Happy November 1st everyone. Thank you for stopping in for a chat around my fire. I hope you enjoy the slightly different format. It's my intention to combine all the things you've loved about Take A Peek Through The Window and Welcome to the Fire.
What can you expect? Meet and greet authors, bloggers, maybe a bookshop owner or two. They will share their life and work with you. Occasionally there will be contests or freebies. So without further ado, please help me welcome my first guest to the new format Jill Piscitello.
Hi Jill! Thank you for stopping by today. The campfire is lit and we are all anxious to know who you are other than your bio? I’m a recent empty nester filling my newfound free time with multiple writing projects. My house is perpetually clutter free, but a bit too quiet.
Writing and life in general can take up a lot of our time. But we need balance. Tell us, what interests besides writing do you enjoy? Last year, I purchased a huge, ancient dollhouse at a yard sale. This was a total impulse buy. I haven’t stopped at a yard sale since accompanying my grandmother in the 80s. My inner child is enjoying the slow, painstaking process of restoring the house to its former glory.
Three cheers for your inner child. Many of us need to let that child out now and then and play. It seems your grandma was an influence in your life, but who else are your go-to people? My biggest support system is my husband. Romance is far from his preferred reading genre. But he’s always willing to comb through a manuscript searching for typos and plot holes.
Good for you and him. My Pete also reads my work first. Who or what books or authors are your inspiration? I don’t write in his genre, but Stephen King’s ability to churn out one unputdownable book after another fascinates me. His talent for bringing characters and settings to life and sucking readers into every story is exceptional.
One of may favorites too. Especially his early works. Do you have any fun or outrageous talent? I wish! Does multi-tasking count?
Sure does! I'm not much of a task juggler anymore and admire those who can do it effectively. Can you give us a peek at your world. What is your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent? One of my favorite ways to squeeze in a workout is a long walk at a nearby lake. With the exception of storms, I’m willing to walk in all weather. The view never fails to bring me peace.
Taking those walks, especially at this time of year is good for the body, mind and soul. Have you had any adventures lately? Conferences, conventions, vacations? I think we can all relate to how wonderful it felt to get away this summer after a long stretch of covid restrictions. I wasn’t ready to go globe trotting just yet, but a few days in New Hampshire were just what the doctor ordered. Sun, sand, food, music, and my family were all I needed to warm my soul.
Oh, yeah. I completely agree. We sometimes need a change of scenery and New Hampshire is gorgeous.
Here's where I love the spontaneous answers. They reveal so much about a person Tell us your favorite childhood book? Or writing that inspired you to become an author. As a child, I couldn’t get enough of the Ramona series. Her antics were laugh out loud relatable for an eight-year-old girl.
Worst household chore? In my opinion, vacuuming stairs is the single most unpleasant chore. Getting into all the nooks and crannies with a lumbering machine is tedious work.
Would you rather have unlimited international first-class tickets or never have to pay for food at restaurants? Flying is at the top of my least favorite activity list. But trying new restaurants never gets old.
Do you play board games? I’m fairly ruthless when it comes to Scrabble.
What subjects should be taught in school, but aren’t? At risk of sounding old fashioned, I’d love to see even a few weeks within a school year include cursive. Electronic signatures are increasingly eliminating the need for this skill, but there is something to be said for beautiful penmanship.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? After drafting an outline, I often spend several days researching time periods and professions. Once the manuscript is in progress, additional research is always required.
How do you select the names of your characters? I enjoy reusing names from some of my favorite characters and people who’ve brought a smile to my face. A recent example is Clarice Brady from Tinsel and Tea Cakes. Her name was based on Clarice from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the family from The Brady Bunch – two much loved childhood favorites. Don’t be surprised to see the name Cleary pop up in a future book in honor of the great Beverly Cleary.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? I do read book reviews. Bad ones aren’t pleasant. But if written constructively, they can be useful.
What was your hardest scene to write? The last page of a book is the best advertisement for an author’s next release. The pressure to get the words right is real.
Jill, thanks again for stopping by my campfire. I'd be grateful if you would leave a little bit about your books and where to find out more. By the way your cover is lovely.
Jill shared her Dollhouse with us. It's amazing don't you think?
Tinsel and Tea Cakes
Step back in time for an unforgettable winter wedding.
Sweet, holiday romance
Hair stylist Scarlett Kerrigan lost her job and her apartment. To alleviate a touch of self-pity, she succumbs to her stepmom’s pressure to attend a wedding in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Unfortunately, she runs into the vacation fling who promised the moon but disappeared without an explanation. Months have passed, but she is not ready to forgive and forget.
After a chaotic year, executive Wes Harley settles into his family's event venue, The Timeless Manor. His carefully structured world is shaken to its core when Scarlett arrives for the Victorian Christmas wedding weekend. The feelings he never quite erased flood to the surface.
When secrets are revealed, will a magical chateau and a sprinkle of tinsel be enough to charm Scarlett?