I haven't forgotten you. I realize I haven't posted much recently and you've been waiting a long time for my next novel. You won't have to be patient too much longer. I recently finished writing the final chapter of "Reilly's Dilemma". It's been almost two years in the making, so it's about time. It likely won't be released until January so all the bugs can be worked out. I've had a hard time letting my characters tell me how it ends. I hope I got it right or they - and you, my readers - will let me know. Stay tuned!
My friend, author, Michael McCarty, invited me to be interviewed for his October blog. Here's an excerpt:
MICHAEL McCARTY: Why did you decide to become a novelist in the first place?
JOAN MAUCH: As a lifelong lover of reading, from an early age I wanted to write a novel but when I first sat down (under a tree by Lake Michigan) to write, after the first page, I ran out of words and discovered there was more to it than I thought. Years went by, life intervened and I put that desire on the back burner. Finally, after retiring, I had some free time and my desire to write a novel resurfaced along with the realization that I didn’t know the first thing about novel writing. At the time I was living on Chicago’s North Shore and found out about a fiction-writing class in which I promptly enrolled. The rest is as they say, history.
MIKE: Your book “Halifax” is set in both Florida and Canada. Was there any particular reason for going from extreme hot to extreme cold locations?
JOAN: Before even thinking about writing the novel, I had gone to Nova Scotia on vacation and visited all the locations mentioned in the book. When I came up with the idea for the novel, and the protagonist was going to flee, I thought Halifax would be the perfect place for her go. Like me, I assumed most of my readers had heard of Halifax but were unfamiliar with where it was or what it was like, so, in my mind at least, the setting added an element of interest to the novel. By the way, when we were there, which was in the fall, the weather in Nova Scotia was similar to autumn weather here, which is to say, delightful.
MIKE: If we are unmasking Joan Mauch, what would we find?
JOAN: A person who is somewhat conflicted. I am a very private person who avoids the spotlight and enjoys solitude, but at the same time I love excitement. For example, I went skydiving with my son a few years ago, ran two half-marathons and someday would like to go bungee jumping. On a more normal scale I enjoy hanging out with family and friends.
MIKE: Any advise for beginning writers?
JOAN: Writing a novel is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. What I mean by that is, as a young woman I thought I could just sit down and whip off a novel. After all, in college I always got A’s in creative writing courses and was often told I was a good writer and should write a book. Well, as I mentioned above, when I sat down to actually write, I quickly discovered after only a page, I couldn’t think of anything more to say. So, if you’re a new writer just starting out, I would advise you to take a few courses or workshops on novel writing. If that’s not possible, read some books on the topic. Then you need to accept the fact that novel writing is a lifelong pursuit, it is hard work that requires discipline. It’s not a weekend activity to pursue when you’re in the mood or have nothing better to do. Only then will you succeed. I hope this doesn’t discourage any of you who, like me, longed to write a book, but you do need to face the reality of what’s involved.
MIKE: Last words?
JOAN: Yes! Would-be writers who are reading this blog also need to know that most published authors are kind and more than willing to help struggling writers, so don’t be afraid to ask. I have emailed famous authors for their input on various topics and received responses. Authors are human too and most have at one time struggled to get their work published so they know what you are going through.
If you’re a reader, be sure to look up my work on my website at joanmauch.com or on Amazon. And after you read any or all of my novels, please leave comments or reviews. They needn’t be more than a few words. Those are gold for writers at any level and much appreciated!
The link for the complete blog interview is:
Yes, it's cold out. That's really not news. We're all shivering and eagerly waiting for spring. What better time to catch up on your reading? My novel, "The Waterkeeper's Daughter" has been reissued with a brand new cover. If you've never read it and own a Kindle, now's a great time to order the ebook on Amazon because it's free today. After that it reverts to it's normal price of $2.99.
"The Waterkeeper's Daughter" is the story of what happens when a man seeks revenge for what happened to his family years earlier. The problem is that the targets of his revenge are innocent of any wrongdoing. You can read a sample chapter on Amazon or here under the "Novels" tab. So stay warm, make some hot chocolate and grab a book. Spring will be here in no time!
Over the past month I tried something I've never done before. I participated in a playwriting workshop. Although I've written five novels, I've never attempted to write a play. As it turns out, the two are very different. While a novel allows you to get in the mind of the characters and describe in detail the scene, a play does none of those things. What you see and hear is what you get.
At the end of five weeks, the other playwrights and I each put on scene that we wrote. Mine was titled, "Coffee Break" and featured two local actors who started out talking about trivial things from their lives. Then it took a turn toward a dark concern in which one of them expressed fear that her husband was going to kill her. Considering the fact that I'm a mystery writer, I couldn't resist.
Seeing my work come to life on stage was exhilarating. The next time you have a chance to experience something entirely out of your comfort zone, be sure to do it. You never know where it might lead, or as in my case you may end up meeting new people and having a lot of fun!
Some people might not want the title "certified" next to their name, but in this case I'm thrilled. I was just notified that "Leon's Wall" has been "Underground Certified"
which means it meets Underground Reviews' quality standards and is eligible for reviews. By highlighting the best in indie literature, Underground Book Reviews aims to erase the boundaries between traditional and nontraditional publishing.
Please do me a favor and give "Leon’s Wall" a boost by voting for it on Underground Book Reviews! It will only take a minute and will help boost the book's exposure. Here's the link: https://www.undergroundbookreviews.org/book/leons-wall/
Submissions with at least 5 votes will be displayed on the front page of Underground Book Review's magazine. Thanks, I appreciate your help! I'll keep you posted with the results when they're available.
It's the middle of summer and what better than to spend some quality time reading your favorite novels - new and old?
Speaking of new: my latest novel, LEON'S WALL, was just released. It's a companion to ESCAPE FROM AMBERGRIS CAYE published last year.
To refresh your memory, in the earlier work, Izzie, a reporter has gotten herself in a jam, to put it mildly. She's been taken captive by a human trafficker who shipped her to Belize in a steamer trunk. Her photographer, Jackson and his brother, Zac, search for her as all three find their lives in jeopardy. Spoiler alert: The trafficker, Leon Donatello, is arrested and gives up his crime boss in exchange for witness protection. Thinking he'll be housed in an cool ocean-side town, he's shocked to find himself in Wall, South Dakota, population 850.
That's where my latest novel, LEON'S WALl, picks up the story. Leon is running a gas station at the edge of Wall, barely making it, when he discovers an Oglala Lakota Sioux teenager living in his car in fear of a Pine Ridge Reservation gang that recruited him and won't take no for an answer. In the meantime, back in Chicago, socialite Tanya Miller suddenly finds herself broke and shunned by former friends. Desperate to regain her former status she makes use of her talent as a crack shot to become a hired assassin for the Mob who want Leon dead.
Come along on this fun ride. Read either or both novels. If you've never read ESCAPE FROM AMBERGRIS CAYE, now's the perfect time. The ebook for Kindle is on sale for $0.99 thru the end of the day on Monday, July 10th.
Get a taste of both books by clicking on the "Home" tab at the top of the page and reading excerpts of those and my other novels. To order signed copies of the paperbacks, click on the Order Form tab and follow the instructions. They are also available in both paperback and ebook formats on Amazon and other outlets.
Have a wonderful summer - and happy reading!
If you've never read "The Mangled Spoon" here's a great opportunity: the novel's 2nd edition has just been released under the title, "Unmasking Miss Jane" complete with a new cover that features the compelling face of a woman weeping blood-red tears.
For those unfamiliar with the storyline, a half-nude woman is found wandering Chicago's North Side, unable to speak and with no identification. In his efforts to discover who she is, psychiatrist Marc Rukeyser takes to calling her Miss Jane (as in Jane Doe). He has two weeks to unravel the mystery after which she'll be committed to a state mental institution. In the course of his desperate search, he uncovers sordid details authorities are determined to keep hidden.
On June 2nd the ebook will be available at a special price of 0.99. The regular list price of the ebook is $2.99 and the paperback is $12.99.
After you've read "Unmasking Miss Jane", be sure to let other readers know what you liked or disliked about it by posting a comment or review - or email me personally. I would love to hear from you.
A SPRINGTIME TREAT FOR YOU!
HALIFAX by Joan Mauch. If it sounds familiar, that's because it was first published four years ago. Now in its 2nd edition, it has been re-released with an exciting new cover along with lower prices for both the paperback at $12.99 and the e-book at $2.99.
Even better, on Monday, April 10th for one day only, the e-book edition for the Kindle is free. So, mark your calendar and head to Amazon Monday for your free copy. If you've never read it, you'll enjoy getting to know Ellie and her quirky ways. If you purchased the original, read it again. Ellie's story of a woman living a life of quiet desperation that changes on a dime is one to which we can all relate. Even better for your imagination, it's set in the beautiful Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
So don't forget: Monday, April 10th HALIFAX for the Kindle is free! Be sure to claim your copy! And, after you've read it, leave a review or comment to let other readers know how you liked it! Happy Spring!
George's message from many years ago seems very apropos in today's world. I ran across it this morning and wanted to share it with you:
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, ' I love you ' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.
Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Happy New Year!
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of my writing and to extend my wishes to you and your loved ones for happiness in the coming year.
The above photograph was taken last week when I visited my son in Tampa. As many of you know, he is a photojournalist who covers the news from a helicopter. I had the privilege of flying along as he covered a story. That's Captain Jimmy, the pilot, a very personable and interesting guy. We had a great time, but I have to admit sitting in that helicopter flying over Tampa watching my son work the photographic equipment was a thrill. I'll never look at aerial reports in the news the same way again!
LEON'S WALL was released June 30,2017. UNMASKING MISS JANE is the 2nd edition of THE MANGLED SPOON published in 2014. Her debut novel, HALIFAX, was originally published in 2013. Her fourth and fifth novels, THE WATERKEEPER'S DAUGHTER and ESCAPE FROM AMBERGRIS CAYE were published in 2014 and 2016. Excerpts of all five novels may be viewed under the "Home" tab. Check it out!