Thursday, February 26, 2015

Photoplay by Hallie Ephron (Q&A and GIVEAWAY!)

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Title: Photoplay Author: Hallie Ephron
Genre: Adult/Suspense & Thriller
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: Witness Impulse an imprint HarperCollins
Pages: 96


There were mirrors everywhere in Elenor Nichol’s house, reflecting the perfection of the glamorous movie star’s life. It would be a challenge, Duane Foley thought as he dropped his camera bag in the front hall, to keep the flash from bouncing off them, wreaking havoc with the carefully composed shots that he had been hired to take during the party. When a paparazzo in the 1960s attends a lavish Hollywood soiree at the home of the infamous Bunny Nichol he is nervous. He’s used to stolen photos on the street, not a paid high society gig. He’ll need to be speedy and discreet to snap good shots of guests such as Rock Hudson and Doris Day. But the night takes an unxpectedly dark turn and he finds himself documenting not the hijinks of drunken celebrities but rather, the aftermath of a crime scene...   

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About The Author

Hallie Ephron ( is the author of suspense novels. Her last three have all been Mary Higgins Clark Award finalists. Her newest, There Was an Old Woman is set in the Bronx. In it, a young woman and a very old woman connect across generations in spite of, or perhaps because, they are not related. Tess Gerritsen on TWAOL: “Superb suspense and unforgettable characters!” Washington Post book reviewer Maureen Corrigan says, "For readers who love Gotham and abhor gore, TWAOW is the perfect THRILLER LITE!" Take a sneak peek at the first two chapters" Hallie's Never Tell a Lie was made into the Lifetime Movie Network filmAnd Baby Will Fall. It, and Come and Find Me, were finalists for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. A book lover, she also wrote The Bibliophile's Devotional and 1001 Books for Every Mood and reviews crime fiction for the Boston Globe. Her Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock 'Em Dead with Style was nominated for Edgar and Anthony awards. She teaches writing at writing conferences. Hallie lives near Boston with her husband and has two fabulous daughters. She is the third of four writing Ephron sisters and grew up in Southern California.  

Can you tell us about yourself?
I grew up in a family of writers in a house filled with books. My parents were Hollywood screenwriters, and all three of my sisters all out of the chute writing. At 40 I was still insisting, “I’m the one who doesn’t write.” I was an elementary school teacher, a college professor, a high tech marketing copywriter, and more before I tried my hand at writing fiction. With my tenth novel (Night Night, Sleep Tight, Wm. Morrow 3/24/2015) and its prequel (Photoplay: A Story of Suspense, Witness Impulse 2/10/2015) I’ve been making up for lost time.

What do you do when you are not writing?
Worry about what I’m not writing. If I were better disciplined and stuck to a schedule, I’d be able to relax and not write at the same time.

Where do you get your ideas?
Almost all of my work is sparked by personal experience. My first attempt was all about a girl growing up in Beverly Hills in the late ‘50s, surrounded by celebrity and money… plus boys and sex and alcoholic parents.

I never finished the manuscript and, going back to it now, it’s pretty good. In fits and starts. But now that I know more or less what I’m doing, I can say unequivocally that it has no arc. There’s a reason for that: life is episodic and has no arc and I was writing stuff that really happened. To write a good story, I’ve learned, you have to take the fiction leap. In other words, make stuff up. Lie. Find an arc where there wasn’t one.

I went back to that first manuscript (Writers’ Rule #1: Never throw anything away) and used it as the jumping off point for both Night Night, Sleep Tight and Photoplay.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Who me? Of course. But I try to power through it. For inspiration, I keep a yellow sticky on my screen that says: Hold your nose and write. I’ve got a Keep Out! sign stuck to the inside of my office door, too. Sometimes it works and sometimes I just have to step away from the keyboard.

How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?
It looks ugly. I do much better when I have a deadline – then, yes, daily word counts.

What books did you read when you were kids? Any books you found inspiring?
I was a big reader, starting early. One book I remember vividly was “The Blue Castle” by L. M. Montgomery (author of “Anne of Green Gables”). My mother gave it to each of us when she thought we were ready for our first real novel.

It’s the story of 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, doomed to “hopeless old maidenhood.” Her only escape is her imaginary Blue Castle. When a doctor tells her she has a fatal heart condition and months to live, she walks out on her domineering family and proposes marriage to a rough and reclusive but dashing man. They marry and he whisks her off to his home where she has the run of the place except for a locked room which she’s not to enter.

 “Blubeard’s chamber,” she calls it. Then she says, “I don't care how many dead wives you have in that room, dear, as long as they are really and truly dead.” (“Dead as doornails,” he reassures her.)

I like to think that I'm channeling a bit of Valancy Stirling when I write suspense novels with ordinary young women who aren't afraid of what’s behind the locked door.

At what point in your life did you realize that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
When I turned in my third novel. Up to then I could have easily been convinced that I had no clue what I was doing. But after three in three years, it seemed like I could stop holding my breath.

Connect with Hallie 


10 individual promo codes for a free download of the book for an entire tour. Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive free download.


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