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Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014


Please welcome Suzanne Palmieri to The Qwillery. The Witch of Belladonna Bay was published on May 13, 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin.



Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014




TQ:  Welcome back to The Qwillery. Your new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, was published on May 13th. Has your writing process changed (or not) from when you wrote The Witch of Little Italy (2013) to The Witch of Belladonna Bay? What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Suzanne:  I am SO happy to be back! It's a funny thing, writing. Publishing too. We are usually writing books a year out, so there is a moment when one book is published and the other has already been written. I was done with The Witch of Belladonna Bay last year... but I will say... that this book was a little different. This book is linear, where The Witch of Little Italy went back and forth in time. And there's a murder mystery too! It was so much fun to write.



TQ:  What do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Witch of Little Italy came out that you know now?

Suzanne:  I was very new to this industry. So I think the answer to this question is EVERYTHING.! I didn't understand how publicity and marketing worked. I didn't fully appreciate how much time we need to dedicate to the marketing of our own books even if we are with a traditional publishing house. I also didn't realize how amazingly supportive other authors would be. (My heart is with Elin Hilderbrand as we speak... Love and Light, Friend. Love and light.)



TQ:  Tell us something about The Witch of Belladonna Bay that is not in the book description.

Suzanne:  It's a story about homecoming. About how to forgive and understand the errors you've made in the past. It's a story about learning how to appreciate your true self. Bronwyn must forgive herself and allow the beautiful moments of her past shine, in order to unravel the mystery and heal her family.



TQ:  Which character in the The Witch of Belladonna Bay has surprised you the most? Who was the hardest character to write and why?

Suzanne:  Byrd surprised me and continued to surprise me throughout the narrative! She's a pip. The hardest character for me was BitsyWyn... I know... She's the main character! But I feel as if I finally got her right. We struggled, but not too much...



TQThe Witch of Belladonna Bay and The Witch of Little Italy are infused with magic and deal with family, love and crisis. What appeals to you about including magic in the novels?

Suzanne:  Most of my work is autobiographical... I think most fiction is. Anyway, because I like to take real, sensory moments from my own life and fictionalize them for layers inside my stories, the magic is a way for me to fix what went wrong. If that makes sense. I do believe that we are capable of far more than we give ourselves credit for.



TQ The Witch of Belladonna Bay has been described as "Southern Gothic." Is that an apt description? What is Southern Gothic?

Suzanne:  I think the term Gothic has to do with the following elements: A house that becomes so real it has its own character. A family secret that must be unearthed. Ghosts... and a whiff of romance. Lush garden settings are usually part of this as well. The Witch of Little Italy would have also fallen into this category. And I suppose that because The Witch of Belladonna Bay is set in the Deep South, that's what makes it Southern Gothic! Right? I'm open to interpretation.



TQ:  Please give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Witch of Belladonna Bay.

Suzanne:  "Mermaids don't drown." And: "I used to think it was terribly romantic being half stardust and half southern magnolia." (Thanks for that opportunity!)


TQ:  What's next?

Suzanne:  2015! THE WITCH OF BOURBON STREET!



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Suzanne:  Thank you so much!





The Witch of Belladonna Bay
St. Martin's Griffin, May 13, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014
It’s the trouble you aren’t expecting that gets you. And it’s all around you, Bronwyn, it’s all around you like the air.…

Bronwyn "BitsyWyn" Whalen hasn’t set eyes on the red dirt of Magnolia Creek, Alabama, for fourteen years—not since her mama died. But with her brother, Patrick, imprisoned for the murder of her childhood best friend, and her eccentric father, Jackson, at his wits’ end while her eleven-year-old niece, Byrd, runs wild, Bronwyn finds herself once again surrounded by ancient magnolia trees and the troubled family she left behind. She becomes immersed in a whirlwind of mystery and magic as she tries to figure out what really happened that fateful night her friend died. And as her bond with Byrd deepens, Bronwyn must face the demons of her past in order to unravel her family’s uncertain future.In Suzanne Palmieri's thrilling new novel, The Witch of Belladonna Bay, readers will learn if love and magic are enough to bring a broken family back together.



The Witch of Little Italy
St. Martin's Griffin, March 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014
In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her. She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there. With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.





About Suzanne

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014
SUZANNE PALMIERI is the author of The Witch of Little Italy and the forthcoming The Witch of Belladonna Bay (May, 2014). She is also the co-author of I'll Be Seeing You and Empire Girls under the name Suzanne Hayes. She lives by the ocean with her husband and three darling witches. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.






Website  ~  Facebook
Twitter @thelostwitch



Interview with Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - March 27, 2013

Please welcome Suzanne Palmieri to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Witch of Little Italy was published on March 26, 2013.  You may read Suzanne's Guest Blog - Finding Magic....  - here.




Interview with Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - March 27, 2013




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Suzanne:  Thank you for having me!



TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Suzanne:  When I was little I wrote all the time. Then... life happened. I began writing in earnest in 2008. I just sat down one day and began to type.



TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Suzanne:  I use all caps a lot. And I like staccato sentences. But mostly? I can't do what other writers do... eat certain foods or wear certain clothes. When I'm writing? I'm writing until my fingers cramp up. Literally. Curl up.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Suzanne:  PANTSER. Sometimes I don't even know where the story is going and then a character says something and I'm like "OH!" But: Note: When I revise? I am fixing the plot. Filling the holes. So I guess I plot when I revise.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Suzanne:  TIME! And insecurity. And a feeling of being lost in a vast ocean with all the other wonderful books out there. How to make your own novel shine? Should it? It's a terrible, wonderful feeling.



TQ:  Describe The Witch of Little Italy in 140 characters or less.

Suzanne:  A young woman in trouble moves in with three magical old ladies, unearthing 50 year old secrets that will heal or shatter their family.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Witch of Little Italy?

Suzanne:  Being lost. Wanting to find what Elly found. Summers at the beach. My own great Aunts. Living in the Bronx. Also? A newspaper story, years and years ago about two spinster ladies who died, and what did they find in the house? Yeah. THAT'S A SPOILER. So I can't tell you!



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Witch of Little Italy?

Suzanne:  I had to do some research on Far Rockaway and the amazing vacation destination that it once was. It's gone now. The historic buildings and boardwalks. The amusement parks. Also, a little history about WWII, because part of the book, the "Back Flashes" happen during that time. But I'm a history teacher by day... so that makes it easier.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Suzanne:  Eleanor was the HARDEST character for me. We fought constantly. She woke me up at night telling me things. I'm still not sure if I explored her the way I should have. Or could... if I were to write the book now. I've learned so much since I finished that book.

Mama, Margaret Green, was the easiest. Because I loved her. And she loved me.



TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in The Witch of Little Italy?

Suzanne:  I love the scene when my three old ladies come back from church through the garden gate and find Elly without shoes on, in the snow. I LOVE the scene when Elly and Liz visit the graveyard. I adore the whole part of the novel that involves "Fairview" (Where Mama's people came from)



TQ:  What's next?

Suzanne:  Due out in 2014 from Saint Martin's Press/Griffin is THE WITCH OF MAGNOLIA CREEK, a southern gothic, magical, murder mystery. It is a stand alone novel, but readers who enjoyed THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY will enjoy the subtle connections and recurring characters. I am very proud of that novel. It was hard work. But I felt... like an author when I finished it.

ALSO: I write under a pen name: Suzanne Hayes: The Novel "I'LL BE SEEING YOU" Mira Books, that I co-authored with Loretta Nyhan will be in stores MAY 28th! (Back to back book releases from two publishing houses is an experience, let me tell you!)



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Suzanne:  Thank you for having me!





About The Witch of Little Italy

The Witch of Little Italy
St. Martin's Griffin, March 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - March 27, 2013
In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her. She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there. With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.


You may read an excerpt from The Witch of Little Italy at the Macmillan site here.





About Suzanne

Interview with Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - March 27, 2013
Suzanne Palmieri (AKA Suzanne Hayes) is an author, a teacher, and the mother of three little witches.

Her debut novel THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY will be published by Saint Martin's/Griffin on March 26, 2013, and has sold internationally. Her co-authored novel, I'LL BE SEEING YOU (written as Suzanne Hayes) will be published by Mira books on May 28, 2013, and has also sold internationally.

She lives by the ocean in Connecticut with her husband and three darling witches. Suzanne is represented by Anne Bohner of Pen and Ink Literary.




Website  :  Facebook  :  Twitter -  @thelostwitch





2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2013


It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for March 2013!




Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US. Cover artist/illustrator information is provided when I have it.








Cover Design: Lauren Panepinto






Cover Artwork: Robbie Trevino


















Cover Artist: Nekro








Guest Blog by Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - February 27, 2013

Please welcome Suzanne Palmieri to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Witch of Little Italy will be published on March 26, 2013.



Guest Blog by Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - February 27, 2013



Finding Magic.....

On March 26th 2013 (next month!) my novel The Witch of Little Italy will hit the shelves. It will be at all the major booksellers, at Target, at independent bookstores. It's been a truly magical experience and I feel so-- charmed.

One of the things that people have asked me about my novel, is how I created the subtle-- yet very present magic in the characters. Some call it world building...
Not me.
My life has always had magic in it. Not the kind you think of right away, not the romantic sort of woozy magic that we think about when we say things are "Magical". No, I had real magic. Good and bad. Black and White. Green, mostly...

Kitchen Magic.

It was always obvious that my stories would have a magical realism bent, because I was brought up that way.

In the kitchens of my childhood there was magic. Real, honest to goodness spell crafting. Garden under the moonlight. Oil in water on New Years Eve to remove and evil eye. Curses. (Yes, curses...)
But fun things too!

Want to know the sex of the baby you are carrying? Who needs an ultrasound? Put your wedding ring on a chain and have let one of my Great Aunts dangle it in front of your stomach.
She always got it right.

Sick? Make sure the "patient's" bed is made with white sheets. All white. Mustard plasters. Menthol. Tea and honey and lemon. Prayers. Who needs a doctor?
Rub down a fever with rose water and rubbing alcohol. Say the Rosary.

Because my mother was a child of the Sixties (hippie, spiritual, flower of a woman) and my Grandmother was a first generation Italian American... I was brought up with a certain kind of Pagan/Catholicism steeped in magical traditions.

So when my characters needed magic (to help or harm), It was easy for me to give them the things I already knew. I simply gave them the gifts that so many people in my life gave to me.

It's not a matter of believing something or not. It's a culture. A way of life.

I was a sad and lonesome child, but I knew, early on, that I was a daughter of the sea. My mother would bring me to the ocean and that's where I remembered, under the water, that I was a mermaid.

There's nothing salt water can't cure. There's nothing the sun won't bleach out of you. You can't hide from sand.

Magic.

None of us live without it. We just don't look hard enough for it. Turn around. I'm right here! And I have a few spells for you. Just take a peek inside my book!





About The Witch of Little Italy

The Witch of Little Italy
St. Martin's Griffin, March 26, 2013
Trade Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Guest Blog by Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - February 27, 2013
In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her. She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there. With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.
Preorder


You may read an excerpt from The Witch of Little Italy at the Macmillan site here.





About Suzanne

Guest Blog by Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - February 27, 2013
Suzanne Palmieri (AKA Suzanne Hayes) is an author, a teacher, and the mother of three little witches.

Her debut novel THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY will be published by Saint Martin's/Griffin on March 26, 2013, and has sold internationally. Her co-authored novel, I'LL BE SEEING YOU (written as Suzanne Hayes) will be published by Mira books on May 28, 2013, and has also sold internationally.

She lives by the ocean in Connecticut with her husband and three darling witches. Suzanne is represented by Anne Bohner of Pen and Ink Literary.




Website  :  Facebook  :  Twitter -  @thelostwitch




Interview with Suzanne Palmieri - June 18, 2014Interview with Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - March 27, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - March 2013Guest Blog by Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy - February 27, 2013

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