I'd like to welcome today to my blog fellow Eternal Press author Lorrie Unites-Struiff. She has generously offered to send the first reader who leaves a comment on the blog a free pdf download of "Gypsy Crystal."
Hello Lorrie. First of all, we all love to hear publishing stories. Can you tell us how your sale came about?
I read some of the other publications on the Eternal Press Website. I liked what I read and thought my book would be a good fit. I was very surprised when I sent my full manuscript to Eternal Press and they replied within a week that they wanted my book. Talk about nearly fainting. Doing the happy dance, my feet didn't touch the floor for a week. Gypsy Crystal is my first long piece of work.
What is your favourite genre to write in?
Oh, that's a toughie. I have written in different genres. If I have to pin it down I would say all my stories are "Women in Peril" slanted. No matter horror, romance, or humor.
I'm sure your fans and our readers are itchng to know about your new book. Please tell us a little about it.
Gypsy Crystal has to do with gypsy lore and mysticism. My main character, Rita, is a homicide detective who wears a crystal amulet that gives her the power to see, in a dead person's eyes, the last person they had seen. The amulet has been passed down through her maternal Roma bloodline and it offers Rita some protection. A serial killer is on the loose in her town targeting prostitutes. But, Rita's crystal has now stopped working. She can't see the killer in the dead prostitutes, eyes. She is confused and confronts her mother, Anna, a crystal ball seer and her uncle Dragus. Anna won't help for she has secrets of her own.
FBI agent Matt Boulet has been tracking the killer from New Orleans and now leads the task force in Rita's town. He has a secret he won't share. Rita is angry with Matt and tries to deny her attraction to him. She and her best friend, Della, strut the strip trying to lure the killer.
Who will be taken by this killer? And will it take more than a simple trap to catch the killer?
Many of us writers use different methods when we create our books, how do you devise your plots/characters?
I like to take different types of characters, mix them together, and see what trouble I can get them into.
Gypsy stuck in my head when a friend asked me to join her for lunch. At the restaurant we met a fortune teller and of course I had my fortune told. She became Anna in my book. I gave her a detective daughter and a few assorted relatives. I devised a strange serial killer. Then I brought in a hunk of an FBI agent. What fun to see them interact and chase this killer in an unusual way. Gypsy clan mysticism is in full force in my book.
So tell us what you're working on now?
I'm working on two projects. I'm putting together an anthology of Winnie, my middle-aged spook-speaker, who is always getting herself and her partner, Fat Phil, into jams. They belong to the COD Club (Call on the Dead) and must grant the newly deceased one final reasonable request. I'm also working on a novella about a woman sheriff trying to solve the murder of her uncle. A light sci-fi genre.
How can everyone keep up with your new releases?
They can visit my website, struiff.wordpress.com/
Can you give any advice to authors who are struggling to be published?
One word. Perseverance. Stay with it, rewrite, rewrite, until your eyes feel like they are bleeding. A few good critique partners are a necessity for any writer. Fresh eyes help when you are blind from the rewriting. lol.
The bane of a writers life is writing a query letter. How would you write a good one?
State the facts ma'am, just the facts.
Rejection letters get us all down and we deal with them in our own neurotic way lol What is your response to them?
Rejections are part of the perseverance process. We all get them. My first couple of rejections depressed me. I reworked the stories and submitted to other publishers. My first acceptance, my jaw literally hit the floor. As you keep butt in chair, and learning is a constant process, you do become better, your work more likely to be accepted. Ha! But not all, I still get rejections on some short stories. But, I keep plugging away.
Finally, what are your favourite books and movies? What movie star gets your pulses racing?
My favorite books are too numerous to name for I read many genres. I'm not much of a movie watcher, I prefer books. I am a sci-buff for TV though, and the thoughts of spending some time with Ben Browder of the Farscape series and later on SG -1 makes my heart go pitty-patter.
Detective Rita Moldova peeked around the corner to make sure the
hallway was empty. Making a quick right turn, she slipped into the
autopsy lab to have a few minutes alone with the body. She tucked her
white shirt tighter into her jeans and zipped her windbreaker to stay
warm in the chilly room. The harsh odor of formaldehyde hit her nostrils
and stung her throat.
Her heart twisted at the sight of the young, auburn-haired woman
lying on the stainless-steel table. A white sheet covered her to the navel;
bruises blemished the once pretty face. Contusions marred the pallid
skin from elbow to shoulder. The gash on the front of her neck gaped,
exposing open veins and torn tissue.
Rita flipped her thick, dark braid back over her shoulder, snapped on
one latex glove, leaned over the corpse and peeled back an eyelid. In her
bare hand she clasped a star-shaped crystal hanging from the gold chain
around her neck, an endowment from her maternal Roma bloodline. The
crystal heated in her palm, warm energy pulsing up her arm to her
shoulder. The face captured in the victim�s eye coalesced and stared
back. Rita drew in a sharp breath. Bobby Driscoll! She had known him
since high school, and now he worked as a uniform in her precinct. What
the hell was going on?
You know better than to touch the deceased before I've completed
my examination, Rita.
She jerked upright and looked straight into the age-lined face of Doc
O'Toole. The chill of the laboratory did nothing to stop the hot flush
creeping up her cheeks. Um, sorry. Just checking the eye color. You
know how antsy I get waiting for your report.
O�Toole ran a hand through his thinning hair. I'm waiting on the
results of the samples I sent to the County Lab in Pittsburgh. Doc
motioned for her to follow him into the large, glass-walled cubicle next
to his examining room.
When Doc turned, Rita quickly tucked the crystal hidden in her palm
back under the lace of her bra. She snapped off the glove and trailed him
into the enclosure.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guest today.
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