Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: Murder on the Bucket List by Elizabeth Perona

Murder on the Bucket List
Series: A Bucket List Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (July 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738745091

The septuagenarian women of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club have gathered in secret late one July night to check skinny dipping off their bucket list. But as Francine observes, the jittery members seem more obsessed with body issues and elaborate preparations than actually stripping down and getting in the pool. A pungent smell emanating from the pool shed provides a perfect distraction. When a dead body flops out, it’s an answered prayer for Charlotte, since the first item on her list is to solve a murder.

Unfortunately for Charlotte and Francine, before they can discover who really killed the man, they must negotiate neighborhood tours of the crime scene, press coverage of their skinny dipping, an angry Homeowner’s Association, a disastrous appearance on Good Morning America, media offers sought by a hungry publicist, and a clever killer.

Birdhouse Books Interviews Elizabeth Perona (Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky)

Birdhouse: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Tony: I first remember wanting to be a writer when I was in grade school at St. Christopher's. The teacher-I think it was Mr. Click-asked us to write a fictional story where an inanimate object came to life. Mine was about the tree that gave its life to become the manger the Christ child slept in. I enjoyed writing the story, got really good feedback, and was hooked.

Liz: I was in the honors college while attending Ball State University.  When it came time to decide on an honors thesis project, I knew I wanted to do something creative instead of a long research project. I chose to write a children's book about some animals who reused and recycled to clean up their home and create a beautiful fountain out of their trash. One of my friends illustrated it as her project. By no means is this story ever going to be on the bestseller list, but it was a fun way to get my feet wet.

Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?

Tony: I loved, loved, loved the Velveteen Rabbit, and still do to this day. The next books I remember enjoying were the Hardy Boys series. I could read one in a single day if my mom didn't make me go outside and play, but she rarely let me stay inside. LOL. Anyway, I loved going to the library and checking them out.

Liz: I was (am) a Harry Potter kid. I loved every book in the series. They have the perfect balance of magic, darkness, suspense, along with interesting characters. My grandma knew how much my sister and I enjoyed them, so she always made sure to preorder them for us, and we would wait for them to arrive at our house on the release day. Then we would fight over who got to read it first...

Birdhouse: What is your writing day like? Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Tony: Because I have a full time job with the Town of Plainfield (Indiana),  I generally write in the morning before I go to work and on my lunch hour. Most mornings I get up around 5:00 and write until 6:30 am. Lunch hours vary according to my schedule, but I try to do 12:30 to 1:30 pm. I don't know that I have any quirks, but I can be very tired in the morning and not remember half of what I write until I see it at lunchtime.

Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?

Tony: Most of my previous writings had been in first person. This one is in third person. After working on it, I discovered I prefer writing in first. Now that we've used third person in this book, though, I guess I better get used to it. We're committed to a three book contract. 

Liz: Just how much work, time, and energy go into every single step of the process of getting published!

Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?

Tony: If I mentioned current writers, I know I'd forget half a dozen of my friends whose writing I adore, so let me talk about a few writers who have inspired me over the years: first, Thornton Wilder, whose body of work is limited but whose influence is not. His novels and especially his plays (Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Matchmaker) have universal themes that will always resonate with humanity. Second, Robert Frost. Though he's a poet and I do not aspire to be one, I love the universality of his themes (as with Wilder's work), and the images and stories he created in his poems. Third, Agatha Christie. It was her novels and plays that inspired me to try my hand at mystery writing.

Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?

Tony: As I mentioned in an earlier comment, Liz and I are committed to a three book contract. We just turned in book #2, so we have rewrites we'll have to do on it and also write book #3. Beyond that, we'll have to see whether Midnight Ink extends our contract, which we really hope they will! Somewhere in my partnership with Liz I'd like for us to try a love story under the Elizabeth Perona brand. We'll just have to see!  

About The Authors
Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy (with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder and Hoosier Hoops & Hijinks. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.

Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List is her first novel. 

Author Links
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Wordless Wednesday: Dogs Playing Poker Vintage Postcard

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