Welcome to The Wormhole.
It is my pleasure to feature: Mary Firmin
and her book Deadly Pleasures.
Amazon Product Description:
"Megan Riley has bigger things to worry about than the fact that her neighbor has just been found dead.
Her engagement has just ended, and she is once again on a quest to find Mr. Right—or at least Mr. Right Now. Tired of emotional ties and ready for a new adventure, Megan and her three best friends make a fateful decision. They hire hunky stripper Michael Harrington as their timeshare boytoy—unaware he is the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders. Suddenly, they find themselves involved in a complicated murder investigation led by a handsome detective who is focused only on finding the twisted serial killer before he strikes again. But who will be the next to die? Megan, the hardworking real estate agent; newly divorced Kathleen; Alex, married to a wealthy businessman; or Rachel, the spurned wife of a hot Hollywood screenwriter?
Following her own investigation, Megan takes a wild ride through L.A.’s bondage parlors, hidden sex clubs, and the extravagant lifestyles of the rich and famous; soon she discovers that her quest for adventure has abruptly transformed into a dangerous game of life and death."
Mary Firmin Bio (from Amazon)
Mary Firmin was born in the North of England, emigrated to Canada, then traveled to Florida where she owned and operated an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. She moved on to Santa Monica, California where she worked in Real Estate Sales and eventually became Vice President of a large firm on the West Side. She began her writing career by attending many classes at local colleges, including UCLA, and then moved on to private writer's groups. As active members of a Southern California Yacht Club, Mary and her husband traveled up and down the California Coastline for years, and spent many days on Catalina Island. Upon moving to the Desert, Mary wrote a society column for a Palm Springs newspaper. It is from these experiences she forged her characters and the story of Deadly Pleasures. This book is a fun, casual read with a little romance, some deviant sex, and a sick serial killer. It is sure to keep your attention to the very end. Mary's loving husband, Bill, passed away this year. She has three children, one gorgeous grandchild and lives in Rancho Mirage, California. Mary is now working on her second book in this series, Deadly Secrets.
For those of you who are wanting more...Mary has stopped by for an interview:
Q. When did you first realize
you wanted to be an author?
A. I think I had ideas of
being a writer when I was a child. I loved writing compositions and no matter
what they were about I always ended with ‘and then I went home tired but
happy.’ I have never used that sentence
since. And I loved to read. I always had
a book in my hand. But it wasn’t until later in life that I had the time and
opportunity to follow this dream. I did not have a lot of formal education so I
educated myself by going to writer’s classes, seminars, conventions, and
writers groups. Always in a writers
Q. How many jobs did you have
before you became a writer?
A. A multitude. I worked for
Bell Telephone in Canada; I
taught dancing in Canada,
moved to Florida
and owned an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Later I arrived in California
(when I ran home to mother) where I continued to dance and teach in Hollywood. After this I married my first husband. We had
three children and I took up real estate. Eventually, I ended up as vice
president of a large firm in Santa
Monica, and general manager of residential sales. One
day while talking with my friend we decided we wanted to be on the Tonight
Show, so we figured the only way to do that was to write a book. We checked the
UCLA catalogue and found a class advertised as “How to Write the Bestseller.”
It was right up our alley. We attended that class and found our mentor,
Marjorie Miller. She taught the Bestseller class, and then invited us to join
her private writers group in Westwood. Many published authors came out of that
group. Both my friend and I fell in love
with the process of writing and it became my life’s work, at first part time,
and then full time. I am most happy when I am writing. Obviously, we did not
make it to the Tonight Show. Yet!!!
Q. How long does it take you
to write a book?
A. Before Deadly Pleasures, I had written Voodoo Fire, a thriller about Haiti, with
zombies. But it was not fashionable then like it is now. I started a vampire book after that but
everyone told me no one was interested in vampires. Ha Ha. So I dumped that
book. When I wrote the first version of Deadly
Pleasures, the “powers that be” told me I couldn’t
have four women. And then came ‘Sex in the City’ and then came ‘Desperate
Housewives’. It seems they may now be ready for Deadly Pleasures -- I hope.
For Deadly Pleasures I
probably spent three years writing it. I found my voice while writing this
novel. I hope to complete my next book, Deadly
Secrets this year.
Q. What would you say is your
most interesting writing quirk?
A. I try to make my writing
feel invisible so the reader can glide over the words and actually see what I
am describing and feel the feelings I am trying to evoke. But I do love to write descriptions of the
sky, mountains, the sea, and people. I
think the reason I try to keep it simple is because I do not want the writing
to interfere with the reader’s pleasure.
Q. Do you have a routine that
you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
A. Actually, the hardest
thing to do is START. Usually, once I sit down and put my thoughts to what I
want to accomplish in a scene, it’s hard to get me away from the computer. I
have always chosen to write at night when there are no distractions. But since
my husband passed away last year I can work any time of the day and night.
Harold Robbins, (and who can forget Harold Robbins?) gave me the best advice,
he said we had to ‘put ass glue on our chairs and not get up until we had five
to ten pages written.’ It does not have
to be perfect – just on the page. Since writing is mostly re-writing, nothing
can happen unless you have the first words written down, then you can fiddle
with it, rearrange it, and even omit it. But you must START.
Q. Where do you get your
ideas or inspirations for your characters?
A. Of course there are only
so many personality types, and often my characters do sound like people I know.
But mostly, they all have a little piece of me in them. How else could I
describe their feelings, fears, and emotions? My next book is about a country
club in the desert so all my friends and golf partners are nervous.
Q. How do you decide what you
want to work on?
A. I pick a subject I would
like to learn about. I was fascinated with Haiti and the real source of
zombies. I was also interested in the political situation. With Deadly Pleasures, I wanted an
interesting killer. I was interested in bondage and S&M. but I knew very
little about it. I never practiced BDSM but I was intrigued with the why of it.
My husband and I had a whole lot of fun researching the information. We hit a
lot of porn shops, read some pretty obnoxious magazines, watched videos, and
with the help of a psychiatrist friend delved deeply into the mental process
and the psychosis of sado-masochism. I read a lot of true crime and tried to
figure out the motives of killers like my Bondage Murderer. It was fascinating!
Q. What books have most
influenced your life?
A. As a girl it was always
Nancy Drew and any kind of mystery I could get my hands on. I moved on to
Agatha Christie, I adored Miss Marple and Mr. Poirot. I was so taken with Death on the Nile that in later years I
talked my husband into going to Egypt.
It was not the best time to travel there but we did. We sailed down the Nile in a boat similar to the one in the movie. We
visited the hotel where the action took place. What a thrill. I also loved
Sherlock Homes and of course Charles Dickens not always by my choice. Raised in
we were reading at a very early age so I had lots of time for Jane Austen,
Emily Bronte. Etc. Now, I absolutely adore Thomas Harris the author of Hannibal and Red Dragon. I treat Red Dragon as a text book, because the
art of building suspense in this book is absolute genius.
Q. What are you reading right
A. I am reading books to
review for my friends. I have just finished The
Naked Room, by Diana Hockley, Also A
Dangerous Harbor, by RPDahlke, Forgotten
Burial: A Restless Spirit by Jodi Foster. I have just begun Memoirs from the Asylum by Kenneth
Weene. My taste in books is eclectic. And I also bought Trick of the Dark by Val Mc Dermid, a British author of
mysteries. I love Jackie Collins. I can
always count on being entertained.
Q. What do you like to do
when you are not writing?
A. I love to dance, which is
not surprising, I also play golf but I am not very good at it. I just keep
slugging away. I absolutely adore spending time with my grandson who is
seventeen months old and is experiencing EVERYTHING for the very first time. It
is very exciting. I do lunch a lot.
My latest obsession is with
Twitter. All my writer buddies are tweeting and re tweeting each other. It’s a blast. My list of followers grows
Q. What is your favorite
A. That’s easy. Chocolate,
milk or dark, but never white chocolate.
Q. What do you think makes a
A. Something, anything that
keeps the reader’s interest, has a fascinating beginning, a competent middle,
and a satisfying ending. I do not like nebulous endings. I like things to be
all wrapped up neatly. But then again, I don’t like to have it all explained
away. I like funny, I want to laugh to ease the tension. I love descriptive
passages that are not too flowery and overdone. I am pretty easy to satisfy. I
just love reading.
Q. Who is your favorite
author and why?
A. My favorite author is
Thomas Harris, the author of Hannibal
and Red Dragon. His sense of pace and building to a
suspenseful ending is genius. I have read Red
Dragon many times. I use it like a text book. I do love Dan Brown, I really
like the way he takes things that we think we know, and then turns them upside
down. He makes us believe.
Q. What book, if any, do you
read over and over again?
A. Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris.
I also loved both movies they made of the book.
Dogs or cats? Very hard – dogs.
Coffee or tea? I’m English, tea.
Dark or milk chocolate? Mmmm,
Rocks or flowers? Flowers.
Night or Day? Night. I am a night person.
Crayons or markers? Markers.
Pens or pencils? Pencils.
You can buy a paperback copy by clicking HERE.
You can buy the kindle version for only $.99 by clicking HERE.
Stop back this week for the review!
Thanks for stopping by The Wormhole. Happy Reading.