Fiction Friday--Featured Author
Please welcome today...
Tell us about your journey to become a published author?
I came at writing a novel all backwards after a career as an entertainment lawyer, movie producer, film executive, screenwriter and film professor. I wrote JUST FALL purely to reverse my eroding love for the craft of writing and have been thrilled with the book's reception. It will be released on March 22, 2016 by Ballantine Random House and rights have already been sold in Germany, Spain, Japan, France, Italy, Serbia and Turkey. I am currently writing a second thriller for Ballantine/Random House, THE BURIAL SOCIETY.
Tell us about your latest release.
JUST FALL, my debut, is an exploration of the perils and pleasures of intimacy wrapped in a pulp
fiction, a lurid fever dream. Told in alternating chapters entitled "NOW," and "THEN," the novel takes the reader through a pulse pounding series of murders and other crimes on the tropical island of St. Lucia, while also diving into the anguished pasts of its major characters.
Give five words that best describe this book. What message do you hope readers get?
"Fast-paced. Sexy. Provocative. Chilling. Romantic.
I hope readers understand the book is an operatic metaphor for what we all experience as we fall in love and reveal ourselves to our beloved, and vice versa. The books asks the reader to identify with two damaged people who only disclose their dark truths and ugly sides to one another after they have gotten married. Can they love one another? Redeem one another? Can any of us?
Give us one or two of your favorite lines from this book.
Death. It follows her, swallows her, spits her out on the other side. Leaves her chewed and broken. And then circles back for another vicious bite.
Tell us about your writing space and your daily routine.
My writing space is in a converted garage in my family's home (my desk shares space with exercise equipment and large scale telescopes). It's not beautiful (although I have hung a lot of art, both my own and others, on the concrete walls) and its not private, but once I am in the groove and the writing is going well, I could be anywhere.
What’s one of your favorite reviews/comments you’ve ever received about your writing (on this book or any other)? Who did it come from and how did it impact you?
"What a terrific novel! JUST FALL arrived in the mail this morning and I read the book at one sitting, which I haven't done in years. Nina Sadowsky’s premise is original. her voice is clear, her storytelling skills are remarkable, and her pacing is perfect. I may have to sit down and read this one again." Sue Grafton
The above advance quote supplied to my publisher was obviously a thrill. Grafton was the first writer not known to me personally who read the book and there is nothing not to love about her reaction!
What’s your biggest struggle as a writer (or what was your worst critique)? And how do/did you handle it?
My biggest struggle as a writer was learning how to speak in my own pure voice after a career that mostly saw me play the role of creative mediator to collaborators. I was used to, and invested in, my self-image as a peace broker and I had to learn to let go of that. I liken it to learning how to howl.
What is the high point of your career, so far?
Publishing this book is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I'm unabashedly thrilled and feel very humbled and grateful. I have done many things in my life including running companies and producing movies, but this process has been the most fun and the most exciting of them all.
What was the low point of your career? And how did you handle it?
The lowest point of my career was during and immediately after the 2008 Writers Guild Strike. At that time, I was newly divorced, paying alimony to my ex and supporting two small children. I had switched to screenwriting from the business side of the film industry just two years before and while I had been doing well up until that point, the strike completely upended me. It also forced me to think flexibly and creatively about my future career path. It was then that I joined USC's School of Cinematic Arts as an adjunct professor. It was also at that time that I put writing a novel on my bucket list.
Give us the name of a recent book you’ve read that you would highly recommend to readers.
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen I am writing a second thriller for Ballantine/Random House entitled, THE BURIAL SOCIETY. It is a very different book from JUST FALL, but I think very much the same voice.
What’s your favorite book on the writing craft or your favorite piece of advice to writers?
I love Stephen King's "ON WRITING." It's intensely personal about his journey to becoming a writer in part one, offers immensely practical advice in part two, and was the book he was writing when struck by a van and hospitalized, so part three perversely becomes like one of his novels.
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