank you. As mentioned above, Playing the Hand She's Dealt is the sequel to Silent Kill. In Silent Kill, Louise Miller was after a psycho-killer. In Playing the Hand, someone is after Louise. Not only does he want her dead, but he first wants to destroy her piece by piece. A great mystery if I do say so myself.

I can’t wait to read it. BTW, as I repost this interview, I'm walking a mile every day and not limping. It feels good to be back. Hugs!   

NOTE: Since this post first "aired", I have completed the Logan Hunter Mystery series with Sticking Point, created my own publishing company, and re-published my cook book, Killer Recipes, now under the Studebaker Press logo.


Lee Lopez said...

Susan enjoyed your 'self' interview. Good luck with your books.

Susan Whitfield said...

Thanks, Lee. I appreciate your dropping by. Please come back any time.

Betty Gordon said...

Susan and David - what a fun interview! All your books (both authors) are a pleasure to read. Susan, thanks again for "Killer Recipes" and donations toward a future cure for the 'Big C'.

Cindy Keen Reynders said...

Great interview, and fun to learn more about both Susan and David. Though the stalker thingie isn't too cool...

Cindy Sample said...

Hi Susan and David, this was a very intriguing interview and I learned more about both of you. I'm really looking forward to your upcoming releases. As far as Killer Recipes, it remains my favorite gift in all seasons and your generosity to the American Cancer Assn is appreciated.

Pauline B Jones said...

How fun! Congrats to both of you! Well done!

Susan Whitfield said...

Betty, thanks so much for your comments and for submitting recipes for Killer Recipes. Cindy, you too, and I think my bad experience had more to do with my high school principalship than with writing. Long story, but hopefully with a satisfying ending. Perhaps fodder for my next book? Cindy, thanks to you as well. I always tell folks that the cookbook wouldn't exist without all of the wonderful authors who submitted recipes and helped to promote. I was so proud to give ACS $1300 in May and I've started selling books for next year's Relay for Life. Met a lady who said she'd bought 15 to give for various gifts. I had to hug her. Took a hostess gift (copy of Killer Recipes) to a flotilla last weekend because the hostess is a breast cancer survivor. She was delighted.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Susan and David,

Good interview! I enjoyed reading it. Feel that I know both of you much better now.

david said...

Thank you all of the comments and good wishes. It was a fun interview to do.

Linda Lovely said...

Susan and David--Enjoyed the "reverse" post. Looking forward to reading (both) of your new books. And Susan I hope to see you at the Cape Fear Crime Festival.

JD Webb said...

Okay, Susan, you run right over and demand to interview him on his site.
BTW several of our central Illinois libraries now have Killer Recipes.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Joe Prentis said...

Susan, that was a interesting and informative interview. We learned a little more about you in the process. As for the power walking, I have a treadmill just a few feet away from my computer and I get on it to work out the kinks. It isn't any safer than power walking, but you won't hurt in the same places.

Susan Whitfield said...

Linda, I'll be at CFCF. Looking forward to it. Joe, I have had a treadmill for years and I HATE it. For some reason, it's just not the same as my outside stride. I'm mending well, and hope to be back to 100% soon. I'm working my way out of the boot now and riding my bike more than walking, but I'm greatly improved. Dave, glad to hear tha libraries are purchasing Killer Recipes. How Cool! Yes, that's a great idea. I think I'll put David through the ringer. Are you listening, David?

Anita Page said...

Susan and David, well done! An interesting interview. Susan, I wish you a speedy recovery.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I'm glad to know you're walking--very healthy for us writers! Enjoyed the interview.

Susan Whitfield said...

THanks, Jacquie. It's good to be out and about again and the weather is gorgeous right now. It takes me longer to walk a mile, but I'm happy to be moving at all.