Our guest today is Nancy DiMauro. Lets have some fun:
Tell us about yourself…
I’m a mommy, writer, lawyer who lives on a farm with too many animals (according to my husband). Eleven years ago, I convinced my poor condo-raised husband to move from the city to a horse farm. He agreed because it was my dream. If I could clone him, I’d make a fortune. Although, he still get testy when I call him “Zsa Zsa.”
A typical day starts at 5:00 am when I kick the husband out of bed so he can the kids up and get ready himself, and I can feed the animals. Once the critters are fed, I’m on breakfast duty for the boys. As soon as all three of them out the door, I leave for my day job. I’m a partner in a small law firm based in the Washington, D.C. Metro area. My practice is mostly business law and litigation. I finally get to write after 9pm when the kids are in bed and the critters have wound down for the night. My life is hectic, but I wouldn’t trade it.
Tell us about your book…
Shots at Redemption is a collection of short stories about three mythical creatures (a goddess, a witch and a dragon – I know it’s a joke waiting for a punchline) who get second chances at love.
I’ve always thought the women, even the goddesses, didn’t fair well in Greek mythology. I started wondering how Kalypso “imprisoned” Odysseus for seven years. After all, Odysseus is always described as being clever. A clever man would escape if he wanted to. Then there was the fact that Kalypso and Odysseus had children. If Odyssues stayed for seven years, it was because he wanted to. So, why did he leave? What would happen if he came back? From those questions, Kalypso’s Song was born. It won an Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future.
Best Dressed and Obsessed came out of an error from a Liberty Hall (libertyhallwriters.org) writing prompt. For whatever reason, I got a single word “array” rather than the actual prompt for that week. After spending most of my 90 minutes trying to figure out what to write, I ended up settling on a retelling of Medea using a cursed dress to kill Jason’s next lover. Best Dressed also won an Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future.
I started the final story, A Sea Serpent’s Tale, based on a call for submissions to a dragon anthology. I got about half way through the story and hit a stall point, a real risk with being a pantser. The story sat in my trunk (okay, computer hard drive) for about 6 months before I realized what was missing. From there it took me a weekend to finish the first draft. Unlike the other two stories in the collection, A Sea Serpent’s Tale focuses on parent/child love rather than romantic love.
What are your five favorite novels?
Only five, geez, that’s tough. Probably:
- The Last Unicorn, by Peter Beagle
- Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
- Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
- Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
- Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
What are you working on now?
I’ve finished a novella in three acts called Apollo Rising in which Apollo tries to break the curse on Daphne and return her to a nymph. Apollo Rising is also under contract with Musa Publishing, and should be out by the end of the year. At this point, I’m waiting for comments from my editor.
In the meantime, I just finished the first draft of an erotic romance novella called New Bohemia: Just One Night. When his roommate, Maysoon, propositions him, Pete has just one night to convince her that they can be so much more than a one night stand.
While that cools, I’m working on my urban fantasy novel, The Nocebo Effect, which features Vonna, one of the characters from Paths Less Traveled, which Musa Publishing released on May 11, 2012.
I also received comments on my other novel, The King’s Falcon, from an agent I really respect. I’m ready to go through them and see how I can strengthen that story. Falcon was also featured in a short story in Paths Less Traveled.
Are you a Plotter or a Panster?
Despite my best efforts to the contrary, I’m a pantser. When I outline, it’s only in very broad strokes. One of the joys of writing for me is discovering what happens. I generally know the characters and how the story’s likely to end when I start. Between those two points, anything goes.
BBQ? Carolina, Tennessee, Texas or Kansas City?
I grew up in Boston, so to me BBQ was a way of cooking meat, not a specific dish. I didn’t learn how wrong I was until I went to college in Richmond, Va. Our friends, who had moved to Richmond years earlier, invited us over for BBQ. Imagine our surprise when instead of grilled chicken breasts and steak, we were served shredded pork with sauce in a sandwich. So, pork barbeque – or Carolina style – is my favorite. Although the Texas beef brisket is a really close second.
We all make mistakes. In this collection, a witch, a goddess, and a dragon take their shots at redemption in the hope of reclaiming lost love.
Eons ago, Zeus decreed that Odysseus leave Kalypso. In Kalypso’s Song, Odysseus is reborn as a scholar. Can Kalypso convince him to reclaim the love they were denied?
In Best Dressed and Obsessed, Janelle, a graduate-level witch, chooses a magic dress to enthrall her professor. Sadly, the dress is cursed. At her graduation ball, will she kiss the man she loves? Or kill him?
The sea dragon Ryu finds an unlikely surrogate family in A Sea Serpent’s Tale. When her new family is attacked by another dragon, can Ryu save them?
Shots at Redemption. We want them. We need them. But, do we get them?
Thanks for having me and I hope you enjoy the stories.
Enjoyed the interview? You can connect with Nancy:
(that’s an “_” between the kings and falcon)
Or read on for an excerpt from the featured story, Shots at Redemption:
Garrett talked to Tabitha by the buffet table. How dare she? He was mine. Something cold and predatory slid over me.
I wound my way through the masses. The sinuous curves of my body slid in a seductive symphony. A smile eased over my features. The Dress glimmered unicorn white. Strobe lights bathed it in ever-shifting colors. I was the most remarkable woman here.
And Gary was finally going to get his due.
He stepped away from Tabitha. “Ms. Willowbalm, may I have the privilege of the next dance?”
I inclined my head as I took his arm. “I thought you were going to call me Janelle.”
At the edge of the dance floor, one hand held mine while the other wrapped around my waist. It’s a wonder he didn’t hear my heart racing. A flush of heat warmed my face. His redwood and light musk scent enveloped me. I closed my eyes and breathed in his essence. A wide stupid grin stretched my features. I was dancing with Garrett Rowan. He was holding me.
“You’ve undergone a rather remarkable transformation this year,” he said.
“Things just seemed to fall into place.” I shrugged, knowing it made my cleavage more notable. His eyes flittered lower before jumping back to meet mine. “I’m surprised you noticed.”
“I like to think of myself as an observant man.”
Gary murdered us, the silken voice of The Dress snarled in my mind.
No, I thought.
Gary cannot be trusted.
This is what I w-want, to be here, with Garrett.
Mercury strands formed a net around my mind. My body jerked as they closed in.
No! I screamed in the confines of my head. I ordered my body to pull back, to shout for help. It didn’t respond. The Dress had seized control. Sweat prickled on the back of my neck.
A deep sadistic laugh was my only response. Foolish child. Gary’s blood will pave the way. The initial sacrificial lamb. The Council will fall to me this time.
Gary held me slightly away from his body. “Ah, Medea. It was about time you showed yourself.”
“Gary dear,” a voice that wasn’t mine spilled out from my lips. It was deeper than the voice I’d heard in my head from The Dress. I felt the muscles in my face stretch to a grin. “I’ll enjoy killing you.”
The spirit me screamed, unheard and unbidden. I couldn’t feel the warmth of his hand as it rested against the small of my back or where his other hand was conjoined with mine. Even his redwood and spice scent didn’t fill my senses. Was I dead? No. This can’t be happening.
Get out of my head, I snarled at the invader, Medea, Garrett had called her Medea. If I’d still retained control of my body, my legs would have bowed, unable to support my weight. Medea Oleander. Medea Oleander was inside my mind. And she wanted to kill Garrett. I couldn’t, no, I wouldn’t let her succeed.