“Afraid of Her Shadow” by Carol Maloney Scott
Blurb: Forty something, self-proclaimed cougar, Rebecca is committed only to her cats and her career. Her veteran single girl lifestyle has been peaceful and happy – that is until she started dating age-appropriate Steve, an entomology professor with a sweet smile and demeanor to match. Who knew an insect scientist could be so appealing?
The problem? Steve is a widower with baggage to spare. Memories of his late wife fill his home. Smiling photos and jars of bugs serve as constant reminders of Steve’s continued attachment to his dearly departed wife, Noreen, who shared his passion for creepy crawlies!
Now that Rebecca is facing her commitment phobia by moving in with Steve, she is becoming more unhinged. Behaving more like her zany friends than her level-headed self, she burns her butt at the tanning salon, crashes on energy drinks, and even loses a hamster. Throw into the mix a few delusional relatives, a sarcastic teenager, and a fluffy dog who sheds a new dog every day, and Rebecca doesn’t recognize her old self.
And if that isn’t enough to push her over the edge, her smokin’ hot ex returns, reminding her of a simpler time with a man who carries no more baggage than a wallet.
Steve is an Entomology professor at the state university downtown. Yes, I am dating a nerdy science guy. Apparently, there are a handful of students who are passionate about bugs, or “insect biology.” I took Bio in ninth grade and I tried to be sick as much as possible during the bug study unit. Steve’s wife, Noreen was a high school Biology teacher. The love of creepy crawlies was something they apparently had in common. Something I can’t give him.
“My ass isn’t little anymore, and I love your stories, except when you start to explain about the claustrophobic foundation and the genital grabbers.” My eyes cross when he brings up these topics, but it is an awesome insomnia treatment, especially when coupled with hair caressing. I just love having my head… “What did you say?”
Steve is practically doubled over in his chair. “Love, its claustral foundation and genital claspers.”
I look down and bite my lip. “Oh. Honestly, I don’t even see how the first one is different. Don’t the termite king and queen hide and make babies by feeding off their fat or something? And I know some other bug grabs its mate during sex. Claspers, grabbers, close enough.”
He rubs his eyes beneath his glasses and smiles. “Hey, there’s something I want to tell you.” Steve gently places his wine glass on the table and rolls the stem between his fingers.
My breath catches just in time for the waitress to appear with our food and all sorts of enthusiasm. Steve told her it was our anniversary so she is hamming it up. I want her to drop the crabs (which look like big bugs) and run, so I can hear this big announcement. He doesn’t have a little velvet box in…?
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Describe your writing style in five words: Witty. Fresh. Real. Honest. Brave.
What made you want to be an author? As a little girl I wrote non-stop, churning out story after story. Then it all stopped in adolescence – so I had writer’s block for about 30 years.
Now the flood gates have opened, and the universe has unplugged my creative blockage – and the words are flying out of me. In the car – I have to pull off the road. In the shower – I need waterproof paper. In bed – I dream of new stories and have to sleep with my iPhone and it’s many lists.
So that bitch, Writer’s Block, is now history. The words are flowing like a waterfall or the liquor at an Irish wedding. I am no longer expecting any dry days ahead, now that I have rediscovered my first love.
I write because I can’t stop. I love it.
Hard/paperback or eBooks? I love the feel of a real book in my hands, and I especially love to see many books on my shelves. Books are a beautiful decorative home accessory. But I have embraced the Kindle as well. The convenience and the lower cost of e-books have made it impossible to resist.
Do you have any writing rituals? I like to have a drink nearby, and I write better when no one is home. Even if my husband or son are not in my space, just knowing I might be interrupted at any moment messes with my creative flow. I would greatly benefit from a solitary writer’s retreat weekend every now and then.
Salty or sweet? Hmm. I love those candy bars with the peanuts. Payday, that’s what they’re called. They are the perfect combination of both tastes. However, my sweet tooth will always win out!
Where do you get ideas for your books? My books are inspired by real life events, but much of the stories come out of my never ending imagination. I can’t stop thinking of ideas. Of course I don’t sleep very well and stare into space a lot.
If you could meet any other author, who would it be? I would like to meet Laurie Notaro. Her hilarious stories of her own life, as well as her fiction, have inspired me to write. And I know I would have a fabulous time hanging out with her, talking about dogs and stupid things we’ve both done – two of her favorite things that I share.
What time of day do you seem to work best? I am not a morning person. I prefer to sleep through morning and pretend it never happened. Afternoons are best for me, or early evening. Too late in the evening my creativity wanes again.
What must every author have? A private writing space decorated with their favorite things. A good quality computer. Pretty pens – I have a wiener dog pen that makes my chuckle. Colorful notebooks. Oh, and something inspiring. I have a Wonder Woman stuffed doll from the Hallmark store. Oh, and good lighting. I can’t see a damn thing anymore.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself with at least 10-15 books published, and a revenue stream that will allow me to quit my day job. I also see myself blogging regularly and traveling to promote my books.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t skimp on quality, whether it be in editing, cover design, formatting, advertising, etc. Pay the pros and invest in your business. You are investing in yourself.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? Book 3 of my Rom-Com on the Edge series is due out in January! The first draft is complete and I am hard at work on the polishing before it goes to my editor for his suggestions. It’s called The Juggling Act and is the continuation of Claire’s story from There Are No Men, my first book in the series.
My first two books, There Are No Men and Afraid of Her Shadow were told in first person, present tense from a single character’s point of view. The Juggling Act mixes it up a bit and will be narrated in first person present tense, but from the point of view of four characters. It was great fun to get into the heads of the other characters, and I hope readers will enjoy a different twist on my existing story line.
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About the author: Carol Maloney Scott, author of the Rom-Com on the Edge series, is a frazzled new bride and wiener dog fanatic. Recently unearthing a childhood passion for writing, she can once again be seen carrying around a notebook and staring into space. Her stories are witty, fresh and real, just like life.