Interview with Isabel Pietri

Published 2014-04-18.
What is your writing process?
The process starts very early in the morning the moment I wake up. I lay in bed, eyes shut, and think (or day dream). Characters come to life and play out a short drama. If I like their drama, I then sit with my laptop and start writing. Before long, the story takes on a life of its own. I don't worry about grammar, punctuations or chapters. I just write. Later on I clean everything up.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes, the Nancy Drew mysteries. As a child I loved reading the adventures and mysteries in the "Nancy Drew" collection. I progressed to Sherlock Holmes and own all the stories. They had a tremendous impact since every writing assignment in school, where I had an option, was sure to be about a mystery.
How do you approach cover design?
I had a mental image of how I wanted the cover of "LOVE in the DARK" to look. I shared those images with a cover design professional. They did all the work and exceeded my expectations.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1) The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank. It was a moving and compelling story of young Jewish girl in Nazi Germany. Her optimism, dreams, romanticism during dark and dire circumstances I found uplifting and sad all at once.
2) Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes. The story of Charlie, a mentally retarded man, who through an experimental procedure, goes on to be a genius. His is a sad story. As a mentally disabled person, he faces challenges and rejections. As a genius, he is seen as arrogant and rejected by his peers. It is only made worse by his flashbacks, particularly when he realizes his mother was embarrassed by his mental condition. I read this book as a teenager and was deeply moved.
3) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy - Stieg Larson. I read all three books. Lisbeth Solander is my hero. She is a young woman that is labeled witless and is victimized by those who are supposed to protect her. It turns out that she is a genius and a badass. She goes on to outwit and avenge her tormentors. I liked the book because Lisbeth is a strong woman who emerges as a ward of the government to a successful life she creates for herself.
4) Gabriel's Inferno - Sylvain Reynard. I read the trilogy of Professor Gabriel Emerson and the love of his life, Julia, or as he refers to her, Beatrice. Professor Emerson is a specialist in Dante and Julia, in the first book, is his student. They do have history together. She remembers but he doesn't mostly because when they first met he was deep into alcohol and drugs. I found the authors use of Dante throughout the three books to be clever. From Gabriel's Inferno to Gabriel's Redemption, one experiences his demons, his growth and ultimately his joy.
5) Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn. I loved this book not only because it was a suspenseful page turner, but because the story is told from two points of view. The first point of view is told by the husband, whose wife has gone missing. The second point of view is told from the wife through her journal writings and then through herself as, we the reader, discover her. I thought that was clever on the part of the author.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am eclectic in taste. I appreciate a good tear jerker as well as an adventure story. I like romance/thrillers and if they have some erotic scenes, all the better.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle reader, as well as the kindle app on my smart phone and laptop.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New York's lower east side. The cultural melting pot that is New York City, the hustle and bustle, and the tough exterior of its citizenry gave me a palette to paint places, people and things with words.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing as a child in grade school. I kept a loose leaf binder where I wrote ideas for stories, essays and observations.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"LOVE in the DARK" is the story of NYPD surveillance expert, Detective Millie Angeles. In the sordid, shimmering streets of New York City, Millie has made a name for herself working the elite TARU unit of the New York Police Department as the go-to girl for surveillance and tracking. However, when a tragedy occurs, she finds herself casting about for a new chapter. That all falls into place when she lands a job at a private company, which dispatches her to the West Coast to work for Adrian Zaragosa, a blind, and strikingly handsome owner of a winery estate in the Napa Valley. As the plot thickens and their passion sparks, Millie finds herself in the throes of both extreme danger and overpowering desire.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing is the creating of characters and situations. Just as in reading, in writing one has the opportunity to live and experience another world and another life.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! I love to hear their opinions, their likes and dislikes.
What are you working on next?
"The Black Calla Lily." It is the second book in the trilogy story of Millie and Adrian.
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Books by This Author

The Black Calla Lily
Series: Millie and Adrian Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 103,160. Language: American English. Published: November 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
The Black Calla Lily is book #2 in the Millie and Adrian Trilogy. Millie and Adrian's idyllic life is disrupted by drug lords, shady lawyers, ruthless rivals and ex-lovers. The Black Calla Lily comes to a stunning climax as Millie leaves her family behind and races to tie up loose ends with the drug lords for the final show down where she may have to pay the ultimate price: her life.
Love in the Dark
Series: Millie and Adrian Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 113,730. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
NYPD surveillance expert, Detective Millie Angeles knows well that scintillating things can transpire under the cover of dark. Some pleasurable while others are deadly. LOVE in the DARK lifts he cloak of darkness on one woman’s action-packed life, revealing high action and erotic encounters that will enthrall and excite anyone who loves their intrigue served with plenty of sauce.