Today I'm pleased to host Lorrie Unites-Struiff, author of GYPSY BLOOD, a fantasy based on the Roma culture. Welcome, Lorrie!
Tell us a little about your background and how you became an author.
Hi Kathy, thank you so much for the invitation to your blog. Hmm, where do I start without giving you folks my life story? I started in high school, I guess, where my teacher gave me much encouragement. After high school, I never wrote a word until I retired. I’ve been an avid reader all my life, and heck, you authors make it look so easy.
Quit laughing. What did I know?
Well, I began learning. This writing stuff was mind-boggling. Especially with no formal education in my background. But, if I’m anything, I’m determined. Plus I thought if I kept my brain exercised I might stave off senility as I got older. I’m not sure if it’s working or not.
What is one of your favorite books and why?
Oh, I loved Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. A classic, I know, but the dystopian society and how one man brought people back together to form a new society, well, the whole story just fascinated me and frightened me. Beautifully written.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been interested in the Romany culture. The more I researched, the more I liked them. They are a wonderful people and their lore is so interesting. Their customs are so rich in the old ways, even today. So, I thought I’d write about the modern day Roma whose family was still affected and influenced by their past. Throw in a little romance, a serial killer, some magic and viola, the story was born.
How would you describe your writing process?
Pound and dash. Family matters are keeping very busy at this time in my life. I’m a panster. I’ve tried to follow outlines but my characters always step out of bounds. What’s a writer to do but to follow them? My best time for writing is early afternoon. After dinner, my brain turns to mush.
How have you marketed your book?
The usual, guest blogs like today. Facebook, blog tours, and many other sites on the web.
What advice would you give to other authors?
If your heart is really into writing, into entertaining readers, don’t give up. Be determined. If you make only two readers escape their problems for a while, it’s so worth it.
Please provide a favorite excerpt from your book.
Rita’s family had been looked-down upon, considered an oddity by the town folk. But, she never let that intimidate her. She was damn proud of her Roma heritage.
Spotting Bobby, she made her way across the loose stones of the lot, her western half-boots sliding on the coarse pebbles. Rita took a long, slow breath trying to shake off those teenage memories. The smell of freshly mown grass, mingling with a damp earth scent, wafted from the small park across the alley. The leaves had turned to shades of mustard and pumpkin and magenta. Soon, all the vivid colors would wither, fall away, and strip the trees to a bare ugliness--much like the world in which she worked.
“Gypsy Girl, imagine running into you here at the station, of all places.” Bobby wedged his hands into his uniform pockets and snickered at his joke. He glanced over at his car. “What’s up?”
Rita bit the inside of her cheek to ignore the nickname. “I’m on the prosty murders. That part of town is your regular. Did you or Gus pick up on anything screwy?”
“Gus and me saw the vic. Told her to warn the other gals to be extra careful, what with the murders.” He looked down and kicked a stone. “Guess it didn’t help.”
“What time did you talk to her?”
“After eleven. When Gus ran into the Hobnob for some coffee.”
“Did you bother to check out any black vans? Or did Gus happen to see someone odd in the Hobnob?”
Bobby gave her a cold stare. “We know our job. It’s all in our report.” He wiped the sweat from his forehead, then spat on the ground. “Hey, maybe your Gypsy mother could look in her tea leaves and help us out again like she did when she found that ballsy car thief. You know the one I mean. The guy who ended up being a legit repo-man.” He let out a long, wheezing laugh.
Rita bristled. “Well, he was the one taking the cars.” She beetled her eyebrows and made a cross with her forefingers in front of his face. “Maybe I’ll put a hex on you for making fun of Ma’s help.” She smirked at the quick spark of fear in his eyes, spun on her heels and walked away.
Where can readers find you and your book?
Being released within the next two weeks:
The COD club series with BTGN.
Story 1&2 will be included in the first book.
Come and meet Winnie Krapski who hugged a cherry tree during a lightning storm. The bolt slammed her, splitting the tree in half. The near-death experience bestowed her with a gift–one she’d rather not have.
Drafted into the C.O.D. Club (Call on the Dead) by Fat Phil Phillips, her mission is to grant the newly deceased’s ghost one last reasonable request. Can Winnie honor her oath?
Well, she tries, but not before she lands in humorous situations that almost get her killed. She’s one spunky broad.
I hope you try a copy and look forward to more of Winnie’s adventures.
Also coming this fall from MuseItUp:
A Heap of Trouble.
Cole Walker, Sheriff of Cold Creek, has more woes than he can handle. He thought chasing rustlers would be the worst of his problems, until the newly arrived, Mattie Wells, jingles his spurs with a smile, and he falls head over heels for her.
Cole's fear of critters comes to light when a runaway monkey named Beggar takes a liking to him. He remembers when his pa's hound dog left teeth marks on his butt when he was just a tyke.
But, Mattie thinks Beggar’s adorable, so what’s a man supposed to do? Now, he’s forced to put up with the little fur ball...uh...ringtail monkey even when the furry thief starts stealing the townsfolk’s trinkets.
The rustlers roaming the hills, stealing the Double J’s cattle are a mighty puzzling crew. JJ blames the farmers and an all out war is in the making.
Trying to keep the peace between the farmers and the cattleman, Cole and his deputies, Wade and Sully, have their hands full. Mayor Farley gives them a month to find the thieves before calling for outside help.
Mattie has a dark secret and vows never to marry. While harboring a secret of his own, Cole pushes to pry out her secret in hopes of changing her mind.
Cole chases Mattie, the rustlers, and Beggar in a town full of fun characters and chaos.
Can he bring the rustlers to justice, peace and order to Cold Creek, the townsfolk’s loot back to their rightful owners, and win Mattie’s heart?
Yep. Cole has a heap of trouble on his hands.
For more information on my stories, please go to http://struiff.wordpress.com/
Ya’ll have a great day now and thanks for reading.
Thanks, Lorrie! Be sure to check out GYPSY BLOOD and Lorrie's new upcoming releases!