Q & A
An Oddity of Some Consequence
November 25, 2020
- What is your new release about?
My latest novel, An Oddity of Some Consequence, is a romance complicated by disparities of background and secrecy. In one character, there is the reluctance to reveal a long-kept secret and in the other is the persistence to achieve an intimacy that will promote a relationship of depth. These two motives are incompatible until the secret is known and is accepted. Most romances scuttle their own progress by the inflexibilities of the lovers themselves. Understanding another person is a lot more complex than is commonly perceived.
- What does the title refer to?
Titles like book covers are important. I’ve been fortunate that my publishers have liked my titles and haven’t tried to persuade me to alter them. My strategy, if it could be called that, is to hint at the content in the most subtle of ways. I try to pick a word that is not overly used so that the reader questions herself as to its meaning. For example, in the current book, An Oddity of Some Consequence, oddity is the under-used word that has a quirkiness all its own. It’s very different than strange or unusual. And I thought when combined with the word, “consequence” limited by the word, “some,” might just make it all the more puzzling. My other books, An Improbable Pairing and A Spy with Scruples, use some of the same word logic.
- What inspired the novel?
I’m intrigued by relationships and their evolution from first meeting to full blown infatuation. And that’s not even the tricky part. Making a relationship evolve and grow over time is the interesting quality. As a result, I wanted to insert a hurdle of an unusual nature to test the characters resolve. Granted the hurdle I introduced is a high one, but these two characters because of their experience, sophistication, and intelligence need the unexpected challenge.
- What is something interesting you found during your research for the book?
I wasn’t burdened by a lot of research which is an important tenet of my writing. I find it difficult honing-in on my own voice when I’m saddled with facts gleaned from other people’s writings. I tend to believe in memory and experience which are all mine either right or wrong.
- What makes for a great love story?
The question by its nature seems to demand an answer containing a formula. But love is a personal thing, and everyone knows when they’re in love, but many have a hard time explaining either what it is or what qualities of the beloved they find so irresistibly attractive. I presume some standard answers might be beautiful people, passion, place, situation, intriguing plot, conflicts arising out of differences in social standing, education, experience, etc. But romantic love is nuanced and when right fits the lovers’ needs and personalities so perfectly that the relationship rings true for readers.
- If your main characters could ask you anything, what would they ask?
I make sure that my characters follow orders–no backtalk.
- What would a sequel to this novel look like?
Funny you should ask because others have wanted to know what happens next. And I have some ideas, but I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet.
- Do you listen to music while you write?
I love classical music, and I often listen to it as well as other genres. And I’ve read that many writers are inspired by different kinds of music. But in my case, I find music slightly distracting to my thought process.
- What is the next project for you?
I’m finishing up on the sequel to the sequel of An Improbable Pairing and A Spy With Scruples. The same characters, but five years from the ending of the spy book. It’s entitled A Greed for Green. It takes place in Paris, Palm Beach, and Columbia.
- What advice would you give new authors who are trying to publish/write their first book?
- Write about something you already know about.
- Work out the next scenes in the story before you sit down to write.
- Re-read the work of the previous session before launching into new material.
- Don’t be afraid to re-write if something’s not working.
- There are about 5,000 sentences in a novel.
- Be careful what you read, or you’ll find it turning up in your own writing.
- Realize that writing is one thing, publishing is quite another.
- Don’t expect to be famous overnight, or ever for that matter.
- Don’t expect untold riches overnight, or ever for that matter.
- Remember to ask yourself from time to time why readers should care about your characters.
- Be careful of daily quotas. Be nice to yourself.