Sunday, June 6, 2010

Interview with author Nancy Famolari

I am delighted this month to feature fellow author Nancy Famolari. Nancy lives with her husband, five horses, two dogs and five white cats on a farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. Her stories and poems have appeared in Long Story Short, Flash Shot, Fiction Flyer, Lyrica, Alienskin Magazine Clockwise Cat, and Matters of the Heart from the Museitup Press. She has written 3 novels – Summer's Story, Unwelcome Guest at Fair Hill Farm and her latest venture, The Lake House. This is the blurb.

The lake house has been empty for ten years – the scene of a brutal murder. Undeterred by the story, Mark and Tory buy their dream house, but when they move in strange things happen. While exploring the house on the first afternoon, they find a hunting knife wedged in a closet under the stairs. Could this be the murder weapon?

Tory, a romance novelist, becomes fascinated by the unsolved murder. The owner's beautiful, young wife was found stabbed to death. The police say it was a burglary gone wrong, but she doesn't believe it. Alone at the house during the week, while Mark works in New York, Tory feels the presence of the murdered woman. When she asks questions, the townspeople become antagonistic. Only Andy, the newspaper editor, tries to be helpful. After someone shoots at her, Mark tells her to stop the investigation. But she has to know: is she crazy, sensing the presence of a ghost, or is the town covering up a brutal murder? As her investigation continues, more accidents happen. Is someone trying to frighten her away, or is she the killer's next target?

I asked Nancy a few questions about her latest book.

How did you get the idea for Lake House?
When my husband and I were looking for a house in Pennsylvania, we found one we liked on the Internet. I called the realtor only to find that the house had been sold and was going to settlement the day I called. Subsequently, we went to Pennsylvania to see other properties with the realtor. During the day, he told us the story of the house. It had been vacant for ten years because of a murder that occurred there. A young couple purchased it and hoped to live there permanently, but couldn't afford to give up their jobs in New York. I thought this story had all the makings of a good mystery, so I used it as the basis for Lake House.

Who is your favorite character?
Tory is the obvious favorite. She grows a great deal during the course of the novel, finding that she can trust her instincts and act on her own. She starts the book rather timid, but by the end has definitely become a strong individual. I also like Chess Devon, Chief of Police. She's a tough lady keeping order in Montbleu, while fending off the advances of her ex-lover, Inspector Bartlett Thomas.

I must admit to a fondness for my minor characters. They remind me of people I know in the Endless Mountains, some of whom are real characters. I had great fun bringing them into Tory's story. I particularly like Hank and Eddie, the men who deliver the mattress. For me, they are quite typical (with a little exaggeration) of the men who do odd jobs in small towns. Living for the hunting season is a very real way of life in the mountains.

What did you find difficult or easy about writing The Lake House?
The Lake House
is my most ambitious novel to date. It's long for me, nearly 300 pages. I have a complex plot and a sub-plot. Keeping the mystery moving while developing the romantic sub-plot was a challenge. I had to make a very detailed time-line, rewrite some sections several times. I'm happy with the result. I hope my readers are.

The easy, enjoyable part of writing The Lake House was the development of the background and minor characters. I love the Endless Mountains. It is a truly beautiful spot. Putting an amalgam of local characters into the story was great fun. While the minor characters aren't built on any individual, their mannerisms are shared by many people here.

Do you plan to write another murder mystery?
The Lake House is actually the second book in a series I've planned – the Montbleu Series. The first book, Murder in Montbleu, is just about ready to published. I plan to do that later this year. Two other books in the series are in draft form. I hope to edit them and get them ready for publication in 2011. After that, I'm not sure whether I'll continue the series. It depends on whether I get new ideas and on whether readers are interested.

Thank you so much, Nancy. I wish you success with the book and the series!

The Lake House
ISBN: 978-1452817941
Publisher: Createspace
Available from:
Price: $12.50

Find out more about Nancy at:
My Space:

Learn from new and experienced authors. Join Writers on the Move's June 2010 Authors' Tour.



  1. Thank you so much for inviting me today. The interview looks great!

  2. Nancy, I love the concept for The Lake House. Personally, I don't think I'd want to live in a house where a murder was committed. But it makes for the perfect novel setting!

  3. Nancy, your book sounds so interesting. Did you write an outline? How did you manage to keep track of all the subplots?

    Margaret Fieland

  4. Actually, Maggie, I didn't work from an outline. I just kept deciding what would happen next. However, that meant I had to go back and rewrite several sections. Still, it works for me and keeps the writing exciting!

  5. Nancy, I am in a critique group with an author who is writing a cozy mystery and I have a new appreciation for all that goes into the plotting. What an undertaking. Good luck with this!

    Oh! Tip. Those of you in the writing process might want to check out Lary Brooks's e-book on structure. He's at Amazing information and technique for helping writers understand the process.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Blogging resources for writers at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

  6. Nancy, The Lake House sounds very interesting, and 300 pages--wow. I admire those who can write mysteries and suspense--I've never tried, but I don't think I have it in me.

    I wish you much success with the series.

  7. Thanks for the great comments and suggestions. I will definitely check out Lary Brooks' ebook on structure. Sounds interesting.

    Vivian, I love hearing that someone else does what I do in planning a novel. I find my imagination is so much more agile that pen on paper!

  8. The title immediately draws to mind James Patterson's book with the same name! Shows there's nothing new under the sun. Sounds like a great book, Nancy. Good luck with it.

  9. I loved to hear about how you developed the novel. It sounds very intricate and intriguing! I also have found creating a detailed timeline to be helpful when plotting a novel. I can imagine even more so when writing a mystery! All best wishes to you, Nancy!

    :) Dallas

  10. Love your cover and the premise for your mystery. I have it on my want-to-read list.

  11. This book sounds fantastic! I love the premise for your mystery.
    Martha Swirzinski

  12. You have three books ready to publish!!! Do you write 24/7? That's wonderful, Nancy. You are an inspiration. I've gotta go write.....

  13. Thanks for all the great comments. If anyone wants to do a review for me for amazon, I'd be happy to send a copy of the book!! Just let me know!

  14. Sounds like a great read! I would be willing to do a review of it.

  15. Thank you everyone for dropping by and thank you, Nancy, for being such an interactive guest - it's been a pleasure hosting you!


  16. Nancy, I'm really enjoying the process of learning more about your writing. The Lake House sounds like a great book to read while curled up under a warm blanket and sipping hot chocolate by the fireplace. Ahh...... I love a good book!