I am pleased to present Author Interview #1 with Sylvia Massara: a multi-genre novelist based in Sydney, Australia, who dabbles in wacky love affairs, drama and murder!
Describe yourself in 5 words:
SM: Creative, passionate, generous, loyal, fiery.
Share a short excerpt and blurb of your latest book:
I tried very hard to control my temper as I fixed my work colleague and friend, Guy Dobbs, with a look that could vapourise a planet in a millisecond.
“Who the hell invited Smythe along?”
Dobbs winced at my enraged tone and did his best to give me a placating smile. “Now, Mia, you know you agreed to be good where Smythe’s concerned. Don’t forget he saved your life.”
I banged down my cup and the items on his desk rattled. We were having coffee in the security office of Rourke International Hotel Sydney, where Dobbs was the security manager.
“Honestly, I can’t believe you’re standing up for the guy. It was his friggin’ job to save my life,” I exclaimed indignantly. “Besides, I was the one who once again had to solve the case for the cops because they were too stupid to listen to me in the first place!”
Dobbs did not respond immediately but regarded me for a while until I had time to settle down. He knew me too well to try to push a point when it concerned my archenemy, Detective Sergeant Phil Smythe of the Kings Cross police.
I took a deep breath in order to calm myself. There was no point in losing my temper with Dobbs since the whole thing was now a fait accompli. I therefore remarked after a few moments of silence, “I just don’t understand it, Dobbs. What made you invite him on the cruise?”
Dobbs’s large, dark eyes gazed back at me from a chocolate brown, crinkled face topped by grey, frizzy hair. He spoke carefully lest he should provoke another outburst from me. “Mr Rourke told me I should invite someone in his place seeing as he couldn’t make it,” he explained in his deep voice with a marked American accent.
— Excerpt from The South Pacific Murders: A Mia Ferrari Mystery, by Sylvia Massara
Share an excerpt of your favorite author’s work (10-100 words):
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
— Excerpt from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
SM: I know, it’s not a mystery, but it makes good reading :)
Good reading, yes! What do you enjoy about the genre in which you write?:
SM: Although I am a multi-genre author, I do enjoy murder and mayhem more than anything else. I love the suspense, “who dunnit” type of novels that keep readers turning the pages.
I love murder and mayhem as well ;) What is your definition of “good writing”?
SM: Aside from having a manuscript without typos and grammatical errors, my definition of good writing is when a story moves along to its conclusion with characters and situations driving the storyline and not being used for “filler.” Everything that happens in the story must have a reason for it—such as “showing” not “telling” something about the characters—and it must drive the story to its conclusion.
Please share your #1 tip for writers in the mystery/suspense/thriller genre:
SM: Keep the main storyline moving without introducing “fluff” or “filler” material. A mystery/suspense/thriller needs to keep the reader from putting it down.
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SYLVIA MASSARA is a multi-genre novelist based in Sydney, Australia, who dabbles in wacky love affairs, drama and murder (or all three) over coffee. She has a soft spot for older female protagonists with an attitude who are on the cusp of 40 years and beyond. This is seen in her wacky, romantic comedies, and most recently, in her mystery novels.