I’m especially pleased today to have Nancy Famolari as my guest on my blog today. Nancy lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Before moving to Pennsylvania, she and her husband owned a small Standardbred breeding farm in central New Jersey. Her novel, Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm, is based on her experience raising Standardbred horses. Her second novel is The Lake House.
Nancy, please share a synopsis of The Lake House with us.
Nancy: The lake house has been empty for ten years – the scene of a brutal murder. Undeterred by the story, Mark and Tory buy their dream house, but when they move in strange things happen. While exploring the house in the first afternoon, they find a hunting knife wedged in a closet under the stairs. Could this be the murder weapon?
Tory, a romance novelist, becomes fascinated by the unsolved murder. The owner's beautiful, young wife was found stabbed to death. The police say it was a burglary gone wrong, but she doesn't believe it. Alone at the house during the week, while Mark works in New York, Tory feels the presence of the murdered woman. When she asks questions, the townspeople become antagonistic Only Andy, the newspaper editor, tries to be helpful. After someone shoots at her, Mark tells her to stop the investigation. But she has to know: is she crazy, sensing the presence of a ghost, or is the town covering up a brutal murder? As her investigation continues, more accidents happen. Is someone trying to frighten her away, or is she the killer's next target?
Katie: This sounds very intriguing. I love books with a good mystery in them. What inspired you to write this book?
Nancy: When we decided to move from New Jersey, we started looking for property in Pennsylvania. Using the Internet, we found what we thought was a perfect place. I called the realtor and found that it was going to closing the day I called. Interestingly, the house was on a lake and had a history much like the one I gave the lake house. Someone had been murdered there, and it had been vacant for a long time. It was just too good an idea to pass up. When I started writing my Montbleu mysteries, it had to be the plot for one of them.
Katie: Is your previous book, Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm, in the same genre as The Lake House?
Nancy: The Lake House a romantic thriller. Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm is a young adult novel. I like to try different genres. I get ideas for stories and put them in the genre that seems most appropriate.
Katie: What is it about this genre that appeals to you?
Nancy: I love mysteries. I like trying to guess the killer before the detective figures it out. It keeps me engaged in the story.
Katie: Is this a traditionally published book, or an ebook? Why did you choose that means of publication?
Nancy: The Lake House is available from Amazon as a paperback book. It will also be on Kindle as an ebook. I think it's important to have both types of books available. Many people in my area, who want to buy my books, aren't interested in ebooks. I like to be able to accommodate them. On the other hand, ebooks are great. I love them, and I know lots of people read them. I try to cover all my bases.
Katie: These days, whether ebook, traditional, or POD published, the author has to deal with the lion’s share of marketing and promotion. How much have you done for your books?
Nancy: I try to do as much as possible for my books. I give talks in my area. I have a web site, and, of course, vbt is a great way to promote books.
Katie: I’m curious - how did you find time to write another book while doing marketing and promotional work?
Nancy: I probably don't do as much marketing as I should. I love to write. I don't really like to market, so I guess that's how I manage to write and market at the same time. I try to distribute my resources. Plus, I try to write a novel in November during Nanowrimo. I just decided that's my month to work on a novel, and I let other activities slide.
Katie: What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Nancy: Three? That's hard, but I'll try. One is to keep writing. Every time I write a book, I learn something new. Also, some things become easier and more automatic. I find I can critique my own plots better. Second is to get to know other writers. Critique groups are great. I know some people don't like them, but I've found them very helpful. There are lots of on-line groups, too, that give you a chance to network and learn. Third is to love what you're doing. If you like to write mysteries – write them. Worrying about what's fashionable or maybe has a better chance of getting published can take away from the joy you feel in creating. There are lots of opportunities for publication, if you write what you love.
Nancy’s two books are available at Amazon.com. You can contact her through her website at http://sites.google.com/site/nancyfamolari