Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Silvia Foti: Interview

Interview: Silvia Foti

Silvia Foti, is a freelancer and mystery novelist. Her first mystery novel, Skullduggery, became available as an e-book with Echelon Press in 2006. Her second mystery novel, The Diva's Fool, will be published by Echelon Press in 2007. She serves as president of Love Is Murder, an annual multi-genre conference for writers and readers held in Chicago. In the anti-competitive ladder of volunteer writing organizations, she was also voted president of Sisters in Crime in Chicago, a local group of mystery writers for the year 2006.

MC: Welcome, Silvia. You had a very interesting and diverse childhood, growing up as the child of Lithuanian political exiles. How has this experience shaped your writing?

SF: It had a profound influence, I always felt as an "other" as a child, living in two worlds, Lithuanian and American. My mind was always on Lithuania, as my parents thought they'd return some day. They never did, even when the country became free, but that longing for it still remains. I turned to books a lot and still do, and an avid reader probably thinks about writing some day. My protagonist is Lithuanian, so I bring much of myself into her.

MC: You have very broad experience in writing manuals on compliance for health journals, designing brochures, freelancing in Argentina for two newspapers and the Polo Magazine. When did your interest turn to mystery stories?

SF: I've always been reading mysteries, even as a child. I loved the suspense and thrill, the spying around. Growing up Lithuanian, my generation felt called to save the country, and in some small way, I always felt like a child-spy in America, looking for ways to free Lithuania from here. It's silly, but at the time I believed it.

MC: How does your business experience and your company, Lotus Ink help in promoting your own fiction writing career?

SF: I have the discipline to accomplish tasks I set out for myself. If something doesn't work as anticipated, I just try something else, and keep doing so without getting bogged down too much.

MC: Skullduggery and the upcoming Diva's Fool are set in Chicago. Are any of your characters or scenarios based on true life?

SF: The protagonist is a journalist on the Southwest Side of Chicago and is Lithuanian. This much is based on my own true life. The rest is imagined, particularly her skill with Tarot cards. For her, they really work.

MC: What is next? Another Chicago mystery?

SF: This is a series of twenty-two, based on the twenty-two Greater Secrets cards. The next will be based on The Magician card. This one begins in Bergamo, Italy, and ends in New York City.

MC: Can you share something funny about yourself for your readers and fans?

SF: I had a huge fear of public speaking. On a whim I answered an ad to teach public speaking at St. Xavier, my alma mater, believing that if God wanted me to improve as a public speaker, I'd get the job. I always put God in the picture with these sorts of things. To my shock, three days before classes began, I received a call to teach the class. The one they really wanted had gotten a better job, and a former professor of mine recommended me. They were desperate. The first day I was so nervous standing in front of the students speaking publicly about improving their own speech. After that experience, I knew I could do anything.

Thanks, so much, Silvia. Your personal story is as fascinating as your mystery books.

The Diva's Fool is available for purchase through Skullduggery is available for purchase through Amazon or the publisher, Echelon

Read more about Silvia Foti on her website.

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