One of my favorite essentials in writing is the research. Those cobblestoned streets I walked in the villages of Northern Italy wound up in my sagas, Family Deceptions and The Family Angel. After my first visit to Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera, I returned two more times just to make sure I could capture the ambiance of those five picturesque villages for my Savino Sisters Mystery Series: Italy To Die For. Again in the name of The Family Angel, I rode a bumpy elevator 600 feet into the good earth below to explore a once-thriving mine in Southern Illinois. Again for Family Angel but also for Chicago’s Headmistress I poured over 1920s magazines and news articles from Chicago’s Historical Society. I did the same for Family Deceptions in Butte Montana’s Silver Bow Archives. A drive high into the mountains of Montana became an integral part in Free Danner, my anti-hero’s quest for the father who didn’t know he existed. Sitting on the bleachers through countless hours of high school soccer gave me time to think about the coach from hell I created for Lethal Play.
Research that requires me to travel has become the bailiwick of Hubby D, my chauffeur, navigator, and demander of decent places to eat. Of course, not all of my research winds up in print or on the digital screen; but what does, hopefully translates into compelling plots with characters that readers will either love or hate. Or love to hate. After all, if all the characters came across as good guys, what would be the point, the conflict? As for the actual writing, well, that’s my bailiwick, a lonely one I wouldn’t have any other way, although I do rely on the comments of trusted beta readers, including Daughter D.
All of which leads me to my latest literary endeavor, and certainly not a lonely one, that of collaborating with a professional voice actor to create my first audio book. I must say, this has become my new ego-boosting, guilty pleasure, listening to every word I wrote for Chicago Headmistress now being spoken by one amazing narrator using a variety of voices—female, male, Italian accents, Midwest accents, high-brow, and low-brow.
How about you? Whether you prefer holding a paper book or a digital reader, you might want to consider listening to audio books as another option. Here’s your chance. Take a short break and listen to this Chicago’s Headmistress scene between my main character Giulietta Bracca and the devious Liberty Dressler, madam of Certain Liberties. One click will take you to Audible or to Amazon.com or Amazon UK.
Interested in adding Chicago’s Headmistress to your audio book collection? Amazon/Audible is running a $1.99 deal for a limited time. However, be one of the first five readers who sign up for my new bi-monthly e-newsletter and you’ll receive a coupon code to purchase the audio version of Chicago’s Headmistress at no cost. That’s right! The audio book will be FREE if you’re one of the first five from the United States or the United Kingdom. Sorry, Audible does not extend beyond these two countries but I’d love to add readers from all countries to my e-newsletter. There’s no obligation and you can cancel your subscription at any time. Just send a quick email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to my e-newsletter and for your chance to get an audio version of Chicago’s Headmistress FREE.