Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Death in the Dark by Emily Kimelman : Interview & Review


Plotter or Pantser? Why?


I'm a plotter and pansters. I pants my way as far as I can and then when I'm confused and don't know where to go next I pull out my index cards and get to plotting. I do it this way because it's the only way I can get it done. Writing is a fabulous mix between instinct and organization. The key for me is to listen to my story. It will tell me which way to go.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?


That I can do it. Meaning that I can start a project and finish it and then start another one. I can write anywhere in the world at any time of day. The only thing that can stop me from writing is me. So it's easy to feel good about myself and my accomplishments in life, just keep writing.


Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?


I often listen to music when I write. Usually I'll listen to the same album over and over and over again while writing. This is because if I'm listening to something new it takes my mind away from the story, whereas if I know the music by heart it can become background and just help set the mood. I listened to Jack Black's latest album about a thousand times while doing the final edits to INSATIABLE (A Sydney Rye Novel, #3).


What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?


Ha, I don't think you're doing it right if you're sane. Do sane people have conversations with imaginary people? Do sane people research methods of murder? Do sane people spend hours upon hours listening to the same music over and over again while furiously typing a made up story? I think the key is to go crazy. This is not a job for the sane.


What is it that you like to do when you’re not reading/writing?


I love to travel and socialize. My husband and I recently moved onto a boat which has made the travel thing that much easier. And, of course, it's not hard to get your friends to come visit when you live on the water. This winter we put the boat up on land and are going on a two month adventure. We are having Christmas in Paris and then will go to India for most of the winter.


India, that's exciting, what made you choose that part of the world?


We have good friends who live in Goa whom we plan to travel with for at least part of the time. India is inexpensive which makes the trip possible. Not to mention the food, colors, history, and culture. We are going to explore Ayurvedic medicine and yoga. I think getting away from your life is the best way to see it clearly. And I have a feeling Sydney Rye's next adventure might take place in India.

Emily Kimelman was born in Philadelphia in 1980. Her family quickly moved to Texas and from there onto Moscow.

It was in Russia that Emily had her first memories, her first dreams, and learned language. Emily’s father, Donald, read to her every night and so she learned story telling too.

But Emily could not learn how to read or write. She had to repeat Kindergarten and it took many years, and a specialized education before she finally read. Emily was 12, and back in Philadelphia when she read for the first time. It was a sign on the side of the road that said “dozen roses, $5.99”. It was an epiphany.

From then on Emily read everything. What she loved most was mysteries. But she never thought that she could write. Then Emily read a terrible book about cat detectives where the culprit turned out to be aliens! And she thought, Jesus, I think I can do better than that. So she wrote Unleashed and then she wrote it’s sequel.

At the urging of her amazing husband, her brother, and her best friend, Emily published Unleashed in April of 2011, after her agent valiantly had tried to sell it to NY publishers for 3 years.

Now Emily works with her husband, Sean Gilvey, in their glassblowing business, writes novels, and plays with her awesome dog, Kinsey.

Find and follow Emily Kimelman:

This is the second story in the award winning, best selling Sydney Rye series of dark murder mysteries. It is a novella length adventure that picks up right where the first book, UNLEASHED, left off.

When the fugitive, Joy Humbolt, accepts her new identity as the Private Detective, Sydney Rye, she must learn to control her emotions and her out of control dog, Blue. With the help of an expert trainer Sydney learns to fight with her mind as well as her body. However, when the daughter of her close friend is brutally murdered in the desert Rye turns away from her trainer to seek revenge. Sydney's quick temper and deadly intentions lead her into a trap that she will need all of her new skills to survive.
This episode opens with Joy, aka Sydney, and Blue laying low in Mexico with no big plans except to live quietly, taking each day as it comes.  Unexpectedly, Sydney gets a  job offer which entails some hard-nosed training.  This, it turns out, is the catalyst she needs to begin living again.  The training is like nothing she’s ever done before and, almost against her will, she gets some eye-opening advice.  Learning to control her impulsive nature is difficult for Sydney but she gives it a shot. Until tragedy strikes, and she and Blue get caught in a trap while trying to avenge a terrible wrong.
Like Unleashed, the first Joy Humbolt adventure, the writing is terse and tight with just enough descriptive detail so that the reader can picture the scene and fill in many of the details mentally themselves.  This works very well in this novella because the story moves along at a fast clip.  The characters are quirky and mesh with their backgrounds and the story line exceptionally well.  Twice there were episodes where the story moved ahead a bit faster than I was easily able to keep pace with and I became a little confused, but the activity and timeline became clearer thanks to a subsequent conversation.  I think these were intentional devices to strengthen the emotional pull of the piece.  I enjoyed the offbeat humor and sarcasm that Joy/Sydney often spouts off with and, of course, Blue is absolutely the best dog ever!  I am looking forward to the next installment as Sydney embraces her new job.  
An electronic version of this book was provided to me by the author in return for my honest review. I have not received any other compensation.
Reviewed by Laurie-j
Don't Miss the first book in the Joy Humbolt series:

Joy Humbolt is not a huge fan of people and after getting fired from her latest stint as a barrista she is becoming dangerously close to unemployable. So when Charlene Miller offers Joy her dog walking business on the Exclusive Upper East Side of Manhattan after knowing her for 15 minutes, Joy is happy to accept the profitable, low maintenance route while ignoring the suspiciously quick transaction. However, when Joy discovers a mutilated corpse on her route and realizes that Charlene has fled the city, the price of her new business starts to become clear.

Joy is left answering the questions of an aggressive Police Detective who swings from telling her she is the next victim to insinuating that Joy is the killer. Following in Charlene's footsteps, Joy discovers that her powerful clients have more in common than just their dog walker. As she is lead deeper into their world of power and influence Joy realizes too late that only one kind of justice makes it this far uptown: vigilante. When Joy lets go of what little respect she had for the human race she become unstoppable, unleashed, and is reborn Sydney Rye.


1 comment:

Emily Kimelman said...

Thanks for featuring me on your blog today Laurie. I'm so glad you enjoyed DEATH IN THE DARK!