Offed Stage Left
by Joanne Sydney Lessner
on Tour Oct. 31st – Nov. 15th, 2016
There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect.
Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in “Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa.” A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.
Genre: Mystery, Amateur Sleuth
Published by: Dulcet Press
Publication Date: Late October 2016
Number of Pages:260
Series: Isobel Spice, 4 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery
10 Things About My Writing Process
by Joanne Sydney Lessner
1. I used to feel like I had to set aside hours to write until a writer friend advised, “You can get a lot of writing done while the pasta water is boiling.” And he’s right.
2. I’m a pantser, i.e. I fly by the seat of my pants rather than plot in advance. However, I always know what the murder is going to be, whodunit, what the midpoint incident is, and what the final confrontation looks like. But when it comes to connecting the dots, I let my characters guide me, and I’m always surprised by where they go.
3. I’m not a very disciplined writer, primarily because I always have multiple projects percolating at one time. So I don’t have a writing schedule (see #1). I tend to have very fertile bursts, and then weeks may go by before I pick up a project again. But I always leave a trail of breadcrumbs by starting the next section, even if it’s only one sentence, so I don’t lose the thread.
4. I can’t write with music on in the background. I share an office with my husband, a composer and music journalist, and our desks are right next to each other. If I’m writing, I make him use headphones, because, as I tell him, “I’m wording.”
5. I germinate ideas almost subconsciously before I start writing. I often think of Mozart in the movie Amadeus, when he says, “It’s all right here in my noodle. The rest is just scribbling.” Now, I am not saying I’m Mozart, Lord knows! But I do relate to what he’s talking about in terms of process.
6. When I’m in editing mode, I can’t read anything else. I can when I’m writing, and am often inspired by whatever book I’m reading, but not when I’m editing. I feel like I have to keep all the details of my book in my head until I’m finished.
7. I also write musicals with my husband. He composes the music, I write the book, and we collaborate on the lyrics. He is a far better lyricist than I, and he usually massages my lyric sketches. But I can point to the songs that he set pretty much verbatim, and I’m very proud of those.
8. Speaking of lyrics, I had to come up with fake lyrics to John Philip Sousa marches for Offed Stage Left, in which my heroine, Isobel Spice, is appearing in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. I don’t know if anyone else will find them as funny as I do, but I laughed my head off writing them.
9. I actually don’t find writing novels daunting. For me, short stories are much more challenging.
10. I’m a list maker. Even my lists have lists. So this was fun, although I wasn’t sure I would have ten things to say about my writing process. But I guess I do. Thanks for the prompt!
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Joanne! I loved reading your guest post. I’m sure my readers will as well.
Read an excerpt:
Joanne Sydney Lessner is the author of PANDORA’S BOTTLE, a novel inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine (Flint Mine Press). THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME and OFFED STAGE LEFT (Dulcet Press) feature aspiring actress and amateur sleuth Isobel Spice. No stranger to the theatrical world, Joanne enjoys an active performing career in both musical theater and opera. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010 as the winner of the 2009 Heiress Productions Playwriting Competition. Joanne is a regular contributing writer to Opera News and holds a B.A. in music, summa cum laude, from Yale University.
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Sydney Lessner. There will be 1 winner of one (1) $15 Amazon.com Gift card & 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of Offed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner. The giveaway begins on October 31st and runs through November 17th, 2016.
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