Lee Silver Author Mini-bio:

Thank you for inviting me, Michy!

I’m a southern gal now but grew up in the rolling farmland outside of historic Valley Forge, PA. We’re going on 16 wonderful years of happily ever after. We live in an old Victorian we restored on the Chesapeake Bay and spend the summers relaxing on the beach in Ocean City, MD. Our son is grown and living an apron’s string away from mama right here in Norfolk, VA.

I live a double life, techno geek by day and witchy romantic when the moon is full 🙂 My day jobs have always required a fair amount of professional writing. After a reference manual and a few tongue-in-cheek editorials, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at fiction.

Setting a romance in the framework of high tech intrigue, my technical background turned out to be my best friend. It is so exciting to be standing in the shadow of giants as one of BookStrand’s flagship authors. As Siren Publishing’s new sister imprint, they carry broad line of books including mainstream & erotic romance, and general fiction. My romantic suspense, The Twist was a great fit for the new imprint!

Interview with Author Lee Silver:

It’s rare today to find an author who does nothing but write for a living. Do you have a ‘real’ job other than writing, and if so, what is it? What are some other jobs you’ve had in your life?

Lee Silver: I do have a day job to pay the bills, but my writing is just as important a part of my life. My first career was in advertising. I delivered flyers on my bicycle for our neighbor’s electrical shop. Hint: A penny a flyer is a dumb way to make money in a rural neighborhood 🙂

I’ve always been the quiet, geeky type so it was pretty natural that I got into engineering. After a couple years of writing specification manuals for the Navy, I went back to school full-time to earn my graduate degree from Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA. Not counting my early days in advertising, my entire career has been as a professional engineer.

What compelled you to write your first book?

Lee Silver: You hear some strange things standing in the ladies’ room line on the Ocean City boardwalk. A cute little thing in a halter top and a pair of Daisy Dukes behind me was arguing with her purple-haired boy friend about her smoking. He was going on about what a filthy habit it was and how he might as well be kissing an ashtray. Fumbling in her purse for a Virginia Slim, all she could come up with in her defense was “You have no idea how hard it is for a girl to quit smoking!” I’ve always been fascinated by transformation stories, but they never seem to have a happy ending. Hum, it sounded like there was a story there to me.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Lee Silver: I’ve always loved writing, but never considered myself to be a writer. It seemed to be sort of an unachievable goal. Something other people did that I could never be capable of doing. It wasn’t until I noticed that more and more of my friends were asking me to review things they had written that I actually started to consider it to be a possibility. As an engineer, I’m trained to come up with a way to make things work. The transformation in The Twist is pure sci-fi, but what if it were possible? My technical background gives me the tools to imagine and describe the things a scientist would need to actually make it happen.

Tell us a little bit about your book/s.

Lee Silver: My new romantic suspense, The Twist is a BookStrand #1 bestseller! I wanted a heroine who would stand toe to toe with the leading man and a plot that would keep a reader on the edge of his seat. The Twist is only the beginning. A story of mind-bending control and unnerving metamorphosis, The Twist unravels the tale of a hotshot consultant as he struggles to foil a plot to steal $12 million and to rescue the feisty, female scientist who has stolen his heart.

The hero actually turns into a carbon copy of the leading lady. I really had to get into Zane’s head to write The Twist. Women are so different…our emotions, what’s important to us, how we relate to each other. And then there’s the things we take for granted. Hair, nails, putting on your face, the whole bit. It would all have to be pretty strange for a guy.

Trying to stuff all of that into a guy’s head was a challenge. Male characters just don’t have the range of emotion for you to work with. I guess that’s part of what makes them guys. As Zane begins his transformation, everything he is grappling with bubbles to the top as a confused mix of humor and rage. After the change it’s like he’s got the hormones of a squad of teenage cheerleaders.

Yup, we finally get our revenge on the guys in The Twist 🙂

Are you currently working on any writing projects our readers should watch for release soon?

Lee Silver: When I wrote the Twist, I had considered it to be a one book story. Working on my edits, I realized there might be enough open ends for another book. I just started working on a sequel to The Twist so we can see what everybody’s favorite feisty female scientist is up to next 🙂

How did you feel the day you held the copy of your first book in your hands?

Lee Silver: Michy, I think you put a little of your soul into everything you write. Seeing The Twist was like looking in a mirror for the first time for me. A bit frightening, but you gradually accept each wrinkle and line of the smiling reflection until you can say, here I am world, with all my flaws and talents, being the best I can be.

What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write?

Lee Silver: You all are going to think I’m crazy, and I’m probably showing my age, but I’m a huge Jimi Hendrix fan. I actually have over 100 albums counting the bootlegs and international releases!

What one thing are you the most proud of in your life?

Lee Silver: There are tons of people who are better than me at everything I’ve ever done or tried. What I am proud of, is having accomplished so many different things in my life.

What about your family? Do you have children, married, siblings, parents? Has your family been supportive of your writing?

My first marriage was a three month fairy tale, shattered to pieces by a drunk driver who hit our car on the way home from the movies. Death is a big part of life. I’ve never been the same after that accident. I was an only child, so Mom is my number one fan. My hubby and son have been wonderful, picking up the slack around the house and putting up with me while I was a bundle of nerves getting through my edits.

It’s ok, [though]. That was a long time ago. I’m a very lucky girl. I’ve been blessed with two wonderful loves in my life. Some people never find one.

The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?

Lee Silver: My characters are born from the faces of my personality. I’m like each and every one but not like any of them. There is a tiny seed of me in my characters that unfolds like a flower. They surprise me with the things they say and do, taking my writing to places I never could have gone by myself. Zane met his match with Kathy in The Twist. He’s full of himself in a typical guy sort of way. But Kathy, with all her feminine charm, let Zane know from the minute they met at the elevator, she’d stand toe to toe with for the full nine rounds. Its mutual respect like this that turns to love that will last a life time.

Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor?

Lee Silver: Like nearly everything I have tried in my life, I didn’t have a mentor when I began my first novel. I just sat down at the keyboard and began to type. I guess I’m too stupid to know I can’t do something 🙂 Dee Knight and Michele Hart played a huge part in my growth as a writer. Teaching me the ropes and coaching me through my edits, my surrogate writing mommies were always there to pick me up when I stumbled or to lovingly slap my knuckles when I reached for too many seconds of M&M’s.

Hey, let’s get morbid. When they write your obituary, what do you hope they will say about your book/s and writing? What do you hope they will say about you?

Lee Silver: If my stories can pull my reader’s away from the hustle and bustle of their lives long enough to put a smile on their faces when they head back to the real world, I couldn’t ask for more. My biggest fear is that I will hurt someone without knowing it and never having the chance to tell them I am sorry. I hope people remember me for admitting when I was wrong and for doing my best to make things right.

Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now.

Lee Silver: My parents used to have a travel trailer on the Delaware shore. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, so it was only about 3 hours away. We spent weekends there all summer long for years. I loved to go crabbing and fishing with my dad. LOL, I used to be such a tomboy! On rainy days, we’d all pile into my girlfriend’s mom’s old Buick station wagon. She’d haul us giggling and laughing into Ocean City, MD for pizza and let us go wild on the boardwalk.

I’ve been a car girl for as long as I can remember. I actually had a Suzuki 50 Trail Rider I used all through high school. I went everywhere on that darn thing! Somewhere along the line I realized that motorcycles and skirts don’t mix and got a blue MG Midget. My hubby is a car guy and we have a Model A hotrod. I’m not into all the grease and engine stuff but can hold a pretty mean flashlight. I love the people and the cruising. It gives me an excuse to get all dolled up and wear a pair of tight pants or a poodle skirt.

Anyway, my husband’s family also vacationed in Ocean City, and we went there with our son when he was growing up. We have our own place there now. It’s only a couple hours from Norfolk, VA, so we try to go whenever we can. I cherish our time in Ocean City. We both run so hard, it’s the only time we have for each other. I’m lucky to have a special place with so many memories from all the times of my life. I wish we could live there all the time.

Do you have any pets? What are they? Tell us about them.

Lee Silver: Yes, an African gray parrot. His name is Lerch. You know, like from the Adam’s family? Actually he’s a she, but I’ve called her a he for so long that’s how I think of her. We’ve been roomies for over 20 years! Our relationship is pretty much like the one I have with my husband. I feed him and he tolerates me 🙂

Bring us into your home and set the scene for us when you are writing. What does it look like? On the couch, laptop, desk? Music? Lighting, handwriting?

Lee Silver: We live in an old Victorian we renovated on Norfolk’s waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay. It’s full of bits and pieces we’ve refinished over the years. My bow front mahogany china cabinet is the only thing we actually paid real money for. It’s to die for! I write in our son’s old room. We converted it into sort of an office for me and a gym. It’s full of memories and still has a few pieces from his childhood like the basketball hoop over the trash can 🙂 I have one of those $50 particle board computer stands for a desk. It’s so out of character with the rest of the house! I mostly write at home but get my best ideas in traffic jams. I keep one of those five dollar voice recorder thingies in my car, so I actually look forward to 5:00 rush hour.

Do you watch television? If so, what are your favorite shows? Does television influence of inspire your writing?

Lee Silver: I’ve been a Charmed fan since day one! I even have a cool signed picture of Holly, Rose and Alyssa that I won on ebay. I was really bummed when they ended the show but still watch the reruns whenever I can. The last few years, I’ve been hooked on Nip Tuck. I’m usually asleep by ten, but every Friday night I set the alarm and drag myself downstairs to watch Dr. Shawn and Dr. Christian 🙂 The two shows are very different, but they both have incredible drama that makes the wheels run wild in my head.

Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you’d go back and do differently now that you have been published?

Lee Silver: I think a new writer needs to be careful not to be so anxious to be published that he settles for just anyone who offers to print his book. I have heard some simply awful stories about small publishers going defunct and tying up an author’s work. I was looking in a lot of wrong places when I was searching for a publisher for The Twist. I was very fortunate to have received an offer from Siren-BookStrand. They put a lot of faith in me as a new author, and I am proud to be represented by a top name publisher.

How has having a book published changed your life?

Lee Silver: Well, for one, I’m not sure I have time to answer that!

Now that you are a published author, does it feel differently than you had imagined?

Lee Silver: It took a bit of personal growth to think of myself as author, Lee Silver. Now it’s effortless, just one more of the different rolls I have in my life. We have hats we put on as coworkers, girlfriends, Sunday school teachers, parents wives, moms and authors. A little artistic license may be needed for one or the other, but I think the key is to let our true self shine through as we relate to the people and situations in our lives regardless of the hat we are wearing. In that regard, as writers we have it easier than most. The hardest part for me has been to find the time. I’ve made so many new friends and love hearing what everyone has going on with their writing and in their lives. I’m going to hate having to slink back into my cave to get to work on the sequel to The Twist.

Now, use this space to tell us more about who you. Anything you want your readers to know?

Lee Silver
Romance with a Twist
www.LeeSilver.org

THE TWIST
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Theme: High Tech Metamorphosis
Length: 79,000 words
BookStrand Publishing: http://www.bookstrand.com/authors/leesilver/tt.asp
ISBN: 1-60601-174-X
E-book: $5.99

~~“A clever and witty sci-fi romp through big corporations, marriage and the gender wars.” Dee S. Knight , author of Heat Wave

Zane Tollison’s wife is running through their cash faster than he can make it. A “Hail Mary” contract with Clearwater Tobacco arrives in the nick of time to keep his fledgling consulting firm afloat, and to unchain him once and for all from his narcissistic wife.

Beautiful, brilliant, and estranged Kathy Davis is desperate for a new beginning. The feisty post doc bio-geneticist jumps at an offer from Clearwater, pouring her soul into a development that will revolutionize the tobacco industry.

The two are unwittingly reeled into a convoluted plan to steal $12 million. Zane is changing into a carbon copy of Kathy, a pawn in a bizarre genetic metamorphosis, entangling Kathy in a sinewy web of seduction and deceit. Forging a bond that will set the course of their destiny, they fight to overpower the diabolic hold that has taken over their lives.

Excerpt
Zane heard the tap, tap, tap of a woman’s heels on the tile floor as he stared at his watch anxiously waiting for the elevator.

She was a tiny thing, not more than five foot three, probably in her early thirties. She stepped up beside him. Their eyes met and she smiled.

One of the big guns’ secretaries, I’ll bet. Zane couldn’t keep his eyes off her.

Wearing a stylishly short, gray tweed business suit, her long auburn hair was pulled in a French
twist. Designer gold-rim glasses framed her petite face and green eyes. She looked like she had just stepped out of the latest issue of Vogue.

Zane’s eyes followed her every move as she stepped into the elevator. A leather notebook clenched to her chest, she was one hundred percent professional and drop dead gorgeous.
She turned to him, a ghost of a smile on her lips. Looking Zane squarely in the eyes, she matter-of-factly quipped, “All right, you’ve seen my ass. I guess you can come in now.”

He turned beet red as he walked into the elevator. The doors closed like a vault. “I, I am so sorry, but—”

“No buts about it. I wouldn’t have said that if I didn’t think you were cute.” She stepped out onto the second floor “See ya!”

He stood, frozen like a pillar of salt, as he watched her walk in slow motion down the hall.
“Seventh floor.”
“What did you say?”

She peered over her shoulder and grinned. “Chorde’s office. It’s on the seventh floor.”

Eyes glued to the seam along the back of her skirt, he opened his mouth to speak, but the words refused to come.

She rounded the corner out of his sight. His eyes still peering into the hall, Zane’s finger pressed the button for the seventh floor. As the doors began to close, he blurted out to the brushed steel walls of the elevator, “Thanks.”

* * * *

Chorde glanced at the clock as he reached for his hand. “So good to see that you are prompt. Nine o’clock on the button.”

Clenching his hand with a confident grip, Zane put on a well-practiced smile. “Well, I try, Jonathon.” The truth was he was late for everything. Pat often teased him that he’d be late for his own funeral.

Jonathon Chorde was a stately gentleman in his early sixties. His British accent and tailored, double-breasted suit gave him an air of cosmopolitan sophistication. He was medium height, perhaps five foot ten, balding, and a bit over weight.

Chorde motioned towards two stuffed leather chairs at the far corner of his office. He poured two cups of tea from a silver carafe and offered a small serving tray. “Pastry, Mr. Tollison?”

Never one to pass on a free breakfast, Zane reached for a cherry Danish. He flashed a grin as he took an over-sized bite. “Mr. Tollison was my father. You can call me Zane.”

“As you please. Down to business then, shall we?”

He set his cup on the marble tabletop and leaned forward. “We are both businessmen. I shan’t beat around the bush. Simply put, Clearwater wants to buy your name.”

A piece of Danish caught in Zane’s throat and he coughed into his napkin.

Chorde ignored the outburst and continued. “As I indicated when I spoke to you yesterday, we are in the process of pulling together a study to refute the accusations of the anti-smoking coalitions. Although we certainly value your insights, there is really very little we expect you to do. We already know what we want to find, and except for going through the motions of the actual ten-day investigation, our people have basically completed the final report.”

He reached for his tea and leaned back in his chair. Chorde continued, “We did feel that it was important for you to actually be here while we conduct the study to lend a touch of credence to the work. In any case, it will certainly benefit us both for you to learn as much as you can about the project. So you’ll be better prepared to field any questions that might come up about the research in the future.

“We shan’t detain you once we’ve gathered our data, but please, feel free to stay at Clearwater to dot and cross whatever I’s and T’s you feel are necessary to put the finishing touches to the report. After all, the findings are going to be released by Tollison Consulting.” Chorde’s smile could have belonged to the Grinch who stole Christmas. “We had hoped we could attract your services and took the liberty of having our legal people draft a preliminary agreement.”

He pushed a pen and a stack of papers towards Zane, and reached for a French cruller as he continued, “A good faith advance in the amount of 1.15 million dollars shall be deposited to your account upon signing the contract, with the balance being paid in ten equal installments of 1.15 million dollars each day for the duration of the study. The total for your services will be 12.65 million dollars.

“The future of the entire tobacco industry depends on the timely release of these findings. We shan’t tolerate any mishaps. The agreement provides a rather stiff penalty of 2.3 million dollars per day should you fail to see the job through.” Chorde’s face grew cold as he glared over the top of his glasses. “I prefer not to elaborate, but please understand, this would be the least of your concerns if the details of your actual role in the investigation should ever chance to leave this room.”

Zane stared at the contract, contemplating the contrast between the white paper and the brown marble tabletop. Ever since he could remember, he had been a tinkerer. From high tech military jets to antique cars, from tube-type radios to house renovation, at one time or another, Zane had seen or worked on just about every mechanical device imaginable. Starting as a model builder as a child and learning the building trades while working his way through college, there was very little he could not or would not do. Combined with a graduate degree in engineering, he was able to view most situations from both sides of the fence.

A few well-timed hat tricks had earned him quite a name for himself. After ten years in the aerospace industry, Zane had managed to save a small nest egg and opened his own consulting firm. Most of his clients were companies he had worked with at one time or another while he was still in aerospace. The work was sporadic, but at least he wasn’t a wage slave for one of the airframe giants anymore. He smiled. Living like a starving animal is a small price to pay for your independence.

There were big contacts, with even bigger expenses, but Elise’s addict-like preoccupation with her beauty had brought him to his knees. There were spas and salons, waxes and peels, life coaches and Feng Shui instructors, and a whole host of female must-dos she assured he need not and could not possibly understand. Added to her weekly jaunts to Europe to shop at some swanky new boutique with one of her upscale girlfriends, their bills were a four million dollar snowball rolling down hill.

Zane twirled the ballpoint pen between his fingers. A whole career boiled down to two simple choices: his morals and financial ruin, or the answer to a prayer for selling his professional reputation down the river.

Twelve million dollars. Half for the Governor’s share, and a third to keep him out of debtor’s prison, there would be a million apiece left so he and Elise could go their separate ways.

Zane took a reflective bite from his Danish and…

Read the Full Excerpt at http://www.bookstrand.com/authors/leesilver/tt.asp

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