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Interview with Annie Solomon
Date of Interview: February 02, 2004
Interviewer: DS Moores

Annie's Latest Release!
Blind Curve

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  1. If you will, please take a moment to share with us a brief outline of BLIND CURVE.

BLIND CURVE is about undercover cop Danny Sinofsky, who suddenly loses his sight in the middle of a weapons bust. A man who has always looked out for himself, he now can’t cross a room without help. Furious and frustrated, he’d almost rather die than live this way--and someone is more than willing to grant him his wish. Refusing to admit his condition might be permanent, he reluctantly to accepts lessons from rehab instructor, Martha Crowe. Martha has spent a lifetime hiding her emotions behind a calm, practical façade, and she is sure drop dead gorgeous Danny doesn’t remember her, the plain girl from high school. When she witnesses an attack on his life, she is drawn into the danger that surrounds him. Thrown into a safe house, she nags, cajoles and extorts Danny to face his disability, while he pushes back, forcing her to face her own pain--the anguish she’s always felt over her lack of physical beauty. Their lives soon depend on this fragile connection . . . and their ability to combine Danny’s razor-sharp instincts with Martha’s eyes and move as one. Danny starts to see Martha’s courage and passion, and she comes to respect the grit-your-teeth determination Danny brings to the new challenges he must face--including protecting her from an unknown but relentless killer.

  1. For the first time reader of your works, are there any books that should be read before this title to give the reader a greater insight to the characters or relationships in this story?

This is a stand alone book, although it’s set in the fictional town of Sokanan, where my previous book, TELL ME NO LIES, is also set. The hero of TELL ME NO LIES, Hank Bonner, is a secondary character in BLIND CURVE, but the stories are not connected. I also have two other books on my backlist: DEAD RINGER and LIKE A KNIFE. Neither are set in Sokanan, or are connected.

  1. As a police officer that suddenly loses his sight in the midst of an operation, Detective Danny (Sin) Sinofsky is an intriguing, but uncommon character. Was there a particular event or experience in your own life that inspired Danny’s unusual circumstances?

If anything, I was more inspired by my heroine, Martha, the plain girl who was teased in school about how she looked. Our culture places huge value on female beauty and as a result, many women are insecure about their looks. I could relate. I’m sure others can, too. Why else are shows such as Extreme Makeover and The Swan so popular?

The inspiration for Danny was a bit more calculated. I have a friend who is a mobility instructor and I thought that was fascinating. I’m always on the lookout for book ideas and thought this would be interesting. I write suspense, so I needed some kind of law enforcement type. And so Danny was born.

  1. Martha Crowe is Danny’s new mentor, charged with the task of teaching the hardheaded detective the life skills that he must learn to live without his sight. What kind of research was involved in establishing her as a knowledgeable professional in her field?

Quite a lot for me. I spent time at a rehabilitation center, where I spoke with blind and visually impaired students and instructors, sat in on classes, ate lunch, and got a sense of that world. The experience was amazing, wonderful, and eye-opening, no pun intended… Life does go on and losing your sight doesn’t mean you have to lose your independence. In addition, I talked with a rehab counselor, let my mobility instructor friend blindfold me, show me how to navigate my home and how to use a cane. And I made frequent use of a rehab textbook.

  1. In BLIND CURVE, you use a variety of dialogues including “street language” and “police lingo”. Do you feel that using these specific types of dialogue is more important in establishing the reality of the characters, the settings, or both equally?

How people talk is an expression of character for me. Every job has its own lingo, its own jargon, known only to those on the inside--from cooking Kentucky Fried Chicken, where chicken breasts are called “keels,” to working the streets, like Danny does. The slang makes it real, because that’s how people talk. I actually never thought about the dialog affecting setting. I guess it helps in world-building, but I think that’s only a by-product of making your characters real.

**SPOILER QUESTION -- skip this if you haven't read the book yet!***

  1. In my experience as a reader of romance with (sometimes incredulous) happy endings, I was a pleasantly surprised by BLIND CURVE. Many authors may have been tempted to wrap everything up neatly and give Danny the miracle he was hoping for—why didn’t you?

I thought it would be cheating, plain and simple. Especially after I met so many blind people who were happy and productive, or learning how to be. Frankly, I was more tempted to give Martha her miracle. In fact, my first version included a new face for Martha, but my editor wisely talked me out of it! Although neither miracle happens, the ending is still a happy one for both the characters and the reader. Maybe that’s the true miracle…


  1. With so many interesting supporting characters already introduced in this story, there is a great deal of room for further development and open storylines. Can we expect to see the return of a few old friends in upcoming titles?

If I ever get it finished(!!!) my next book is about Danny’s federal agent friend, Jake Wise. And I have an idea for a book involving his sister, Beth and his cop buddy, Mike. I enjoy writing about Sokanan, and hope to have more books set there down the road.

About the Author ANNIE SOLOMON

  1. It’s pretty well known that you’re an avid knitter – what made you want to learn this skill, and what’s your favorite item to knit?

Both my mother and one of my sisters are knitting fiends and I was home one summer and every time I turned around there they were, clacking those needles. I finally threw up my hands and said, teach me. Scarves are relaxing, easy, mindless projects, so I enjoy that. I’m learning how to make socks, and finding that fun, too. I just finished my first pair. One sock was two inches longer than the other…

  1. When you put down the pen (and knitting needles), what do you do to unwind and give yourself a break?

I’m a big TV addict. I love the soaps and the scifi channel. I knit and watch, so I combine my two obsessions.

  1. If you suddenly found out that you couldn’t be an author anymore, what would your next career choice be? Why?

I think I’d do something with religion, another obsession of mine. I was thinking about going back to school when I sold my first book, LIKE A KNIFE. It would have been for a Masters in Religious Studies at the Vanderbilt Divinity School.

  1. Who inspires you?

My husband. He’s the glass half full to my half empty. He gives me perspective and balance. And he makes me laugh.

On Writing & Being an Author:

  1. Your first book, LIKE A KNIFE, was many years in the making before it was actually published. Do you feel that it made you a better, or more determined author, to have this experience?

I’d like to derive something positive from it, but I don’t think in those terms. That was just my journey.

  1. As an author, has your writing style or technique changed much since your first novel? If so, how and why?

I think so. A bit. I’m more down the center of the page now. More dialog. Less purple prose.

  1. It’s been noted that you write with a method of plotting your outlines carefully to establish your characters and storylines and how they will flow together. Do your characters always behave and do what you expected, or do they sometimes surprise you and go their own way?

Don’t know exactly where I said I plot my outlines carefully. I don’t think of myself as a careful plotter. I didn’t outline my first or second books, LIKE A KNIFE and DEAD RINGER. I did a fast synopsis for TELL ME NO LIES that contained all the high points, but never did one for BLIND CURVE. I’ve got one for the new book, and will probably try to do one from now on. But in answer to your question…yes, the characters do sometimes surprise me. For example, at first I had no idea what my BLIND CURVE hero’s name would be. With my deadline approaching, I couldn’t wait around to figure it out, so I started writing using a different name, even though I knew it wasn’t right. I rewrote the first scene several times, was never happy with it. Finally I got the undercover buy back idea with Danny working undercover to buy a gun from a street kid. He has to introduce himself, and out of nowhere, this name came out of his mouth--Danny Sinofsky. I swear, I didn’t think it up. Danny did it himself. And the name was perfect. I guess because it was his…

  1. Do you have a specific schedule of time that you dedicate to writing?

I’m a morning person, so I like to write in the morning. Some days it takes all day to get my pages out, though.

  1. Many authors have a preferred writing environment, i.e. certain types of music playing, a specific location, etc. What’s yours?

I find noise of any kind (except maybe the washer and dryer, which are outside my office) distracting. I have a tiny office in my home that’s covered in paper and books and notebooks. I feel comfortable there surrounded by the mess.

  1. Do you feel like advertising and self-promotion elements are as important as your writing in achieving your career goals? Why or why not?

Of course, nothing beats writing the best book possible. But I also think advertising is vital, but then I’m an ex ad writer. Unfortunately, it’s time consuming and costly. And it’s too early in my career to know whether or not it works for books.

  1. In closing, if you were going to provide only one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Well, I’m not too big on advice. Each of us has a different process and a different path. I can only repeat some of the lessons I learned in mine: Write (You can’t be a writer unless you do). Collect rejections (because that’s the only way you know your stuff is out there). Oh, and listen to your husband (especially when he tells you you’re being too hard on yourself…you usually are.)

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