I’d like to welcome young adult award-winning author, B.T. Polcari to The Writing Jungle. Thank you for your time.
At what point in your life did you realize the writing bug had grabbed ahold of you? And which writers influenced you?
When I was 10, I wanted to be an author, but then life got in the way. It wasn’t until after I retired early and my wife and daughter were throwing around an idea for a book did I realize I wanted to write that book for them, which became my debut novel called Against My Better Judgment. The funny thing is that the book’s plot has zero resemblance to what they were throwing around, although the main character (Sara Donovan) has many of the same characteristics of their initial brainstorming. At some point during this writing process, the bug bit me. Writers who influenced me are a bit eclectic: Evanovich, DP Lyle, Robert B. Parker, Kinsella, Elmore Leonard, and Brad Meltzer.
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Bowling, tennis, walking, working outside, and reading. I also intend on getting back into painting.
What types of films and music do you enjoy?
Action-adventure (MI franchise, Liam Neeson, etc.) and mystery.
Rock and R&B
Do you have a specific writing ritual (like listening to music) and/or schedule you stick with?
When I get grooving into writing, I listen to the CD that got me into that groove for weeks and months. It’s a Pavlov’s Dogs thing. I get to my office around 10:00 in the morning, turn on the CD player with that particular CD, and I get cranking. I’ve done this for years, even back when I was writing professionally.
From all the characters you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
While I love all my characters, this is an easy one: Mrs. Majelski. She is just such a fun mysterious character who allows me to drop her into any scene and spice things up.
Do you allow your characters to dictate their paths or do you plot out everything?
I am an EXTREME plotter. Period.
Does research play a big part in your writing schedule?
It is a HUGE role in my writing. I spend months researching everything until I am 100% satisfied that what I intend to write will work and fits comfortably in history.
Are there any other works in progress that you’d like to hint about?
I have a mystery called If Words Could Kill that I am currently querying for an agent, and I am working on book 3 of the Mauzzy & Me Mystery Series with the working title of Grave Mischief.
If your favorite author (past or present) invited you for dinner to discuss writing, who would that be and what one question would you ask him/her?
I don’t necessarly have a favorite author but rather a cadre of authors I love to read. With that said:
Malcom Gladwell – where does he get his ideas from for such fascinating non-fiction?
T.E. Lawrence – during his embedding with the Arabs, did he ever think: “This is a really bad idea.”
Elmore Leonard – how did he go about writing dialogue and explain his interpretation of free indirect speech. I would also have a long discussion on his infamous Ten Rules of Writing, some of which I agree with and some—I don’t.
What wise words of wisdom would you give up-and-coming new writers?
Don’t ever stop writing, even if it is 100 words per day, and don’t let rejection stop you. Let rejection fuel you to keep getting better. In the writing business, we all get rejections. A LOT of them. Don’t let it define you. Use it. One word I use a lot in describing my writing arc is perseverance. I use it for good reason.
Thank you once again, B.T. for your time.
For more information on B.T. Polcari’s series, Mauzzy and Me, please link here.
After encountering a brief power outage at work, college student Sara Donovan might be allowing her imagination to run wild. The main vault in the Carlton Museum holds the Fire and Ice Exhibit, a collection of rare gems, including the Star of Midnight, a 175-carat diamond. Although all the stones are accounted for, Sara suspects the Star of Midnight was stolen and replaced with a fake.
While conducting her own investigation, what Sara uncovers is beyond even her wildest imagination: a coded message, papers with strange characters, and a mysterious set of numbers carved into an office wall. Despite dismissive historians and other experts, she is certain these clues point to a mysterious centuries-old legend.
Unfortunately, her colorful history of usually being right, but always being wrong, means she must solve the mystery to prove her theory.