Giveaway Ends 10/31
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
I think it means whatever you want it to mean. If you write – whether or not you’re published or finish a book or short story or screenplay or whatever – then I believe you’re a writer. To me, an author is someone who actually has a book. But, as far as I’m concerned, everyone who tries to write can call themselves anything they want!
What inspired the idea for your book, “IT’S NEWS TO ME”?
I’ve spent a lot of years covering crime stories in the media as an editor at the New York Post, Star magazine, the New York Daily News and NBC News. I get my inspiration from many of these real life crimes – then try to do a “Ripped From the Headlines/Law and Order” type fictional version.
Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
I introduce a new character in this book as Clare’s boss, executive producer Susan Endicott. Endicott is a very ambitious, rude, cut-throat woman who Clare constantly clashes with. Several people told me how much they “hate” the Endicott character. Which makes me happy. Because that’s exactly what I was going for when I created her!
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Coming up with names is one of the toughest things for me to do in writing a novel. I combine names of friends, look up people on the internet, take some famous people and tweak their names – I’m always struggling with this. Usually I just use a temporary name when I’m writing the book, then go back and try to come up with something better. One other thing about names: You need to make sure that none of the main characters’ names start out with the same letter or sound similar. That’s too confusing for the reader. So the whole process is a real struggle.
How do you define success as an author?
Writing a book that YOU like. If you do that, hopefully a lot of other good stuff will follow.
Will you share a day in your life as an author?
I write in the morning. Always have, it’s when I feel the most creative and inspired. When I worked full time in the media, I would get up at like 6 a.m. and write before I went to work. Now I sleep in a bit, but still do most of my writing before lunch. Afternoons I concentrate more on editing, writing business stuff and just thinking about what I’m going to write the next morning. That’s very important in my writing process. Generally, when I sit down to write I have a pretty good idea of what I want to say.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
I always did, but not necessarily a fiction -or certainly a mystery – author. When I was growing up, I loved sports books and wanted to write. I did publish a couple of them while I was starting out. But then I happened to read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler and fell in love with the mystery genre. After Chandler’s book, I read everything by Ross MacDonald, Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, Robert Parker, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly and so many more. And eventually I got my own mystery novels published.
How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
Never had it. I enjoy the writing process. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. The only way to defeat writer’s block is to sit down and write. It will come. At least it always does for me. So writing block is NOT a problem I’ve ever dealt with in my career.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Finish it. Sorry, but it’s as simple as that. Until you have a book, you have nothing. A lot of people talk about writing a book, but you have to actually do it to have a chance as a writer. Also, write what YOU want to write. Don’t listen too much to friends or other people who give you advice. It’s your book, not theirs. I feel very strongly about this.
Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
I write all of my books out longhand on a legal pad with a pen. Not on a computer. That comes later. Not sure why, I just feel more creative that way. I also like to write with a lot of crowds and noise around me – not in a quiet setting. So I work in coffee shops, on park benches, at the beach, even on the subway. I think I like noise around me because I spent so many years working in busy newsrooms as a journalist for newspapers and TV. Anyway, that’s what works for me.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
The character. Definitely more important. For me, the plot develops during the writing process. Maybe the character does a bit too, but I have to nail the character right. If I do that, the rest will fall into place.
How do you interact with your readers?
As much as possible. It’s so much easier today than it used to be with twitter and Facebook and email and websites and all the rest. I try to answer everyone who reaches out to me about my books. And I use social media as much as I can to get the word out about my books to potential readers.
Which of your books would you recommend
to readers who haven’t read your work before?
My Clare Carlson books are a series. It’s News to Me is #5. So I’d recommend starting with the first book in the series, Yesterday’s News. But, if you read any of them out of order, they do work as stand-alones. So you could read It’s News to Me first, then go back and read the others – if you prefer.
What is your all time favorite book or author?
Raymond Chandler. Because, as I said, reading The Big Sleep by him inspired me (like a lot of mystery writers) to try to write my own book. My favorite book of his was The Long Goodbye. Stephen King was also a big influence. And many more of course.
What do you look for in a story as a reader?
Just that I want to keep reading it – I like the character, I’m interested in the story, I enjoy the writer’s style. Hopefully, other people feel the same about my writing.
If you could have lunch with 3 authors, who would they be?
Raymond Chandler, Stephen King and Edgar Allen Poe. I think that conversation would take care of itself.
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
- My characters never have the same name they start out with.
- I never have any idea how the book is going to end when I start it.
- I write a lot of chapters completely out of sequence – then piece them in order together later like scenes from a movie. (Yes, I buy a lot of Post-it cards for my bulletin board!
If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
Write a hit screenplay from one of my books, learn how to surf and play the lottery.
It’s News to Me
by R.G. Belsky
October 3-31, 2022
Virtual Book Tour
Dashed dreams: she wanted to run for president one day, now she’s dead at 20
When Riley Hunt—a beautiful, smart, popular student at Easton College in Manhattan—is brutally murdered, it becomes a big story for TV newswoman Clare Carlson.
After days of intense media coverage, a suspect is caught: a troubled Afghanistan war veteran with a history of violent and unstable behavior. The suspect’s mother, however, comes to Clare with new evidence that might prove her son’s innocence.
As Clare digs deeper into the puzzling case, she learns new information: Riley had complained about being stalked in the days before her murder, she was romantically involved with two different men—the son of a top police official and the son of a prominent underworld boss—and she had posted her picture on an escort service’s website offering paid dates with wealthy men.
Soon, Clare becomes convinced that Riley Hunt’s death is more than just a simple murder case—and that more lives, including her own, are now in danger until she uncovers the true story.
Praise for It’s News to Me:
“[It’s News to Me is] witty, clever and engaging. Clare Carlson’s irreverent comments and dogged reporter’s instincts make for a propulsive ride as she races from the chaos of a newsroom’s inner sanctum to the dangers of a murder victim’s deepest secrets. Once you start, you won’t put it down.”
Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times best-selling author
Published by: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: October 4th 2022
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1608094561 (ISBN13: 9781608094561)
Series: Clare Carlson #5 (each is a stand alone work)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
R.G. Belsky is an award-winning author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His new mystery, It’s News to Me, will be published on October 4 by Oceanview. It is the fifth in a series featuring Clare Carlson, the news director for a New York City TV station. Belsky has published 19 novels—all set in the New York city media world where he has had a long career as a top editor at the New York Post, New York Daily News, Star magazine and NBC News. He also writes thrillers under the name Dana Perry. He lives in New York City and is a contributing writer to The Big Thrill magazine.
Catch Up With R.G. Belsky:
BookBub – @dickb79983
Instagram – @dickbelsky
Twitter – @DickBel
Facebook – @RGBelsky
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaway entries!
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10/04 Showcase @ The Mystery Section
10/05 Interview @ I Read What You Write
10/06 Showcase @ Im All About Books
10/09 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
10/12 Review @ Novels Alive
10/14 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
10/15 Review @ enjoyingbooksagain
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10/17 Review @ Nesies Place
10/18 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
10/19 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
10/21 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
10/25 Review @ tea. and. titles bookstagram
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10/27 Guest post @ The Reading Frenzy
10/28 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
10/29/2022 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
10/30 Review @ Melissa As Blog
10/31 Review @ rozierreadsandwine