Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Reunion by A.A. Pencil: Interview

Tell us about your current release.

My current release, The Reunion, is the first of three books of a series called Beneath the Trap Door. It’s about a group of people in their late twenties who are invited to their high school reunion in an old rented out mansion. After realizing that they’re locked in, the alumni begin to die one by one, switching the goal of the event from celebration to survival. Find out who or what is behind the murders.

Tell us about your next release.

My next release will be the second book of the Beneath the Trap Door series. It will be about a brassy young woman who finds herself in an old, mysterious asylum just as she is being walked down a hallway leading to her execution. Who is behind the switch? Why has she been given a second chance to live and what does this covert asylum have in store for her?

Who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is R.L. Stine. There were about fifty Goosebumps books in my elementary school’s library and I must’ve read all of them…twice. I couldn’t get enough of it. R.L. Stine has an enormous imagination and his books have inspired me since the third grade.

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

Strangely, my ideas tend to arise in the middle of the night or while I’m showering. Unfortunately, by the time I grab a notepad or my computer to jot down my thoughts, I’d lose half of them or realize that it made absolutely no sense. I write whenever I get free time but I think my ideas and thoughts flow better when I’m sitting down in my bed just before falling asleep. When I do write, I try to have at least 1,000 words down in a day. Anything under that makes me feel as though I was trying to force ideas.

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

I don’t have a significant other at the moment but my immediate family has been very supportive of my writing. My mother, Rosemarie, was my first critic and had to bear through my first short story. My nine year old mind created a story about two girls who were arguing and then one stormed out and was hit by a truck carrying…wait for it…chicken butts. Yes! Chicken butts. I still remember the look of amusement on her face and how she told me to keep on writing. She motivates me every day.

How do you describe your writing style?

When I write, I try to keep a huge age range in mind. I don’t want my work to fly over anyone’s head because the reading level is too difficult and at the same time, I don’t want readers to feel that the work is sophomoric. I try to find a middle ground. I would say that my style is suspenseful with a pinch of subtle or witty humor.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Land of Shadows by Jeff Gunzel. It’s a mixture of fantasy, action and adventure. I’m more into suspense and horrors but I was intrigued by the vivid cover and title and thought I’d give it a try. It’s very interesting and I love his use of description and the way he brings his characters to life.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Up until the third grade, I wanted to be a teacher. At home, I used to line up all my teddy bears (and little baby brother) in a row and teach them the alphabet. As I got older, I dreamed of becoming an Obstetrician, due to my fascination with babies. By the eighth grade, I decided that I wanted to be a nurse and an author! I thank God that I made it. My dream became a reality.

What are your favorite TV shows?
My favorite tv shows are The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, 90210 and Pretty Little Liars. I’ve actually fallen behind in the latter two due to writing and work. I thank my younger brother, Ray Jr., putting me on to great shows like Under the Dome, Revolution and even Smallville and Heroes. I ditched The Walking Dead when it began to infiltrate my dreams

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
My suggestion is to start off small and to weed out your critics. I used to try to write full length manuscripts only to fail horribly because I had no idea where I was going with the story. What I do is write a short story and then go back and develop it into a novel. It works as an excellent guideline and all you have to do is build it up with interesting characters and compelling scenes. It’s like you create the skeleton and then add the organs and all the good stuff! As for those critics…understand when criticism is constructive or flat out ignorant. If you can’t learn anything from it, then move on with your work and don’t bother dwelling on it. I clearly remember a couple of times when I almost gave up writing because I was hurt by what someone said about it. Sometimes, people give nasty reviews because they don’t want you to succeed or surpass them. I learned that the hard way with a close friend who told me that I should drop writing and stick to nursing. 

Date Published: 11/12/2013

C. Moore Catholic High School's 10-year reunion was organized as many reunions are - to reminisce, to see who had made a success of their lives, and in truth, to gossip on who had not.  But this party in the secluded, 1890's mansion once owned by a long dead, paranoid WWII Veteran, was to become anything but typical.  

After a horrible accident within the mansion, the alumni realize they are locked in and fighting for their lives.  Instantly, tempers rise and fingers are pointed as the number of living alumni begins to rapidly decrease.  Theories range from there being a murderer in the midst to the mansion possibly being haunted by the previous owner's ghost. 

Who or what is responsible and will anyone make it out alive?  

Find out for yourself in this combination of a mystery and psychological thriller, with a twisted ending!


To celebrate the release of AA Pencil's debut novel "The Reunion" - During the months of November & December - 1% of the gross sales of all novels with Lavish Publishing, LLC will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America.  The donation will be made in May 2014 in honor of AA Pencil and National Lupus Awareness Month.


YouTube Video

A.A. Pencil

A. A. Pencil works part time as a school nurse at an all-boys Catholic school in New York City. As a Lupus survivor, she uses writing as a significant part of her therapy and you will see influences from classical writers such as Agatha Christie and Edgar Alan Poe in her work.  When not working or writing, she enjoys cooking, shopping and walking. She has sponsored a child in Mexico for over three years with a children's organization. She currently lives in a borough of New York City with her extended family who are her greatest supporters.

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