It’s Wednesday and that means it’s guest author time. Please welcome Jill Piscitello.
This Writer’s Life-(TWL)-Welcome to the Wednesday blog, happy to have you join us today. Introduce yourself and tell us about yourself, your writing and your books.
First, thank you so much for hosting me today. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. But it wasn’t until my kids had licenses and my side hustle as a chauffeur slowed down that I polished a manuscript enough to query agents and editors. After multiple revisions and rounds of querying, Melange Publishing offered me a contract for Homemakers’ Christmas. How many ways can I express thrilled to pieces? That was the moment I decided to pursue a long-held dream.
TWL-What’s a typical writing session like for you?
Coffee first, please. The session depends on the writing task. Whether I’m outlining, free writing, or editing, hours slip by in seconds. Another factor is timing. During the school year, I’m limited to nights and weekends. But summer vacation mornings begin with a workout followed by planting myself at the keyboard.
TWL-What have you learned most from being a writer?
I learned that authors are some of the most supportive people you could hope to meet. I also learned the value of working with a talented editor and gratitude for every last critique that improves my craft.
TWL-What’s been the biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?
Marketing is my biggest struggle. As a full-fledged introvert, talking about myself or my work in public does not come naturally. But little by little, I’m making gains in this area. Sometimes we must endure a bit of discomfort to achieve our goals.
TWL-What’s been your biggest victory?
My biggest victory as a writer was finishing that first novel. Even if it never saw the light of day, the time and effort that went into those pages was an achievement. Releasing that first book into the world was terrifying. But taking that chance led to two contracts with The Wild Rose Press.
TWL-If you could give advice to your pre-author self, what would it be?
Don’t wait so long. Don’t be so afraid of failure that trying to achieve your goals becomes impossible. Failure to strive is a failure to thrive.
TWL-What writing tip would you offer to a new author?
Welcome constructive criticism with open arms. Most importantly, write. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and wholeheartedly understand the burning need to stop and edit. But my advice is to write as much as possible before giving in. Getting entangled with the million things found wrong is a quick way to put a cork on the creative juices. For me, the best time to pause and edit is when writer’s block settles in, and I’m not sure where to go next with the story.
When murder provides a welcome distraction…
On the heels of a public, broken engagement, Maeve Cleary returns to her childhood home in Hampton Beach, NH. When a dead body turns up behind her mother’s music school, three old friends land on the suspect list. Licking her wounds soon takes a back seat to outrunning the paparazzi who spin into a frenzy, casting her in a cloud of suspicion. Maeve juggles her high school sweetheart, a cousin with a touch of clairvoyance, a no-nonsense detective, and an apologetic, two-timing ex-fiancé. Will the negative publicity impact business at the Music Box— the very place she’d hoped to make a fresh start?
With his mouth set in a grim line, he waited.
If anyone else had enough nerve to presume she owed them an explanation, she would respond with a solid mind your own business. Instead, the seventeen-year-old still inside her refused to tell him to get lost. “He was hiding money in his office.” This was one of those times when learning how to wait a few beats before blurting out inflammatory information would come in handy. Each second of passing silence decreased her ability to breathe in the confined space. She turned the ignition and switched on the air conditioner.
“How do you know?” His volume just above a whisper, each dragged-out word hung in the air.
“I found it.”
“When were you in his office?” He swiped at a bead of sweat trickling down the side of his face, then positioned a vent toward him.
“Last night.” When would she learn to bite her tongue? Finn’s switch from rapid-fire scolding to slow, deliberate questioning left her unable to swallow over the sandpaper lump in her throat.
“Where was Vic?”
She stared at the back of the building, wishing she’d kept her mouth shut. “He’d left for the night.” If she averted her gaze, she could pretend his eyeballs weren’t bugging out of his head, and his jaw didn’t need a crane to haul it off his chest.
“You were at the town hall after hours? Did anyone see you?”
“A custodian opened his door for me.” She snuck a glance. Sure enough, features contorted in shock and horror replaced his boy-next-door good looks.
About the Author:
Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.
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