This week's guest blogger Lori Avocato gave up an career as a registered nurse in the Air Force to write fiction. She sold nine romance novels, then turned to writing the humorous Pauline Sokol Mysteries, in which a burned-out nurse becomes a medical fraud insurance investigator.
We asked Lori to give us some insights into her series characters:
WP: What makes your series/characters unique?
LA: I think my characters in The Pauline Sokol Mystery Series are unique, because they came out of my head--and every writer has a different imagination. Parts of my personality, my past experiences, and my family go into the bowl to create these endearing characters. I feel as if I know them and get lots of fan mail about them--especially dear Goldie Perlman--a six foot tall investigator who sometimes buys his Armani from the men's department, sometimes from the women's!
WP: What is it your audience likes about your series?
LA: My audience always comments on the humor of my work. I write to entertain and there's nothing better than hearing a reader say how much they laughed while reading my book. As long as it wasn't while they were looking at my picture!
WP: What do they identify with?
LA: The readers identify with Pauline being klutzy at times since she's an inexperienced investigator and they also relate to her family. Very ethnic Polish family.
WP: how do you keep your characters fresh as the series continues?
LA: I think my romance background has helped me to write fantastic characters. They come out of my subconscious with great "tags" and "quirky" personalities, which my readers seem to love. Since I write with a lot of humor, that helps. Humor has to be universal in appeal, so that keeps my characters fresh and appealing. One of my favorite examples is when heroine Pauline says, "When I was born, I weighed 10 lbs. 5 oz., but in my defense, the nurses told my mother that I looked much thinner." Now who can't relate to a weight issue!
WP: And why did you make the switch from romance to mystery?
LA: The series just presented itself with my nursing background after I read a Janet Evanovich book. I loved her voice and style and decided to ask myself, what do I know? What can I write about? And, Pauline Sokol was born. She's named after my grandmother, who died on her 92nd birthday. A Dose of Murder, the first book of the series, came out on my grandmother's birthday! But my mysteries do have romance in them as any reader will tell you. The sexual tension between Pauline and investigator Jagger gets me plenty of fanmail, asking when they'd "get together!" But, I have to tell you, that would change the dynamics of their relationship. There's a great new guy in Pauline's life named ER Dano. He presents himself in Book #6, Dead on Arrival. A hot, burned-out paramedic. Yum! Can't beat that romance background.
Lori's newest book in the series (#6), DEAD ON ARRIVAL, will be released in July 2007. Visit her website at: www.loriavocato.com