As 2011 draws to a close, we’re thrilled to welcome back Deb Kim Stagliano to the Ball to talk about her new romantic suspense titled House of Cards available for all Amazon downloads!
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Move over Morelli and Ranger, here comes Mass State Trooper Strohmeyer! Bounty Hunter Stephanie Plum would think her life is easy compared to Kat Cavicchio’s. When a car crash with a New England Patriot lands her sister in the hospital, Kat has to move in with her brother-in-law to take care of her young niece and nephew – with autism.
The windfall accident settlement should turn around her financial woes and help the kids too, until the football player kicks his last field goal in a gruesome murder that lands Kat’s entire family in the cross hairs of a drug dealer who thinks she is hiding something from the football player that he wants. Can a sexy State Trooper throw a Hail Mary pass and save her life before the clock runs out on her life?
Q&A with author of House of Cards, Kim Stagliano
Question: Which books or movies influenced you in writing House of Cards?
KS: My life as a Mom of three girls with autism is pretty stressful (understatement of the year there) and so I read and watch movies for entertainment and laughter. I’m a big fan of the Farrelly Brothers comedies and love offbeat, irreverent humor. I created Kat Cavicchio in the hopes that readers will want to meet her again and again, like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, Rita Mae Brown’s Harry Haristeen and Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells.
Q: You wrote a Memoir called All I Can Handle I’m No Mother Teresa and you blog and write for magazines. Why did you decide to write fiction?
KS: So I can kill people! OK, maybe not. Fiction gave me the freedom to have a character say things that would sound dreadful coming from me, a real Mom. It’s fun to create a world where you control the events – good and bad – and write the ending you want. If only life were so easy.
Q: Is House of Cards an “autism book?”
No more than Jodi Picoult’s House Rules would be called an “Asperger’s book.” House of Cards is about the growth of Kat Cavicchio and the arc of her Italian American family’s life. Sophie and Dom are characters whose autism shapes them – they help Kat learn who she is and how to grow up.
Q: Is House of Cards “your” story?
No. It’s definitely fiction. Kat is flakier than I am (though my husband might disagree). She is terrified of responsibility and hasn’t found herself even at 30-something. I’m much more uptight and buttoned down than Kat. And I prefer dark haired men like my husband to her blond State Trooper. I drew from my experiences with my girls, Mia (17), Gianna (15) and Bella (11), but Kat’s story is hers alone.
Q: You were in advertising and marketing, then had the girls and stopped working to care for them after you learned they had autism. What made you decide to start writing?
KS: My husband Mark was out of work, writing gave me a chance to vent my frustrations on paper and was more socially acceptable than tippling sherry at 9am. I learned I have a “voice” that welcomes readers, makes them laugh, and entertains.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
KS: Friends, family, the news and favorite authors who’ve paved the road far ahead of me. As an author and Managing Editor of www.AgeofAutism.com, I’ve had the privilege of meeting parents all over the world, in person and through cyberspace. We share stories of the vagaries of raising kids on the spectrum; the joy, the love, the frustration, our hopes and dreams and even our fears. I incorporated those emotions into House of Cards.
Q: Anything you’d like readers to know about you?
KS: I drink far too much coffee, love kickboxing and am a prolific baker. I’m addicted to FaceBook and Twitter. I’m scared to death of what the future holds for my daughters – but keep moving forward. I’d love to have readers join me. And if you have a child on the spectrum, I’m always available to offer support at KimStagliano@gmail.com.
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Kim Stagliano is author of All I Can Handle I’m No Mother Teresa which is now in paperback with added content including recipes and a book club guide. She blogs for Huffington Post, TodayMoms, writes for Autism File Magazine and other national publications. She lives in CT with her family.