Welcome Ang Pompano!

Liz here, and I’m SO excited about our guest today! Ang Pompano, a long-time friend of the Wickeds, is celebrating his debut release, When It’s Time For Leaving, and he’s here to tell us about his journey, and to give away a book to one lucky commenter. Congrats, Ang – and take it away!

Thanks for having me here, Liz. I can’t think of a nicer way to spend my birthday than with The Wickeds talking about writing. I remember my first time at Malice Domestic this year and how you, Sherry, Jessie, Julie, Barbara and, Edith took me under your collective wing to teach me the ropes. At the time it was just sinking in that WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING was actually going to become a book. We all went to lunch and the Wickeds spent the whole time giving me advice and sharing their experiences. 

That got me thinking how, in spite of what Jessamyn West claimed, writing is not a solitary occupation. WHEN IT’S TIME FOR LEAVING would not be a published novel if it were not for a host of family, friends and colleagues who have encouraged me over the years. That starts with Annette, my wife, who works on her paintings in our sunroom which is right off my office. We’re practically within whispering distance and every once in a while, I’ll ask her to listen to something I wrote. Her opinion is usually spot on. In turn, I give her my opinion on perspective. I know nothing about painting, but she humors me and listens. It’s a nice setup once we agree on which Pandora station to listen to. 

And talk about spot on advice, I’ve been in the same writing group for twenty years. There are only three of us, Chris Falcone who has published many short stories and has a novel on the horizon, and Roberta Isleib, who writes the bestselling Key West Culinary Mysteries (A DEADLY FEAST) as Lucy Burdette. They both are my writing family and have guided me on everything from brainstorming the germ of an idea into a finished manuscript to finding an agent.

Roberta (Lucy), Chris, Ang, and Annette at Crime Bake

My agent, Paula Munier, of the Talcott Notch Literary Services has helped me with everything from editing to finding the right setting. I respect her opinion because she’s also a teacher and bestselling author of A BORROWING OF BONES.

And of course, there is the mystery writing community. It’s the most generous group of people in the world. Mystery Writers of America gave me the Helen McCloy Scholarship for a novel in progress one year. I’ve been a long-time board member of Sisters in Crime New England and have taken advantage of their many workshop offerings. I’ve also been on the New England Crime Bake planning committee for 14 years and have found their master classes, critiques, and networking invaluable.

Then there are the mystery readers. Without the support of readers, I would probably still write, but it would be a lot less fun.  

What about you, writers and readers? Do you find what you do a solitary process or do you have a support group you can rely on? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of the book (U.S. only please!).

And here’s a little more about the book:

When his girlfriend dumps him and a drug dealer rams him on a bridge, Al DeSantis quits the New Haven Police Department. As he makes plans to head for LA, he learns his father, Big Al, is alive, has dementia, and is entering a nursing home. More surprising, he has deeded the Blue Palmetto Detective Agency in Savannah to him.
Al wants nothing to do with the man who abandoned him at eight years old, or his agency. But when his California condo goes bankrupt and he loses everything, he drives down to Georgia, intending to sell fast and head west. But then he discovers a dead body on the agency dock.
He delays leaving until he can solve the murder, but things get complicated. He finds that a strong, attractive female detective, Max, is his superior in the agency that he owns. Also, his father, now determined to help his “new partner” solve the crime, keeps escaping the home. The facility now wants Big Al out, and Al must become his father’s advocate. With his traditional values challenged, Al has a lot of adjusting to do.
When his father goes missing, Al and Max, team up to find him and capture the murderer. With Max by his side, he battles everything from PTSD to explosions to alligators. Old secrets stretch from the Savannah low country to the Okefenokee Swamp–all shedding light on the murder and Al’s relationship with his father.

34 Thoughts

    1. Thanks, Annette! I’ve been writing short stories for quite a while, but as you know, there is nothing like the thrill of seeing your first novel published.

    1. I do Marla. The mystery writing community is an amazing group of people. Thanks for the good wishes on the book.

  1. I’m so excited for you, Ang! My book is on order at my local indy, too. You are the prime example of someone working on their craft, persisting, continuing to learn and ask questions, and succeeding.

    Of course so much of what we do is solitary, but having a team (like the Wickeds) and a tribe (like Sisters in Crime) makes all the difference.

    1. Thanks, Edith! It’s been so great working with you both on Crime Bake and when you were president of Sisters in Crime New England. I’ve learned so much from you.

  2. Sounds really good! I would love the chance to read this one. I read The Key West mysteries and I really enjoyed the Borrowing of Bones so you must be okay! Thanks for the chance.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I’m whispering now so my publisher doesn’t hear, but I’m not putting myself in the same category as those great mysteries. I did try to write a book that I’d like to read, though. I hope you will too. Good luck on the contest.

  3. Welcome to the Wicked Blog, Ang! I was lucky to get to read an ARC of A Time for Leaving. It’s a ripping yarn with totally memorable characters and a terrific protagonist. Best of luck with your launch!

  4. I’m so happy you are here and can’t wait to read your book. It’s locked and loaded on my iPad. And you are one of the nicest people on the planet — generous with your time among many other wonderful qualities. Congratulations!

    1. Oh my gosh, Sherry! You’re going to make me bigheaded. I really appreciate those kind words.

  5. Congrats on the debut, Ang!

    Yeah, it’s a lot of “alone” time pounding the keys, but I don’t think any of us would claim to truly be alone – from critique groups, to blogmates, to organizations like Sisters in Crime it’s just one big family.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Yes, that’s true. I also think that’s why writers have such a good time when they get together at events such as Crime Bake and Malice.

    1. Thank you, Julie. What better way is there to celebrate a book or a birthday than to be with friends!

  6. Huge congrats on your debut!

    The encouragement of others is absolutely key in just about all aspects of life, isn’t it?

    1. Thanks, Mark! I was a teacher for a long time so I know what a difference a little bit of encouragement can make. The encouragement of reviewers who blog means so much to writers.

  7. Thanks for having me here today, Liz! Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. My computer has been updating since 6:30 this morning. But that’s another blog. So as I was saying, it’s great to be here with my friends.

    1. Thank you! That’s very nice of you to say. I think I fall under teaching old dogs new tricks. 🙂

  8. Super congratulations, Ang! One of the ways it is not a solitary process for me is that there are always so many people who wish authors well on new releases! I’m so glad you were here today for us to celebrate yours with you!

    1. Thanks, Jessie! You are so right. It makes me so happy to see how many people have wished me well.

  9. I’ve been reading since I was four and reading mysteries starting a few years later. I think that reading this blog and others has introduced me to many new authors and a lot of great people.

    1. Sally, I think that blogs are one of the best things about the Internet for the very reasons you mentioned. And that’s great that you learned to read early. A Yale study said that people who read live longer, so let’s all visit a bookstore!

  10. Congratulations to you Ang! I cannot wait to read your book. Loved every story you have written so far and I know I will love this one also. When It’s Time For Leaving sounds real intriguing. Thank you for finishing yet another story. You are a very talented writer and I am so glad I found an author who keeps me wanting for his next story.

    1. Wow, Julie. You’re making me blush. But that’s so nice of you to say. I really hope you like the book. You can let me know at angpompano.com.

    1. Thank you, Taylor. I hope you like it. I always say readers are so important because without readers we would still write, but it would be a lot less fun.

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