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.
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.