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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome Author JM Griffin

Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown? I’m from Scituate, Rhode Island, a rural town in western RI. I love the small town atmosphere.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career? I always wanted to be an artist and storyteller. I have become both of those, though it took some time to find my way to both. One of the choices often interferes with the other.LOL

Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it? My latest book, Cold Moon Dead, has been submitted to my publisher, Lachesis Publishing. It is the fourth book in the Lavinia “Vinnie” Esposito series of humorous mystery novels. The story begin with Vinnie stopping to assist an old woman whose car has broken down on the side of the highway. The woman holds her at gunpoint, steals Vinnie’s new Louis Vuitton handbag and Vinnie’s car. From there, there story becomes complicated by Vinnie’s relationships with an undercover FBI agent who lives in the apartment upstairs from her, let alone the issues she has with her State Trooper boyfriend. When a mob boss enters the picture, all hell breaks loose and Vinnie is in for the run of her life.

As for new books, I have begun the 5th in the Esposito series.
 I’m also revisiting a manuscript I had written early in my career, but had never done anything with except slip it under the bed in a box. :>) The story (A Touch of Amber) features the independent daughter of a powerful Washington senator. She’s a photographer who travels the world for high end magazines (sort of like National Geographic). She takes on a new assignment with another photographer to go to a hot spot in South America. She refuses to have security men along on the trip. Unknown to her, the senator sends a Special Forces agent to look after her well being. Things turn ugly soon after her arrival in the native village. The heroine loses her friend as she is unwillingly dragged from the area by the agent. Followed from South America to the US by the killer, the heroine runs the gamut from safe to dangerous to kidnapped and rescued. It is an action packed story with hot romance added.

Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work? Not yet, I tend to use fictional ideas that pop into my head and embellish upon them.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing? Keeping the showing/telling thing straight. It’s too easy to tell and harder to show.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out? Write as much as you can without editing right away. Get the story onto paper (computer) first, worry about tweaking , slashing and editing the daylights out of it when you have said THE END. Never Ever give up and definitely do not take no for an answer. You have a story to tell, and someone out the in publishing land will give it a home.

Do you ever suffer from writer's block? Yes, sometimes I run into that wall with a resounding thud. I step back, take a break and use an art method, called Zentangle, to relax and set my mind at ease. An author/illustrator friend of mine calls it Yoga for brain and it truly is.

Who is your favorite author and why? Martha Grimes is a favorite due to her storytelling abilities. She gets to the bones of the story without giving anything away. I especially enjoy her Inspector Jury novels. 

What books have most influenced your life? Nancy Drew started my love of mysteries in childhood and from there Phyllis Whitney took over. I read everything I could find of hers when I was in high school and afterward. Her story telling, plots and characters are fascinating.

How did you deal with rejection letters? After the initial disappointment, I shrug and move onward and upward. I don’t waste time having pity parties. Besides, I consider it their loss.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers? I use a couple of wonderful resource books that have been very helpful. The Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D. is great when I don’t know what I want to say, but can’t think of the right word. The other book I have dog-eared to death is Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon. It’s a great book for physically and mentally building a character.

Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content? I don’t do gore, ever. I try to skirt around that as much as possible. As for erotic content, I try to have my readers use their own imagination when it comes to the how and what of sex scenes.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research? Met with a mobster to ask questions. Not easy on my nerves, by the way. :>)

Don't forget to give us links to your website etc.

For the Love of Livvy Blurb:  After her favorite aunt is found dead and an alarming box is mysteriously left on the doorstep of her aunt's house now legally hers, Lavinia Esposito wants explanations.

But, having cleared the package of explosives, the local cops are dumbfounded by the precious stones which came without an explanation, just an address─her Aunt Livvy's. Frustrated by the cops' refusal to share their theories, criminal justice instructor Lavinia Esposito, a.k.a. Vinnie, takes investigation matters into her own hands.

Vinnie is soon dragged into situations beyond her control, finding herself in hot water with the law, the crooks, and her Italian father.

Willing to put her life at risk to find out what really happened to her beloved Aunt Livvy, and why jewels would be addressed to her aunt, Vinnie plunges ahead with her usual tenacity, bravery, and keen wits to solve and survive this mystery.

Dirty Trouble Blurb:  Someone is stalking Vinnie Esposito. But that’s just the start of her problems…
Criminal justice instructor Vinnie Esposito is having a very bad day. After barely escaping serious injury in a car accident, Vinnie runs into a former adversary she suspects is stalking her. Then she learns her 60-year-old aunt has been arrested and is palling around with mobsters. 

Suddenly Vinnie finds herself over her head in trouble – dirty trouble. It’s an awkward situation to say the least for someone who’s constantly surrounded by law-enforcement contacts – including the hunky State Trooper Marcus Richmond and FBI agent Aaron Grant.

Dead Wrong blurb:  The race is on to save Lavinia “Vinnie” Esposito in the third book in the Esposito series.

After finding a dead man, Vinnie realizes she has become embroiled in yet another crazy situation involving stolen art, proving her twin brother’s innocence, and saving her own neck.

State trooper Marcus Richmond and FBI agent Aaron Grant are back to help Vinnie find the culprit while keeping her out of harm’s way. That's a task to try the most patient of men, because Vinnie isn't about to let a lead go stale because she's waiting for back up.
A sleuth with attitude, Vinnie Esposito is back!

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