Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BINGO'S Author Interview: J. R. LaGreca

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J. R. LaGreca

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Welcome J. R. LaGreca! Here is some information for Bingo readers about this up and coming author who if you haven't read her books before, or heard her name, YOU WILL!

J. R. LaGreca is the author of two books, Afternoon Tea, a historical fiction, and Suburban Weird, a modern fiction that I am currently doing a giveaway for. She has a BA in Writing/English, and graduated Phi Theta Kappa Magna Cum Laude in Fashion Apparel Design. She is an award-winning poet, internationally published in magazines and anthologies, and a former designer and manufacturer of couture, evening attire. Her designs have been in magazines, on the covers of trade journals, and sold nationwide. Jody R. LaGreca has been selected as a VIP member of Madison Who’s Who for 2008-2009. She was born in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, and currently lives with her husband and daughter in New York.

Website Links:

www.jrlagreca.com

www.suburbanweird.com


What is the next or current book you are working on?

My next books are titled The Gloaming, Fleshpot, Seduction and The Good Daughter. I have been working diligently for many years, and everything has come together at once. They are all completed and will be released in 2009.


WOW! That is quite ambitious! With all that, do you have time to read for yourself and if so what have you just finished reading?

I have just finished reading Evergreen by Belva Plain, who was born in 1919. Her novel is historical through the passage of time. I was actually recommended to read it from two friends who said my style of writing reminded them of her. Considering this is now one of my favorite books I am quite flattered by the comparison.


What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?

I am partial to ethereal books with a beautiful, mysterious setting, and a larger than life story that transcends the imagination. To me the books that fall into this category are Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, the New England winter setting of this book takes me away, and The Assistant by Bernard Malamud.


What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or….?

A story just pops into my head when I least expect it, and a force inside me compels me to write it down. From there a whole book emerges with a life of its own. My inspiration comes from my emotions, and perhaps images of past inspirations stored in my subconscious. I have an overwhelming desire to express these feelings through my characters, and zero in on what makes them tick. As a poet with a slant toward visionary images, my readers have told me my books transport them and make them feel like they are right in the story. As these picturesque images emerge during the writing process they create a picture in my mind as well. So to this extent I am the writer and also the reader, and this aspect makes writing pleasurable to me.


What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?

I am a natural born writer. My first poem came to me at seven years old and since then I was always writing. As a teenager I would go to the beach with a notebook with the wind in my hair and the sound of the crashing waves in the background and write. Writing for personal satisfaction is different than writing professionally. When I decided to cross that line there was no turning back. I spend most of my time in front of the computer writing, and perfecting my books. I won’t stop until I am a hundred percent pleased.


What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?

My best advice would be to keep writing; this keeps you in good condition and is equivalent to exercise of the mind for tiptop performance. I recommend READPLEASE or a similar program where it reads what you have written back to you. This tool is the best weapon for hearing how your writing sounds. Lastly, keep persevering and never give up.

9 comments:

Kaye said...

Wow is right, Bingo, all those books at once being published.I'll defnitely have to check them out, especially Afternoon Tea. That sounds so wonderful! Great interview.

drey said...

Hi Bingo!! I have an award for you!! =)

Bingo said...

Thank you, Drey! I shall be right over to get it! So nice to have blog friends like you!

Anonymous said...

uhh..Was Belva Plain 2 yrs old when she wrote Evergreen? She was born in 1919..What a prodigy!!

J. R. LaGreca said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you so much for alerting me to the incorrect date which would have made Belva Plain the biggest prodigy who ever lived considering she wasn’t even born yet and would have actually been minus two! Belva Plain was born in 1919, and although her first novel, Evergreen, was published in 1978 the copy I read from my library was very old, and from what I recall it had an earlier copyright. I will check on this to be certain. Evergreen topped the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks and was made into a TV miniseries, which I would love to see. By 2004, there were over 25 million copies of her twenty-plus novels in print in 23 languages. Another interesting fact Plain does not own a computer, and writes all of her novels long-hand on a yellow pad.

Bingo said...

Dear Anonymous,
I emailed J.R. and as you can see, she responded quickly. I also made a correction, per her request, in the interview answers concerning the part about Belva Plain. Hope that explains it for you. Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Ms. LaG----The mini -series was fantastic. It starred Lesley Anne Warren who had fabulous costumes and make-up to show the different phases of her life.There is a similar book called The Midwife about the jews who came to NY after the pogroms.

J. R. LaGreca said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thanks for the information. Lesley Anne Warren happens to be one of my favorite actresses so I know I would love the mini series. I'm a little late in catching on but I have to see it. Also Midwife sounds like something I would enjoy. I also wanted to mention my book Suburban Weird has Jewish characters and a subtle Jewish theme which is perhaps one reason my writing reminded my friends of Belva Plain....

Bingo said...

Just a few more hours to enter for this one...good response and hope more will hop on today!

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