Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

02 August, 2013

Spotlight: Lily Steps Out by Rita Plush

Go Lily!
After thirty-three years of marriage, playing the role of wife, mother, nursemaid, and family mediator, Lily Gold has had it! There must be more to life than making beds and cooking dinners. A lot more, she discovers when she decides that she needs something of her very own – a job. But reentering the work force is harder than it seems and Lily has difficulty finding a position that’s just right for her. When she finally does, she knows it’s a perfect fit but Leon, her husband, wants no part of it and off he goes to the bank to put the kibosh on her chances of opening her own antique center. This is marriage, Lily thinks? No, this is war! Lily steps out of her tired old habit of always letting Leon have his way, this time turning the status quo into quid pro quo to give him a run for the money. And while she’s at it - with a little help from her friends - she breaks the mold of the old Lily Gold. But does she have what it takes to create a new Lily – a renaissance Lily? Lily Gold’s journey is the journey of every woman who wants it all – love, respect, personal fulfillment, and real happiness.

Get to Know Rita Plush...

1. Greetings and welcome to the Blog-Zine. Please tell us a little about yourself. I’m an author and interior designer. As an instructor and lecturer of the decorative arts, I am also the Coordinator of the Interior Design/Certificate Program at Queensborough Community College in Queens, New York.

2. Do you feel like your background or upbringing influences your writing style? If so, in what way(s)? More than my background and upbringing influencing my writing style, I think they have influenced what I write about. In Lily Steps Out, Lily Gold, a 55-year-old woman who is sick of making beds and cooking dinners, steps out of the comfortable life she knows, into the business world. I didn’t wait 'til I was 55 to take my life as wife and mother in a new direction, but I did “step out” when I was 35 and enroll in interior design school. In my mid-forties, I stepped into college to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing, and then, when I was 45, I started teaching interior design. Like Lily, I wanted to be more than I already was.

3. Describe your Lily Steps Out in , in 10 words or less. Lily Steps Out is a Middle-Age, Coming-of-Age story.

4. When and why did you begin writing? As a youngster, I always liked writing compositions and book reports for school. The desire to express myself through the written word must have stayed with me, because I chose to write a group of short stories for my masters thesis.

5. If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change? Nothing that I could have controlled, but I wish it hadn’t taken so long (5 years) to write “Lily” and another 7 years to find a publisher.

6. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author? What has been the best compliment?  My favorite thing to do is make is create characters - dress them, give them quirks, and particular ways of speaking, etc. An editor once told me that I created interesting, believable characters but that I didn’t know what to do with them. Interestingly, the best compliment I've received is similar to the toughest criticism, which is that I create interesting, believable characters, and also that I write from the heart and gut.

7. Is there a central message or theme in Lily Steps Out that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with? The central message is, don’t give up. If you want something go out and get it. Claim what you want for yourself and make it happen. You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission.

8. What has been the most effective method of marketing and/or publicizing your books so far? Why or how? Getting the book into print is only the beginning. You’ve got to let folks know it’s out there, and I think accomplishing that is an ongoing process. Here are some things that I’ve done.
  • Create an Internet presence - a website, get on Facebook, etc.
  • Search the Internet for blogs on which you can guest post and give interviews.
  • Arrange for author talks at libraries and organizations.
  • Try to get your book reviewed online and in print.
  • Hire a voice artist and put your book on audio. I used ACX, which is owned by Amazon (but isn’t everything?).

9. What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from Rita Plush? Currently, I’m shopping a novel titled Feminine Products to agents and publishers. It’s about a woman named Rusty Scanlon, who is the owner of a trendy boutique, has an eye for fashion, and a gift for messing up her love life. When she finds Walter, a guy who adores her, she thinks she has it all. But not so much, she discovers when she tells him she’s pregnant and he suggests a paternity test.

10. How can we find you online and where can we pick up a copy of Lily Steps Out? Readers can pick up a copy of Lily Steps Out via Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other online retailers.

Alright, Blog-Zine visitors, pick up or download your copy of Lily Steps Out by Rita Plush today and read to tell about it!

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