Today we welcome Doreen McGettigan.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Doreen McGettigan: My life is SO busy and I love it! I work as a book/author/marketing consultant, have 5 kids and 13 grandchildren, am a member of Fem City Philadelphia (a national networking- organization,) teach writing/publishing at a local college, a member of the Press Club of Pa (w/national affiliation,) speak at writer’s conferences, business conferences and blogging conferences, present seminars for SCORE and counsel new business owners and am on the board of Family Promise (a national organization that assists homeless families.)
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Doreen McGettigan: My first book, Bristol boyz Stomp is the true story of the random road rage murder of my younger brother, musician David Albert. I wrote the book because the investigation and trial were unbelievable and because I never want him to be forgotten. My second book, The Stranger in My Recliner is the true story of Sophie, an 80-year-old homeless woman my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for 2 ½ years. I wrote the book because Sophie wanted everyone to know her story. Homelessness is a growing problem in this country and is also big business in bad ways. I also contributed a chapter to The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Guide to Publishing and Beyond. (it’s great and FREE on Amazon.)
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Doreen McGettigan: Realize Your Writing Dreams/ Actionable tips on Writing, Publishing, and Marketing is out on submission. Fingers crossed.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Doreen McGettigan: It was difficult writing about my little brother’s murder. Reliving the trauma and going over court documents I found shocking facts that I didn’t know. It was heartbreaking, but I felt compelled to tell his story.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Doreen McGettigan: I have a journalism background, so I tend to over research. I do not use Google as a source. I try to use real people, experts when possible and I love my library.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Doreen McGettigan: I admire anyone that finishes writing a book, it is an accomplishment. I read books for a living but for pleasure I enjoy Historic Fiction and Historic Romance. Nora Roberts is a guilty pleasure. Right now, I’m inspired by Facebook friends Kathleen Rodgers and Dina Santorelli.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Doreen McGettigan: My husband is the most supportive of my writing and by far my biggest fan. My grandchildren are also extremely supportive. They always ask what I’m working on and they read my blog.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Doreen McGettigan: I would say my ability to write the truth even if it doesn’t show me in a good light. I’m also pretty good at marketing.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Doreen McGettigan: I try to stick to a weekly word count of 5000 weather it happens in one day or over the week. When I’m busy with clients and their work my own writing lacks.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Doreen McGettigan: I would love to be writing a historical fiction series based on three families.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Doreen McGettigan: Write a business/marketing plan and a proposal for your book early on and hire a professional literary editor. That’s two but both are SO important.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Doreen McGettigan: I used to feel bad when people told me things like, “I was up all night reading your book.” “I couldn’t put it down.” Silly me.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Doreen McGettigan: This is an excerpt from Bristol Boyz Stomp:
When it was finally my turn to speak I walked to the front of the courtroom and faced the judge. I got through my letter. Tears stung my eyes, but I held them off. When I finished, Mel Kardos asked permission to question me. That had not happened to anybody else all day. I looked at Matt and he shook his head yes. The judge granted permission. I was shaking. He asked me where I worked. I was stunned. What was his point? I told the judge I was scared to say where I worked. I didn’t want any of them to know where I worked. I knew Kardos wanted me to say I worked at The Bucks County Courier Times. He was going to imply I had something to do with the press coverage of this case. It was ridiculous, I was lucky if I got a pen in that building let alone the power to drive the news. I turned to Kardos, smiled, sarcastically and answered, “I worked for a company called GPN.” He was visibly annoyed that he did not get the answer he wanted. GPN was Greater Philadelphia Newspapers, I did not lie. That was the logo on my paychecks.
I nervously looked over at Laurie Mason. She is the court/crimes writer for The Bucks County Courier Times. She even has her own little office in the basement of the courthouse. I thought that was so cool. She smiled. I ran up to her as soon as s it was over and asked her if I lied. She laughed, and said no. She said it was amazing that I came up with the perfect truthful answer.
I found out later from the prosecutor and the reporters that they had never, ever, heard someone questioned after giving an impact statement. It was another excuse to hate Mel Kardos. What an arrogant sob he was.
The publisher for my first two books went out of business so both books are in production with a new publisher and will be re-released early 2018. They are available in libraries and on Amazon.