Hi all and welcome to my spot on Michele Khoury’s Busted blog tour 🙂
Many thanks to Michele Khoury and Kelly @ Lovebooksgrouptours
Interview with Michele Khoury…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Sure, Kerry. My name is Michele I. Khoury, and writing is my third career. I took a Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Novel Writing Program through the University of California at Irvine’s extension program, where I began my debut novel, Busted.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
In the third class, the writing professor lectured on the key plot points, then issued the homework assignment to plot a novel. While driving home, the genesis for Busted’s storyline magically came to me: how three people collide over cocaine, and the impact on their lives.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
The twenty-four-year-old main character, Gina McKenna, is a composite of many people— including myself, several artists and teachers. When I started writing the novel, I was ignorant about cocaine, and as I learned so did Gina; her naïveté mirrored mine.
Another character, the DEA Special Agent is patterned after a Lt. in Narcotics for the Anaheim Police Department, (the same city where Disneyland is located). The Lieutenant answered my zillion emails, explaining the legalities of apprehending drug dealers.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
When I visualized how the characters looked, dressed, and thought, their names popped into my mind.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I’m a slow writer. I dedicate three days a week, seven hours a day, with a goal of writing seven to ten pages. Then I edit, rewrite, edit, and rewrite. A month later I may return and trash the pages, or rewrite them again. I’m not exaggerating when I say Busted had at least a hundred versions.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Michael Koryta, Karin Slaughter, Liane Moriarty, Laura Lippman, and David Baldacci.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to meet Stephen King. I admire his brilliance, and rather than ask him anything specific, I’d enjoy conversing with him. His woo-woo stuff is mind-boggling, and I’d like to know if he’s as crazy as his characters.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Unfortunately, no. My parents didn’t read to my brother or I, and I was fourteen-years-old when I read my first book. It was about a young girl who went away to a school that also boarded horses. I loved horses, and the story captured my imagination. I haven’t forgotten the book, but try as I might, I can’t remember the title.
When did you start to write?
In 2007. I regret not taking creative writing classes in college. I focused on business and had huge successes with Xerox, Apple Computer, and for twenty-one years, my own business teaching technology companies around the world how to sell.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?
Oh, this is a tough question. I believe each author has the right to write their story the way they want.
I was one of three out of fourteen students my writing professor chose to mentor in a weekly writing group. Six to eight students (many from previous classes) attended. We’d bring copies for everyone, including the professor. Each author had fifteen minutes to read their pages and receive constructive criticism. At the end of the day, the author’s name is on the cover, and the author decides what does or doesn’t happen. When I read a novel, I accept what the author wrote; if I don’t like the story, the genre, or the writing style, then I may not read that particular author’s work again.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
The fictional character I’d love to converse with is Queen Elizabeth 1—AKA The Virgin Queen. I’m fascinated by her success in ruling from 1158 until 1602. I’d invite her to our home for tea.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my second book, The Sheriff’s Wife. The theme is domestic violence and abuse. Having grown up in an abusive environment, I understand the fear and trepidation associated with physical and emotional harm. For the last eight years I’ve been a board member for Human Options, a non-profit dedicated to ending domestic violence and abuse. I care about social issues, and this is one topic where I can show horrific experiences being transformed into survival and success.
Tell us about your last release?
Busted was released on April 13, 2017, and I had my first book launching party on May 17, 2017. I’m blessed with loving and supportive friends: 140 people attended, and I sold eighty-seven books.
Do you have a new release due?
No. The next publication is a couple of years away. (Like I said, I’m a slow writer.)
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Go out to dinner with my husband, our two sons, daughter-in-laws, and four grandchildren. They’re with me through the ups and downs, so when there’s a celebration, I want to share it.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
Readers are welcome to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleKhoury/, Twitter: Michele Khoury@MicheleIKhoury;
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
If you’re interested in writing, I encourage you to take a novel writing course from a local college. Unless you have a degree in writing, you’ll save yourself a great deal of heartbreak by having professional guidance. (Beware of writing groups who are not led by a professional: their feedback can be fatal.)
There’s nothing like entering “the zone” and creating a new world. When five hours feels like five minutes, you know you’re having fun.
I love conversing with readers: please feel free to contact me. I wish you the best.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Michele 🙂
Impacted by the recession, twenty-four-year-old artist Gina McKenna is down to her last few dollars and days away from living in her car when a successful businessman buys a painting and commissions another. As their relationship evolves, she’s seduced by his charm and mesmerized by his luxurious lifestyle until she discovers he’s a drug kingpin. As her world turns upside down, she struggles to survive vicious brutality.
Miguel Lopez is a cocaine supplier with a weightlifter’s physique and ‘the rules do not apply to me’ attitude. Maniacal and ruthless, he has no qualms about killing anyone who interferes with his distribution network, including Gina.
Dedicated to eradicating illegal drugs, DEA Special Agent Bobby Garcia spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars working undercover to buy his way up a dealer chain to identify the moneyman. When his fourteen-year-old daughter overdoses on cocaine, he traces the blow to Lopez. As Bobby’s mission becomes personal, he makes emotional decisions, which negatively impact civilians and his job. Unable to let go, he risks his career to orchestrate the biggest drug sting in Southern California. What happens isn’t what he expected.
When a deputy district attorney meets Gina at a party, he is smitten. As his attraction grows, so does Gina’s involvement with the DEA’s case, of which he is the designated prosecutor. Mindful of his professional ethics, he tries to stifle his feelings.
Sex and violence permeate the twists and turns of this cautionary tale about choosing one’s friends well.
Buy Link: https://amzn.to/2KI1MW8
About the Author
Writing is Michele I. Khoury’s third career. After graduating from the University of California at Riverside with a Masters degree in Economics, she worked at Xerox, where she set multiple sales records, and Apple Computer, where she received the Business Development Manager of the Year award. For twenty-one years, she was an international business consultant and taught technology companies around the world how to sell.
Her writing career began when she took the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Novel Writing Classes offered through the University of California Irvine’s extension program. She was one of three out of the fourteen students her professor choose to mentor and attended weekly critique sessions for six years. BUSTED is her debut novel, and she is currently writing her second book, which is about domestic violence and abuse.
She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and rescued dogs, Bubbles and Thriller.
For more information, please visit http://www.michelekhoury.com.