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The Glamorous Life of Jody R. LaGreca- Interview

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM

The Glamorous Life of Jody R. LaGreca



Interview Conducted by Mark McLaughlin





1.) For folks who haven’t read your work yet, give us an overview of what they can anticipate.


      Readers can expect to be intrigued and maybe even a little shocked by the unusual scenarios. My novels are literary and descriptive with attention to details with many innuendos seen through the interactions of the characters. I never plan what I’m writing; the storylines come to me through my subconscious mind and unwind as I write them. This keeps me glued to a project in progress since I always want to find out how things turn out. So in essence I’m the writer, but also the reader of each book I write. This novelty is reflected in the diverse plots and the twists and turns my books have become well-known for.



2.) What genres do you write in, and what themes do you like to explore?


     As the author of six books with three more on the way, I write in multiple genres including Historical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction with subgenres of Romantic Suspense and Mystery. Most recently, I have written books with Horror Vampire themes with Historical details and found I took to it naturally. This is something I did not expect since I cannot watch anything violent or bloody in a movie and always shield my eyes, yet I’m comfortable writing about it. My favorite themes explore human nature and emotions which reveal a lesson to be learned or insight into life situations. I enjoy expressing emotions through my characters.



3.) What was your first published work – a poem, a story, a book? Tell us about it.


      In the beginning, I wanted to be a poet. I have an enormous collection of poetry which I will get back to one day. I began sending out poems which were accepted into many different anthologies and published internationally. It all happened so quickly I don’t recall which the first publication was. However the one that stands out was my acceptance of a poem titled The Sound of the Shofar, which was published in MIDSTREAM. This was exciting news since it’s an international and prestigious publication.



4.) You wrote a vampire novel with Michael McCarty called BLOODLESS. How can a vampire book be considered bloodless….?


      The title is a play on words, referring to the after-effect of the vampire victims. The story centers on Daniel Peck, a modern-day vampire, who is over one-hundred years old. He succumbs to his transformation on the Lusitania when the beautiful and ancient Veronica, Queen of the Undead, beguiles him. Daniel survives the sinking of the Lusitania, and when the Hindenburg explodes.


     Years later, Daniel is a middle-school substitute teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. He feeds off the energy of four students and turns them into zombie-like creatures who subsist on human remains. Daniel kills people for his thralls to devour, but the students prove difficult to control.


      Meanwhile, Daniel is charmed by Annie Julliard, a lovely motel proprietor, and changes her into a white vampire. They marry and Daniel brings home the four thralls as his adopted children. From then on, things become very complicated…



5.) Tell us about your book, SUBURBAN WEIRD. I understand that it’s about a woman who becomes a pawn in a game of love and lust. Are all of today’s suburbs filled with such decadence?


      The suburbs are often filled with decadence, especially in the wealthier areas because money seems to breed discontent. There is much evidence of this seen in real life dramas, in the news, on television with extramarital affairs, murders and mayhem.


      Suburban Weird is fiction, inspired by truth, spun out of my imagination of just how “weird” living in the suburbs can really be. Readers say they cannot put this book down and how there are many twists and turns. It’s a book about the downside of suburban bliss.


      Suburban Weird is set in scenic Bay Shore, Long Island, and follows the exploits of Courtney Gold, a forty-year-old beauty. Courtney becomes apprehensive when her future mother-in-law, Edith Stein, turns out to be the eccentric woman her Aunt Bessie warned her about. Nonetheless, Courtney marries her fiancé, criminal attorney, Seth — only to become dangerously drawn to his adopted brother, fertility specialist, Dr. Aaron Stein. Aaron flirts mercilessly with Courtney, while constantly belittling Seth, the black sheep and baby of the family.

     Things become precarious when Courtney and Seth move into Edith’s nine-bedroom mansion, and Aaron and his Russian mail-order bride, Natasha Krivola, twenty-seven years his junior, move in as well. The gorgeous teenage virgin adds spice to this bizarre blend. The situation escalates when Aaron treats Courtney for her difficulty in conceiving.



6.) Tell us about your book, AFTERNOON TEA. Do you take tea in the afternoon?


     I love to take a break for afternoon tea wherever and whenever I can. It is my hope readers will take a break to sip their afternoon tea while uncovering the mysteries of my book Afternoon Tea, since the two go hand and hand.


      Afternoon Tea was the first book I published, which was inspired by the novel Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. It is my most traditional and literary novel. It was a tremendous personal accomplishment since I began to write it on a whim not realizing the amount of effort Historical Fiction entailed. It was exhilarating when I received my first review from Midwest Book Review. I posted an excerpt of the review below.



       “LaGreca brilliantly develops her characters to be graceful and elegant. Even though this is a by-gone era, the book enchants you from beginning to end. The author laces a romantic triangle that will tug at your heart with a surprise ending. … J. R. LaGreca has captured the Victorian Era exquisitely, like a fine painting or a glass of aged wine. A must read for the amorous romantic.” -- Midwest Book Review, Five Stars



     Afternoon Tea takes place in the Victorian Age and spans a period up to the 1920s and beyond. It is a saga of forbidden love, the standards of high society and their irony. The story begins with Lawrence Gray as an elderly gentleman, carrying a bouquet of roses in one hand and a walking cane in the other. Lawrence battles the New England winter to visit Saint James Cemetery to put flowers on his wife’s grave. Lawrence’s devotion to his long-dead wife, who passed away forty years ago, elicits the curiosity of Meg Bailey, a neighbor who spies on him from her kitchen window every morning. Meg’s interest peaks when town historian, Fanny Brund, invites her for afternoon tea, and reveals the mystery surrounding the Grays. Fanny goes back to the year 1895 in a bid to uncover the truth behind Lawrence Gray’s guilt over his wife’s untimely death — only to unravel a secret that will change Meg’s life forever. . .



7.) You’ve been compared to a modern-day Bronte sister. Why is that an apt comparison?


     My book Afternoon Tea has often been compared to Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. This is the highest praise I could have hoped for since I have an affinity for the Victorian age and a love for the literature and customs of that day. Then the famous author of Beach Blanket Zombie, whose interview I happen to be answering right now dubbed me as “a modern-day Bronte sister” and it stuck. Now I’m immortalized in a portrait with the Bronte sisters, thanks to Mark McLaughlin’s expertise with Photoshop. You can find that photograph on the listing of Afternoon Tea on Amazon. Mark’s portrait adaptation was extremely clever and an honor for me to be associated with the Bronte sisters who I have long admired for their literary marvels.



8.) Your photos on Facebook are quite glamorous. Do you live a glamorous life?


     My life has a spirit of glamour which comes from within since I’m often immersed in my own dream world with my “head in the clouds” like my character Emily Reed in Afternoon Tea. My ideal plan is to go to a historical site, mansion or museum and explore the artwork and lives of people from the past, enjoy the grounds which are often surrounded by beautiful landscapes and then going out to a wonderful restaurant. Gourmet food and fine dining is a favorite pastime. I especially love the Mansions of the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island and have been there several times. To me it’s very glamorous and exciting to get a glimpse into the past. I love being around beautiful surroundings and the serenity of nature. I’m always striving to learn more about the past and find ways I can connect it to my sensibility of the present.


     My life was extremely glamorous in days gone by in a different way which suited me then. I used to frequent all the elite places in Manhattan like Studio 54 and hobnob in upscale circles at other night spots as well. During the summer I used to go out every night and never tired of the excitement of meeting and socializing with celebrities and musicians.


      Thankfully, I’m now married and settled down with a family and have had my fill of that scene. I still enjoy my moments of extravagance and glamour at parties and gala celebrations. At the same time I’m extremely down-to-earth and strive to keep a balance of both. As a former fashion designer I have a passion for fashion and tend to be drawn to glitter and sparkle, but I also revel in relaxing at home wearing sweatpants.



9.) You’re a fan of Marilyn Monroe. What do you like most about her?


     I’m a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe and admire her persona, not only for her beauty but for her talent. She epitomizes the picture perfect woman who is seductive yet vulnerable and innocent, a rare blend which has made her a legend. I have images of Marilyn Monroe throughout my house. As a lover of beauty I enjoy looking at Marilyn Monroe pictures and reading about her life. To me it’s ironic how a woman can be so beautiful on the outside yet flawed and insecure on the inside.


     Discussing Marilyn Monroe is a perfect time to mention my upcoming novel BLOODLUST, which is coming out in May 2013 and co-written with Michael McCarty. In fact, we are dedicating BLOODLUST to Marilyn Monroe!


      BLOODLUST is Michael McCarty (Bram Stoker finalist) and my sequel to BLOODLESS. Psychic vampire, Daniel Peck, lives on with revenge and movie star madness. Bear witness to the illicit saga which leads to Marilyn Monroe’s untimely demise and more in this twisted tale of glamour and seduction. Beware of kisses in the dark and the echo of eternity — which bears the curse of Daniel. Uncover the mystery of The Stardust Inn and the love triangle between Daniel, hotel proprietor, Annie Julliard, and her sister Vicki.


      Meanwhile, FBI agent, Ronald Barrett, has been chasing Daniel down for over three decades for slaughtering his mother; while the Omni powerful Veronica, who has Daniel beneath her spell, has her own agenda.



10.) What do you do when you’re not writing? What’s a day in the life of Jody LaGreca like?


       I try not to let writing overshadow my life. Even so, at times when I’m deeply absorbed in a project it can become overwhelming. Ideally when I’m working on a book I like to write for an hour or two in the morning and then go back over it later in the day to revise it a bit.


      During the summer, I enjoy going to the beach, swimming, taking long walks along the shore and talking with friends. Nearly every morning I wake up early to have tea and breakfast with my husband. We sit in the breakfast nook of the kitchen and talk about life and details of our day. This time is precious to me and the reason I wake up at the crack of dawn. Afterward I tidy up the house and go on the computer to either continue something I’m working on, post on my Facebook fan pages or answer emails. On the weekend, my husband and I make special plans such as going to museums and out to dinner or socializing with family and friends.


      I often make plans to go out to lunch with friends to a restaurant with a great cuisine. Thai food is one of my favorites and I’m a devotee of gourmet food. Afterwards we will often go to browse in some stores or maybe to the mall to walk around and shop. Later on, I enjoy going on nature walks with my husband and then having a wonderful evening together, either going out for a bite to eat or making a delicious dinner. I love to cook and have many foolproof recipes.


      The highlight of my day is spending time with my husband, sometimes sitting by the lit fireplace or relaxing in the den and sharing details of our day. Later on, we will watch television or maybe a movie. We have couches that are so comfortable, we truly feel like we are in a palace. I cherish the time spent with my daughter as well.



11.) Are you working on or planning a new book? What can you tell us about it?


      I’m in the midst of publishing a Historical Fiction/Vampire Saga titled Forever In Vein, which is due to come out in March 2013. Forever In Vein offers a glimpse into a glittering yet cruel world of Victorian New England where status and tradition backfire with blood-thirsty malevolence, passion, infidelity, and supernatural phenomenon.


      Ludwing Von Vanderblatt, a one-hundred-fifty year old vampire shows up as a handsome stranger at Becky Williams’ Debutante Ball. He charms Becky, and hoodwinks her parents, Harrison Williams and Lady Georgia, before he lures Becky outside and moves in for his just desserts. This costs Becky her mortal life, and binds her to Ludwing for all eternity. In the same way Ludwing is beholden to Gretchen Talbot, the beguiling vampire from the cursed hamlet of Dudleytown, which has a compilation of British and American history and ties to King Henry VIII. A chain of dreadful events occur when Harrison Williams takes a journey to the Vanderblatt farmhouse in Quakertown, Pennsylvania …



       Mark: Thank you, Jody, for taking the time to chat with me today!



For Anyone interested... you can find Jody and her books on Amazon!


Feel free to leave any questions for Jody in the comments section and we will make sure she gets them ;).

 

Categories: Writers Interviews

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