Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Interview: The Venetian Job by Sally Gould

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I live in Melbourne, Australia and I have been writing middle grade fiction for a while. I also write picture books. My two sons inspire most of my stories. When my sons were little, I realized that I needed a hobby for myself, so I enrolled in a creative writing course. I’m often inspired when I travel and The Venetian Job was inspired by a family holiday to Italy.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

The Venetian Job is the third book in ‘The Max Books’. I wrote it after we had a family holiday in Italy. The first story is set in Sicily, where Max’s older brother, Charlie, convinces him that they must be related to the mafia boss who seems to be following him. The second story, The Venetian Job, was inspired by the wonderful setting of Venice. In Venice, Max is in desperate need of bad guys and action so that he’ll have a good story to tell when he returns to school. Of course, he gets both.

Are you a mom?

Yes, I have two sons. My youngest son is funny, charismatic and always getting into mischief. He inspired the character of Max. My oldest son is a bit like Charlie, Max’s older brother. He is sensible, logical and responsible. 

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Yes, it is difficult finding the time to write, parent and run the home. But children won’t be home forever, so putting them first is important to me.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

All my stories were inspired by real life and real people. The Max Books were inspired by my sons and The Venetian Job was inspired by a family holiday to Italy. Outback Hero, the second Max book, was inspired by a trip to outback Australia. Dead Scary was inspired by my son’s ability to see ghosts.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

At the moment, I’m tackling science fiction for the first time. I have almost finished a draft of the first book, which is the first of a series of three. When I was about 12 years old, I discovered Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham and since then I’ve loved science fiction. However, I never thought I’d write it.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I have just signed a contract for a picture book titled The Brave Knight. It’s for 2 – 5 year old readers and is about imaginary play. It’ll be illustrated by Celeste Hulme and is scheduled for release in 2018.

The Venetian Job
The Max Books
Book 3
Sally Gould

Genre: Middle Grade Action & Adventure

Publisher:  Orbis Media

Date of Publication: March 2015

ISBN:  9780994182746

Number of pages:  108
Word Count: approx. 20,000 words

Cover Artist:  Dane at eBook Launch

Book Description:

In 'Mafia Encounter', when Max is on a family holiday in Sicily, he and Charlie notice the mafia seem to be following them. Are they related to the mafia boss? Will they have to learn the business? Will their lives ever be the same?

In 'The Venetian Job', Max desperately wants bad guys and action, so he’ll have a good story to tell when he goes back to school. He and Charlie hang out with their policeman uncle, but there doesn’t seem to be a bad guy in Venice. Then in a Palace on the Grand Canal, Max notices something that doesn’t make sense. Will Max get bad guys and action after all?

Available at  Amazon    iTunes    BN    Kobo

Excerpt from Chapter 3 of Mafia Encounter

Sharing a hotel with a mafia boss – even if he was a little old man – didn’t make me feel safe and warm inside. I could feel my stomach doing somersaults while we waited for the elevator. I wondered if Charlie was nervous too. He wouldn’t admit it, even if he were.
Eventually there was a ping and the doors of the elevator opened. It was empty. That was good. Well, it was good as long as no mafia guys got in before we got out.
“I think I’ll do fifty laps,” said Charlie, after the elevator doors closed.
“What about Marco Polo? I want to say we played Marco Polo in Italy.”
He looked at me like I was stupid. “Marco Polo came from Venice; Italy wasn’t a country back then.”
Trust him to turn something fun into a history lesson. “Yeah, whatever.”
The doors of the elevator opened and we followed the signs to the pool. It was an indoor pool, there were three lanes and it was probably about fifteen metres long – long enough for races. I knew as soon as I saw it that Charlie would want to race.
At first I didn’t see anyone in the pool, but then I noticed a figure push off from the edge. Geez, I wanted to have the whole pool to ourselves. Then I saw two men in black suits sitting at the side of the pool. The bad feeling in my gut came back. At first I didn’t recognize them because they weren’t wearing sunglasses. One of them got up and came over to us as Charlie and me were stripping down to our swimmers. I could barely take off my shorts, I was shaking so much.
The man in black was tall and he had big shoulders. He said something to us in Italian.
Charlie said, “Parla inglese?”
I knew that meant, Do you speak English? I hadn’t worked out how Charlie could say four English words in only two Italian words.
“Come back to swim later,” ordered the man in black.
“Sure,” I said and began to put my shorts back on. I wasn’t stupid. I knew from school that if someone three times bigger told me to do something, it was best to do it.
“We’re staying at the hotel. We’re allowed to use the pool.” Charlie folded his arms.
Was he crazy? “We can go back to our room and watch the wrestling,” I said to him. “Let’s go.”
The man in black leaned toward Charlie and said very softly, “Mr. Petruzzelli owns hotel.”
Mr. P must’ve been Mr. Mafia in the pool. That was good enough for me. I was out of here. If Charlie wanted to stay and get his head blown off, that was his business. Real casual, I began to walk back toward the elevator.
I heard a voice behind me. “Boy! You stop!”

About the Author:

Sally Gould loved books from a young age, but never considered writing them. While she was busy getting up to the mischief that teenagers get up to, she forgot about books all together. Then total insanity took hold and she became a corporate lawyer.

Fortunately, she had two sons and they inspired her to write stories for children. Of course, her oldest son is responsible, logical, studious, considerate, grateful and even makes his bed. The youngest one is only interested in having fun - lots of it. And, except for his teachers, he makes everyone laugh. Their antics have inspired many of Sally's stories. Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her family and two dogs - Pebbles, who is sensible, and Jade, who just wants to have fun.

Amazon Author Page:

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