PJ didn't give me a title--and though I've known PJ for a long time much of what she wrote here was new to me and I'm sure to most of you too. And she's got a new book out!
I’m no stranger to shifting gears professionally. My career has been full and varied. I’ve not been bored. And I’m not surprised to find myself a published author, but even though I first wrote Angel Killer more than fifteen years ago, it’s taken me a bit by surprise. Maybe in my mind I wanted it but never thought it would happen.
I’ve been (and still am) very satisfied in my life as a publicist helping other authors promote their books. I love what I do and I do it fairly well I think. I work for the best people in the world and thoroughly enjoy the variety of broadcast and print journalists with whom I’ve developed relationships over the world. I know many independent book sellers and book reviewers by name and by voice and absolutely adore the feeling I have when I browse a bookstore or library and know so many of the authors whose books fill the shelves. That I can say I know all these people is exciting and a comfortable feeling for me. The idea that I might ever count myself as one of these esteemed authors is audacious to me at this point. Maybe I’ll grow into it. Maybe not.
As a publicist, I’m definitely learning from the experience. I can so relate to those of my clients who hesitate to promote themselves, always feeling insecure and unsure. I don’t think it’ll change anything I encourage them to do, but hopefully it will make me a little more patient and encouraging.
As a person, I’m not sure that being published has made me better, but writing absolutely has. It started for me as a cathartic means of sorting the casework I handled as a psychologist and criminologist back in the day. Obviously in real life there’s no rewrite to make sure the final outcome is what you want. That fact is irrevocable and disturbing and can definitely interrupt sleep at night. Just like journaling is a tool that I strongly urge abuse and trauma victims to utilize, writing for me became a tool to help me sleep and deal with the nightmares that accompanied my job.
My protagonist, psychologist Shari Markham, worked for Child Protective Services and yet led a fairly happy and secluded life until her husband of 20 years died suddenly of cancer. Her sons were both grown and either married or in college and she found herself alone and vaguely dissatisfied in her early 40s. Tired of the bureaucracy in social work, she decided to follow a dream and get her PhD in counseling and also got her certification in law enforcement. She excelled in both, but soon finds that the reality doesn’t always live up to the dream.
I hope a lot of readers will come to know and appreciate Shari. I know that I do. Getting in her head and watching her work through the situations I confront her with is enlightening and growth inducing in me. As a psychologist, I recognize that. As a writer, I enjoy it. As a reader, I look for books, particularly series, that provoke the same response in me. Marilyn’s writing does that for me, as do several of the authors I know. I hope I can do that for you. I look forward to hearing what you think about my work!
If you need them:
In 1998, PJ Nunn founded BreakThrough Promotions, now a national public relations firm helping authors, mostly of mystery novels, publicize themselves and their work. The business is thriving and PJ is excited about the release of her first novel, Angel Killer. PJ lives with her husband some of their five children near Dallas, TX. Learn more at http://pjnunn.com.
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Twitter - @PJNunn
Thank you so much for being with me today, PJ--and for the kind words about my writing. I'm looking forward to reading Angel Killer.