Please welcome Ilona Fridl!
She's one of my WisRWA chapter mates (No, I never lived in Wisconsin, but I-90 runs through it and my other two chapters are in Boston and Seattle at opposite ends of that long stretch. I thought a stop-over in the Midwest would be nice!). Ilona's first book is out now and it only took her two manuscripts to be published. (Took me three!)As always when I have a guest, my words are in bold and Ilona's are in italics.
Here's what Ilona had to say about her SILVER SCREEN HEROES:
What happens when a motion picture studio in 1920 is taken over by a crime family who wants to use it to make illegal liquor? Addy and Zeke, a stunt double and a director's assistant, work with the police to bring these gangsters to justice. One problem, Addy's cousin is married into the crime family. Addy has been given a key to bring down the family and the studio. Will she use it?
Sounds like you've got plenty of excitement there, Ilona. Your story SILVER SCREEN HEROES is set in the roaring 20's, filled with gangsters and bootleg hooch and silent movie stars. What sort of research did you do and what's the most interesting thing you ran across, whether you were able to use it in your book or not?
I've always been interested in the movie industry since I was a child. I guess growing up in the Los Angeles area fostered that. I remember a studio crew filming on our street when I was four or five. We had the old silent comedies on TV in the fifties. I carried that with me when I started research on Silver Screen Heroes.
I read about the making of films in early Hollywood. I put in the book about the rain machines which was just hoses of water sprayed into large fans. On a special on PBS about Mary Pickford, I heard some studios had music played while they filmed, so I incorporated that into the story. I checked the timelines out on the internet to find the songs and movies that were popular at the time. I did some reading on prohibition and found out that if you purchased liquor before the law went into effect and stored it, that was all right. So Addy's Aunt and Grandma had brandy to put into mince pies and fruit cake.
LOL! The letter of the law means you might be able to use the spirits, huh? Can you tell us about your writing process?
I work on writing as much as I can. Right now, I spent time promoting my first book in the series, I am doing edits for the second book, Golden North, and writing the third book, Bronze Skies. I devote, at minimum, four hours a day. When I start a book, I make notes of what I want in it then fill it in. I find the character sometimes have their own ideas and I switch or change things to accommodate them.
You take notes, Ilona? Ah, to be so organized! Every writer is a reader. Whose work inspired you to become a writer?
An early influence was Lousia Mae Alcott. I read all three books in the March Family series countless times.
Me too! Loved Little Women. I was so Jo!
Strangely enough, Ray Bradbury was a big influence in my teenage years. His stories were so imaginative that I was engrossed for hours. I wanted to write stories like that.
My DH is a big sci-fi fan, but he likes Asimov. And just for grins, what's on your bedside table right now?
Right now, I'm reading Kept by D J Taylor. It's a mystery set in Victorian England. I love mysteries.
Just so my readers can get to know you a little better, Ilona, please tell us about yourself.
I'm a real baby boomer who was born in West Hollywood, California. One of my loves growing up was the movies. I remember seeing silent comedies on the local TV during the fifties.
I've always loved to write, but didn't get my act together until around ten years ago. I never got along with typewriters. Then the magic PC came along. I sent short stories to magazines and, amazingly, sold some. I now live in Wisconsin and have to give my undying respect to Kathie Giorgio of AllWriters who pulled an author out of this hack writer. And a big thank you to Diane who convinced me to go to the workshop she took.
I give my love to my husband, Mark, who tends to put up with my flights of fancy. (And for my own PC. Thank you, love!) I also have my Mom, my daughter, Micki and her daughter, Brie, who make up my cheering section.
It means a lot to a writer to have that kind of support. If you'd like to learn more, please visit Ilona on her website. and here is the link to Buy Silver Screen Heroes
Thanks for visiting today, Ilona. She is providing either an e-copy or a print version of SILVER SCREEN HEROES to someone who leaves a comment or question for her today. So let us know you're here! I personally would love to hear about her gangster villains.