Friday, March 15, 2013

Please welcome Author Micki Peluso

How/why did you start to write?

I began writing as a catharsis for my deep grief over the loss of my 14 year old daughter in a DWI vehicular homicide. It was poems at first, then a short story version of the tragedy which was published in “Victimology: an International Journal”. I also did editorials which were read on TV stations, and wrote petitions to the judge as the trial of the drunk driver arrived. This led to a staff journalist career for an award winning bi-weekly newspaper, The Staten Island Register, as well as freelance journalism. My daily newspaper published my slice of life humor and pathos stories, mostly centered on my lost daughter and my other five children and then grandchildren. I taught myself to write in all genres except screen writing to find which I liked best. Almost all of my stories have been published in print magazines, won contests and published in e-zines.

How did you become an author?

After the accident, when none in my large family were able to speak about Noelle, I again turned to expressing my feelings through writing. I began a memoir which would become a celebration of her life rather than a eulogy of her death. I had it half written when I ran into a severe memory block concerning the five years before her death, even though I could remember each detail of the actual event. Life interrupted me as well and I was too busy working as a freelancer, and doing inventory work at home, while helping my oldest daughter raise her young sons. Three heart attacks, and two open heart surgeries later, I was finally able to break through the block caused by the trauma and continue the book within a year.

What was your first published piece?

My first published short non-fiction story was “And Then There Were Five”, a story relating the reactions of my other five children, my husband and myself over the loss of Noelle.This story dealt with the reactions of my five children after losing Noelle, and how we came to terms with her loss.

Where was it published?

It was published in Victimology: An International Journal, followed in the next two issues by two related poems.

How long ago?

It was published in 1986

What did you do before embarking on your writing career? Was it an asset to your writing? How?

I was a home Mom, loving the wonderful job of raising six, bright, beautiful, funny, rambunctious kids. They were/are my love, my life; my treasures. They were later the inspiration for my short slice of life stories, and of course they were mortified when I published funny stories of their antics in my daily newspaper. I have an ‘Erma Bombeck’ style of humor writing and none of them--including their father, who was like the father in “Sound of Music”, whistling for the kids when it was dinner time—were spared in my hysterical stories about our lives. Our pets were fodder for my stories as well. I realized while finishing the memoir of Noelle’s life, that it had to reflect all the comedic escapades she shared with us—the funniest child in the family.

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me: life, especially the birth of a child, God and my relationship with him which has kept me sane, this beautiful earth we’ve been privileged to live on, the miracles I’ve witnessed, each time I awake to a new and different day, and amidst all the sorrows we face, the indomitable spirit we all have to get up and move forward with hope for a better future.

Please share one of your successful author platform building technique

My publisher taught me many useful marketing skills, the most effective for me being working with community affairs and groups like The Red Hatters, The Grandmother Clubs, The New York Professional Women’s Groups, and MADD (Mothers against Drunk Driving). I also used my local TV cable station, as a guest promoting my book and speaking about victims of drunk driving. I’ve spoken and sold books at PTA meetings, Church meetings and carry my books wherever I go. When I was in the hospital my books were in the window waiting for the nurses to buy them. I’ve even sold books to telemarketers trying to sell me somethingJ. Online marketing keeps me busy as I try to do what works best—sell myself and then the books sell themselves. This is a pleasure as I love people and have met long-time friends marketing my books—yes they all bought the book.

Parting words

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang is a true story written as a death bed promise to my dying child. Many paranormal events happened as I finished the book and afterward, so I know that Noelle had a hand in writing this along with me. The book is dedicated not only to her, but to all the children and young adults whose lives were cut short by drunk or drugged drivers. Each one has a story to tell and I have tried to tell mine for all of them.

Tagline: Happy times, a summer day, a driving drunk, eight lives forever changed
The elusive whippoorwill swoops down the mountains.
Through night into dawn it's song mourns summer's loss--
as I cry mine.
AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, a 300 page memoir, opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double wedding ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share comical escapades, spanning decades. A terrible accident occurs in a placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains. Micki narrates happier days while confronting an uncertain future. One of her six children is fighting for life in the hospital. The family embarks upon its unbearable journey to the other side of sorrow . . .
And so in the throes of grief, a writing career was born.


Darlene Foster said...

I am so moved by this interview. How a mother can find the strength and courage to write about such a tragic event is inspiring to say the least. Bless you and your family Micki.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Micki Peluso is the author of "And the Whippoorwill Sang" said...

Thanks, Darlene.
Writing was the only outlet I had for my sorrow. It's so wonderful to know that others who read this book are affected in a good way and on so many levels. The best part is that whenever I am lonely for her, all I have to do is open the book and she is there.

Marta Merajver said...

Thank you for this interview, Leanne. Micki's story is as inspiring as it is moving, and the fact that she was able to turn personal loss and grief into a wonderful novel should encourage writers and readers alike.
Micki is a role model in more than one way. I admire the woman as much as I admire her talent.

Linda Hales said...

It's always a joy to read about you Micki Peluso! Your wonderfully warm and candid demeanor is always fresh and entertaining, as though we were all in the same room together, sharing your story. Noelle would be so proud of you and no doubt, still inspires you to do the good work that you do to share her story for the benefit of others.

Raani York said...

This is such an intense and impressive interview. I'm deeply admiring Micki Peluso for her strength and her ability to go public with her story!

I had to honor to read her book and there too I was so overcome with emotions, I sometimes laughed loudly - but even more I remember my tears feeling with her and her family!

Thanks for sharing this!

Sharla Shults said...

What a great interview! Every time I read about Micki or from Micki in her own words I learn something new. She is not only a prolific writer but a wonderful person as well. I have read her book ...And a Whippoorwill Sang and it tugged at my heart as I journeyed with her. How she maintained her sanity along with a marvelous sense of humor is remarkable and grounded in a solid foundation of undying faith.

Laurie Buchanan said...

I enjoyed reading this touching, and inspirational interview.

Lori said...

Very nice interview Micki. You always have interesting and inspirational interviews. My hats off to you:) Lori

Pat Garcia said...


I really got to know Micki while reading her book And The Whippoorwill Sang but I first met her in a writing group on Linked In that no longer exists. She made a comment about her computer and the way she wrote it had me laughing. It had been a hard day for me and when I read about the problem she was having with her computer eating up her emails, I had a hearty laugh and my day was brighter.

Then I read her book and her sense of humor, her warmth, and her passion for life had me practically hanging on every word she had written. I laughed, I cried and I felt her pain.

Micki is an excellent writer but more than that she is a woman of faith and love and she has the gift of passing it own as she reaches out to help others.

So, congratulations on your interview Micki. I am proud of you and extremely happy to be associated with you.
Keep up the good work, Lady.


mary firmin said...

Mikki Pelosi continues to inspire me. Her wonderful book,
And the Whippoorwill Sang, tore at my heartstrings, yet tickled my funny bone. She is a marvellous writer anda fabulous human being. Mary Firmin, author Deadly Pleasures.

Leanne Dyck said...

Thank you, Marta. But all the credit should go to Micki. I merely provide the space.

Micki Peluso is the author of "And the Whippoorwill Sang" said...

Thanks to all of you who were kind enough to take the time to commnet on this great interview by Leanne. It's the love and support I get from all of you that keeps me going in my ongoing quest to keep a death bed promise I made to Noelle.

You all have a special place in my heart.

All my best,

Mary Firmin said...

This is a fabulous book. It will tear at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone. Ms. Peluso grabs your interest and does not let go. A Must Read! Mary Firmin, suthor Deadly Pleasures.