Monday, March 18, 2013

Mary Firmin, Deadly Pleasures, plus #giveaway

AUTHOR: Mary Firmin
BOOK TITLE: Deadly Pleasures
PUBLISHER:  iUniverse
GIVEAWAY: 2 books, soft cover (US only) or 2 Kindle -- Be sure to leave contact information to be considered for the drawing.

Please tell us about yourself.
I was born in England, and the family moved to Canada. Therefore I was educated in England and Canada.  I went to work for Arthur Murray Dance Studio for several years in Toronto, and then moved to Florida, where I owned my own studio. Eventually, my parents moved to California. I joined them there two years later and continued to work for Arthur Murray’s.  I married and raised three children in Santa Monica where I also began a Real Estate career on the lucrative West side. ie: Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Venice, Marina del Rey. My husband and I were both avid boaters and members of a Yacht Club in Marina del Rey.  Eventually, I became Vice President of a large Real Estate Company. I had always wanted to write so along with a friend of mine I went to several Creative Writing Classes at UCLA. Here we found a mentor who taught private classes in Westwood. We attended these classes for years. We also belonged to a writer’s group. This is when I wrote Voodoun Fire. I never considered it a money making venture, I just loved to write. Eventually, when my husband and I moved to the Desert I joined another writer’s group. When I finished Deadly Pleasures my husband bought me a publishing package at iUniverse as a Christmas gift. We did not know he would never see the finished book. He passed away in June of that year. 

Tell us your latest news.
I now live in Rancho Mirage, Ca. near Palm Springs. I am recently widowed, and I am working on my second Deadly book. I plan to write a series of three.  I have a two year old grandson, Charlie, who I adore. In fact between Charlie and the Book it certainly mitigated the grief somewhat when my husband died.  But it did come back to haunt me later. I belong to MWA, Sisters in Crime, Women in Film, Palm Springs Writers Guild, and RWA. The local Community has been very responsive to Deadly Pleasures.

When and why did you begin writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I began writing in the early 90’s and only considered myself a writer when I saw Deadly Pleasures in print. I have had some success with this book, especially on Kindle. It has been up there in sales for almost a whole year now. When people began to buy the book, that’s when I believed I was a real writer.  I have always loved reading. I really wanted to write horror but I don’t think I was very good at it, although I have recently sold two horror stories to an anthology. I did manage to get an agent with Voodoun Fire, but it didn’t go anywhere. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration for Deadly Pleasures, which I consider my first book, was a story I heard in Hollywood years ago. I was told about four men who hired a woman to satisfy their sexual needs.  Believing it was cheaper than hiring a prostitute; they paid for her rent and expenses and gave her a small salary. I thought this would make a great background for a murder mystery, but one day I was walking on the beach and got the idea of how much more interesting and effective it would be if four women did the same thing. It took me a while to figure it all out but it certainly worked. Most women love this book. They love the humor, they love the idea of the Boytoy, and many of them love how they got back at their men.  
Surprisingly, a lot of men liked it too. I have some very good reviews from men on Amazon.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Revenge is not always so SWEET. I wanted to make the setting in a yacht club, and a couple of the women affluent just to let everyone know that money isn’t everything. It is sometimes a misery maker. 

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?  (Has anyone ever realized it?)
People that I know are aware I was a member of a Yacht Club and that my husband and I had a boat.  It was nothing like the grand yacht, Ecstasea. in the book,  I also lived on a fifty-two foot sailboat in Florida. I have always loved the water and water sports so it was a sea of knowledge for me. Pardon the pun.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.   The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. I taught myself to write suspense by studying this book.
I loved both movies they made of Red Dragon.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Thomas Harris. I love his books.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I have just finished Jerusalem Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan and I loved it. Previous to this book I read Instanbul Puzzle by the same author. It had just the right mixture of history, politics, suspense, surprise. Both books were wonderful.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Laurence O’Bryan, above,  and Mark Rubenstein who wrote Mad Dog House.
What are your current projects?
I plan a series of three Deadly Books. I am presently working on Deadly Secrets. This one will be set in a private Golf and Tennis Club in the Desert.  Affluent members will be confronted with their Deadly Secrets and made to pay.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I would not.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I have always loved to read and write since I was a child.   Then, my friend and I were sitting around one day and decided we wanted to go on the Tonight Show.  We thought that if we wrote a book , we could do that.  Funneee!! But we did sign up for some writing classes at UCLA and were both immediately hooked on writing.

Do you ever have problems with writers block?  If so how do you get through it?
Yes, I do have writer’s block on occasion.  But years ago, best-selling author Harold Robbins told me that you have to put ass glue on your chair and stay there until you have written ten pages.  Good advice, and sometimes it works.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I like to play golf, dance and read.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Richard Harris. He builds suspense like no other.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Keeping the characters separate and their personalities totally different.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
 I want my readers to enjoy the humor in the book, and I hope they have a hard time figuring out the identity of the killer.  I love to write descriptive passages about nature and the sea so I hope they enjoy those.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
My publisher is iUniverse. But you can buy my book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Nook.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

Here is a short synopsis of Deadly Pleasures.

Megan Riley and her three best friends are unhappy with the men in their lives and decide to hire a time-share Boytoy. They choose hunky stripper Michael Harrington, unaware he is a suspect in a series of grisly murders. Enter the hot, handsome Detective Matt Donovan -- and Megan falls madly in love. Donovan and his partner, Angelle Bentley, are investigating the gruesome killings of several young prostitutes that members of the press are calling The Bondage Murders. But in her desperation to help her friends, Megan attempts her own investigation and ends up in some pretty outrageous situations that cause Matt Donovan to regard her as a suspect, even as he realizes he has feelings for her. During their search for the Bondage Murder, the two detectives, Matt and Angelle, embark on a wild ride through L.A.'s private sex clubs, lewd bondage parlors and the fabulous homes and yachts of the wealthy members of a Southern California yacht club. Finally, it takes them to the rugged and beautiful coastline of Catalina Island for the terrifying finale. But who will be the next to die?  The intrepid Megan Riley, Real Estate Agent to the rich;  Alex Grant who married her tycoon husband for his money; Rachel Feinman in a loveless marriage with her screenwriter husband, David; or poor pathetic Kathleen who was recently divorced by the smarmy television newsman, Gino Rosario?  But, who is the Bondage Murderer? And who will escape the harrowing ride and the death-defying ending on the high seas?


  1. Hi, Mary. It's nice to meet you. I enjoyed learning more about you through the interview questions and answers. Best wishes with promoting your book.

    Hi, Penny! Sorry I haven't been by in awhile to visit your blog. I like the new look.

    1. Susanne, nice to see you back. I know how hard it is to keep up with blog posts! Glad you like my "spring time" look.

  2. Nice interview! Sounds like a great book!