Sunday, November 27, 2011

Author and Book Spotlight: JM Griffin

I am thrilled to feature a great author here on the blog today - JM Griffin writes cozy mysteries that you should definitely add to your to-read list. She is a neat person all around as well and I really enjoyed the opportunity to interview her and spotlight her books.

Much thanks to Marissa over at Sizzling PR for offering a spot in this blog tour!

About the Author:

JM Griffin grew up in the Maine countryside. Inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries, JM wrote her first story at age twelve.

With 5 books written and more in the works, JM's first book in the Vinnie Esposito series published in February of 2009. The first and second Vinnie Esposito books has been re-released through Lachesis Publishing. The third novel in the series, Dead Wrong, was released in ebook format in October 2010, and the book has been recently released in paperback as of April 2011. Stay tuned for more of the Vinnie Esposito series.

In addition to the Esposito series, JM has written a fun-filled mystery featuring faeries, pixies, murder, tea and cupcakes. Lyrical Press, Inc. presented the ebook on August 16th of 2010. The paper edition was released in June 2011.

Murder on Spy Glass Lane, a novel filled with the antics of Sarah McDougall, a psychic artist, her dog Sparky, a Bassett Hound, and their pirate-like neighbor is ready for publishing. Stay tuned for an update on the progress of this book.

JM and her husband John reside with two wild and crazy cats who rule the roost in New England. Their home is surrounded by a forest, a nearby reservoir and natures creatures.

About the Books:

For the Love of Livvy

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.


Dead Wrong

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!

Dirty Trouble
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.


If you're interested, they go chronologically like this:

1st: For the Love of Livvy
2nd: Dirty Trouble
3rd: Dead Wrong

Author Interview:

1. What is it that you like to do when you’re not reading/writing? 

I enjoy creating artwork. Painting and pen & ink are my favorite mediums.

2.  How do you react to a bad review of your book? 

At first I’m disappointed and somewhat annoyed, but when I reconsider the review, I try to find something positive in it that will help my work become stronger.

3. Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why? 

They are important, especially if the characters have a strong ethnic background. I try to bring in names that will resonate with my readers.

4. Who would play you in a film of your life? 

That’s a great question. I hadn’t given it any thought really.

5. What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

Getting exercise, and creating time for myself away from the WIP. Take breaks often so my refreshed when you return to the story. Of course, if I’m in the middle of an epiphany concerning the story line, then I stay with it.

6. Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or movie?

Certainly.  I think when a book or movie is well done, it should feel possible that a person could be that character.

7. What do you find to be the biggest challenge when writing? 

Keeping the story moving forward. Sometimes I get swallowed up in dialogue that doesn’t help the characters keep going.

8. What do you think is the sole purpose of books? 

I think of books as a form of escapism and entertainment. I like to read a story that takes place in a location that I’ve never been to, with characters who faces problems that I’ve never encountered. Best of all, I like some humor in the novels I read.

9. How would you convince a young person to pursue writing? 

I would ask about their life, their interests and then encourage them to put a story on paper, (or computer) and enlarge upon it. I would be honest when they asked questions about writing and the hard work involved. I have been to elementary schools to speak about writing and I’m constantly awed by the intelligence of the children in the classroom. I always have a Q&A session that blows my mind. These kids ask questions that make you wonder how old they really are. Like 10 going on 25, maybe? :>)

10. Do you enjoy giving interviews? 

I do enjoy them and in front of a live audience is great fun.

11. How much impact does your childhood have on your writing? 

My siblings were much older than I and went to private schools where they lived most of the year. This left me alone a lot and we lived in a very rural area of Maine, so I had limited access to playmates. Therefore, I had many private conversations in action stories with mysteries attached to them involving my invisible characters. I have been an avid reader all my life and Nancy Drew was my heroine. She always saved the day and, yes, I imagined I was her.

12. What was the greatest thing you learned in school? 

To persevere, and that writing and storytelling is one of the greatest gifts in life. I had an English teacher in high school who was a stern person, but who had a heart of gold. She encouraged me when no one else did, and for that I will forever be grateful.

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