When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing way back when I was a kid and I fancied myself as someone who had things to say that everyone would want to hear. I stopped writing for a long time, though, maybe thirty years. I did other things like draw and paint and take photographs. I started again when I moved to my current location in 1994.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
I am a part-time writer with a full-time day job, a family, and a lengthy commute. I use my commuting time to write so that works in my favor. I generally trade off sleep to get my writing done. Some days, though — full-time writer!
What are some day jobs you have held?
My first adult job out of college was as a paralegal. My first and one of my favorite jobs was as a lifeguard. My earliest rising job was as a bagel baker (get the pun?!) and delivery girl. And my least fav was in retail.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Interesting question. I think that life experience is important in informing your writing. As time goes by, I feel as though I become a better writer simply through experience and, of course, practice.
What have you written so far?
Well, I have a blog, on which I try to post to a few times a week. And I’ve written a collection of novellas, Six Sisters: three unrelated stories each with a sister relationship. And soon my novel, Oil and Water, an environmental murder mystery, will be available on Amazon.
Do you work to an outline or plot sketch, or do you prefer to let a general idea guide your writing?
I start with a very rough outline and then let the characters take me where they will.
What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Through the traditional channels of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon’s author page, my friends! I think that the promotion, the job of “selling” your work and your ideas, is the toughest part.
How do you feel about indie/alternative vs. conventional publishing?
Indie publishing definitely gave me an opportunity without the headache of finding an agent or a traditional publisher, but the work on the backend, the marketing and promoting really takes so much more time than I have since the time I do have I would rather spend writing. The beauty of social media though is that the information is out there so who knows what good things could come of it!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
It’s always the same: just keep writing.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
I’ll do one better. I’ll leave you with the synopsis.
Oil and Water
When inventor, Martin Tirabi builds a machine that converts trash into petroleum, it sends shockwaves through the corporate halls of the oil cognoscenti. Weeks later, Martin and his wife, Ruth, are killed in a mysterious auto accident. His son Gil, a 10-year old physics prodigy, carries on, determined to finish the machine that will solve the world’s energy problems. Plagued with epilepsy from birth, Gil is also favored with the gift of second sight. Through dreams and the occasional missive from his dead father, Gil receives the inspiration to help him fulfill the daunting task.
Meanwhile, Bicky Coleman, head of Akanabi Oil is doing his best to smear the planet in it. From a slow leak in the Gulf of Mexico to the most devastating oil spill the Delaware River has ever seen, Akanabi ’ s corporate practices are leaving oily imprints in their wake. To divert the tide of bad press, Bicky dispatches his son-in-law and Chief Engineer, David Hartos, into the fray. A disillusioned Hart, still cleaning up his own mess after the recent death of his wife and unborn child, dutifully travels to Philadelphia to fulfill his father-in-law ’s wishes.
There’s no such thing as coincidence when Hart meets Gil and agrees to help him finish Martin’s dream. But how to bring a machine to market in a world adrift in corporate greed and floating on the brink of extinction? Hart must confront those who would quash the project, including his own father-in-law. Murder, mystery, and humor as black as fine Arabian crude, Oil and Water is a relevant, witty must-read for our times.
The characters are fictional, but the technology is real. What will we do when the oil runs out? Open up and see.
How can you discover more about P.J. and her work?