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In Conversation With Rosemary and Larry Mild Whose Recent Novel Death Rules the Night Was Recently Published
From:
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

 
Bookpleasures.com welcomesas our guests Rosemary and Larry Mild whose recent novel, DeathRules the Night, was recently published.

Rosemary and Larry havepublished award-winning novels, short stories, and essays. Theycoauthored the popular Paco & Molly Mystery Series; the Dan &Rivka Sherman Mystery Series; two Hawaii adventure/thrillers; asci-fi novella; and three volumes of short stories, many of whichappear in anthologies.


After forty-plus years inMaryland, the Milds currently make their home in Honolulu, where theycherish time with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.

Norm: Good day,Rosemary and Larry, and thanks for taking part in our interview.

How did you get startedwriting novels and are you full-time or part-time writers? As afollow-up, why do you write? Do you have a theme, message, or goalfor your books? Is it merely for entertainment?


Rosemary: Larry and I meton a blind date in October, 1986, at my house in Severna Park,Maryland. He had lost his wife to cancer. I’d been divorced foreight years, coping well, thank you.

In the car on our way homefrom dinner, he said, “When I retire I’m going to write a noveland I want you to help me.”

Now neither of us had everwritten fiction. I was an editor; he was an electrical engineer, andI’d only known this man for four hours. Without even hesitating, Ichirped, “Okay!” Instinct told me he was Mr. Right—and I’dbetter not let him get away.

True to his word, when weretired, he sat down and wrote Cry Ohana, Adventure and Suspensein Hawaii

Larry: Writing is ourdaily “job.” We’re lucky that we’ve developed this second“profession.”

It keeps us focused andeager for the next step of each project. So far, we’ve writtenthirteen books together, encompassing mystery, suspense, and evenfantasy.

Our goal is to entertainreaders with exciting plots and compelling characters. And spoileralert: In our fiction the good guys always win out in the end. Webelieve that’s the way to keep our readers satisfied and wantingmore.   

Norm: What advice canyou give aspiring writers that you wished you had received, or thatyou wished you would have listened to?

Rosemary and Larry: We’vesuggested the following tips to authors ever since we taught mysteryand suspense writing at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.

 a. Be a reader inyour chosen genre first and learn how it’s done.

b. Good or bad—commitall your pertinent story thoughts to paper. Edit later.

c. Have a reasonable graspof where your plot is going before you start. But it’s perfectlyfine if you change it later. 

d. Choose a comfortablepoint of view (POV).

e. Create convincing maincharacters—meaning neither all good or all bad.

f. Keep a good record oftheir traits.

g. After your first draft,put a lot of extra effort into crafting your first page.

h. Make your climax andending worthy and relevant.

 i. Keep a smallnotebook (or more) to scribble ideas, observations, and randomthoughts. Novelist Anne Tyler even keeps a notebook in the bathroom.

 j. Take a communitycollege course in creative writing if one is available. Maybe join awriters’ group. We were members of Mystery Writers of America,Hawaii Fiction Writers, and Sisters in Crime, both the Hawaii andChesapeake chapters (Larry’s a Mister). 

Norm: Many people havethe skills and drive to write a book, but failure to market and sellthe book the right way is probably what keep a lot of people fromfinding success. Can you give us 2-3 strategies that have beeneffective for you in promoting your books? 

Rosemary and Larry:Frankly, the business side is the most challenging part of beingauthors, because it takes away from the actual writing.

Our thoughts: Subscribe toThe Writer or Writer’s Digest for good advice and formarkets to submit your work.

We attend writers’conferences; they always gave us (before COVID cancellations) thechance to network, participate on panels, and, often, to pitch ourbooks to an agent or editor.

As “indie” authors, weoffer all our books in print editions on Amazon, and also on Kindleand all other e-book versions.

Our favorite venue hasbeen large holiday craft and gift fairs, because there usually aren’tother authors attending as vendors.

Here in Honolulu for manyyears (before COVID) we took three-day booths at the BlaisdellExhibition Hall holiday fairs, where we always had good sales, bothnew customers and fans looking for our latest book.    

Norm: How do you worktogether when crafting a novel?  As a follow-up, how importantis inspiration to you?

Rosemary: Larry suppliesthe inspiration for each novel and story. He says he’s more deviousthan I am, so he conjures up all the plots and writes the firstdraft. Between us we’ve also published four memoirs:

I published Miriam’sWorld—and Mine, about our beloved daughter, Miriam Luby Wolfe,whom we lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,Scotland, on December 21, 1988. And Love! Laugh! Panic! Life with MyMother. My latest venture is my new book, In My Next Life I’llGet It Right, personal essays ranging from the hilarious to theserious.

For years I begged Larryto write his memoir, or at least bits of it. But my husband neverdoes anything half-way. He began with the day of his birth and wrotehis autobiography, 460 pages!

Larry: No Place To BeBut Here, My Life and Times is not only my own story, but that ofmy family: how my two wives, three children, and five grandchildrenhave shaped my life as much as I have molded theirs. Tragedy iscertainly no stranger as I dealt with death, cancer, murder, andglobal terrorism, not only on the written page, but in my own life.  

Norm: How do you choosethe names of your characters?

Larry: I combine first andlast names from the telephone book, obituaries, wherever. Or have funjust making them up.

Norm: Do you write moreby logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Pleasesummarize your writing process.  

Rosemary: It’s acombination. After inventing the plot, Larry’s logical mind goes towork; he’s very precise in planting clues and coming up with theresolution. 

Then he hands themanuscript to me. I toss the narrative salad, add scenes, flesh outthe characters. and streamline the pace. I call it “judiciouspruning,” an expression I learned as an assistant editor atHarper’s Magazine

Larry: I call it slash andburn! Then, with sleeves rolled up, we negotiate. But often Rosemaryadds a scene for more conflict. She’ll take an anecdote I toldsecond-hand and turn it into real-time drama, like an ugly—andfunny—shouting match between two women in a crowded restaurant.

Norm: What served asthe primary inspiration for Death Rules the Night?

Larry: I’ve lived in asuburb of Annapolis, Maryland, for over sixty years. Until we movedto Honolulu in 2013, Rosemary and I lived in Severna Park, eightmiles north of Annapolis. Its beauty on the Chesapeake Bay and300-year colonial history provided my inspiration.

Death Rules the Nightis our fourth Dan & Rivka Sherman Mystery.

When Dan and Rivka buy TheOlde Victorian Bookstore they think they’re buying into a pleasant,predictable life. Instead, they become unwilling, frightened sleuthsin the wake of a mugging, robbery, kidnapping—and murder. Atell-all biography about a prominent (fictional) Annapolis family hasdisappeared.

The focus of the book isthe Atkins family’s eighteenth-century house, where three unhappysisters and their wild brother live. Their ancestors date back to theAmerican Revolution. I delved into research—as long as it didn’tovershadow the plot—touching on the Revolutionary War, theUnderground Railroad, and Prohibition.

Norm: What was the mostdifficult part of writing this book?  

Larry: My biggestchallenge was inventing the biography of Arthur Atkins— creatingcharacters and accurate historical events. 

Rosemary: For me, thebiggest challenge was keeping the family members in sync with eachother, in terms of their birth dates, their personal histories andrelationships. It was tricky! But I love the big bad guy Larryinvented.

Norm: How did you goabout creating the characters of Dan and Rivka Sherman? Are theybased on couples you know? Is there much of you in these characters?

Larry: We made Dan andRivka a lot like us, but much younger: a Jewish couple in their earlyfifties. Physically, Dan is his own man. Tall and gangly, he sprawlswhen he sits. He has bushy black hair and eyebrows.

The only thing that’sthin about me is my gray hair. However, Dan’s personality is verymuch like mine. We’re former engineers—analytical and practical,born problem-solvers. 

Rosemary: Dan also has aquirky sense of humor. Rivka says she’s putting out stuff forGoodwill. Dan says, “I’m putting mine out for Goodwon’t.”

Rivka is a lot like me.Affectionate, addicted to chocolate, and feisty—I came out of thewomb arguing.

In Death Rules theNight Dan secures a manuscript copy of the tell-all missing book.One night a burglar breaks into the bookstore. Dan thinks it’s themanuscript the intruder was trying to steal. Rivka despairs. “Oh,Dan, do you think the intruder is violent? Are we in danger? Forgettrying to discover the Atkins family secrets. You are being sopigheaded!”   

Norm: What was thetime-line between the time you decided to write your book andpublication? What were the major events along the way?  

Larry: It takes us about ayear. Major events? Living! Interruptions for daily business and toomany doctor and dental appointments. Plus Physical Therapy, whichmeans exercises at home every day—forever. Rosemary goes toJazzercise.

She says it satisfies hersuppressed desire to be a Rockette! COVID has severely impacted ourhappy life.

We’re long-time membersof Temple Emanu-el. Now the Shabbat services are streamed. Our weeklyWisdom class is Zoomed. We miss the camaraderie and inspiration thatgo with attending in person. All our writers’ meetings are Zoomed.And, of course, we sorely miss restaurant dates with good friends. Wecontinue to be extra cautious.   

Norm: Did you know theend of your book at the beginning?  

Rosemary and Larry:Generally, yes. We hash it out. After finishing our first Paco &Molly mystery, we sent it to our sister-in-law and she said, “Theending is too predictable.” Ding-ding-ding. We decided she wasright and changed it literally and dramatically. But we always keepour promise to our readers.

We include hints offoreshadowing and character behavior, and, yes, red herrings. But wenever throw in an illogical villain—contrived, phony theatrics—justto create a surprise ending. 

Norm: Thanks once againand good luck with all of your future endeavors

FollowHere to Learn More About Rosemary and Larry Mild

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
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