How did you develop your plot and characters?
I first published two stories about nuns, a Wanted Poster and a story about three nuns kidnapping an elderly couple from photos a friend had given to me. After I put these up outside my dorm room in college, people asked what was going to happen next. I began “publishing” a new episode each week and this gradually laid down the plot of the novel, The Three Sisters. In some cases I didn’t know what was going to happen next, but something always came to me. It must have been divine inspiration.
There were three nuns in the original photo, hence The Three Sisters. I differentiated them by endowing each with some aspects of my own personality, the rebel, the intellectual, and the lover of popular culture of the past.
Who designed the cover?
I conceptualized the cover. The book takes place in Washington D.C. with three nuns, so I was able to put all those elements into the cover. They walk on water and have sexy habits so the sacrilegious part is illustrated there. Moreover, if you look, the clouds around the Washington Monument form a cross. I had a great illustrator, Brent Schreiber, who was able to convert my concept into reality.
Who is your publisher?
My publisher is Dragon Tree Books. I had contacted Erica Orloff to edit my book, and she also provided a publishing service. We worked well together on the editing of the book, so I decided she would be a natural to help get the book published. She was very supportive of my ideas and my book in ways I think would have been difficult to achieve through a mainstream publisher, and I appreciated that.
Why did you choose to write this particular book?
I had put together the plot of the novel in college through a serial I wrote. This gave me the plot and the characters, so the foundations of the novel were laid. I just didn’t realize it would be 35 years before it would actually be published.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
The book has quite an unusual plot in every aspect, so the hardest part was making the characters and plot credible without the reader going, this is strange. The Three Sisters is one case where fiction may be stranger than truth, but I had to make sure the book was incredible, not incredulous. The book is set in 1979, and my version of what happened in 1979 significantly differs from what most historians would have us believe.
How do you promote this book?
I promote the book mainly through social media. I don’t have a mainstream publisher to help promote the book, and my day job prevents me from traveling, so social media is the natural choice. This includes my own website, www.threesistersnovel.com, a blog on the website, a Facebook page, Pinterest page, Amazon Author page, Goodreads, etc. The only thing I didn’t do was Twitter. I also am on three virtual book tours to keep interest in the book.
Will you write others in this same genre?
If I follow this up with a second work of fiction, it would definitely be in the satire and humor category. Most people find the book laugh out loud funny because I twist reality in unusual ways. This worked in The Three Sisters, so it should work in future books as well.
How much of the book is realistic?
Very little of my book is realistic. The book is set in 1979, and the events that occur in the book definitely did not happen in 1979. Through the book I gradually pull the reader further and further away from historical reality, ending in a plot twist that the reader will either love or hate.
Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?
Each of the three sisters have some aspects of my personality, but as for the plot of the book, it has little to do with my life experiences. I have never been a nun; I do not have a Catholic background; I have never spoken to the Pope. I could go on, but it would give away the plot of the book.
How important do you think villains are in a story?
Villains provide motivation to both the writer and the reader. There are two villains in the book. The first is Detective Schmuck Hole who is a misogynistic, Catholic-loathing Detective who works for the FBI and is determined to make sure The Three Sisters pay their debt to society for their transgressions against the law. The other villain is arch-capitalist, Victor Virga, who puts profits ahead of friendship. Villains also are used to show the reader what they should not do in the real world. You just have to make sure the villain is a real person and not just a ploy.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Since the book is set in Washington D.C., I did go to the capital in order to make sure I had been to the sites that are used in the novel. I never went to a nunnery or tried to gain admission to one. Maybe I should have.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
Most people who have read the book have asked me if there will be a sequel, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint my readers, so I will write more books in the future.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
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Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
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