Each morning I walk along the Pearl Harbor Channel. I know the schedule of the incoming aircraft making their final approach over Pearl Harbor into the International Airport (which shares its runway with Hickam AFB). One is Alaska Airlines - I smile as I think of how much the inbound Alaskan residents are going to enjoy the warm Hawaiian sun. I have not had the opportunity to visit Alaska yet, but I can visualize it through Ilona Fridl's current book, GOLDEN NORTH and her upcoming release, BRONZE SKIES.
Please join me in welcoming Ilona Fridl. From her bio,
I've always loved to write, but didn't get my act together until around ten years ago. I never got along with typewriters. Then the magic PC came along. I sent short stories to magazines and, amazingly, sold some. I now live in Wisconsin and have to give my undying respect to Kathie Giorgio of AllWriters who pulled an author out of this hack writer. And a big thank you to Diane who convinced me to go to the workshop she took.
Ilona: First off, I want to thank Kim for interviewing me on her blog. Now to the questions.
|Ernie Pyle's typewriter|
(WWII reporter killed in action and buried on Oahu)
Kim: Looking back, typewriters were clunky! Bur surely it took more than a PC to get published - can you share how you got "the call"?
Ilona: It was different for me, since I received “the call” through the email. I had been sending my manuscript to many agents and received many rejects. I decided to try publishers and sent to several that I found in Romance Writers Reporter, the Romance Writers of America publication. One of the publishers listed was The Wild Rose Press. I steeled myself waiting for the “Thanks, but no thanks” line after I sent my query. Their reply was, “May we see a synopsis and the first three chapters?” Well, this was different! So I shot off what they requested. Next, they asked for the entire manuscript. Being an obliging person, I hyperventilated and sent that off. Finally, I received “the email” asking if I would like a contract. Boy, would I!
Kim: Your debut book is SILVER SCREEN HEROES:
Addy Garcia and Zeke Shafer are a stunt double and a director's assistant that works at Majestic Motion Pictures Studio in 1920 Hollywood. A family of gangsters take over the failing studio to make and sell illegal liquor. Zeke and Addy work together to help the police capture the mob. One problem, Addy's cousin has married into the crime family. Addy has been given a key to bring the family and the studio down. Will she use it?
What inspired SILVER SCREEN HEROES? Where did you find your research materials?
Ilona: The inspiration came from my love of silent movies and fascination with the twenties. For research, I lucked on a book in a second hand shop on the twenties. It told about the culture and mores of the times, plus things that were popular then. For the music and movies, the timeline sites on the internet have a wealth of things that were out in that time frame. I also went to the library for books on prohibition and the gangsters, and studied how movies were made.
Kim: Your second book is GOLDEN NORTH,
Josh Shafer has purchased an old run-down theater and bar in Juneau, Alaskan Territory to get away from his abusive father. He invites his brother, Zeke, and Zeke's new wife, Addy, who are on the run from a crime family, to come and help him.
Muriel Giovanni, Addy's cousin, was married into the crime family, but her husband was killed. Now with a new daughter, the Giovannis want the child. With the help of her parents, the young widow takes her baby and follows her cousin to Alaska, where hopefully the family won't find her. Or will they?
Los Angeles to Juneau - tell us how you transitioned your mindset from the glamorous Hollywood to Alaska's wilderness?
Ilona: I knew Zeke and Addy wanted to get away from the gangsters' territory. Alaska was a far frontier then and the chances of finding them were slim. Also, I wanted to stories to be different in the series. Again, I studied everything I could on the Alaskan Territory and Juneau in particular.
Kim: What's next for Ilona Fridl?
Ilona: I haven't received the release date yet, but the last book of the series, BRONZE SKIES, is completed. With that one, it's set in WWII with the next generation of my characters out. Zeke and Addy's son, Tom, is a young Army Air Corps pilot during the invasion of the Aleutian Islands by the Japanese. In essence, the Dangerous Times series is a suspense, murder mystery, and a war story.
My work in progress is a sixties story set in the counter-culture of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
You can find my web site at: http://www.ilonafridl.com/. I'm also on Facebook and Goodreads.
Kim: When you do have a release date, please visit us again so we can talk more about BRONZE SKIES, especially your research. As you can imagine, I live among WWII historical sites - reminders of the high cost of freedom. In honor of Ilona's visit, I am giving away WWII memorabilia from the National Park Service's Valor in the Pacific Memorial. It is home of the USS Arizona and USS Bowfin with bus connection to the USS Missouri and Pacific Aviation Museum (both on Ford Island).
To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Ilona, silent films, the Fabulous Forties, and/or Alaska.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers. Comments are open through Saturday, February 26, 10 pm, to enter the giveaway.
3. If you are new to SOS Aloha, please make sure I know how to contact you. If your Blogger profile does not include your email address, please send it to email@example.com (I have several unclaimed prizes because I do not know how to contact the winners).
Kim in Hawaii
I have one day to visit Hollywood when I attend RT's Booklovers Convention. Perhaps I shall follow Ilona's research for SILENT SCREEN HEROES and explore the Roaring 20s as they unfolded in Tinsel Town.
If you were to visit Hollywood, what sights would you see?