Monday, February 24, 2014

Interview with Emilia Rutigliano, author of 'Napoleon'

Emilia I. Rutigliano scored fiftieth percentile on her SATs… and on her LSATs… and on her BAR…Sigh…

But she nevertheless survived, and seems to be doing OK. She practices Law read lore) in Brooklyn, New York (read Nu Yawk). She was born in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated in 1979. She is happily married to the same crazy Italian she’s been with since college, who suffers from a severe addition to travel (still in acute form). Together they are doing a somewhat passable job with their three precious darlings (who are now teenagers, thus elaboration is not necessary).

Which is why Emilia writes about Veronica. Veronica, though… is interesting. And Emilia knows interesting.

So she weaved the tale about the interesting characters, places and events from her own life. It is remarkable how if you choose to view a subject objectively, it becomes downright artistically gorgeous. So Emilia views and shows Brooklyn Russians as gorgeous, and the Barese intricacies as gorgeous, and she even tolerates Paris, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for the reader’s interests.
Thank you, dear reader, for tolerating these scenes….


Her first book in the Layers of Veronica series is Napoleon.

Visit Emilia Rutigliano’s website at

Thanks for coming to the book club, Emilia!  You could say your Layers of Veronica series has more than genre and it’s hard to peg it into one hole. Can you tell us about that?
Emilia:  It is hard to put into a hole.  In fact, I got into a snafu because people kept trying to put it into the Erotica genre.  It isn't.  The closest fit would be Women's Contemporary.  The story is about a 35-year-old divorcee who doesn't have one designation in life.  She is (like very many of us) a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a career woman.  Each definition is important.  So although it is a romance (with many adult situations), it is also philosophical, allegorical and funny.  
So who would be your target audience?
Emilia:   Great question!  I thought it would be a NYC immigrant woman in her mid thirties.  I was wrong.  (So happy to be wrong!  :-).)  Veronica appeals to very many people around the world... of many age groups.  The only 'common' factor between the readers that I could find is the willingness to accept that the same lifestyle is not right for everyone... and that neither makes it wrong or repulsive.
Can you tell us about Veronica?
Emilia:  To quote one of my dear friends (a 36-year old man):  'Veronica is hell on heels'.  Veronica is fantastic. She is flawed, scarred and 'screwed up.'  And nevertheless, she is ambitious, goal oriented and never shirks a responsibility.  She takes care of her own.  She is loyal and devout to her friends and family.  She is the kind of friend that you want to have.  And her adventures are 100% plausible and real.
Do you see a little of yourself in her?
Emilia: LOL.  Uhm... let's go with yes.  Veronica has my biography up until I was 32, which means I know her quirks and screw-ups like no one else.  
This is a three book series but I hear there’s a fourth in the making.  Can you tell us about that?
Emilia:  It's a five-book series.  All five are written, and all will be out come March.  The fifth one is just getting some TLC at the copy editor's.  It is addictive, and people really do love the characters.
Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers?
Emilia: I LOVE it when people discover V for themselves and then write me to tell me they made a new friend, or that they can't wait for the next book.  It's an incredible feeling.  And I appreciate every one of my reader's comments.  THANK YOU ALL!!!! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Interview with Gwen Knight, author of 'A Hunter's Passion',  facebook page, or twitter

Canadian girl Gwen Knight first began to delve into the realm of the paranormal at the age of ten, when she wrote her first horror starring a clawed monster that hid beneath her bed. Since then, her tastes have expanded into many genres. Though addicted to reading and writing, she managed to achieve a degree in archaeology, geography, and mapping. Currently, she lives in the Great White North with her husband, two collies, and black cat. She loves meeting new people and you can visit her website at

Her latest book is the paranormal romance, A Hunter’s Passion.

Thanks for coming to the book club, Gwen!  I have to admit – I love paranormal romance.  What made you decide to write that genre?

Gwen: I’ve always loved the paranormal. Magic, danger, excitement…but add in a little romance, and this genre can take your breath away.

The big question of the day is how did you get a book deal with Harlequin?  Can you take us through the steps?

Gwen: The most important step is reading. You have to know what the publisher is interested in and what they're looking for. I did the appropriate research and found out what they were looking for in their novels. Afterward, it's a lot of polishing, and a lot of hoping.

In A Hunter’s Passion, there is a love interest.  Can you tell us about that?

Gwen: Sure! Jenna Sinclair and Ryker Bennett are the main characters and the love interest. These two have quite the romantic history with one another, but once Jenna learns of her paranormal heritage, she leaves him as a means of protecting not only herself but Ryker as well. Jenna’s and Ryker’s relationship was rather fun to write about. They are the epitome of forbidden love.

Wow, this book sounds hot.  How did you come up with the storyline?

Gwen: When I start plotting stories, it always begins as one particular scene—something about the main character that I envision to establish a feel for them. For A Hunter’s Passion, it began with the image of Ryker in bed, and his phone rings. When he checks the screen, he’s upset to see Jenna’s name scroll across it—his next target. That was all I had to go on. In the story, it doesn’t happen as such, but that little imaginary image started it all.

Every book has that on the edge of your seat drama.  What part of your book would have me glued to the pages?

Gwen: There are a couple scenes that come to mind. Without giving too much away, the final conflict had me on the edge of my seat. Not only is their drama, but a great deal of character development for Jenna. However, one other scene jumps out at me and that’s the moment when Ryker has to decide whether or not to kill Jenna. His internal struggle gets me every time.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans?

Gwen: Thank you so much for reading A Hunter’s Passion! I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. I’m hoping to expand on the universe by giving each of the brother’s their own stories. Hope to see you for the next one.

Monday, February 3, 2014

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A with 'The Black Song Inside' Carlyle Clark

Carlyle Clark is here at the book club today to talk about his new historical fiction/coming of age, The Black Song Inside!

Carlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer’s requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.

He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.

Visit his website at

Thanks for joining us at the book club today, Carlyle!  THE BLACK SONG INSIDE is sooo incredible.  This book can be described as dark humor, can it not?  Why did you decide to write dark humor?

Carlyle: That's the funny thing. I didn't set out to write dark humor. It's just that my world view bleeds into the work. In general when I try to explain how I see things, people often burst into laughter and shake their heads, but they don't deny the "validity" of my point of view. It makes for a lot of awkward moments in real life, but for some really humorous things to read. The fact that people do find my work funny gave me the confidence to tackle dark subjects knowing the comic relief would give the reader a welcome break.

Can you tell everyone a little about the characters inside?  Were they based on your imagination or real life?

Carlyle: My characters are never based on real life people. I've tried that, thinking it would be a nifty shortcut to creating 3D characters, but I just can't pull it off. That said, though all of my characters are obviously influenced by my own life experiences, they are more influenced by characters in film or fiction where I thought, "Man that character would be great if you just changed X,Y, & Z about them." Of course, you then end up with a totally different character.

How hard was it for you to write THE BLACK SONG INSIDE?

Carlyle: Immensely difficult. It took multiple rewrites with major character additions and subtractions and a change from 1st person POV to 3rd person. The good part about that was I weeded out the clich├ęs and focused on writing twists that were logical but surprised even me in hopes that would surprise the reader.

Did your own background have any influence on the writing of this book?

Carlyle: Yes, because the novel is set in my hometown of San Diego, and the setting played a major part. In San Diego, there are constantly positive and negative issues with the border right there and Tijuana on the other side. It's a very strange thing growing up in a land of plenty and then taking frequent trips just a few miles south into a place where it’s a struggle just to survive and you bribe the police on nearly every trip because that's just how things are done.

Without giving anything away, what would you say was the most pivotal point of the whole book?

Carlyle: That would have to be when The Priest does something so diabolical it means the heroes, Atticus and Rosemary, seem to have no way out but prison or the grave. Thrusting them into that crucible really exposes their character in a way that allows the reader to see what they're made of.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Carlyle: I would like to let them know that there is a free short story prequel to THE BLACK SONG INSIDE they can try called HE'S FASTER.