Thursday, April 14, 2016

Interview: Award-winning Author Amy Impellizzeri

Today I'm delighted to chat with author Amy Impellizzeri, who so kindly has supported me in the launch of my latest novel, The Creepshow. Amy is a reformed corporate litigator, former start-up executive, and award-winning author of Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014) and Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015). (I loved Lemongrass Hope; a truly magical book that you'll want to add to your reading list!)

Amy, you worked at a big Manhattan law firm. Did you write Lawyer Interrupted before or after your departure, and what inspired you to write the book?

I left my Manhattan corporate law gig in 2009 for what was supposed to be a one year sabbatical. By the end of the year, however, I had done something I had not originally expected to do. I had successfully transitioned from a 13-year litigation career. I had joined the executive team of a start-up company and I had started a book that would ultimately become my fiction debut, Lemongrass Hope. I wrote in various journals about my transition from Biglaw, but in 2013, when an agent named Kathy Welton called me out of the blue to talk about pitching Lawyer Interrupted, I said “You have just described the book I have been wanting to write for 4 years now!”

I know you’re a big supporter of equality in the workplace. What can we as authors and readers do to support the cause? 

Well writing a book like The Creepshow is a great start! 
I love the conversation that this book is generating. I have spent a lot of time lobbying for legislation (particularly in my home state of Pennsylvania) that would make it illegal to discriminate based on parental status. Did you know that in most U.S. states, it is perfectly legal to ask a job candidate whether they are a parent – and whether they are a single parent – and to make hiring and firing decisions based on that information? As long as you ask BOTH men and women the question, it is not considered gender discrimination. But we know from the statistics that this loophole results in discrimination against largely single mothers – much as described in The Creepshow.

How did you transition from law to becoming an author of fiction? Was fiction writing something you’d always wanted to do? 

I was always a writer. But in college, I put away my creative writing journals and decided to focus exclusively on legal writing. I spent the next 20 years of legal training and my legal career writing in other people’s voices – and not my own. When I left the law in 2009, I broke out those old journals, found my voice again, and never looked back. I love writing fiction  - love writing in my own voice finally! - and hope it’s something I can continue to do for a long, long time!

Is there anything you miss (or things you don’t miss) about your legal career? Will we ever find the courtroom in any of your future books, in fiction or nonfiction?

I wouldn’t say I miss my legal career. For me it was a leg of the journey that I loved for a long time. Until I didn’t. I definitely attack my writing like a litigator (searching for plot holes, and painstaking attention to detail, for example) so it has definitely affected me in this leg of my journey as well. Funny that you ask about courtroom scenes in my novels! In the manuscript I am working on (which with any luck will be my THIRD novel – more about my second novel below!) there is indeed a trial scene or two with a very unique defense put forth by an expert witness. I specialized in expert witness testimony in the later years of my litigation career so these are scenes that are really fun to write! 

Lemongrass Hope is a magical realism/time travel love story. What can we expect from you next? Will your next book be in the same genre?

My second novel (which does not have a publication date just yet, but I hope to have some good news on that front very soon!) is entitled Secrets of Worry Dolls. It does not involve time travel, but it does span over two decades and takes place in both Guatemala and New York City. There is indeed a bit of magical realism and mysticism in Secrets of Worry Dolls. I don’t want to reveal too much more just yet other than to say it is a story about mothers, daughters, and sisters, and of course … secrets!

Thanks, Amy, for stopping by! 

You can keep up with Amy by checking out her website, or following her on Facebook and Twitter


Here's what Amy had to say about The Creepshow: "An insider's look inside the messy world of high finance--a kind of 'Devil Wears Prada' for international investment firms--The Creepshow also delivers a poignant modern love story set in Paris. What's not to love?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Where Did I Get the Idea for The Creepshow (and my other books)?

The Creepshow launch week continues and today I invite you to follow me over to Hello Chick Lit for a guest post post about how I get my story ideas... and a chance to win a copy of The Creepshow

I’ve written about four strangers in Paris, magical parties and déjà vu, a woman facing workplace discrimination, and two perfumers on a quest for an elusive formula. Not all in one book! No, these are stories you’ll find in my four novels: Paris, Rue des Martyrs, Close to Destiny, The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret.

And within each main story come other details, characters and anecdotes. People, even those who are the closest to me, often ask me “Where do you find your ideas?” or say “You’ve got quite an imagination there…” READ MORE

Monday, April 11, 2016

Book Launch! Read an Excerpt from The Creepshow!

"A kind of Devil Wears Prada for international investment firms—The Creepshow also delivers a poignant modern love story set in Paris. What’s not to love?”  -- Amy Impellizzeri, author of the award-winning Lemongrass Hope


I'm thrilled to announce the launch of my latest novel, The Creepshow, now available in paperback and ebook on Amazon. 

This book touches upon a subject near and dear to my heart: the treatment of women in the workplace post maternity leave. The Creepshow tells the story of Wanda, a thirtysomething single mother who returns to her job at an international financial services firm after maternity leave and finds herself facing discrimination. Sadly, this book reflects the state of things for women in the corporate world. Discrimination is alive and well. I've seen it and felt it. 

Through the power of words, we can fight back. And we can hope that in the not-too-distant future, this work of fiction will seem less and less like reality.

In the meantime, I invite you to enjoy the following excerpt from The Creepshow...

Raymond Grant’s reign was one of terror. Because anyone who hoped to climb the corporate ladder had better please him. And Raymond was not easy to please. Raymond greeted Wanda, kissing her on both cheeks the European way, and led her into his office as if they were on an important secret mission together. 
“First things first, Wendy,” he said.
“It’s Wanda.”
But he didn’t seem to notice the correction as he settled down behind his desk. Two of the buttons on his shirt looked as if they might pop at any second as the bright blue material stretched across his belly. 
He slid a key ring toward Wanda.
“What’s this?” she asked.
“My wife and I won’t be in our apartment for the next few days, so you can stay in the guest room. Let yourself in, make yourself at home.”
“But I thought I would be staying at the Plaza. I had to fill out all that travel paperwork.” Suspicion filled Wanda’s mind. A room was ready and waiting at the Plaza, Whilt’s swanky hotel of choice. She knew that, because upon arrival, she’d called to verify the check-in time. So the question was, Who would be staying there?
“Never mind the details, you’ll be more than comfortable in our home. It’s much more personal, unlike the cold feeling of a hotel. Now let’s get down to business.”
Wanda tried to push the strange start to the conversation out of her mind as Raymond stared at her across the heavy mahogany desk that didn’t match the modernity of the rest of the decor.
“We want to expand the reach of our funds. Today, it’s all about Asia, and at the moment, we’re losing ground over there. We need to offer more to our clients in China, Japan…”
Wanda felt her heart thumping, a combination of relief and fear. Raymond hadn’t yet mentioned her recent fund performance, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have something worse planned to discuss. 
“As of next week, you will be expanding your international fund to include Asian companies, and you also will take on the management of another Asian fund established through our office in Shanghai.”
Wanda hesitated long enough to digest this indigestible information but not long enough to lose the nerve to speak out.  
“But that makes no sense. I’ve built an expertise in Western European countries; I’m familiar with their management styles and know the CEOs. With Asia, I would have to start from scratch. That would be fine if I didn’t already have four other funds to manage!”
“Are you saying this is too much for you?”
“I’m saying it isn’t logical—not when others in the office only manage two funds. Are you planning on paying me a second salary for taking on this second job of sorts?”
“Considering the performance of your current funds, no.” 
Wanda wanted to burst out with something sarcastic, something rebellious, but the words remained captive in her throat. She rarely fell silent after what she considered an injustice; usually her emotions won out. But this time was different. She was in a state of disbelief. Her mind was racing. Was this punishment, stemming from her rejection of Louis? No, he didn’t wield that much power. But he probably did all he could to push her into a difficult position.
“You’ll have to fly to Shanghai next week. CEOs of the biggest Asian companies will be at a conference there. A perfect opportunity for you to do some research.”
Wanda knew about the conference since one of her colleagues, who was based in Shanghai, attended each year. If she hadn’t been suspicious of Raymond’s intentions, she actually would have been excited about the opportunity. But somehow, with her other funds suffering, and the learning curve this new endeavor required, this didn’t seem like an opportunity. This seemed like a map to lead her down the road to failure.

Find The Creepshow on Amazon

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Close to Destiny is on Sale!

If you haven't read Close to Destiny, now is the time! The ebook version is on sale for $0.99 (£0.99 UK). But hurry; the sale is only through April 7!

Kat hasn't found love because she's too busy fighting the demons of her past. But when she meets an intriguing new man, Will, her world is turned upside down. She feels she's met him before but knows she hasn't. Or has she?

While in London for an art show, she also encounters an enigmatic woman named Destiny, who invites her to extravagant parties where champagne flows freely and nothing is what it seems. Kat can no longer tell what's real and what's fantasy, and tries to convince herself this is all part of a strange dream. But then how does Will seem to know her better than she knows herself?

Torn between fear of the unknown and fascination at what might happen between her and Will, Kat must decide: Should she run away, or should she seize this mystical opportunity to change her life and find true love?

Find Close to Destiny on Amazon!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An April in Paris Giveaway!

It's April in Paris! Everyone loves the City of Lights in the spring, with flowers in bloom and daylight stretching far into the night... So to celebrate, I'm holding a giveaway!

Check out the widget below, where you can enter to win a Cats in Paris adult coloring book in paperback plus my best-selling novel, Paris, Rue des Martyrs, in ebook format. 

Now grab a croissant, a cup of coffee and get in a Paris-in-the-Spring kind of mood...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My Secret Superpower and More on the Tall Poppy Blog!

I'm excited about being featured today on the Tall Poppy Writers blog! I hope you'll join me over there to find out a bit more about my soon-to-be-released novel, The Creepshow, and some not-so-well-known facts about me... My secret superpower, what's making me happy right now-- fun stuff like that! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why I Wrote a Novel About the Glass Ceiling...

So this is my latest book! A bit different from my usual... For the first time, I've dealt with a sociological issue within the context of fiction. The glass ceiling. It's something that, unfortunately, still remains above our heads. The troubles come in many forms: discrimination after maternity leave, unequal pay, sexual harassment, just to name a few.

Why is this issue important to me? Because so many of us have faced it. Clearly, I couldn't help but find inspiration for a novel. There is no lack of material. And what truly inspired me was the power of words. Words are power. This is all about empowerment. The glass ceiling does exist. But eventually we will break it. 

The Creepshow is now available for pre-order on Amazon in ebook version. Paperback is set for release April 11. Hope you'll check it out!