Interview with Mary Firmin author of Deadly Pleasures.
I have been writing for twenty years at least. Deadly Pleasures is my first published book. I have written one other book called Voodoun Fire which is unpublished, and a screenplay called Rhumba, also several short stories.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?
Sitting down and actually getting started. Harold Robbins once told us that in order to write we need to put Ass Glue on our chairs and not get up until we had ten pages written. Sometimes that works. I also have a hard time letting go of the book, it seems like I can always keep improving it.
What genre do you generally write?
I write fiction, mainly mystery/thrillers with a sprinkling of romance and a lot of murder.
Do you have a favorite author and why?
My favorite author is Thomas Harris. (Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon.) I believe that he is a master of suspense. His stories are intricate, expertly written, and keep you on the edge of your seat. I used Red Dragon as a text book on how to build suspense.
What is your book called and how did you choose the title?
My book is called, Deadly Pleasures. I believe that the Bondage Murderer derives Deadly Pleasures from his sexual killings. While the bondage in this book is not glorified it plays a large part in the murders. The ladies in my book do not know it buy they are also playing a dangerous game to find their Deadly Pleasures.
Megan Riley and her three best friends, angry at their men, hire a hunky stripper to be their time-share Boytoy, unaware he is a suspect in a series of gruesome Bondage Murders. When Detective Matt Donovan shows up to investigate the killings, Megan immediately fall for him. The four women find themselves on a bizarre journey for which they are ill-equipped, along with their sweet-talking lover and the handsome Detective Donovan, as they try to solve the unraveling mystery. But who is the Bondage Murderer? And who will be the next to die?
Has your book been published and how did you go about this?
On Christmas, 2010, my husband bought me a publishing package with iUniverse to publish my book, Deadly Pleasures. Because of him, I earned two special award from them, Editor’s Choice and Rising Star Award. What we did not know is that my darling husband, Bill, would pass away in his sleep before the final edit of the book was delivered. He wanted so much to see my name on the cover of the book and it did not happen for him. But, in truth, the book actually saved me. While it did not eliminate my intense grief from losing my husband, it did mitigate some of the pain. I had to show up to finish the cover and all the other things you need to do to get the book out there. Now it has been almost a year, and I truly realize what an incredible gift my husband gave me with this book.
How long did it take you to finish the book?
A very long time. The idea came to me many years ago but I did not feel as if I was experienced enough to take on the intricacies in this book. I finished Voodoun Fire, co-wrote the screenplay, practiced on a dozen short stories and then I was ready. It probably took me about four years with as many edits as I did. It was hard for me to release the book because it was part of my life for so long. I don’t know if I would have done it if my husband didn’t take it out of my hands and published it.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
START. Just start to write things down on paper. Eventually, a pattern will form and you will intuitively know in which direction to go. Harold Robbins’ Ass Glue will keep you in the chair until you write ten pages. The next morning edit it and then write another ten pages.
Do you use Social Media to promote your book? Which Networks?
I have found Linkedin and Goodreads, to be the best sources for me as a writer. There are dozens of discussions going on all the time. Also, there are many wonderful authors out there who are willing to go the extra mile to help you. I know when I get an interview with a blogger I post it on one of the sites and other authors can approach that blogger. Since I was a total dumbbell on the computer, early on I hired a Social Network Helper. Her name is Stormi at Lightning Book Promotions. She has been unbelievably helpful with everything I have accomplished on the Internet. So I would advise any author to find themselves some help to get out there and talk about your book. I cannot tell you how many blog interviews and radio shows I have done and every single one has been helpful.
If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
I would be ready for a big push on the Internet. I would have Stormi be a big part of advertising the debut of the book. I would have a promotion all ready to go. I was like a new born when this first book came out; I would hope that I have learned something from this initial venture.
How did you go about designing the cover?
Because I won the Rising Star Award, I received additional help with the cover. I had always envisioned the front cover to be a muscular body of a young man. I hoped to have a rear view of him on the back of the book. What I got was the closest I could get to that vision. When they first showed me the cover the model wore a huge silver medallion on his chest. I hated that. The women’s hands sported long weird fingernails. Some were striped, some had jewels on them, and they all had grotesque colors. I asked iUniverse if they could photo shop the medallion out and change the color of the women’s nails. And they did.
Are you considering writing a follow-up book?
Yes, I am. I plan a Deadly Trilogy. The second book is Deadly Secrets and I am about half-way finished. I have not yet decided on a name for number three.
Do you have a day job?
No, I do not. But I did work for a very long time while I was writing. Now I am privileged to write full time.
Where is your book available to buy?