Monday, November 25, 2013

Giveaway and Interview with Gale Deitch, author of "A FINE FIX" - A Trudie Fine Mystery

Welcome back to the BB Writers Retreat series! 

This week of home-cooked-goodness, I've got a special treat for you!

With us today is Gale Deitch, author of the culinary mystery A FINE FIX, the first book in the Trudie Fine Mystery series.       

Gale Deitch, author of A FINE FIX
the first book in the Trudie Fine Mystery series
And, as an extra special treat, Gale is giving away a signed copy of her book! So be sure to comment below to enter to win!       

Lia Mack: Gale, thank you so much for joining us. Please start us off by telling a little about yourself.

Gale Deitch: I am married, the mother of two grown children and grandmother to a precocious 5-year-old boy. I work full time in the Development and Public Relations office of a large non-profit senior living system. Besides writing, I read all types of fiction and have done some free-lance editing on several novels. I also love to cook, love to eat and enjoy reading cookbooks from cover to cover.

I have published a culinary mystery, “A Fine Fix,” the first book in the Trudie Fine Mystery series. I have also had my poetry published in the Maryland Writers Association anthology, “life in me like grass on fire, love poems,” my flash fiction piece, “Prima,” published in literary magazine, The Rusty Nail, and my short story, “Pressing Matters” will appear in the winter edition of literary magazine, The Writing Disorder.

Lia Mack: Ultimate question...Why do you write? 

Gale Deitch: First of all, I can communicate so much better through the written word than through speech. I can express feelings and emotions through words on a page. I can paint a picture with words.

Writing fiction exhilarates me. I have the ability to create my own world and characters and have them say and do anything I want. I get lost in my writing, lose all sense of time and place. Just give me four walls and a computer and I’m happy.

Lia Mack: Exactly! From when you started off to now, how do you feel you've grown as a writer?

Gale Deitch: My critique groups have been invaluable to me as a writer. I’ve learned from the many talented writers in my groups and enjoy the challenge of constantly trying to improve my writing. The members of these groups have always supported and encouraged me.

In addition, several excellent instructors, all published authors, at the writer’s retreat I attend each summer, have been instrumental in improving my skills.
Although, I am always learning and growing, I have become much more competent and confident in my writing.  I think it’s a step by step process to gain confidence in your writing. It took me a long time to believe it enough to be able to say, “I am a writer.”

Lia Mack:  I'm glad you did as Trudie Fine is one of my favorite characters.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Gale Deitch: A Fine Fix” is a culinary mystery. My protagonist, Trudie Fine, is a young caterer in the Washington, DC area. At Trudie’s first important catering job, a backyard Mexican fiesta, where everyone who is anyone are guests, a dead body is found floating in the pool and her partner, Zachary Cohen is arrested for the murder. Trudie sets out to find the real murderer, putting herself in jeopardy. Soon she finds herself reaching for her favorite knife, but not to chop vegetables.

Lia Mack:  What was the most challenging aspect of writing this particular story?

Gale Deitch: When the character of Trudie Fine first came to mind, I knew I had to write about her. I couldn’t get her out of my mind, in fact, until I put her down on the page. I decided early on that, since I love cooking and TV cooking shows, Trudie would be a caterer. But then I realized this would have to be a mystery. I’d never written a mystery before and only read them occasionally, so I was worried at first about being true to that genre and following a “formula” that mystery buffs would enjoy. Once I began to write, however, I decided to put down the story the way I wanted to write it and not to try to imitate others. If I was happy with the book, I would just hope that others would be as well. So far, I haven’t had any complaints about the book being outside mystery guidelines.

Lia Mack:  What are you working on now?

Gale Deitch: I’m working on “Fine Dining,” the second book in the Trudie Fine Mystery Series. My goal is to get it published in the spring of 2014.

Lia Mack:  What does your typical writing day look like?

Gale Deitch: Because I work full time, I find that I have to use my weekends for writing. Typically, I will sit down at the computer after breakfast and write into the evening, stopping only for meals and nature calls. During the past year, in order to get “A Fine Fix” published, I used occasional Fridays off and even took two separate vacation weeks to stay home and write. I enjoy these large stretches of writing time and accomplish quite a bit.

Lia Mack:  Do you read a lot while you write?

Gale Deitch: I do most of my reading listening to books on CD in the car on my commute back and forth to work. Listening to books heightens my sensitivity to the cadence of the written word, both in description and dialogue. I also read when I can at home. I especially love reading fiction and often I’m in awe of other writers and their techniques.

Lia Mack:  Can you share a photo of what your writing space looks like?

Gale Deitch: Yikes! You don’t want to see what my writing space looks like. Our home office and computer are used for many tasks, and we have folders and papers randomly placed around the desk. I will say that I love this office space with its shelves of books, a huge desk, a sofa, a TV, four walls and my computer. It’s my favorite place in the house. Now if I could only get it organized.

Lia Mack:  I think all our writing spaces are in the same state ;) 

What are your thoughts on the necessity of writers building a platform? Any advice?

Gale Deitch: I think it’s important to put yourself out there to as many people as possible through social media and a website or blog. The more people you touch, the more buzz is created about your books.

However, I don’t believe you need to post or tweet several times a day. I think you can overdo it, and too many posts or tweets start to water down your image and become less significant to social media friends.

Lia Mack:  I agree. I un-follow authors and others who only market themselves and aren't "social."

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself if you could speak to the aspiring writer you once were?

Gale Deitch: I would try to instill confidence in myself and a sense of urgency in my writing. Because of my lack of confidence in my writing skills, I didn’t think I would ever publish a book. I procrastinated and took way too long finishing my book. It’s only in the last couple of years, as my short pieces have been accepted by literary journals and critique group members have enjoyed reading the chapters I’ve submitted, that I stood back and thought, maybe I am a good writer. That’s when I stepped up my pace and made it to the finish line.

Lia Mack:  Thank you so much for being our guest author today. Where can BB readers go online to find you and your work?

Gale Deitch: My book, “A Fine Fix” is available at in paperback or Kindle and at most online retailers in other electronic formats, including Nook, Apple, Sony and Kobo, and you can visit my blog, Gale’s Kitchen, at