By Pat Browning
Yesterday Gerrie Ferris Finger talked about the Malice Domestic Contest and her 2009 winning entry, THE END GAME, to be published April 27. Today, the subject is her romantic suspense series with Desert Breeze Publishing.
Pat: Tell us about your Laura Kate Plantation Series. WHEN SERPENTS DIE is an interesting title. What is its significance?
This book, the series actually, was written before The End Game. I call the series southern gothic romances. There's always death in southern gothics.
When Serpents Die is a novel of passion and greed that leads to the death of Royce Lee. The serpents in the tale are four people that form a romantic quadrangle. Two couples – long time friends – begin to hate each other when Royce steals his best friend's wife, then discards her for his own wife, then goes back to his best friend's wife. Think snakes in a barrel.
Pat: Desert Breeze Publishing (www.desertbreezepublishing.com) is a new and interesting publisher currently publishing only e-books, but with an eye on future print editions. Why did you decide to put your Laura Kate books with them?
I had an agent who couldn't sell the Laura Kate series. There was interest, but no buyers. I put the manuscripts in a computer file and went to work on the Moriah Dru series. My agent and I parted company and I immersed myself in writing. I didn't submit any of the manuscripts to agents or publishers.
Then, I read Desert Breeze's call for manuscripts, I believe on DorothyL, the reader/writer/librarian forum that's a must-belong-to if you love books. I submitted to this new romance (no erotica) company and Serpents was accepted. The second in the series, Honored Daughters, came out in October 2009. According to my contract, I owe DB two more Laura Kates. The Desert Breeze people are a dream to work with, and I hope our ebooks will see print one day.
Pat: Amazon.com is promoting its Kindle version of the first two books? Have you downloaded the e-versions and if so, what do think of them?
I have to confess I don't owe a Kindle or any other device onto which my books can be downloaded. In PDF form, they read like a book on a computer screen. (I prefer paper and ink). Desert Breeze does an excellent job with the conversions.
Pat: I read that you were born in St. Louis, Mo., now live in Georgia, and are married to Col Alan Jay Finger, USMC (Ret.) I’ve also read “once a Marine always a Marine.” Are you and your husband involved in any military organizations?
Oh yes. My husband is a Charter Member of the Kings Bay Chapter of MOAA – which is the Military Officers Association of America. We support the commissaries, PXes and golf courses of every military base we live near and visit.
Pat: What brought you from St. Louis to Atlanta?
To work in advertising. After The Atlanta Constitution lifted its hiring freeze I joined the staff. The newspapers weren't combined at that time.
Pat: One last question: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I don't like heights, but when I first started at the Constitution, I was persuaded to go up in a hot air balloon for a story. We were to land at the Chastain Golf Course, but we got blown off course and barely missed utility wires, landing in the yard of an editorial writer I barely knew, smashing his azaleas and impatiens. That writer and I got to be good friends. Remember that, Dick Williams?
I don't run 10Ks like my heroine, Dru, in The End Game.
I'm not a martial arts expert like my heroine, Laura Kate, in When Serpents Die and Honored Daughters.
Pat: Thank you so much for sharing your life and work with us. Best of luck with THE END GAME, and your LAURA KATE series.
Note: Gerrie Ferris Finger’s Laura Kate series:
WHEN SERPENTS DIE - Book One in the Laura Kate Plantation Series - April 2009
HONORED DAUGHTERS - Book Two in the Laura KatePlantation Series - October 2009
WAGON DOGS - Book Three in the Laura Kate Plantation Series - September 2010
Gerrie on the Web:
ABOUT Gerrie Ferris Finger’s colleague Lewis Grizzard. He wrote a syndicated column that appeared in some 450 newspapers and wrote 20 books. He had open-heart surgery in 1993, never quite recovered and died in 1994. The title THE LAST BUS TO ALBUQUERQUE is from Grizzard's reply to his doctor before his heart surgery. The doctor asked if he had any questions, and Grizzard answered: "Just one: When's the next bus to Albuquerque?"
Grizzard’s books are mostly out of print but still available through Amazon.com’s used book service. This title caught my eye: DON’T BEND OVER IN THE GARDEN, GRANNY, YOU KNOW THEM TATERS GOT EYES.
The editorial blurb says: “This time Lewis Grizzard has gone and done it--written a book about sex, as seen through his bespectacled, ironic squint. He tells us why Junior Leaguers don't do it in groups, why Baptists won't do it standing up, and why Richard Nixon never did it, among other things.”
I laugh just reading about it.