June 14, 2018
James Street by Sarah Vail
I have always wanted to write. Even as a little girl, I loved summer when school was out and I could spend time immersed in Nancy Drew Mysteries. As I grew, I wanted to write my own mysteries and took every creative writing class I could find. Life intervened, I married and had to work. After my marriage failed, I took a job in Oregon and pursued my dream of writing after work hours. I joined a writer’s critique group. With the support of other writers, I honed my craft. I went back to school, taking classes in Criminology and Forensic Science. I took classes in the safe handling of small arms and have incorporated that knowledge together with life experiences into my novels.
Several life experiences inspired writing James Street. When I was a young woman, I was stalked. It was a very frightening ordeal. I can still remember the night that he was finally arrested. I was eight months pregnant and my husband was working. Home alone, I was doing some domestic chores. I don’t remember why I looked up, but when I did, I found my stalker standing on my back deck looking through the sliding glass door at me. The door was locked, but it wouldn’t have taken much to break the glass. I rushed to my bedroom, locked the door and grabbed my husbands pistol from a night stand drawer. Once I had it in hand, I called the police. I positioned myself against a windowless wall phone in one hand and the pistol in the other and waited for the sheriff to arrive. I was terrified of guns. But I would’ve used it that night to protect myself and my baby had I needed to. My stalker would periodically send things for me to my parent’s home, up to the time he passed away in a mental hospital.
When writing James Street, I enhanced my experience by exploring what-ifs, as I believe all fiction writrs do.
Currently, I’m living an idyllic life. Another one of my life long dreams. I live on a Cattle Ranch in Oregon with my partner, two dogs and my precious Arabian horses.
Thank you for joining me today!
What is the most unethical practice in the Publishing Industry?
This is a tough question to answer for me. I don’t have enough experience to know what the industry might be doing unethically.
I would guess since self-publishing has taken over the biggest share of the market, and companies have emerged to help authors with the process, they might be overcharging for services. They might be talking would be authors into services that they don’t understand or need or worse, are purchased, but never completed by the publishing company.
Marketing and publicity make all the difference in the success of a book. If you have a great book, it can still languish, if no one knows about it.
What have you changed if anything, about how you write after your first book was published?
I found that I write more often. When writing James Street, I couldn’t wait to get home after my day job to write. Since I’m retired now, I can write more and I do. I try to set aside several hours a day. I love it.
What is your kryptonite in writing?
My kryptonite in writing is noise and distractions. I need quiet and space to write. When writing sometimes I test out my dialogue by speaking it out loud. Anyone accidentally happening in on one of those sessions could easily assume I’m crazy! You do know what they say about talking to oneself. I am also a bit of a perfectionist. First, I hot write a scene and then go back and polish, and polish and polish! I want the point of view character to pull the reader into his/her thoughts and emotions as he/she moves the plot forward. I want to make sure I’m keeping the reader in my fiction world by painting a picture with words. I want to make sure I am stimulating the imagination with sights, sounds, smells, and touch. Once that’s done, and I’m happy with it, I go back and tighten.
Have you ever had readers block?
No. I’ve always been able to read. I have had readers disappointment, though. With all the books available because of e-books, I’ve found many I couldn’t finish.
Does writing exhaust you, or boost your energy?
Writing boosts my energy. When I’m in a scene and the story is moving along it gives me the strength to keep going. I find a great deal of happiness when I know a scene or chapter is working.
Do you see these great characters as becoming a series?
I do, and am well into my next book. I enjoyed creating my investigative team and think they are the right mix for solving lots of crimes.
My favorite is McAndrews, do you have a favorite?
Tim McAndrews is my favorite character. I worried he might be too dreamy and too much of a manly, man. Then I thought… it’s my story! But many of my readers agree. The feedback is he’s the main character.
One night when I had girlfriends over for dinner, we had a ball looking through pictures of actors and models and choosing who might play him should it become a movie. What fun! Though in the beginning, Tim was going to share the lead with Daniela, as the story moved on, he seemed to take over the lead.
Again, thank you for joining me!
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 Pearls
Publication Date: August 16, 2017
After four years of hard work, deputy district attorney Tim McAndrews claims the title of his offices top prosecutor. Hes young, handsome, and smart, and his life is ticking along at a satisfying pace until he sees a woman dancing down the last few steps of the James Street parking garage. Tim realizes his perfect life is actually missing something: love.
He’s surprised by his sudden and overwhelming attraction to the beautiful Daniela St. Clairwealthy heiress and philanthropist. Love on the brain, he returns to his office to find his best friends from the old neighborhood, Kathy and Scott. They have grim news: two young women have died as a result of a toxic mix of antidepressants and alcohol.
Kathy, with the Medical Examiners Office, and Scott, a Seattle detective, suspect foul play, and they need Tim’s help to prove it. With thoughts of Daniela still whirling around his head, Tim works with his old friends, but the case leads them all down a dark path. They follow the evidence where it leads, methodically putting together a jigsaw puzzle of pure evil, as Tim pursues new love and soon realizes hes not the only one interested in Daniela.
This is going to be my top eight of 25 Books for 2018! In fact, I am going to read it again, I loved it! I do not know the Author, I found it on Netgalley, and am I thrilled! I have had a book to read in my hands since I was three, several weeks ago, I went through readers block! I have never felt like that in my entire life! I have at least 200 books TBR in my pile, and nothing struck me, then I read this blurb on Netgalley, and I was not disappointed! It is about three friends, Tim McAndrews, the Apollo of the group, or so women call him! His two best fiends since childhood, Kathy Hope, extremely intelligent, even if she would never win a Miss America Prize, and Scott Renton, tall, dark, and handsome, high school football quarterback! They literally had their own tree house, Tim, and Scott went off to college together, majored in Crime, now Tim, is an up, and coming District Attorney, Scott is the up and coming Detective in Homicide. Kathy, is the forensic pathologist, she is great at her job! They are great friends, even all these years later.
Kathy calls them in, she has a female on her table that is not right, she knows something is wrong, the boys as she calls them, are not so sure, until a second woman, with the same symptoms, same hair color, and build, send alarms going off by all three of them. A possible serial killer using poison!
Tim has finally during this time, found the woman of his dreams, yet, she may call him Apollo, she is not ready for another relationship. Her cheating ex-husband has left plenty of internal scars, she needs to discover what Tim wants, her money, or her name. The sad situation for beautiful Daniela St. Clair, he has no clue who she is! He saw her walking down the steps one day, and she took his breath! He decides, This Is Her, This is The Woman I want To Marry! She is too traumatized to let him in.
All during this time, the killer is becoming more agitated, willing to risk more, just for one more kill!
I highly Recommend! Thank you! Enjoy!