Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I’m sharing a special interview with author, Maxine Nunes, about her fiction book entitled, Dazzled. Enjoy!
Where did the idea for Dazzled come from?
When I first came to LA, I was, for a very, very short time, an actor. I saw so many rootless people living in a kind of limbo between their ambition, their illusions and reality — and I also met the predators who used them. It was the perfect cauldron for a mystery.
How did the title of this book come about?
DAZZLED is a mystery set in L.A., and on so many levels, that’s exactly what his city does. It dazzles — the relentless sun in a brilliant blue sky, platinum blonde hair, premiere lights sweeping the night, the star power, the wealth. And it’s not only brilliantly compelling, it can also blind you in ways that can be dangerous.
What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?
It’s a mystery with a noir feel. I’ve always been drawn to that genre, from classics like Raymond Chandler to contemporary greats like Megan Abbott.
What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?
There are several themes that interested me: I think the main theme may be the question posed at the very beginning of the book. “What’s real?” And in DAZZLED, some of the elements that play into that question are: What is friendship and what does it demand of us? Can we ever really know the people we’re closest to? What is beauty and why is it so powerful?
Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.
It took a long time! The plot is complex, and I’ll rework sentences until I’m really satisfied. (If I hadn’t sold the book, I’d probably still be working on it! In fact, I did do a little tweaking for the new paperback edition.) But I also did a lot of research that was very exciting for me. I went down to the County Coroner so that I could really capture that experience in the book. And I learned to shoot a gun, because I knew I needed to get that right.
Tell me about the main storyline within this book.
It opens during a brutal L.A. heatwave. Four people have been murdered in the Hollywood Hills and Nikki Easton’s best friend Darla Ward has disappeared. The police think she might be one of the victims.
As she searches for the truth, Nikki discovers the hidden side of her friend’s life, laying bare secrets buried before Darla was born, and uncovering widening layers of corruption that reach far beyond Hollywood to the highest levels of government.
Who is the protagonist of this story?
Nikki Easton was a teen runaway who left home at 15 and spent the years since on the move. But now she’s nearing thirty, and has finally decided to build a life for herself. She’s drawn to an acting career, and is trying to work through the emotions she’s been running from since she was 15.
Who is the antagonist of this story?
I’m afraid you won’t know that till you turn the last page.
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Well, I love Nikki. It’s her voice that’s with us on every page. But Detective Adder is pretty damn sexy in a rough-hewn kind of way.
Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?
I think in most fiction, the main character is fueled by the author’s emotional life, and in a way, Nikki is tied emotionally to me — but she’s a far braver, gutsier person than I am, that’s for sure.
What is something you wish wasn’t real and hope doesn’t happen to you?
I never want to find myself staring down the wrong end of a gun.
Let’s say your book is being turned into a feature length film; quick- cast the main two characters and pick a theme song or score.
Clare Danes is the perfect Nikki Easton. But I’m not sure who I’d cast as Adder. In my mind he’s kind of young Steve McQueen.
Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?
Until now, it was only available in an expensive hardcover edition and on Kindle. But it’s just been released in paperback — and it’s half off for just a limited time — so I’m hoping more people will be able to read it! Check out the first chapters on Amazon.
Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. To obtain your copy of Dazzled, please visit the links provided.
Special introductory price for the paperback is $6.37 (will be $12.99).
And the Kindle edition is just $3.99.
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