Contemporary women’s fiction author Paisley Ray is here today to tell us about Deep Fried and Pickled, the second book in The Rachael O'Brien Chronicles series.
Paisley will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and comment there, too.
Welcome, Paisley. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh when the Terrible Towel was introduced to cheer on the Steelers. As a kid, my family spent summers at the Carolina beaches. Hush puppies, sweet tea, and discovering sand dollars in the low-tide turned into intoxicating memories. I fell hard for all things southern. School, work, and family keep luring me back, and I’m still in love. The Rachael O’Brien Chronicles are my southern-soup of life-lessons inspired by the unforgettable people and places I hold dear.
Please tell us about your current release.
Deep Fried and Pickled is 80’s fiction. Attending college south of the Mason-Dixon line, partying, meeting guys and avoiding stray shotgun shells can be complicated if you’re Rachael O’Brien. Rachael “Raz” and her group of new friends from her freshman year at North Carolina College uncover an art scam. Rachael’s father owns a restoration business in Canton, Ohio, and she is a walking textbook of anything related to oil and canvas.
Managing to survive a drunken bar room brawl, falling from her bunk, being run over by a car, and a dorm hallmate trying to destroy her life, Rachael also has to deal with her parents separation, her feelings about it, and her dad's new girlfriend. She travels to New Bern, her roommate’s hometown to blow off some steam and hilarity ensues as she finds out what Southerners really do to party it up. She meets a crazy group of people in New Bern and quickly realizes not everyone is who they seem to be. Her love and knowledge of art puts her in a precarious position when she realizes there are art forgers among the people she is socializing with. Soon she has to do everything she can to clear her father's name.
What inspired you to write this book?
Connecting with some of my college girlfriends in New York. Reminiscing, we all laughed so hard and I said, “I gotta write a book.” Famous last words, right. Deep Fried and Pickled took me 5 years to complete. Just goes to show, stay at something long enough and you may surprise yourself.
Deep Fried and Pickled
By: Paisley Ray, Chapter 36 Excerpt
Dad had listened to what I told him. When I finished, he said, “Tell me again about the Baptism painting you saw in New Bern, and then the one in New Orleans.”
“The monogram signature, bottom right on both, not right center like the one in your shop. The circumference inside the curve on the C, on both, was tighter. The oils on the two here weren’t watered down. The colors were more vibrant. The backs of the canvases were off-white with some staining, thinner than the canvas board you worked on.”
“What makes you think the two pieces you saw were painted by the same person?” Dad asked.
“The scenery was identical, brushstrokes consistent, but the scale of the people varied, and there was one less person standing outside the church on the one in New Orleans. Four not five ladies in white.”
Dad blew a curt huff of air. “I’m going to make a phone call to my colleague at the New Orleans Museum of Art. I’ll ask if he knows of Lucky Jack Ray. Find out if he has a reputation. But Rachael, if no one’s complaining about being duped, there’s no case.”
Before we hung up, Dad asked me to mail him a copy of the invoice I’d nabbed and the Rolodex names I’d memorized.
“Masterpieces with a big price tag make people do crazy things. We don’t know who the players are and what they’re capable of. Don’t tell anyone what you know. And stay away from New Bern.”
What exciting story are you working on next?
The Rachael O’Brien Chronicles is a series and I’m currently working on book 3, Shelled and Shucked. Rachael and the girls get into lots more southern mishaps. I’ve finished the rough draft and am aiming for a July release. After that, I’ll start book 4, Toad in the Hole. Rachael and her grandmother go to England for the summer and run into a fair amount of Euro drama.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Writing sounds so stringent. I don’t know that I consider myself a writer. I mean I write, but it doesn’t feel like a job, in the 9 to 5 sense. I really enjoy playing with the written word, so much so that I secretly feel like I’m goofing off more than actually working. I just consider myself a storyteller, providing readers with some good ole fashion escapism.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing is my full time gig, besides being a mom, wife, cook, gardener, chief financial officer, dog walker, housekeeper, carpool driver and homework police officer. My day starts between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. when my pug makes crazy moaning, scratching and licking to wake me up. Once I’m up, I make lunches, drink tea, get dressed, check emails and get everyone moving out of the house. I usually take a two-mile run, clean up then get three to four hours of writing in before it’s time to run errands, pick up kids. I can usually squeak in an hour or so of writing before dinner and if I have power or am on a deadline, a bit more writing between 8 and 10 at night. By then my pug has settled around my feet and starts snoring – his signal that it’s time for bed.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
British Blend tea. I drink it all day. Hey, The English built an empire with it!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to design wallpaper. The closest I came was after college, working for an underwear company designing the patterns on boxers and briefs.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Here are ways to connect with me:
Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AAVKNV0
Thanks, Paisley. Happy touring! Readers, don’t forget about the Amazon gift card giveaway! Leave a comment for a chance to win.