Please help me welcome Karen Chino who is sharing about herself and her fun new book!
Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
I’m from Staten Island, New York and am presently living on the Jersey Shore in Barnegat.
Where did you get the idea for New Beginnings?
I came up with the idea when I move into a 55 and over community.
Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?
I’ve never written a cozy mystery before. But there was something about this genre that I knew I could incorporate in my new living conditions.
Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?
When I realized that the drama in a 55 and over community could be compared to high school, I knew I found a new genre to tell my story.
What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
Finding the time and being able to get into the zone is the most difficult part of writing any book. I find writing the outline to be difficult too. With an outline, I can keep the flow going.
What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?
Since the book takes place in the community I live in, I had to make sure that the scenery and props were all in sync. When the color of the lobby changed, I had to rewrite my descriptions.
Do you collect anything?
Yes! Books, of course.
What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book? Lovers and Gamblers by Jackie Collins. After reading it, I knew my genre was going to be Women’s Fiction. As a kid, I read Nancy Drew Mysteries.
What do you want readers to come away with after they read New Beginnings?
I want the reader to know that no matter what the situation is, there is always a way to get out of it or deal with it in a positive manner.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes. I have four books.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My characters are based on acquaintances but take on a life of their own.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
My family has given me 100% support. Of course my family loves my books, but it’s the support that they give me that is priceless.
How much of the book is realistic?
I write about realistic situations that women deal with everyday. In my cozy mysteries, I have more room to use my imagination.
How did your interest in writing originate?
I started writing poems and short stories when I was fourteen. By junior year of high school I knew it was time to write longer pieces. (I still have all the notebooks with the story I had written.)
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Janet Evanovich. Her books are quick reads, laugh out loud with quirky characters. I love the mystery along with the relationship Stephanie Plum is having with two gorgeous men.
Movie: Saturday Night Fever
Music: Classic Disco, The Beatles, Paul McCarntey
Place you’ve visited: Sicily
Place you’d like to visit: Hawaii
TV show from childhood: American Bandstand
TV show from adulthood: This is Us
Food: Pizza and Chicken
Sports team: New York Mets
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? Television
Question for readers:
I’m always open for new ideas. Is there anything out there that you would like to read about that has yet to make the bookshelves?
Karen Cino has been writing since she was fourteen years old. She started her career by writing poetry, short stories and writing articles for her high school newspaper. Her daily walks down at the boardwalk are what gets her muse going. It clears her mind and helps her find realistic plot ideas and the characters boosting up her muse. Karen loves writing about local places that people can relate to.
Karen loves the summer, loves the beach. Her previous books were written and take place in various places across Staten Island. Karen relocated to Barnegat, New Jersey in 2015. She traded in the Staten Island Boardwalk for the shoreline in Long Beach Island. Her Camp Mirage Series takes place in Barnegat, NJ.
Karen is a member of Romance Writers of America, Women’s Fiction Writing Association and Liberty States Fiction Writers. She is also busy writing newsletters and newspaper articles for the 55 and over community she resides at.
Karen has two adult children, Michael Giordano who’s a singer, songwriter and producer and Nicole Giordano who works in Retail Management and is also a photographer. In 2014 Karen married John Gatti. Her husband is an actor, teacher and attorney.
After a traumatic event in her life, Connie Acosta heads down to the Jersey Shore to stay with her friend, Sara Mazza, who lives in a fifty-five and over community. For Connie, this is a temporary stop until she figures out what she wants to do.
Connie and Sara have a brief discussion and decide to start the baking business they had spoken about decades before. But things take a dramatic turn when Sara gets Connie involved in a mysterious adventure at the clubhouse.
“Hey, what happened to your cell phone?” Sara asked.
“I left it in the car and I’m too lazy to walk out to get it,” she said, sitting down at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in her hand.
“What’s going on up there?
“You can’t even imagine. I’ve been shunned by my friends. Teddy made a mess of things. He turned our lives upside down.” Connie lifted the mug to her lips taking a sip. “I can’t even go into Starbucks without people staring at me.”
“Screw everyone. Pack your suitcase and come stay with me for a couple of weeks while you figure out what you want to do.”
“That sounds great. But I don’t want people to think I’m running away.”
“You aren’t running away from anything. You did nothing. Teddy’s the one that caused this backlash, leaving you to pick up the pieces.”
“Come on down. I promise you if you stay here long enough you’ll be looking to stay. Whenever you come here, you’re only here for a couple of days and we’re usually out gallivanting, not giving you enough time to see what’s down here.”
“It’s an adult community. I guess it’s safe to say we’re not going to get ourselves into trouble.”
“You’ll be surprised.” Sara giggled. “I’m going to run food shopping to pick up a few things. Do you still eat that hummus crap?”
“Of course I do. But don’t go crazy. When I get there, we’ll go stock up.”
“Should I expect to see you in a couple of hours?” Sara excitedly asked.
“Let me pack a couple of things. I plan on going shopping in the boutiques in Long Beach Island.”
“I always am.”