About the Book
Portraying Detective Jocelyn Girard on television forensic drama Crime Unit New Jersey involves dealing with special-effects corpses, high speed chases, and flamboyant gymnastic feats for actress P.L. (Princess Louise) McGinnis.
But when P.L. begins stumbling over “real live dead bodies” she’s thrust into a mystery which mirrors C.U.N.J. episodes, including a pursuit-on-horseback-by-a-clown scene in the middle of a New Jersey Thanksgiving Parade. If P.L. can’t produce the antique clock which holds the key to the murders, her final scene might be filmed at her own funeral.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My sense of humor. If I didn’t have it, I’d ‘ve gone completely bonkers by now and probably ended up in the news for staging a sit-in at the grocery store or something equally dumb.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I tend to get reclusive, which is not a good thing. I hide from the world too often.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“Life is a series of exceptions.” Star-Trek Next Generation, stated by Jean-Luc Picard after he broke the prime directive for the umpteenth time. It’s that message of hope. That you can rewrite your life. You can write things that are “ungenreable” and possibly still make a best seller list. That you can take a risk and do something even when everyone is telling you you can’t and you’ll fail. It’s the idea of moving forward and not sticking to the past.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Probably the first full musical I ever choreographed. I started dance late (age 15) and always felt I was playing catch up. I was really proud of the choreography and just DOING it and really pleased that professional theatre ‘folk’ were giving me rave reviews.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
My dad taught law for years and he really impressed upon me a keen desire to see justice prevail. To have fairness triumph. This also goes to the other question about which genre I’m most comfortable with because one reason I write mystery or romantic suspense is that I like knowing at the end, the ‘good guys’ win. Also, I try not to write anything I’d be embarrassed to have had my folks read. Both are deceased now but I still don’t want St. Peter calling out, “Yo! Your daughter has just written the dumbest and nastiest piece of trash I’ve ever seen so I’m sending ‘down’ to be burned before you have a chance to take a look.”
How long have you been writing?
I started reading at about age three because my parents and brothers were always reading to me and before I knew it, I was reading right along. That seemed to naturally lead to writing. My first piece of “literature” was two sentences long and I think I was four at the time. It was called The Bug on the Wall. Want to hear it? “There was a bug. It was on the wall.” Move over Shakespeare! I grew more interested in writing when I was about eight and was reading some the Boxcar Children series and Nancy Drew and Hardy boys. That’s when I wrote about three chapters of what was going to be my first novel – “The Skinner Family goes to Ireland.” My brothers pointed out that the Skinner family was making that trip from New York to Ireland – by train. I still don’t see the problem. I should have just made it futuristic. I’m quite sure in another hundred years trains across the Atlantic will be common. And I wrote a complete novel at age 10 in the style of Trixie Belden books. The manuscript has – tragically – since been lost in one of my way too many moves. In college, I debated between majoring in English and History and writing historical novels or going with dance and theatre and finally decided to do the latter, knowing I could ‘return’ to writing one day but it would be very hard to have a career as a dancer if I started in middle age! I used to write a lot of poetry in college but began toying short stories and finally novels in 1999 when I was hobbling around my New York apartment after a foot injury and couldn’t teach dance. Finished Ghost of a Chance, my first published novel, in 2003 and was VERY Lucky to sell it that same year.
What inspires you to write and why?
Characters and chance comments. I love coming up with what I hope will be unique, fun, interesting characters. And I’ll get hit with some crazy idea in the middle of a conversation. My best friend (an actress) and I were chatting last November about various people we wouldn’t mind removing from existence. Boom! I went to the computer and wrote the first fourteen chapters of Sweet Cream Ladies, about two middle-aged “hit” women over the Thanksgiving holiday.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Mystery – see above.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Long story – but basically I’d wanted to write a melodrama about a ghost in the theatre. It was based on “true” experiences in a theatre in Texas involving a good friend of mine. I decided turning it into a book would be a better idea so I wrote Ghost of a Chance.
What made you want to be a writer?
I just have these stories that need telling and characters that refuse to stay put in my brain.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Selling the durn things. I do NOT like the promo aspect of the business.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I write in first person, I’m not terribly descriptive with setting or physical characteristics of characters. I’ve been told I’m funny and that my dialogue is “good.” Which answers the last question! Humor and dialogue I guess. And “interesting characters.”
To find out more about Flo visit : http://www.flofitzpatrick.com/index.htm