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|Our Exclusive Interview with
Award Winning Starr Gardinier Reina
A paralegal by day, she’s an author by night. Apart from being an award winning author for her short story "Cut", Reina has appeared in a blaze and
made her mark on the literary world with her Ivanovich Series. The first is “In the Name of Revenge”, the second, “Deadly Decisions” and the third,
"One Major Mistake" was released July 10, 2012. Having studied and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Literature/Creative Writing, she has found
her unique style and is known for her works' distinctive voice, making every character stand out.
Reina is the artistic creator of the Ivanovich series featuring Pavel Ivanovich. Flanking Ivanovich's side in "Deadly Decisions" is Teresa Mancini,
who vies with Ivanovich for readers' attention. According to J.M. LeDuc, who was "raised in an Italian family", Teresa "is perfect...like all your
characters". Reina is also the author of young adult novella "Cruel Whispers" and its sequel novel "Cruel Past".
Reina is an executive editor for Suspense Magazine. She has been interviewed in the newspaper and on the radio with relation to her fiction work.
She has been a co-host on Suspense Radio.
Reina is a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW) and of Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles Chapter and nationally. She has won three Best
Speaker awards as well as Best Evaluator at the Voice Ambassadors chapter of Toastmasters. She has always been active in events. As co-chair and
main coordinator for the West Coast Author Premiere, she arranged the weekend-long event to help authors from all over network, learn and share
their work with the public. Reina has also been instrumental in compiling authors and planning a local author event at Barnes and Noble in Ventura,
California along with the store’s event manager.
Please read more about Starr at www.QueenWriter.com or visit her blog at www.qw-blog.blogspot.com.
Suspense Magazine (S. MAG.): Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration?
Starr Gardinier Reina (SGA): My biggest inspirations are my mother, God rest her soul, who encouraged me to follow my passion for writing
and my father, also deceased, who led me into the world of the written word. There are others who have inspired me as well; including but not
limited to: my husband Phillip, who is always supportive, and other friends and family.
S. MAG.: What is your all-time favorite book?
SGA: To this I must answer in the plural as there are many. All of the Harry Potter books are just a few. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum
series has always been a favorite, but I fear that series should have stopped at Seven.
S. MAG.: How long do you normally take to research your book?
SGA: This depends on what I am writing. For instance, in my 2nd novel of the Salina series Cruel Past, I researched different aspects and
locations of the towns in New York that most events occurred in. That research took quite some time. My third book “In the Name of Revenge”
was hardly any research at all outside of speaking to sergeants and detectives to determine accuracy on scenes. It is centered in cities of California,
which I know well.
If you are speaking of marketing research, that is different. Questions are asked, such as: Is there a market for what I'm writing? What type of
people would most read what I'm writing? etc. This is a different type of research altogether and takes a lot of time; again, depending on the type of
book that is being written.
S. MAG.: What is on your Ipod now?
SGA: Various music genres. I have my step-son's band--Simple Citizens--on there as well as Madonna, Credence Clearwater, etc. I also now
have plenty of music from the 50s because I hosted a party for my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday and it was a sock hop theme.
S. MAG.: Do you have any superstitions when you write, little quirks, etc? Superstitions?
SGA: Yes. I don't tell anyone (except my editor and agent) what the book is about and especially, what the title is. The only thing I will say is the
genre. I feel that if I tell them, by the end of the novel it could all change anyway. As most writers have experienced, the ideas you begin with can
completely change when the characters begin to "talk" to you.
Quirks? Yes. Oddly enough, if someone is near my computer screen and my novel is opened, I'll shut my monitor off. It's not like that person is
actually going to read it or know anything about it, it's just I don't want to take that chance. Silly, I know.
S. MAG.: If you could solve any mystery for yourself, what would it be?
SGA: The mystery of afterlife. I am not referring to God himself as, unless you’re an atheist or agnostic, you believe God exists, nor do I mean
reincarnation. I am speaking of the premise that once you are gone and if it's God's will, you can come back to "see" those you left behind that are
grieving and watch over them. I've had this experience and some have tried to convince me that it probably was just a dream, but I feel there was
more to it. Besides, dreams are not just dreams.
S. MAG.: If you could talk to any person, Alive or Dead, for one hour, who would it be?
SGA: Most definitely my mother. I miss her terribly. But I fear one hour wouldn’t be enough. Greedy, huh?
S. MAG.: I love to hear stories from authors about their first published book, how did you get it done?
SGA: That is a long story. To keep it short, I'll reiterate what I've spoken about before: when I was about fourteen years old, my father shared
with me his passion for reading. I began to read and then decided that I could write a mystery too. I tried and wrote about four chapters. I showed
my father; sitting there with apprehension and excitement while he read my works. He gave me a lecture on plagiarism.
Those were my words and what he said crushed me. I didn't write again until I was an adult. By then my father passed away and I showed it to
my mother. She encouraged me to continue as she felt I had talent. However, it still took until after she passed away for me to get enough courage to
complete the manuscript I was working on and submit it. I was accepted (I was so excited!) and I dedicated my first, second and third novels to my
mother and will more than likely continue to do so.
The actual act of publication and how it all came about is a bit different. When I received my letter of acceptance for my first novel, I was pretty
naïve about the entire industry. If only I’d known then what I know now… The publishing company I went with is a print on demand. I didn’t
have to pay them, but trust me…they didn’t ‘pay’ me either.
S. MAG.: What future plans can you tell us about?
SGA: Professionally, I have a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak. Currently, I work full time as a paralegal, which certainly keeps me busy. I
participate in book signings when I can. I have just about completed my bachelor's degree in literature/creative writing. I have completed my third
manuscript (First in the Ivanovich Series) and forth manuscript (Second in the Ivanovich Series). The fourth is in the hands of the Cliffhanger's
Literary Agency as we speak and my third has just been released on amazon.com! I am co-authoring another novel with a very talented author and
am very excited about the completion and release of that work. I have also begun a paranormal novel and the Third book in the Ivanovich Series.
I have written a few short stories, which I hope to include in a book of short stories once I write enough of them. I would also like to teach on
writing and the different tools and techniques of the craft to help new, up-and-coming authors.
As if all that isn’t enough, I contribute articles and stories to Suspense Magazine and am a co-owner of ARR Editing.
S. MAG.: When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
SGA: Not that I have a lot of time for fun! But when I do, I love to scrapbook. I've done several and many people have commissioned me to do
them professionally in the past. I am currently only scrapbooking for myself now. I am a creative person and when I'm not "creating" a fiction
novel, I like to create and preserve memories.
|PRAISE FOR "IN THE NAME OF REVENGE"
“A new star has arrived in the writing world bringing readers a gripping tale peppered with unexpected bits of
humor as the cast of characters and twisted turns unfold.”
“The cast of characters in this are wonderfully written...the twists and turns keep you wondering how this
hypnotic read will end!”
—Terri Ann Armstrong, Author of “Morning Menace”
“The makings of a modern day hero.”
—P.J. Lawton, Author of “Lethal Option”
"This is not your average “organized crime drama.” There are plots within plots here, and the ending will
absolutely blow you away! Surprisingly, humor plays a vital role in the adventures of the main character. This
element, above all others, gave Reina’s story depth and believability. Like Puzo, I see great works ahead for this
—Donald Allen Kirch, Author of “Manchester House”
A crime-driven novel interwoven with drama, suspense, wit and edge-of-your-seat action.
Trouble and misery can be part of life's ordeals, but for Ivanovich and Mancini they are everyday concerns. After
his debacle of a life in “In the Name of Revenge”, Pavel Ivanovich tries to find a new direction. Instead, his days
are upended with the constant turmoil of drama with Teresa Mancini—the spoiled daughter of a mob boss,
wanna-be agent and Pavel's girlfriend—thrown in the mix. Bullets fly, bombs explode and people get hurt.
Ivanovich's existence is an entire commotion of murder and mayhem, including a near-death experience and
many other, narrow escapes while Mancini tries to become involved waist-deep in every one of Pavel’s cases.
"ONE MAJOR MISTAKE"
Despite having brought down two major crime families, Pavel’s life is still filled with problems. The two
bright things in his world: Teresa Mancini, his fiancée, who, on a good day, has the ability to bring him
to his knees and his daughter Rita Grace, a result of a whirlwind affair before he fell in love with Teresa.
Once again, murder is the prime evil propelling Pavel into his latest case. After the murder of his
partner and friend Nick Haxton’s ex-wife Brenda, Pavel leads a team to dethrone Guillermo Diaz, the
leader of a drug gang believed to be responsible for Brenda’s death. Detective Danni Stone joins the
local agency. Stone knows Diaz on the most intimate of levels, and Pavel views this as suspicious.
As if Pavel can take anymore, Teresa receives a substantially large check from an anonymous
benefactor, and insists that Pavel deal with it while she decides how to spend it. But not before she uses
her iron-willed determination to find out who the benefactor is even if it means breaking into her
attorney’s office looking for answers. Being thrown in jail would stop any ordinary woman, but
apparently not Teresa.
Join Pavel as he wades through harrowing situations, suspects aplenty and suspense in this third
thrilling installment of the Ivanovich Series.