Author Interview: D.M. Annechino

October 12, 2009

daniel2I have the pleasure of bringing you my conversation with D.M. Annechino who wrote an excellent book, They Never Die Quietly (Boogle review right here). In fact, it is so good that it was recently picked up by Amazon Encore. Way to go Daniel! Good luck with the exciting “2nd round” release of your great book!

The Boogle: Thanks for taking the time to participate in this virtual interview. Why don’t you start by telling us what They Never Die Quietly is about?

DMA: Although it seems like this novel is about a serial killer, the main theme is more about Sami Rizzo—the homicide investigator assigned to head the investigation. She is a woman trying desperately to define herself as a competent detective, good mother and someone worthy of love.  In spite of my desire to have the limelight focused on the protagonist, the general consensus is that Simon, the serial killer, stole the show.

TB: He certainly did. Quite a compelling and frightening man! What inspired you to write this book?

DMA: To be honest, there was no obvious motivation. I had already written three prior novels—all thrillers. But I wanted to kick it up a notch by creating a villain so evil that he pushes the reader’s imagination to its limit.

TB: What did you enjoy about writing this thriller?

DMA: Actually, it made me a little uncomfortable. Because the villain is a religious fanatic and I was raised Catholic, I did have to take a breath every now and then to keep focused. What I enjoyed most was writing, “The End”.

TB: How did you research this book?

DMA: First I read several books that outline police procedures. Then I researched several nonfiction books that dissect the minds and motivation of serial killers. I put the pieces together, added a sprinkle of this and a sprinkle of that and Simon was born.

TB: Simon is a fascinating character. Walk us through the process you used to put him together.

DMA: I didn’t want to stray too far from the profile of the most notorious serial killers. So, I started with a handsome, intelligent man whose outwardly appearance seemed non-threatening and well bred. I added a lunatic dead mother who lived in his brain, a twisted idea that he was enlisted by God to purify the world, and just to make him even more terrifying, I created “another self”, whose rage made him capable of the most unspeakable acts.

TB: You and I have talked at length about some of the themes and characters in They Never Die Quietly. What sets your book apart from other suspense/thrillers?

DMA: More than anything, I tried to keep turning up the heat with each new scene. For the grand finale, when detective meets villain face to face, the pace of the book is almost exhausting. Many people have told me that they actually had to put it down, walk away from it, and take a breather. My goal was to create a story with non-stop action and relentless dramatic tension. Also, Simon’s method of killing his victims is, arguably, more horrific than any serial killer—real or made up—in history.

TB: How did you go about getting it published?

DMA: Like many novelists today, I self-published in hopes that the book fairy would bless me with a publishing contract. And that’s exactly what happened. recently launched a new division called Amazon Encore. And they have expressed interest in acquiring the exclusive rights to my book. In fact, I signed a contract with Amazon on August 17, 2009.

TB: This is the ideal situation for many of the authors who visit this site. Can you walk us through the process of how you landed a publishing contract with Amazon Encore?

DMA: When Amazon Encore was created, their goal was to identify exceptional self-published books that were well written and commercially marketable; books with greater potential than their sales indicated. The editors at Amazon Encore performed a comprehensive search on the web site looking for books with outstanding reader reviews. Then they would order a copy of the book, read it, and decide if they wanted to acquire the rights. In my case, the editor who read my novel loved it and contacted me. In a sense, I guess you could call it dumb luck and good timing.

TB: What advice do you have for other authors with regards to publishing?

DMA: The publishing world has truly evolved. The big guns rarely give a first-time novelist the time of day. But now that there are a number of high-quality sources where an author can self-publish, the publishing game has really changed. The big thing is not to get discouraged. Since 1992 I’ve written four novels and each has earned a truckload of rejection letters. But you have to keep writing and must focus on the fact that each “no” gets you closer to that “yes”.

TB: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?

DMA: Although I write thrillers, I prefer to read literary fiction; stories with beautiful narratives, well-developed characters, and poetic-like passages. Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy is one of my favorites. I also enjoyed Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier and Peace like a River by Leif Enger.

TB: What’s next? What are you currently working on?

At the urging of Amazon Encore and my literary agent, I am writing a sequel to They Never Die Quietly. My goal is to create another serial killer who is so beyond evil he will make Simon look like a choirboy.

TB: Good luck! And be sure to keep us posted on your progress!

Be sure to head on over to Mr. Annechino’s blog, and check out They Never Die Quietly which is available here.

Check out my review of They Never Die Quietly.

Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires

June 11, 2009

9780981461939-template2.qxd:9780981461939-template2.qxdMolly Roe

Tribute Books, 2008

168 pages, historical fiction

Ladies and gentlemen, The Boogle is proud to present our first ever author interview! Please welcome Molly Roe author of Call Me Kate!!!!

The Boogle: What is Call Me Kate: Meeting the Molly Maguires about?
MR: Call Me Kate is the story of the adventures and tribulations of Katie McCafferty and her family in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, conflict between mine owners and their employees resulted in labor strikes and riots. The Company owners considered the workers’ behavior treasonous, and eventually they attached the name “Molly Maguire” to anyone resisting the draft or fighting for labor rights.
Katie becomes aware of the turmoil when her best friend, Con Gallagher, joins the protesters and is blacklisted from work in the local mine. To save her friend from the inevitable consequences of his impulsiveness, she gets entangled with the anti-draft faction, and her own safety is jeopardized. The novel is a coming of age story as well as an introduction to the beginnings of the secret society called the Molly Maguires.

The Boogle: Sounds pretty cool. I’m fascinated by stories of labor strife and civil unrest. What inspired you to write this book?
MR: After years of researching genealogy, I decided to put my thoughts into writing for future generations. The family stories I heard while growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania amazed me; the stoicism of the people was astounding. I found many of my “ordinary” relatives mentioned in the historical records and trial transcripts of the Molly Maguire era and wondered how they survived the extraordinary events of the time. The “whys” and “what ifs” led to Call Me Kate, my first novel.

The Boogle: Why do you write historical fiction?

MR: Historical fiction fascinates me because it gives an insight into how people lived in past centuries. Many of the junior high students that I teach are unaware of how their ancestors lived. I hope to inspire my readers to learn about the past by providing stories that inform as well as entertain.

The Boogle: Who are some of your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?
MR: My reading tastes are eclectic. I’ve always loved the early nineteenth century novels of Jane Austen and the Brontes. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite, with Jane Eyre and Persuasion tied for second place. On a totally different note, some other favorites are Stephen King’s horror stories, especially The Stand and The Shining; James A. Michener’s novels, and Pearl Buck’s stories set in China. Since I teach junior high, I also try to keep up with YA lit so I’ve read many popular series such as Harry Potter, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Twilight, and the works of Gary Paulsen and J.R.R. Tolkien.

The Boogle: What is next? What are you currently working on?
MR: Before I started writing Call Me Kate, I outlined the lives of all three McCafferty sisters: Kate, Sarah, and Maymie. I’m currently half way through the first draft of Sarah’s Story: The Curse on Centralia. The story line picks up the McCaffertys’ lives three years after the war when they are forced to move to another county. There the second oldest sister finds work as a governess for the mine superintendent’s daughters in Centralia, PA. Once again talk of the Molly Maguires dominates the town to the extent that the parish priest warns the people that their nefarious dealings will bring the town to a bad end. The mine fire has reduced the town to six residents as of this writing, seeming to validate the priest’s curse of one hundred forty years ago.

The Boogle: Thanks Molly – best of luck with the book!

Call Me Kate is available from Tribute Books and amazon.