Thursday, 1 August 2013
Author Interview: Peggy Rothschild
Peggy Rothschild grew up in Los Angeles. Always a mystery-lover, she embraced the tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys before graduating to the adult section of the library. An English major in high school, she switched to art -- her other passion -- in college. At present, Peggy lives in the beach community of Ventura with her husband and their rescue cats. In her spare time she focuses on transforming their yard into a drought-tolerant paradise.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
Although I usually have an ending place in mind or a pivotal scene mapped out, the rest is pretty amorphous when I begin. Though this can lead to a lot of rewriting, I've tried outlining and it pretty much sucked the fun out of writing for me.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Definitely. I'm currently midway through a Y.A. mystery and my protagonist has taken the story in an unexpected direction. I've had to set the manuscript aside so I can come back with 'fresh eyes' to see what works.
What is your favourite food?
Dark chocolate. While I can't live on dark chocolate alone, Id' find it tough to live without it. Runner-up: A tuna sandwich -- with mustard instead of mayo.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I used to be a night owl, but years of getting up early for work have retrained me -- though no one in their right mind would ever call me a morning person. My preferred writing time is mid-day or evening, but, if I can find a quiet corner, I'll start scribbling pretty much at any time.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I want to go to Barcelona and see the buildings Goudy designed. I also want to visit Spain and tour the Prado.
Do distant places feature in your books?
All my work (to date) has been set in California and, though it's a big state, I have to say 'no.' But, if a reader doesn't live in California, it'll seem like the book is set in a far away place!
Do you listen to music while writing?
That varies by tale. I'm currently editing a manuscript where the protagonist is a huge Ramones fan (as am I) and I tend to crank up their music while I'm working on that. The YA manuscript I mentioned earlier, is set in California's Mendocino Forest and silence reigns when I'm writing that story.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
I'd be delighted to. Clementine's Shadow is a thriller set in the scorched landscape of California's High Desert. In this world of played out silver mines and dry riverbeds, Deputy Casey Lang must find a missing six-year-old girl. As the temperature rises, three unlikely heroes emerge to help. The day-long crisis is told from four points of view with Casey and the three volunteer rescuers forging relationships which help them move beyond past failures, as well as capture a predator.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I don't remember who said it, but it's true, true, true: Writing is mostly rewriting. While the world of publishing seems to be changing daily, the need for a sharp editorial eye remains constant. To that end, participating in a writers group is a great tool to developing your inner critic.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I would have started writing a novel sooner. While I loved writing as a child, a number of years spent as a corporate writer took the fun out of it and I actually forgot how much I once loved to write. I'm so glad I rediscovered the thrill of building characters and telling a story.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I can't say exactly how they influenced me, but I'm a huge fan of the following authors and have read all their mysteries -- so they must have inspired me in some fashion: C.J. Box, Jan Burke, Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, Sue Grafton, Martha Grimes and Jo Nesbo.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Don't get discouraged -- every writer I've ever talked to has wanted to toss their work in the trash at some point. Join a critique group and try to set aside your ego when your work is discussed. And bottom line, always remember it's no one elses story, but yours.
What are three words that describe you?
Borderline Type A (but working towards B!)
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
My favorite book wasn't written by any of the authors I listed above: Snow Falling on Cedar by David Guterson. The prose is so beautiful, I want to sink inside the pages and live there.
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book:
A missing child and four unlikely heroes make Clementine’s Shadow a five-star thriller.
List of previous books if any
This is my first published book.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/clementines-shadow-peggy-rothschild/1115238635?ean=9780615799148
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.