Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Interview- The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead by Miriam Pia

What inspired you to become an author? 

I read great works I loved and learned the language.  Also, in truth, I thought it might be a way to earn a better living than most of the jobs I would likely run into given my economic background.

Do you have a specific writing style? 

I do hope that I have 'a voice' but other than that I'm not sure because I have had to write in numerous ways over the years.

Do you write in different genres? 


If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Certain kinds of nonfiction and science fiction.  At least that's what I think.  I could be wrong seeing as the novel this blog tour is for is not even a science fiction novel.  However, in the background there is a science fiction novel and I am hoping to get that released later this year, which still promoting this urban magical realism novel.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book? 

In truth the story had a different working title before – maybe some of you have heard of it.  A previous draft was called An Adventure in Indianapolis.  My ebook told me in like 2011 that it got 40,000 reads in 2 years so, seriously, maybe someone you know read it.  I edited it more and decided it needed a catchier title but I did not change it until after Alethia publishing sent it back.  They contracted the novel – they didn't reject it, but then they didn't release it by the time they said they would so I asked them to send it back.  For some reason, that changed things. 

I decided that the best way to describe the events of the plot were to understand that the mastermind villain was leading a double life.  This is a white collar criminal, not a street thug type of entity.  I decided to just name the novel after the villain of the novel, maybe because I think the villain's name sounds cool:  Tutweiler Buckhead. 

The surname really is the upscale neighborhood in Atlanta because so much crime is greed motivated.   I know others would say greed causes crime.  I would refer those of you in the right age groups to that whole Transformer – Decepticon thing.  Buckhead is an upscale neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia.  I only know of it because I did a real estate blog for EastBiz many years ago.  I think it sounds cool and gives the character the kind of ambiance I wanted for a clean, smooth, white collar criminal. 

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? 

I think it varies from story to story.  With me, normally the plot and character concepts precede creating the title.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? 

Yes, of course.  In some ways I am an old school 'good triumphs over evil' story teller, but I do like to get people to think.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? 

No, not unless you count Yuppies. There haven't been yuppies since like 1993 have there been?  I don't even know – sorry.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

In truth, if people snap this book up and let me know they want more enough to commit to buying copies up I would happily write more.  When I first wrote it, I wrote it so that it could stand alone.  I'm not a fool, if you want more, I will make more.  (wink wink nudge nudge) I do want to earn an entire living writing, not just a grain of rice and a thank you. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? 

JLichtenberg graciously gave me permission to call her a mentor and 'use her' as my mentor.  I have checked out other novelists and book writers over the years.  In truth, the other authors I asked to let me call them mentors told me 'No.'.  JL told me 'Yes'.  That's the difference. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Yes, pleasing editors and people I am asking to actually spend their own money on my works.  LOL but so true.  Seriously, every work has its challenges.  It is hard to give a concise and clear answer to this question.

Who designed the cover of your latest book? 

SBPRA commissioned the person.  I have no idea.  I am incredibly grateful, however, because I don't have that skill.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Be careful, it often leads to a sales job or won't have your name on it...Or will have to write other peoples' ideas to get steady pay.  Those who write for love are out earned in numbers by those who write only because they get paid.  However, the richest best selling authors usually at least naturally liked the story he or she wrote. 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

No, but I am a possibly odd mixture of someone who likes symphonic orchestral music and a straight up hard rocker.  I do like some other kinds of music but left to my own devices it is like that.  If I were to use bands to describe who I believe I am that applied by age 17 years of age I would tell you Rush and U2.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? 

I thought I was going to end up working in the sciences, maybe as the administrative or management portion of the forestry industry – tending New York State's managed forests for a living and maybe writing science fiction on the side.  Then, my last year of university I 'gave in' and majored in philosophy because I loved it and like 3 teachers told me I was one of the best students they had ever had in the subject.  Not all my teachers gave me that kind of feedback.  My husband told me not to.

Meanwhile, I did take a few English lit courses in colleges.  I was able to get As but the teacher had no idea I was writing on the side.  I used to tell myself things like "I don't want the teacher telling me how to write," while editing a manuscript draft in the student union of SUNY Brockport in 1990.

Tell us a little more about the book.

Plot: The protagonists are striving to prevent a crime during the planning stages.  From there perspective, the villain is a mysterious criminal mastermind hiding behind a veil of respectability.  

Readers are granted the great insight of having the villain's name, which is one of the most important pieces of information the protagonists would like to have.  The character's name was developed from inspiration.  Working as a contract writer for a Atlanta Real Estate a few years before I wrote the novel, I learned about Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood well known to Atlanteans.  It stuck with me and just seemed ideal for the type of villain starring in this story.  I don't even remember how I came up with Tutweiler aside from the vague resemblance to the name of the dog breed rotweiler.  I wanted the villain to be a well dressed, tall, probably caucasian man with long brown hair and excellent shoes right along with good manners and a decent lowr middle class day job.  A corporate man.  A contemporary man.  A man who frighteningly resembles one of the mid level managers in nearly half of the large companies in urban America.  He really might have been one of the men in your office building.  

I felt that might add at least a small tingle of excitement for readers, as they go about their busy urban days.  This is not the same as when the media tries to terrorize the general public into losing all trust in everyone else, but it is just that, well, I wanted the identity of the villain to be like that rather than the sort of undereducated working class ruffian or tough guy type of villain.  Someone not likely to be at either the top or the bottom of the hierarchy in a large business but probably management.  

The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead
Miriam Pia

Genre: urban fiction, magical realism,
crime fiction, mystery

Publisher: SBPRA

Date of Publication:  2015
ISBN: 978-1628572254

Number of pages:300
Word Count: 95,000

Book Description:

Frustrated by the audacity of local villains, the sheriff of Marion County turns to the mayor. Urban fiction set in a real city, The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead takes some of the charm of vigilante comic book heroism and mixes it with the nitty gritty of contemporary crime fiction.

A band of champions searches for the missing pieces in the evil plot of a local drug kingpin in The Double Life of Tutweiler Buckhead: An Adventure in Indianapolis.

Ideal for those who love events of the outside world and the workings of the mind – characters’ actions and thoughts are portrayed in this contemporary novel – with just a touch of magic.

About the Author:

Miriam Pia has been writing for decades, including over ten years as a professional.  Most of her work was done without a byline and as a ghostwriter.  This is the author's first published novel.