Monday, August 29, 2016

She's Done it Again

Summer may be almost over, but this lady's writing career is just getting into the swing of things. I'm talking about my guest, Marcia Buompensiero. This is my third interview with this sweet lady (who usually writes murder stories). 

Good afternoon, Marcia. Let's remind my readers where you live.
I live in San Diego with my husband Joe. All my stories have San Diego settings.

Does your current book, Sumerland, differ from your previous books? Why and how?
Sumerland is a departure from my Theo Hunter Mystery Series. Sumerland was inspired by a true story, childhood events, and the oral history handed down from my grandmother who’s past was shrouded in secrets and shadows.  For that reason, Sumerland is written under my real name, not my “Loren Zahn” pseudonym.

Give us a brief synopsis of your book.
What if the “not so” dearly departed could return from the other side of the grave to make amends and right the wrongs they committed during their lives on earth? 
Francis and Marie-Claire Liebersohn have unfinished business—they want someone to set the record straight—eighty years after their deaths.  

Kate Post just inherited the old Liebersohn mansion—her estranged mother's bizarre bequest to the daughter she rarely saw and barely knew. Kate doesn't want the house, nor any reminder of her mother's abandonment. When an odd inscription on a slab of concrete beside a garden pathway haunts her dreams and drives her back to the old place, she decides that a period restoration will make for a quick sale. But Kate's plans and the long-dead Liebersohns' scheme are about to collide. The result will unhinge Kate's world, uncover haunting family secrets, and set her on a mission to undo the wrongs that only she can set aright. 

What prompted you to write it?
Sumerland is a “ghost story” but, first and foremost, it is a family fable. It is an homage to our ancestors and a declaration of hope that future generations may learn from the mistakes of the past—and not repeat them. Everything we are today has its beginnings in the lives of those who came before us. In my own family, my grandmother’s estrangement from her husband (my grandfather) resulted in a family split that lasted for generations. Meeting my cousin Linda for the first time did not occur until most of the players (our grandparents, my father, her mother) had passed away. It would be 90 years after our grandparents’ separation that we would meet. That is the story that became the catalyst for Sumerland.

Linda and I both wonder if Sumerland might really be more fact than fiction. Grandmother Clara was a great storyteller. Her tall tales about growing up in the back woods of Canada were dark and pulsed with characters who were mired in misdeeds and tragedy. I always believed her stories were fiction. Now, I’m not so sure. As a child, it was grandmother’s voice that fueled that my imagination. She is why I write today. 

How long did it take you to write this book?
I’d have to say the story is a culmination of a lifetime of memories. However, I didn’t put pen to paper until early in 2016. Once I was able to connect with the germ of the story, I completed the book in about ten months.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?
The advice from Kate’s mother:  “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

Is it published and, if so, when and by whom?
Sumerland was published by Grey Castle Publishing, my own publishing company.

How can my readers get a copy?
Sumerland is available on

What is your advice to would-be writers?
That’s easy: Don’t give up. Keep at it.

What’s next for you?
I began the third book in the Theo Hunter Mysteries, Fatal Little Lies, earlier this year. I stopped work on it to write Sumerland. I hope to get back to it and complete it by spring 2017.  I'm also in the process of converting my mystery books into audio books for Amazon. That has been an exciting endeavor and I hope to complete that in 2017.

Thank you, Marcia. And all you out there--make sure you get this book and read it. You won't be sorry.

Quote of the Day: I cannot tell why this imagined despair has fallen upon me; the ghost of an ancient legend that will not let me be. Heinrich Heine, Lorelei

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Riddle for You

I have a riddle for you my friends. What can you make that has no form and no weight and can only be used in the future? The answer is not blowing in the wind, but is, in fact, a memory. Memories are made in the here and now, but can only be called memories at some point in the future.

I just spent two weeks making more memories than are usually made in months. I can’t do my trip to Connecticut justice in a short article, but I’ll touch on some of the highlights.

I drove a total of 1667 miles in my “new” Prius and spent a grand total of $69 for gas! You can’t beat that. Two days up to Connecticut, ten magical days spent with family, and two days driving back with my grandson, Monterey.

A beautiful butterfly
With my daughter Tammy, we went to church, we toured the Harriet Beecher Stowe home in Hartford, and in Deerfield, Mass visited the Yankee Candle Company and Magic Wings, an indoor butterfly conservatory where we walked among a tropical setting with hundreds of butterflies flying around us. I felt like I was in an animated movie, or maybe Avatar. One even landed on my hand and stayed there for the longest time. Tammy and I were able to spend time back at her house talking about writing—hers and mine—and showing her how to self-publish on CreateSpace. Her husband Curtis and his friend treated us to a mini guitar concert one night.

I made this
Me, Monterey,Curtis
With my son Mike, we went out for pizza and then to a dairy farm for fresh homemade ice cream with Monterey, Tammy, and Mike’s fiancĂ©e, Kari. Another day, Mike and Monterey took me to a chocolate factory where we learned all about how chocolate is grown and made AND we each got to make our own chocolate bars and taste samples. Now THAT was a lot of fun! And delicious, too. Mike checked my oil, put air in my tires and hosted a good-bye breakfast the day I left. I think it was the best pepper and egg sandwich on a hard roll I’ve ever had. Seems only in New England can you get such a delightful sandwich. Tammy drove down and joined us for breakfast, so the entire morning just got better and better.

A selfie
With my sister Donna and her husband Joe, we went to church Sunday then went out for pizza, Chinese buffet another day, and hamburgers at a seaport marina called Captain’s Cove on yet another day. I helped her with the computer and to get HER book ready for self-publishing. We are a literary family! Also at my sister’s house, our third “sister” Cookie drove up from Queens to spend the night. She’s a writer, too. We’ve known each other since we were 5, 6, and 7. We are now 75, 76, and 77. That’s seventy years, folks! You can read about how we met in my book, If You Don’t Like Worms, Keep Your Mouth Shut. Tammy drove down from Manchester with her photographer’s hat and tripod and took pictures of the three of us.
Another selfie at
the Natural Bridge
Monterey at Natural Bridge

With Monterey, we made the drive home stopping in Virginia at the Natural Bridge, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is an incredible sight.

I am now home, back to business as usual, but with enough new memories made to last a lifetime.

Quote of the Day: Oft in the stilly night/Ere slumber’s chain has bound me/Fond Memory brings the light/Of other days around me. Thomas Moore