Dana: I would have to say my acting interests go back as far as elementary school, at least to the best of my recollection. My fifth and six grade teachers were very ambitious and put on Antigone and Hamlet, respectively, as the class plays. Oh yeah, and Julius Caesar. I played Antigone, Queen Gertrude and an extra in the crowd for Marc Anthony. The “we come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” speech. My cousin Sandy made my costumes and I loved my blue flowery pseudo-Grecian Antigone costume. I had really long hair back in those days and remember using my pony tail quite dramatically, flipping my hair this way and that as I gave my speech, before being dragged away to be entombed alive.
I also have very fond memories of the scene in Hamlet when Hamlet confronts his mother in her dressing room as Polonius hides behind a curtain to spy and is subsequently killed by the twitchy Prince of the Danes. When Polonius uttered his dying words, “Oh, I am slain!”, they came out as wooden as only an elementary student with no acting ability could deliver them. “Hamlet” and I looked at each other and got the giggles, which quickly spread to the audience and eliminated any possible drama in the rest of the scene.
I pretty much decided I liked acting from that point on. It was definitely my main interest in high school and the only class I didn’t want to ditch. Yes, I ditched classes occasionally to go get donuts at Winchell’s down on Clairemont Drive or to see dollar matinees at the Clairemont Theater with my friend, Maureen. The same Maureen who later became my partner in crime with Murder For Hire, by the way. At any rate, I was in every play except one during my three years of high school (our drama teacher, Mrs. Curran, believed every actor should work tech on at least one play), did community theater, and later went on to act in some really bad movies when I moved to Los Angeles.
Dana: Back when I was younger and more naive, I thought acting was going to be my career. I rapidly discovered I did not have the drive to put up with the bullsnit you have to go through even to start to make it. I have always been easily distracted. I’d go through phases of sending out headshots and resumes, went through a couple of agents without any real results, watched as the required dress size for an actress shrunk while her boobs grew disproportionately, and found I got more satisfaction from writing and eating what I wanted. I did come very close to getting a boob job, but didn’t follow through on it. It’s funny ‘cause when I first moved to Los Angeles, my size was considered normal for an actress. In a world where Brittany Spears was termed “obese” by some fans when she made her ill-advised wardrobe choice for the 2007 MTV Awards, I’d be Jabba the Hut. Okay, not that bad, but I was never a size 2 or 4. Except possibly when I was a toddler.
Hotbutton Press: What do you do now for a living? I mean besides write novels.
Dana: I’m currently working at a Venture Capital company (sustainable, green, health and wellness type investments) as their office goddess (i.e. manager). My co-worker recently told me writing was my real job and my day-job was my steady side-gig. Heh. I like the way she thinks. I actually really like the company, my co-workers and our office. All in all, it’s a great job and I’m very happy there. It’s like the anti-VC firm, with a really eclectic and creative group of people and they’ve all been extremely supportive of my writing. That, I’ve found through past experience, is a rarity in the workplace. Plus we have a really cool Nespresso maker and I make killer Belgian chocolate mochas every morning.
Hotbutton Press: Speaking of chocolate, your characters are seriously into it! Where can we find a recipe to tide us over until the next book?
Dana: This is an easy one! For the best hot chocolate ever, take two squares of Belgian chocolate and click here.
Hotbutton Press: I can see this mystery series adapted for TV. Would you ever consider that?
Dana: Oh, yeah! As long as it didn’t affect my writing more books in the series or any funky legal mess with the rights.
Hotbutton Press: What next?
Dana: Let’s see. I have both my sequel to MFH (working title Murder for Hire: The Big Snooze) and a supernatural thriller/romance/mystery started. That is to say, I’ve done basic plot and character notes, the barest skeleton of outlines, and some research for the latter. Also, another edit of a screenplay and I’ve made a solemn vow to post on my blog at least twice a week, preferably three! None of this is counting bookstore signings and other promotional appearances for MFH. 2008 will be a very busy year!
Hotbutton Press: Getting that sequel written for your impatient fans is the most important job. We’re dying to know what happens next, especially with the dangling romances you wickedly set up. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have to say I didn’t suspect who the villain was right up until the conclusion. It was a definite cliffhanger for me.
Don't miss out! There will be a drawing at the end of the tour for three free copies of The Peruvian Pigeon… but only if you leave a comment here or at the other blog book tour stops listed below:
Sunday, January 20th Elysabeth’s Emerald City
Sunday, January 20th Elysabeth’s Emerald City
Monday, January 21st Blogbooktours
Tuesday, January 22nd Kat's Random Thoughts
Wednesday, January 23rd Chrysalis Stage
Thursday, January 24th Kitty Litter: A Mystery Writer's Rants & Raves
Friday, January 25th Pointless Drivel
Saturday, January 26th Redzilla Attacks!
And the winners are:
Email our author at zhadi at aol dot com to make arrangements for your winning copy of The Peruvian Pigeon. Congratulations all!
And you can buy the book by clicking here. Enjoy the rest of the tour.