Saturday, August 24, 2013

Stephanie Neighbour's Author Spotlight with Ginger Myrick

Welcome to Saturday my Mess-y friends. As you know we have been opening up our Saturday's here for guest posts and I know I've enjoyed them as much as you have. We've met some fantastic people, heard some funny and some not so funny stories, and been exposed to great writers. Today is to be no different. The interview you are about to read was done by my good friend and co-founder of Bloggers against Bullies, Stephanie Neighbour, who you might remember from a couple of months back when she filled the guest chair herself. Well, today she is taking it over completely as Ginger and Stephanie have allowed us to swipe an interview they did together to share with you. I even stole the pictures and their captions along with the links they both provided. Yes, this is my lazy Saturday, but when the work was already perfect there was really nothing else for me to do.

You already know my high opinion of Stephanie, so you won't be disappointed by what you read.  Ginger is a dear lady and a great writer. You are going to enjoy getting to know her better and I hope you take the time to click the links and explore her writing. You won't be disappointed.

A quick thank you to both of the ladies for filling in this Saturday. I greatly appreciated it and I can see the fun you both had.  Now, I'm on my way to buy Ginger's book.  See you at the end of the interview!

Author Spotlight…Ginger Myrick
  By Stephanie Neighbour

Welcome to another installment of Author Spotlight and today you’ll be treated to my Q & A with author, Ginger Myrick. I had the pleasure of meeting this talented author through Twitter and not only have I enjoyed her fantastic writing but I am also pleased to call her, my friend. Ginger’s latest release is titled Work of Art, which is so good I blew through it in one weekend. Whether or not you are a fan of the genre, Ginger’s writing is so engaging, detailed and enjoyable you will quickly find yourself engrossed in the story; it’s just that good.
Before I introduce you to the lady who can make me laugh so hard I spit my water, paint amazing visuals with her words and make your skin crawl with a delightfully disturbing scene, I’d like to share my 5-star review for Work of Art.
Work of Art

Format: Kindle Edition
I am a big fan of the author and her latest creation, Work of Art does not disappoint. From the very beginning, the reader is treated to an engaging storyline and the wonderful writing style of this talented author. No matter if this is your typical genre of choice or not, Work of Art is a page-turner of a book that will keep you guessing and interested, to the very end. The dialogue between the characters along with the meticulous attention to detail will make the reader feel like they’re watching a great timepiece movie. In my opinion, there is nothing quite like a good murder mystery and when combined with a well-crafted storyline and relatable characters what you end up with is a, Work of Art. My recommendation: buy it, enjoy it and once the action gets going, you’ll want to read it with the lights on. It has just enough suspense and eeriness to keep even the most die-hard murder mystery fans satisfied and engaged. Highly recommended.

Q: The book has such an amazing amount of intricate detail from the speech patterns, clothing and surroundings. How long does it take you to do the research for a timepiece such as this?

A: First of all, thank you for hosting me, Steph. It’s a complete pleasure to be featured on your FABULOUS blog!

And thanks for mentioning all of my hard work. Most people don’t typically realize nor acknowledge the amount of research that goes into an historical effort. That said, Work of Art actually required much less research than either The Welsh Healer or El Rey. This time around the historical aspect was just setting the scene, so I got a general idea then only really looked up details necessary to the story as they arose.
And the speech patterns are not accurate. It would have been a MAJOR undertaking to realistically portray the accents. Aside from the fact that they differ slightly from generation to generation and class to class, there would have been more apostrophes than actual letters! I sacrificed accuracy in this instance for consistency and readability. I did just enough to evoke an atmosphere. Needless to say, I decided to leave out such colloquialisms as ‘floating an air biscuit’, although I do hope readers think that Work of Art is ‘the dog’s bollocks’ when they’re done with it!

Q: If the police came to your house and seized your computer do you think they would be shocked at your Google searches? Would it be enough for them to open an official file on you?

How cute is this dog? If he only knew what mom was searching on Google!!
A: If the cops came to my house, I would probably be writing my next book from behind bars! In fact, I picked up a roll of duct tape off the street just this morning while walking my dog!  My search history would definitely raise some eyebrows. I’ve always been a bit obsessed with serial killers, and even before it ever dawned on me to write, I used to google all sorts of twisted crap. One of my fascinations is with the Borgias. Their preferred method of offing people was by poisoning. They used a concoction called La Cantarella, which was supposedly prepared by:  “removing the abdominal organs of a sow poisoned with arsenic, salting the organs with more arsenic, then letting them slowly putrefy. The fluids that dripped from the rotting viscera were then evaporated to dryness and collected as a white powder resembling sugar.”  Eeewww! Gross, right? Just don’t get it confused with the sugar bowl and sprinkle it on your cereal!

Q: Did you know that Salvador Dali had an ocelot named, Babou?

A: How did you know that? It’s a very random piece of trivia for ANYONE to know, except for a Dali enthusiast. I didn’t know that, but it seems to fit.

The reason I included an ocelot in the book, was because I needed an animal that would have reasonably been on display in a zoo at the time, one that was also prone to show angst. What animal is spookier than a cat? And it fit with the story, because of its striking appearance. The markings are gorgeous, and it would make sense that Del, being an artist, would be interested in seeing it and would be able to appreciate such an animal.

Q: Would you or have you ever dated an undertaker?

A: I have never really dated, but I think that if a guy mentioned that he was an undertaker, I might not answer the phone for a while. Funnily enough, I wouldn’t show the same squeamishness with a medical examiner. I suppose it’s the thought of the emotional investment. I always picture a medical examiner in a very clinical manner, like he’s only cutting up bodies because it’s his job. Hey, somebody’s gotta do it, right? But with an undertaker, it’s more like he’s caring for a person’s remains, like he really loves what he does. I know it’s not the case, and they’re not ghouls, but it’s hard to put those preconceptions behind, especially after reading about the process of embalming. Ha! More fodder for the cops!

Q: Where did you come up with the names for your characters, including the kitten?

Mr. Stinkerpuss
A: Again, thanks for noticing! That’s actually one of the things that I put a lot of thought into. Weirdly enough, quite often the meanings of names I am considering completely fit the personality of my characters. This happened to be the case with the kitten, Hermes, who is modeled after my own Mr. Stinkerpuss. I like to include a bit of mythology in my writing, and since the cat is silver (quicksilver or mercury) and the Greek Hermes is the genesis of the Roman god Mercury, it totally worked out. When I found out that one of the symbols for Hermes is a rooster, that was just icing on the cake. For the record, Mr. Stinkerpuss actually makes chicken noises and loves to roll in the dirt!

Q: When you wrote the book did you have an outline of events or did you let the story lines unfold as your characters developed?

A: My stories usually come as complete inspirations. I like to let the beginning develop organically, but eventually I do lay out a sequence of events that need to be included in what I like to call a ‘timeline’. It is a completely separate document, and when I come up with some brilliant bit of dialogue or idea for a scene that the book cannot do without, I go ahead and write it then plug it in roughly where (when) it should go. When I get to that point in the story, I just copy and paste it in. That way I don’t lose anything that might be important.
This time, however, the story took a few little detours of its own. There was some lag time between conception and inception, and it turned out to be a good thing. One of the additions took the creepiness in the book to a different level, and another probably kept me from losing some readership. Suffice it to say that if I had gone ahead with my original storyline, the book may have turned out to be simply ordinary.

Q: What was the length of time between coming up with the concept and actually completing the book?

A: This is something I’m reluctant to divulge completely. I work quickly and tend to neglect everything else when I’m writing. I also have my secret demons pushing me, though I don’t have a clue as to why. I usually go at it full bore, and if I don’t get distracted or stuck on some particularly compelling piece of research, I can comfortably average 10K words per week. You do the math. Of course, there are those days when a girl feels braindead and doesn’t even want to see another human being, but I save those up for when hubby is home!

Q: Can we expect a sequel?

A: I don’t know that there is a way to do a sequel. Part of what kept Work of Art from becoming predictable was the whodunit factor, which was all tidied up in the last three chapters. I do, however, have an idea for another thriller in which the cops bring in a psychic to help solve cases. It’s pretty far down the line, and I’m not sure if I will make it historical or contemporary, with or without a love story. I have to get the rest of my ideas out of my head first. You’d be surprised how crowded it is in there … or maybe you wouldn’t!

Q: You creeped me out (in a good way) quite a few times. Do you find you have to be in a particular mindset when you develop those scenes?

A: Nope! Again, my inspirations come fairly complete. All I have to do is get them out of my head and into a readable form. It’s hard to explain without sounding like a freak, but basically my creative process echoes the way Del’s visions—and her compulsion to record them—come upon her. The things I have trouble with are much more banal: trying not to repeat elements of my stories or describe things the same way time and time again. Sometimes I have to check back to a similar scene to make sure that what I’m writing is different enough. Creepy was what this book required. You just have to face up to it, Steph, I’m creepy!

Q: If given the choice, would you make this a television series or movie?

A: I don’t think there is enough material to make a series, so I would have to go with movie on this one. In fact, this is part of the reason that my books are a bit longer than is typical these days and why I had to go Indie, I mean, ASIDE from that whole nobody ever showing any interest in my writing thing. I wanted to be able to tell a complete story in my own way without someone else scavenging it or tearing it into a series of installments. Besides, movie’s are where the big bucks are, right? I can’t imagine Brad Pitt and Erik Bana doing a made-for-TV series.

Meet Ginger and her family
Q: Would you ever allow your husband to cut your hair and do your make up?

A: On occasion I’ve had him tidy up the line of my hair or even up a part on the top of my head, but I think a full on make-over would be too creepy, even for me. I’d probably wind up like Marge on The Simpsons when Homer invented the make-up shotgun. “Homer, you’ve got it set on whore!” No shotguns for me. I’m lucky that hubby likes a natural look and after 20 years still tells me that I’m pretty. I think his eyesight is just getting worse, so huzzah for macular degeneration!

Q: Who was your favorite character to develop?

A: This is a tough question, and I’m going to have to reiterate an answer I gave in another post. When you create a character it is very much like giving birth, and you become very attached to him/her regardless of virtues or faults. In fact, sometimes their faults make the characters even more engaging and more fun to write. Del and her mother were both very sweet and endearing, and Killian was so suave and such a gentleman, but I loved Mrs. Chester, Mrs. Arthur, Jimmy, and Deirdre for their forthright manner. I have a soft spot for an unabashed, uncensored personality (as evidenced by my choice of mate!) and these A-type personalities are a writer’s dream. Of course, I am writing for others to read, but I might as well have fun while I do it. Right? I even had a great time with the two bad guy boxers.

And regardless of the brief mention of him in the book, I really loved Del’s dad. In my mind he was a fully formed person who influenced Del’s character and in turn much of the story. There is something very honorable and valiant about the ideals he represents. A strong bond between father and daughter fascinates me, partly because it’s something I have never experienced myself. The chapter when the ladies were going through the remnants of their life in Ireland was one of my favorite to relate.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers to pique their interest about, Work of Art? Run with it….

A: Well, when my husband got a good way into the book, he told me I was like Stephen King in drag, which is a huge compliment to me unless he was referring to my looks! But seriously, I idolize Stephen King. I only wish I could be as imaginative as he is.

As for trying to pique interest in the book, I am my own worst publicist, but I’ll give it a go. Work of Art is a story of love and loss, romance and mystery, with a smattering of tenderness and humor. It is basically a fairytale gone wrong in which the upper class meets the mean streets of New York. Throw in a love triangle, a bit of bare-knuckle boxing, a serial killer, and a plain Irish clairvoyant who is transformed into the belle of the ball, and I hope I have a story with enough intrigue and action to satisfy a wide variety of readers.

Ginger’s Links:
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Did you enjoy what you read?  Leave me a comment and then join me at The Mess that Is Me on Facebook!

Other posts you might enjoy ~ The Mess Welcomes Stephanie Neighbour
                                              The Mess Welcomes Joanne Mazzotta
                                             The (Almost) Perfect Daughter's Blog Tour

Thanks for visiting The Mess! Keep chasing your dreams!


  1. Thanks for having us, Robbie. I agree that Ginger is a fantastic writer and a wonderful friend. It was a pleasure to share the fun we had with our Author Spotlight interview. I know you'll enjoy the book and I hope other readers hop over and purchase, Work of Art. Enjoy your Saturday!! :)

    1. It was my pleasure, Stephanie, and thank you for coming to the rescue of our Saturday posts. It was fun watching the two of you talk and I am looking forward to the book.

  2. As I am writing a murder mystery too, I'm interested in reading what else is going on in the genre by other writers. Count me among future readers!

    Great interview with some very original questions. Thank you ladies and Robbie, too. I enjoyed this.

    1. Stephanie, does a great interview, Sherry. I was lucky to be able to share her post. Glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  3. And I just wanted to chime in here to thank you all for your interest and support. Mr. Cox, you are far too sweet for that rough looking exterior, but I appreciate your flattery all the same (even if 'dear lady' sounds like you're referring to my Aunt Gladys!) You had me at flip-flops! :D

    1. I'll have to come up with something a little more flattering then lol.

      Thank you for allowing me to hijack you interview. It was great and I loved learning more about you

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