Name Jen Talty
Age 49 on 25 May
Where are you from Rochester NY
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’ve lived in Rochester NY most of my life. I have three children, 24, 21 and 18. My oldest (a daughter) is heading off to Madagascar with the Peace Corps this June. My middle boy attends Potsdam University and plays D3 Golf. My baby boy will be heading off to Xavier College to play Club Hockey and study finance in the fall and it will be official, my husband and I will be empty nesters!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
For the last couple of years my focus has been on running Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer, so I haven’t had any new releases. However, that is all about to change. I’m finishing up a suspense novel. Very different from my romantic suspense books, but I’m very excited. Look for it this fall! The title currently is Taming Evil.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2003 and I had no idea what or why I was doing it except I was spending a lot of time in Ice Rinks as all of my children played ice hockey, so it started as a hobby, but in 2005 my first book was published.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day I got “the call”.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Needing something to do while sitting in the hockey rink and it seemed I had read everything under the sun.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Do you mean POV? As far as my romances go, I lean toward writing in 3rd limited. However, I prefer to read omniscient and am writing my latest book that way.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It often comes out of my first idea, but then changes as I get into the book and it is usually something I end up writing in the first the draft.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nah. I want my readers to be satisfied.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Never thought about it.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
So many books have influenced my life. Too many to name. But I can name a writer/mentor has influence my career the most and that is Bob Mayer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a non-fiction book titled The Power of Habits
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Well, I really liked the book Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins and she was new to me.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Taming Evil, which is part of the Bio-Gen Series. The books are based on a super secret underground laboratory that runs all sorts of experiments. Taming Evil, the first book I would describe as a Total Recall meets Orphan Black with a bit of Hannibal tossed in for good measure.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
RWA-Romance Writer’s Association and my local chapter Central New York Romance Writers
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Publishing and Writing are my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
So far, nope.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Honestly? Boredom. When you spend 4 hours 4 times a week at a hockey rink and you average reading 3 books a week, well writing seemed like a fun alternative. And now its my world.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure—Here is the Prologue:
“So, what’s it going to be?”
Natalie Craig rolled the pen between her fingers. She anticipated the reality she’d most likely, eventually get caught, even though she had the perfect plan and the resources to disappear. But she also knew that often the past caught up with one when they least expected. There was only one question on this particular Monday evening and it wasn’t who was going to win the Monday night football game. No. The only question in Natalie’s mind was what would be worse: to rot while anticipating a certain real death, or to die a different kind of death. Either way, would she know?
“Come on Natalie. Decide,” the woman sitting across from her chided. She had said her name was Dr. Shelley Christoff. But what she proposed didn’t seem remotely possible except for maybe in some weird science fiction horror flick.
Yet, here sat Natalie, contemplating entering the twilight zone.
She supposed at least she was given a choice.
But was it much of a choice?
“What about my money?” Natalie had always been a very decisive woman. Not because it was in her DNA. No. Only because in order to survive she had to think quick on her feet. Make decisions fast based often on nothing more than a gut reaction and very few facts.
Today she faced one certain fact. She would die. That alone was the biggest mind fuck of all.
“You will be more than compensated for your agreement to participate.”
“Perhaps. But how will I know I’ve been compensated?”
“You won’t. That’s the point.”
God, Natalie really disliked this woman the moment she had stepped into the interrogation room in downtown Atlanta. She figured this place was a hundred times better than any police station in Kentucky. Kentucky was a horrible place and it was really hard for her to believe that her roots had started here in the middle of flipping nowhere.
“Will it be painful?”
“No,” Shelley said quickly. Maybe too quickly. She was as cold and hard as the iceberg that sank the Titanic, but at the same time, just as beautiful. Picturesque, like Natalie thought the iceberg that fateful night might have looked like in the dark night sky. The passengers’ standing on the deck in the cold admiring a beautiful structure in the sea unaware of the depth of destruction something so magnificent could bring. Behind all that beauty and glory, the iceburg was a ruthless as a bomb when it exploded. And after the ship broke in two, while the iceburg stood tall, the crisp cold water sent up a fog toward the skies carrying the souls that were buried deep in the depths of the ocean.
Natalie smiled. The woman standing before her was no different than the iceburg, something that Natalie could understand. Relate to.
“Do you find this amusing?”
“No,” Natalie said just as quickly. “I just don’t believe you.”
“About what?” Shelley had pale skin—porcelain like with platinum blonde hair that she wore in a tight ponytail at the nap of her neck with a side part. All Natalie could think about was the old children’s rhyme mommy, mommy my ponytail is too tight. She even wanted to pull her checks back and chant the rhyme. She smiled again.
“Is that smile your way of saying yes?”
“I haven’t decided yet.” Natalie continued to stare into Shelley’s light blue eyes. They were like little tropical ocean ice cubes, which was an oxymoron, but it fit.
Shelley looked at her watch. “I have another candidate, so I need you to answer now.”
Natalie couldn’t tell if the good doctor was impatient, bored, or just wanted to push her into a decision. Didn’t matter. Her fate had been sealed the moment she’d been put in hand cuffs at the airport. “I’ll do it,” Natalie said without reservation. Though she had a million.
“Then sign here.” Shelley pushed the document across the table.
Natalie held the pen over the line that said signature. “No pain, right?”
“I can guarantee if there is any pain, we will give you something for it. I can also guarantee that you won’t remember.”
“No matter what I choose, I will no longer exist. I. Who I am right now, will be dead to the world.”
Shelley’s turn to smile. It wasn’t a happy smile, but an ominous smile. One similar to what Natalie envisioned she’d shared with her family on that fateful night. Somehow that made Natalie feel better about her decision.
“Your body will live. Your heart will pump. But you, Natalie Craig will cease to exist.”
Natalie took the paper and scribbled her name on the paper. “Who will exist?”
“Curiosity killed the cat.” Shelley took the paper and the pen and folded them as she stood.
“According to that paper I just signed, I’m already dead.”
“Natalie Criag isn’t the cat.” Shelley pulled out her phone and began texting or emailing. “We will leave the station in a secure vehicle where we will take you to a secure facility and begin the treatment.” She didn’t even try to fake humanity. Well, in the end, had Natalie?
“Anyone ever tell you have no feeling or emotion or compassion whatsoever?”
Shelley just looked over her cell phone. “That’s funny coming from you.” But she didn’t laugh. She just kept taping away on her phone.
“Wait here,” Shelley said as she opened the interrogation room. “I’ll make sure everything is ready for transport and then we will be on our way.”
And that was that. Shelley disappeared through the door and Natalie sat there, still in hand cuffs. Well at least she wouldn’t spend her last days in a dark cell where her perfectly manicured nails would be ruined and perhaps she could take something with her to this new world she would be going to.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I hate writing the draft. Rewriting comes easier to me than the draft.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one favorite author, but I do have a few that have influenced my writing. Bob Mayer, of course. He’s a great writer and I love his books and that makes working with him all that sweeter. Laura Benedict is a fabulous writer. Her voice is amazing and her story telling is supreme. I would recommend her to anyone. I also really like Harlon Coban and especially Tell No One. That book changed the way I viewed my own writing. And of course, the king of fear, Stephen King.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do some traveling for Cool Gus Publishing, but other than that, no. However, I do a lot of traveling with my family, so that inspires a lot of my books.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do. I don’t recommend any author doing it themselves and I rely heavily on Bob Mayer’s opinion of my covers. That said, I do all the covers for Cool Gus Publishing.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Always the draft. I hate the draft. Once I get that done, its smooth sailing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I’m so not normal.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
There are many roads to OZ and OZ means different things to different people. Figure out your goals, and follow your heart.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU! Readers Rule! Without them, I would not exisit.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything. Life is full of laughter and tears. Its what makes it wonderful.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I’ll leave that to my husband and kids.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Reading, watching TV, and being with my family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Everything. I just finished watching Bloodline and thought it was Amazing. I also watched the Australian version of Secrets and Lies. Blew me away. Huge fan of Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, and so many others. Guilty pleasure TV shows are Dance Moms and Real Housewives of NYC. Halla!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Seafood, Blue, pop and dance music. Uptown Funk all the way
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I did it. Raise my kids.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
You can me at http://coolgus.com