Fun Facts About Screwing the Mob!

Readers are always interested to find out background details about my stories. I like that they pick up on the little things I add to my books to create dimension and depth – of the characters, the plot, settings, and so forth. I love surprising people when I name a character after them, although one of my readers wasn’t thrilled when she read that a character with her name suffered an untimely death.

In my defense, I wrote the book way before I met her.

But, generally, people get excited when they see something familiar, something we’ve discussed in my Facebook reader group or suggestions I take from them. I love to involve the readers in the creation of the story. It makes it more personal for them, and hopefully, more enjoyable overall to know that they contributed to the end product.

So I was thinking about Screwing the Mob, and I decided to put together a little list of book facts for you all! Some of you have already asked about these items, and now I’m sharing the goods with everyone!

How did you come up with the names for the main characters?

Interestingly enough, Nico’s (my hero) last name is the last name of a relatively new friend of mine who happens to be a big reader. She also has not read any of MY books as of yet, but that’s beside the point. I suspect this book will pop her Kristen Luciani cherry.

As far as the two female characters go, Shaye (heroine) and Sloane (her best friend) are the names of my kids’ dental hygenist’s daughters. Did you follow that one? Haha! Anyway, I’d always loved those names and told her they’d end up in one of my books. And so they are. =)

Finally…we come to the name of Nico’s nightclub. He’s more of a businessman than an enforcer, and he owns a very successful, very exclusive club in Manhattan. I needed just the perfect name, and my friend Stacy came through for me after much research. Culaccino. I love it. It is PERFECT!

And, just as an aside, while it sounds like such a sexy and sophisticated word, it actually means a mark left on a surface by the bottom of a wet glass or vessel.

Not sexy. Not sophisticated. But it sure as hell sounds great when you say it!

Why do so many of your characters have a sweet tooth?

You guys always pick up on the sweets! Maybe that’s why I keep including them. I like associating certain characters with something yummy. I mean, the guys are already yummy, but this almost makes them a bit more real to me. I always put together character profiles before I write, just to get some ideas out about who and what these people are. Maybe I create sugar addictions for some of them because I deprive myself of sweets more often than not, and I want to live vicariously through them! And, in keeping with tradition, Nico Salesi has a serious addiction to watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers. I can’t say I enjoy them as much as he does, though. I find them really sticky and difficult to get out of my teeth! LOL

You write a lot about characters with pretty serious allergies. Do you have any to speak of?

Haha! No, though I’m actually highly allergic to grass and suffering these days because the counts are super high this season. But fortunately, it’s only the kind of allergy that gives me post-nasal drip and a sore throat. Luckily, there isn’t anything that has the potential to send me into anaphylactic shock.

Are you “connected?” *holds index finger to the side of nose*

No. But in full disclosure, I did work with a “family” member while plotting this book. *wink, wink* I can’t divulge any more than that, for obvious reasons.

A lot of movies and books tend to over-glamorize the mafia, and in reality, it’s very different. I mean…so I hear.

I wanted to capture the details at a level where the book could be enjoyed by people who are aficionados of mafia romance novels and those who don’t typically read the genre but were intrigued by the blurb enough to try it out.

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I Promise I’m Not An Author-Stalker!

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I’m a little bleary-eyed as I write this.  It’s been a looooong day for me.  I woke up at 4:00 AM because I couldn’t breathe (damn forced air).  Then I tossed and turned for about half an hour before I gave up on any hope of getting a few more winks. 

By that time, my mind was on high alert and I got the brilliant idea for a high drama scene in my second book (still sans title because I’m only on page 30).  I logged a few notes in my iPhone but it just didn’t suffice.  I needed to get the words out, right then.  So I got a cup of coffee and clacked away on my keyboard for an hour. 

I love it.  It’s rough, but has so much emotion.  I’ll go through it again tonight and make some tweaks.  Only one tiny issue. I’m not exactly sure where it fits into the overall timeline.  I have a million ideas surrounding it on both sides, but I don’t know how to position it in the story quite yet.  That will come.  But the scene can work in so many ways.  I’m so excited to figure out how best to use it.

Today was an ultra-busy day and the next few look just as full.  My energy is all but sapped by now, especially after yelling and screaming about homework.  But I got a bit of a second wind after dinner, so I Googled how to become a bestselling author.  Just to get some ideas.  =)

I came across a blog post by an bestselling author and social media guru named Kristen Lamb with tons of great sound bytes about the trade.  I was hooked.  So I followed her blog, followed her on Twitter, commented on her post, commented on another post, and then she followed me on Twitter!  After some more Tweeting and re-Tweeting, I bought her book on Amazon – Rise of the Machines:  Human Authors in a Digital World.  Awesome cover, Kristen!

Even though I have a Kindle, I bought the paperback.  Yes, I’m one of those people who like to make notes on the pages, fold them down, highlight passages and revisit as needed.  I need the hard copy for all that.  It’s just my thing.

Anyway, I hope she doesn’t think that I’m some wacko author-stalker.  I’m just happy to connect.  =)

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