This week's Friday Five features a very special guest -- Christine Nolfi, author of Treasure Me, which is now available for purchase in the Amazon Kindle store.
1. Treasure Me is currently only available in the Amazon Kindle store. Do you think it will become a trend for new authors in the future? Do you think books will become obsolete?
Digital publishing offers a marvelous opportunity for talented authors--especially authors who don't fit easily into a traditional genre--to reach the reading public. A division of Penguin considered bringing Treasure Me, and the upcoming Liberty books, out in hardcover. Earlier, Random House was interested in another novel, Second Chance Grill, which will appear on Amazon in June.
In both instances, the editors were flummoxed. Were the books romance or women's fiction? Or something else? The prose was close to literary, with cozy mystery elements and snappy dialogue thrown into the mix. Given the financial investment a publishing house makes releasing a debut novelist, it’s understandable why both editors were hesitant to offer a contract. They weren't sure, exactly, how to promote my novels.
That said, I don't believe traditional books will ever disappear. Don't we all love the scent of a newly printed book? The feel of a hardbound book in our hands? The affordability of e-books will certainly increase readership, but I suspect a segment of the public will always prefer print books.
2. What are the pros and cons of releasing a novel in ebook format?
I can't speak for other writers; my greatest difficulty has been the allocation of time. Many hours are now spent promoting my novels. Those long, lovely mornings, when I woke at dawn and spent hours writing, have disappeared. At least for now.
3. What inspired you to write about a petty thief like Birdie Kaminsky?
In 2007, I had just come through divorce and my mother’s death after her long battle with cancer. One morning I thought, "If I don't write something to make myself laugh, I'll never stop crying." Then Birdie simply appeared, dangling from a window, trying to escape from the man whose pocket she'd picked. That first scene in Treasure Me wasn't plotted out: it rose from my subconscious in a mad flurry of typing.
As the book progressed, I enjoyed the challenge of making Birdie sympathetic to readers. Why should any of us care about a thief? By mid-story, it becomes clear why she’s led her chosen life, and why she wants to change. I'm an adoptive mother of a sibling group of four children, and some of Birdie’s characterization undoubtedly arises from that experience. Children who have suffered abuse and neglect do not enter the adoption process as model citizens. It takes time to heal their wounds and get them to trust in a mother’s forever-love.
4. In Treasure Me, Birdie is on a mission to find and steal hidden treasure from the Civil War. Why did you choose the Civil War as a backdrop for the story?
On a personal level, I have French and English ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, and on both sides of the Civil War. Wondering who they were, and what their lives were like, comes naturally. All of the Liberty books will include historical elements, with women front and center. On another level, I suspect I'm writing a love story to the American Experience. In the last ten years, we've experienced great hardship as a nation. But we should never forget that the U.S. is a great country. In the small town of Liberty, I hope to portray the best of who we are as a people.
5. If you could hunt for hidden treasure, what time period would you want to travel to and what would you want to find?
So many choices! Wouldn't it be exciting to find lost documents from the ancient library of Alexandria? Or original writings destined for the Old or New Testament? How about a cache of jewels hidden since the French Revolution? Or priceless ceramics from China’s pre-dynastic period?
So many wonderful eras of history--how does one choose?
You can purchase Treasure Me by CLICKING HERE.
The second book in the Liberty series, Second Chance Grill, will be released summer, 2011.
For more information on Christine Nolfi, visit: