Special Guest – Frances Metzman – Author of The Cha Cha Babes of Pelican Bay – Great Escapes Book Tour
I am excited to welcome Frances Metzman to Escape With Dollycas today!
- What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I believe I’ve gone the distance to develop my characters as much as the plot. It’s important to reveal my character’s upbringing as well as how they get through the hurdles and conflicts in their particular situation. How do they resolve overwhelming issues? What choices do they make and how does it reflect on their upbringing. How do they handle resolution and look to the future.
- What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have a sequel in progress to The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way and an outline of a 3rd book.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Formally, I was a sculptor and a social worker. I always wanted to write and 30 years – ago set out to do just that. But I knew structure was of the utmost importance. So, my quest included conferences, workshops, writing groups, individual lessons and wherever I could seek out information. They were given in tidbits, slivers or nonexistent. It was frustrating. I then devised my own standards of basic writing structure by piecing it together and lots of reading. I live by that framework and can manipulate the structure now without losing balance in writing. I liken it to the abstract painter who actually knows realistic work prior to experimenting. I teach that structure and occasionally meet resistance. Nonetheless, I will never divert and water it down.
- What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I hike/walk a lot, entertain to look like complex but try to use one pot, AND, I wanted to be a furniture maker but it won’t happen in this life.
- What is the first book you remember reading?
See Dick and Jane. I remember elements that were shocking to me. The dad going to work in a suit and briefcase, Mom kissing her children goodbye and conversations between parent and children – I came from a family of 5 children.
- What are you reading now?
The Gentleman from Moscow, Ian McEwan– Saturday, Alice Munro-Dear Life, Anne Tyler-St. Maybe, (I’m not always up-to-date)
- What made you decide you want to write?
I’m pretty sure it started as a healing process to re-arrange history and establish a resolution with my mother which I didn’t do in real life. Writing gave me the opportunity to manage the chaos in life so that conflicts are resolved and inner depths are examined. The process actually did help in my real life.
- Do you have a special place you like to write?
I do. I write in my office.
- Do you write at the same day every day?
I try to write from 10 AM till 5 or 6 PM. If I start later in the day I try to work later – that is if my brain hasn’t gone numb.
- Where do the ideas for your books come from?
I think much of my ideas come from researching white collar crime. I read those types of crime in newspapers and from those who I have known.
- What books have most inspired you?
I think Cynthia Ozick for plotting and characterization early on and I admire Ian McEwan very much for his fastidious researching and characterization.
- Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Editing especially cutting my best pages.
- What do you think makes a good story?
I believe in plotting even in literary books where there is a sense of a story. We have had stories – beginning, middle and ending from the earliest times of our lives. It doesn’t have to be obvious. It can be very subtle, even in literary books, but there nonetheless. Call me old-fashioned, it’s okay. Also, character development is equally if not more important.
- Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
That’s tough. Maybe a bit of them all, but Celia perhaps a tad more than others.
- Why did you pick your particular genre?
I’ve mentioned my fascination with white collar crimes committed by people I’ve known who are economically comfortable. Also, my need to bring about order and understand why people behave the way they do.
Thank you, Frances, for visiting today!
About the Book
The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z
Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.
Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.
About the Author
Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.
Praise for The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way
by Frances Metzman
What a page-turner. Honestly once I got into the story it was hard to put down!
~My Reading Journeys
This heartwarming cozy mystery is surprising uplifting; it certainly raised my spirits.
~Mallory Heart’s Cozies
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