Interview and Giveaway with Alice Loweecey, Ex-Nun and Author of FORCE OF HABIT – Part 2

Thus far into the interview, Alice has tolerated ruler jokes and my inquisitiveness about she transitioned from card-carrying nun to prostitute-playing civilian. For these details and more, see Part 1.  

Jan: You don’t seem to spend much time in self-doubt or in fretting about your worthiness as a writer. (Not to say you don’t work at craft and self-improvement; merely, that you don’t seem to dwell in angst.) Did you work it out as a nun, so that the final showdown around that issue was symbolized by jumping the wall? Were you a decisive person before the convent or did your time there contribute to your robustness?

Alice: I was the image of an introverted wallflower in high school. Acting doesn’t count, because you’re not “you” on stage. You’re a character. But nuns are expected to lead. So, at age 19 with 6 weeks of Methods in Teaching under my belt, I was teaching. It was the ultimate “sink or swim” — and we weren’t allowed to sink!

The convent is a crucible. Picture 95 women in a closed loop, all cycling together. (Apologies to any men reading this.) Also, the training is one long fishbowl experience. People want you to succeed, and could go overboard in their eagerness to “help” the training staff.

Wasn’t that a polite way of saying it? What it means is too many people had their noses in what was none of their business. Trust me when I say that only the strong survive. Thus, I angst like everyone else. I have my times of “My writing sucks rocks. I have no business trying to get published. I’m a big, honking fraud and I should stick to knitting.” But I learned years ago that dwelling in that for more than 24 hours can become a hamster wheel of suckitude. So I trained myself to shake it off by brute force if necessary. 

You are a plotter to the nth degree, as I understand. What method do you use? Did you begin this way or become converted?

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Interview and Giveaway with Alice Loweecey, Ex-Nun and Author of FORCE OF HABIT – Part 1

Tell people you’re interviewing an ex-nun on your blog and you get a certain kind of look because, let’s face it, that vocation comes with a ton of associations. We’ll explore some of them in my interview with Alice Loweecey, along with “incidental” chat about writing and books. ;)

If you notice my tone gets cheeky at times, it’s because I know Alice can handle it. In fact, I’m not sure there’s anything she can’t handle. Full-time work, motherhood, a moderatorship on Absolute Write… Alice juggles these roles and still has a take-no-prisoners mentality towards authordom. Perhaps that’s why Midnight Ink took a leap of faith – if you’ll forgive the pun – and signed her for a three-book mystery series.  

Alice’s first novel comes out in February and has earned early praise. Publisher’s Weekly called FORCE OF HABIT a “spirited debut” and said Alice’s “fresh take on crime fighting is a delight.” 

Welcome, Alice! Before we get started, I thought I’d give you a little something to help you feel at home:

So I don’t make any accidental faux pas, what are the other touchy subjects I need to avoid? No Sound of Music cracks, right? Anything else you consider out of line?

First of all, thank you for having me on your blog! And yes, please, no Sound of Music references. Sister Act, either. I still wield a mean ruler. Other than that, I can’t think of anything.

Would you like to fill our readers in on your novel’s premise?

Giulia Falcone is convinced she’s going to Hell. First, because she left the convent. Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying. Adjusting to life in the outside world isn’t easy. Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her. And despite a crush on her boss Frank Driscoll—a foul-mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop—Giulia is sure he’d never fall for an ex-nun.

Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man with immense wealth and an ego to match. He and his fiancée are getting disturbing “gifts” with messages based on biblical verses. When Giulia is drawn into the stalker’s twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank. No one imagines—least of all naïve Giulia—the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life.   

Your road to authordom took a circuitous route with a four-year stint in the convent. Guilia’s a former nun, and I can’t help being curious about how you two might be similar or divergent. For instance, it’s implied Guilia took the veil in part, at least, due to family pressure. Was that the case for you?

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