27 November 2012

Lawyers, Lovers, and Lies Tour: Author Interview

Lawyers Lovers & Lies by Linda Pohl
Synopsis: Charlene Williams, a recent law school graduate, thinks her prayers have been answered when she is offered a position at one of New York City's most prestigious law firms. But her dreams are quickly shattered when she finds out that Alex Andrews, the firm's senior criminal lawyer, wants far more from her than her legal expertise.

A gorgeous, powerful, manipulative man, Alexander is used to getting whatever he wants. Targeted as his next conquest, his words and actions make it quite clear that if Charlene doesn't start playing by his rules, she'll be lucky to be licking stamps in some lowly legal aid office.

With no witnesses to substantiate Alex's escalating abuse, it's his word against hers. Consumed with fear and the possibility of losing her job, Charlene is faced with a choice to retreat or to meet this ultimate challenge head on. Risking everything, she decides to build the greatest case of her life in an attempt to expose Alex as the predator he is.


P:  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
L: When I'm not writing, I enjoy keeping busy. I love my part time job and have been doing it for nearly fourteen years. I work as a standardized patient at a medical school near my home. I memorize scripts and then go into one of twelve simulated doctor's offices. Medical students in years one through four are given my "door chart" and then I role play the illness or ailment. I have played a depressed woman, had thyroid disease, been a victim of domestic abuse (the bruises on my eye, arm and rib look real), had cancer, gallstones, appendicitis and a myriad of other diseases. Sometimes I rotate among the first year classrooms to introduce the students to the proper way of taking a history from a patient. I have also played the "difficult" patient, including the tearful patient, the curious patient, the seductive patient and the rambling patient. When I'm not working, I love reading and traveling. With two nieces in Switzerland, I am looking forward to going to my one niece's wedding next summer. My greatest joy is probably my two new grandsons, born only 2 months apart. Aiden is 10 months and Jacob (Jack) is 8 months. I love spending time with them.

P: What is the one moment that has changed your life?
L: When my younger sister died of cancer, leaving behind her three and four year old daughters, my world was turned upside down. For a long time after she died, I thought very frequently about the fragility of life and how fortunate I was to have my health. I questioned why she was taken and vowed to never take anything for granted. The years passed and I was fortunate to have my health. Sometimes, I was probably not as grateful as I feel I should have been. Then, on September 28, my son-in-law, a healthy, strong young man was diagnosed with acute leukemia. His only symptoms were that he felt unusually tired, but he and my daughter attributed that to caring for a new baby and his starting a new job. Nose bleeds weren't anything new, as he has always had bad allergies and sinus infections that were frequently accompanied by nose bleeds. Presuming he had another sinus infection, he saw the doctor who prescribed antibiotics. When the antibiotics ended, and he felt no better, the doctor took a blood test and we received the most dreaded news, cancer. He was ambulanced to a cancer center and completed his first round of chemotherapy, which unfortunately did not eliminate the cancer cells in his bone marrow. He is in the hospital now receiving his second round of chemo and we are praying that it works. The only positive thing is that we have moved into our daughter's home and are caring for her baby and really getting to know our beautiful little grandson, Jacob. I pray that his daddy gets better. Again, I find myself thinking about life and how precious it is. In the blink of an eye, everything can change.

P: How long does it take you to write a book?
L: It depends on the book. Years ago, I had my own literacy program where I visited hundreds of schools to promote a love of reading. I called myself The Storybook Princess and I dressed up in a Cinderella gown, glittery shoes, a jeweled crown, and a sparkly eye mask. I visited preschool through Grade 2. In conjunction with my program, I wrote The Ah-Chooo Book and The Grumpy Queen. Each of those books took me a few months to write, but the illustrators took a longer time. The Ah-Chooo is in audio, with me reading, on itunes. My non-fiction book, which I co-authored with reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Masood Khatamee is entitled Doctor, Are You Listening? It took me over two years of working diligently with the doctor to collaborate on the topics we discussed and wanted to include in the book. I worked on Lawyers, Lovers and Lies for 3 years, often writing and rewriting chapters. There was always something I wanted to change or add. I'm happiest when I'm writing and my characters become real to me. I really couldn't stand Alex, but he often "spoke" to me and then I wasn't happy till I'd get my thoughts down on paper. I'm just about finished withmy next book entitled A Will For Revenge. That book has been in the works for several years.

P: Where do you get your ideas or inspirations?
L: I used to be a first grade teacher and it seemed I was constantly reminding the children to cover their noses and mouths when they sneezed. If they did remember to cover their noses and mouths, then I would have to remind them to please wash their hands. I got tired of hearing myself talk and thus was born The Ah-Chooo Book! Although most of the children I taught were happy, one little girl, named Donna, always had a a glum look on her little face. And so, even though she never knew that she was my inspiration for The Grumpy Queen, she was! It teaches children that if you wear a smile and are happy, those around you will be happy. Smiles are contagious! Doctor, Are You Listening? was written to help make women aware of their choices when seeing a physician and also to empower women at their doctors' visits. Lawyers, Lovers and Lies was inspired by my imagination. That my husband worked in a big law firm probably had something to with my choosing to write about lawyers! The book I'm working on now, A Will For Revenge, was inspired by my father's first wife. But, since it's fiction, I got to create a more favorable ending! I guess it would be fair to say that my ideas come from life and I'm always thinking about a new idea. One of my children's books that is presently having the illustrations done is entitled Aurelie's Magical Crepes. When my husband and I were out to dinner, sitting at the next table there was a rather stout, crotchety looking old woman with her hair pulled back tautly into a chignon. I looked at my husband and said, "There is Madame Bougon!" In French, bougon means grumpy and it perfectly suited her! The young man doing my illustrations has captured her look perfectly. I guess ideas can come from anywhere, if you're open to looking for them.

P: Who is your favorite author and why?
L: I love to read and enjoy books of various genres. One of my favorite authors is Naomi Ragen. Her books transport me to a different culture. I enjoy learning the rituals and traditions that other people follow. She makes you feel as if you are really a part of the lives of those she is writing about. I love her storylines and character development. Usually, her novels are thought provoking and, once I start, I find her books difficult to put down. I also really enjoy books about the Amish culture and love to read anything I can about that way of life.

P: What book do I read over and over again?
L: I have read To Kill A Mockingbird many times. I never tire of the storyline or the characters. It is my all time favorite!

I hope you all enjoyed the interview with Linda! and I hope to have her back in the future after I've read her book :)


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