Lisa Pell's Blog

October 6, 2016

Colleagues presented me with the Prince Memorial Lifetime Achievement in Purple award during our annual Turkey Awards ceremony. Today, I launch Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple. Kirkus says it's "enormously fun to read" and it was rated 5 Stars by Foreward. https://thesuspenseisthrillingme.com/ posted an excerpt this morning. And Galaxy Express 2.0 said "Author Lisa Pell has a new release today that may appeal to readers who enjoy quirky, humorous, and outside-of-the-box sci-fi romances," as well as Questions and Answers with me. http://tge.scifiromancequarterly.org/...

Hope you will Rock the #Purple and check these out. More information is available at www.lisapell.com
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Published on October 06, 2016 09:33 • 61 views • Tags: book, ebook, fiction, mystery, novel, purple, romance, sciencefiction, scifi, womenwriters

September 17, 2016

In her latest book, Pell (Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?, 2012) graduates from romantic satire to sci-fi (with a healthy dose of romantic satire). Amethyst Adele “Addy” McCrory is a lonely, brilliant, brassy ex–TV reporter with a murder rap and an appointment with an electric chair named Old Sparkey. Prior to the gunplay that landed her behind bars, Addy and a hunky lawyer named Sean Michael O’Malibul had shared “heart-pumping lust, combined with mind-melding intellect.” But all is not right in their world in 2503 “on a planet called Malaprop, strikingly similar to a planet Malapropians would come to know through garbled, distorted radio transmissions as Hearth.” Malaprop is a backward world, full of sideways slogans, a retrograde justice system, tribes at war, and a scarifying history. It is a world, in other words, very much like Earth. There, Addy muses—for roughly 100 pages—on the tangled histories of Malaprop and Hearth (and Hearth’s holy book, an amusingly and disturbingly garbled version of Earth’s own sacred texts called The Word: The Book of Nirvana, a popular recording of which was first performed by “the punkish unfamiliar young apostle Kurt”). As with most histories, alternative histories, or historical satires, details pile up here but characters don’t stick around. Once readers reach the present, roughly halfway through the novel, they learn why Addy has been imprisoned. They are told of Mandy MacBeth, she of the “double chin that collapsed into her neck and could flatten the sex drive of any normal healthy male,” her persecution of Addy, her lust for Sean, and the comeuppance she eventually receives. The novel is enormously fun to read, filled with jokes and wry asides about the recognizable madness of a planet so like Earth. The levels of reality are so tangled here that readers trying to puzzle out just what happens at the end, when Addy may or may not have the chance at a new life, may be mildly frustrated by the deliberate ambiguity of the closing pages. But for Pell, plot was never the point: this is a wide-ranging satire, not a narrowly focused one, and the pleasure of the author’s voice—combined with the bounty of her imagination—makes the moments reading this book feel like time well spent.

A poignant parody of media blather, modern romance, and mangled justice, with sci-fi accents.
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Published on September 17, 2016 09:35 • 13 views • Tags: book, fiction, novel, purple, romance, sciencefiction, scifi

September 10, 2016

By Daniel Thacker

This is a thought-provoking science fiction novel full of mystery and excitement.

In her fascinating and haunting science fiction novel, Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple, Lisa Pell examines the folly of man through the eyes of a woman on death row, with the help of some strange radio transmissions from a parallel universe.

The action takes place on the planet Malaprop, which is similar to Earth, but with various degrees of difference in its people, places, things, and ideas. The main character, Addy, is an intelligent and pragmatic woman who finds love where she least expects it—with her next-door neighbor. They marry after a whirlwind romance. However, the catalyst that brought them together will also tear them apart. Addy finds herself on death row, and with nothing but time on her hands, she learns the history of Malaprop by watching history programs and reading.

Pell provides insightful, witty, and biting commentary of Malaprop’s history, laws, and social conditions. For example, she observes how different parallel Earths interpret sacred texts: “All these different versions, some slightly altering a single nuance to dramatically change the meaning of a particular commandment, admonition, or parable, like a hundred hues of prose.” The analysis of a parallel universe—from the perspective of a planet that is, in turn, taking its cues from another parallel universe—provides a bird’s-eye view that makes it easy to discern the good from the bad.

On both a macro and a micro level, Pell masterfully demonstrates humanity’s need for narratives to explain where we came from and where we’re going. On death row, Addy goes to a place in her mind where she can survive her current realities: “She could explore the cosmos and put thought together in amusing amalgamations of whimsy, hope, and maybe even a little healthy revenge to keep her sanity. Fantasy was becoming a way of life.” Addy is an endearing character whose growth is enabled by her studies and the prisoners she meets along her journey.

Through Addy’s encounters with other prisoners, she copes with the crushing gravity of her situation. She is able to find humor, and to give and receive sympathy. These interactions move the character development and the plot forward. Some are funny, while others are heartbreaking and maddening, but all of them give clues and glimpses into Addy’s psyche and the strange parallel universe in which the story is set.

Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple is a thought-provoking science fiction novel that is full of mystery and excitement.
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Published on September 10, 2016 14:44 • 10 views • Tags: fiction, novel, purple, sciencefiction, scifi

August 28, 2016

With the announcement last week of the documented discovery of Proxima b, a rocky planet similar in size and temperature to Earth in the so-called Goldilocks Zone of life-bearing planets, now seen orbiting the star Proxima Centauri only 4.5 light years from our solar system, you have to wonder what some otherworldly planetary bears out there might be thinking.

Could they be feasting on our porridge of audio, video, and data transmissions being slurped up through space junk, gravity-sucking black holes, rampant radiation, and a myriad of other distorting
phenomena?

Or, are our meanderings perceived as foreboding famine?

With the current state of our political discourse and various violent upheavals, do you think the bears would hide in the woods at the sight of us? Even though they likely won’t see what’s been happening here for another 4.5 years? (Well, unless they’ve mastered time warps to see faster than the speed of light.)

And how might Earth have been influenced over the millennia by potential contacts with other worlds we might not yet comprehend? As the late John Lennon said, we all shine on, but I would add, some of us possibly more brightly and less convoluted than others. Imagine how a few seemingly minor twists and turns of fate could change the course of history across the universe.

The theme of our impact on the universe and its unknown impacts on us is something that has been on my mind for quite some time, since I began writing Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple , scheduled for release on October 6, 2016, by Black Rose Writing. It’s mystery, murder, and love in a parallel universe. The action takes place on a planet called Malaprop, strikingly similar to Earth, but with a few twists and many Dystortions in translations of data transmissions from a planet known as Hearth. Glitched up radio communications are bombarding Malaprop - a world where fearful national security analysts, politicians, and P.R. flacks re-write history and distort facts to recreate their reality in Hearth's image. The Dystortions in those radio communications sometimes appear to twist words backwards and create opposite meanings, but maybe also reveal underlying truths.

There's just enough good science and wacked-out myth-busting to make the story hauntingly credible - and enough saucy romance to keep things hot. It's much warmer and more colorful than any shades of grey. Hope you will check it out. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble at www.lisapell.com.
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Published on August 28, 2016 08:26 • 250 views • Tags: fiction, novel, sciencefiction, scifi, space

September 29, 2014

Yesterday I attended the memorial service of the father of a friend who is a Sikh. It was a fascinating, mesmerizing ceremony, one deserving of an admirable man I had met, but did not know well – except he had made a memorable impression on me several years ago with his vibrant intellect and sense of humor.

There was the chanting in Punjabi I could not understand, but feel. The drums were reminiscent of “Within You, Without You,” from The Beatles - so rhythmically soothing and pulsating with a transcendental energy. Significant time to soak in the vibrations and meditate was part of the ceremony.

Before entering the non-denominational funeral home chapel, we had removed our shoes and covered our heads in respect. We placed white rose petals in the casket. Later, the langar communal feast at the Sikh temple reminded us of our equality in the universe as we sat cross-legged on elegant oriental rugs. And then, there was the prayer service, with observers in the lotus position on grander carpets, which offered a new perspective on worship to me.

I am a Christian. But this was one of the more memorable memorial services I’ve ever attended – likely since I’d never before attended a non-Judeo-Christian service. I was thankful I was encouraged to abandon my spike-heeled dress shoes, and adjusted to sitting cross-legged in the skirt of a power dress suit.

As many were photographing the event, I asked if it would be appropriate for me to take a few pictures with my smartphone after the speaking portions of the service. I was welcomed to do so. Previously, a couple years after 9/11, a Sikh leader had offered me a replica of the treasured Sikh Khanda symbol for a holiday party my husband and I were hosting. He said he wanted to spread the word about Sikhism. Too many people were confusing his religion with terrorists, and too many people were taking out their anger against extremists on Sikhs, who are not Muslims. Sikhs, based in Punjab, where they constitute a majority of the population, have battled Muslims in Pakistan and Hindus in India for generations.

Later that evening I spoke about the memorial service I had attended with some Christian friends who are reasonably well-educated. I was asked of the Sikhs – “Oh, are they Sunni or Shi’ite?” I was disappointed. In this information overload world of snap assessments, my how we are so attuned to judge by appearances – and most Muslims do not regularly wear turbans. Those who do wear a noticeably different style of headgear: a flat circular wrap with a cap underneath, sometimes with an end hanging loose. Sikh turbans are uniquely peaked. I briefly explained some history about the Sikhs.

Reflecting on the ripple effects of having met the late Mr. D and to expound a bit on his legacy of tolerance and understanding, one might quote the immortal words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

I’m not naïve enough to think everyone getting along in my lifetime is realistic. With so much arrogance, narrow-mindedness, ignorance, stupidity, and bigotry in the world, sometimes you have to fight for your beliefs and livelihood. Extremists among many religions and political parties can’t abide by tolerance of others’ beliefs and must be challenged when they attempt to force their beliefs on the rest of us, using any excuse, manipulation, or lie to oppress or bully.

But don’t blame the Sikhs, known for accepting the beliefs of others as long as they’re not expected to abandon theirs. Several news stories appeared today in Europe and Australia noting Sikhs have been the targets of violence and hateful speech as anti-Muslim tensions rise. That sort of jingoist mob rule seeking punishment of those viewed as “different” is no better than what the radical Muslims are practicing. By the way, a word here to say innocent Muslims also should not be demonized. Many law-abiding, respectful, tolerant Muslims in fear of their lives also are fighting extremists and outlaws.

Peace be with you Mr. D, your family, and all the world.
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Published on September 29, 2014 13:41 • 41 views

December 10, 2012

This is a story many of us have been curious about for decades, and the telling of it does not disappoint. "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" is one of the most moving books I’ve read in years. In a generally non-judgmental, non-political, just the facts ma’am style, Clint Hill, Secret Service agent to the late First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, tells of his four years as her bodyguard, including that fateful day in Dallas. In case you don’t remember or were not alive at the time, he's the one who jumped up on the back of the open convertible limousine when President Kennedy was shot to attempt to save him and protect the First Lady as she reached back to grab a piece of her husband’s head.

The book provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Mrs. Kennedy, her children, and the late President during the White House years, with many poignant anecdotes portending events to come. Seeing the Kennedys as normal people is somewhat startling as you soak in the simplicity and naturalness of details about these mythical giants of the time – many priceless nuggets surrounding the legends are respectfully revealed, but with the class of a gentleman, not someone spinning tawdry tales to titillate. We all pretty much know how the stories end, but the clues leading up to so many iconic events paint a colorful mosaic of a family destined to a tragic sphere of royalty living in a different dimension than most us.

I had not realized just how much time Mrs. Kennedy spent away from the White House during those years, in Hyannis Port, at Hammersmith Farm, Palm Beach, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, India, Pakistan, etc. The genuine, but professional affection that grew between Mrs. Kennedy and Mr. Hill was touching, especially when contemplating how he was sacrificing so much time from his own family as he was there for her and her children, including the birth of John Jr. and the birth and death of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy. Mr. Hill has said in interviews he finally publicly shared his personal memories in part because he was tired of reading obviously exaggerated negative stories about the Kennedys written by people who weren’t there to see the whole picture, and who apparently were intoxicated with fame and money. His co-author, Lisa McCubbin, and others convinced Mr. Hill his story was important history that needed to be told, and they were right.

It’s easy to breeze through the wizened reflections on the joy of the Kennedy White House years as seen by a Secret Service agent now 80-years-old who, having spent time as a child in an orphanage in North Dakota, could marvel at the contrasts in the world experienced by the upper crust of society. His observations of the lifestyles of the rich and famous, all these people most of us only know through our voyeuristic reading, are incisive.

But Clint Hill could not tell his story without speaking of the event most of us know him for – the event that still haunts him.

I was a four-year-old living in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia on November 22, 1963. Like anyone alive and sentient at the time, I remember the trauma of the event – my mother, a rural school teacher, arriving home early that Friday, sobbing almost uncontrollably – like nothing I had ever seen. This registered as a very big deal in my little toddler mind. We were moving that weekend. I’ll never forget the eerie silence on the road the next day, Saturday, moving day, and the black and white television set being rushed into the house to be plugged in before any other items were unloaded. We were transfixed in front of the television for four days. I remember watching film after film of President Kennedy’s speeches, and marveling at all those honor guards carrying the casket in a slow cadence to the muffled drums that pounded sadness into your entire being. There was young John’s heartbreaking salute. At that time I resembled Caroline, not quite two years older than me. My mom and I held each other especially tight as we watched Caroline and her mother kissing the flag draped coffin.

On Sunday, my mom walked into the kitchen to refill a cup of coffee and Lee Harvey Oswald was shot on live television. I yelled, “Mommy, Oswald’s been shot.” She couldn’t quite believe me until it seemed hours later when the network was able to replay the film. Those were the early days of TV before instant replay.

Back in 1991, the late William Strauss, author of the book "Generations," wrote about how seminal events impact generations of people in momentous ways many of us might not realize. He noted the assassination of President Kennedy was a key marker in determining generational traits. Those who could remember that day would internalize a sense of shattered optimism and innocence, especially those at an impressionable, formative age. President Kennedy had done so much to provide hope to people in Appalachia; his expansion of President Eisenhower’s program to build interstate highways had provided a job for my dad.

For years I was obsessed with the Kennedy assassination, and read just about every conspiracy book out there. Suggesting a destiny later involving television news, in my pre-school years I used to set up a small card table and two tiny chairs to perform a nightly newscast for visitors. After rustling a few papers at my “anchor” desk, I would say “President Kennedy was shot today. Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Good Night, Chet.” My two-year-old sister sitting next to me would then say, “Good Night, David.” I used to draw pictures of JFK to illustrate my newscast. There never would be another news story as big as that one, although I did finish "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" on December 8, the anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, and am still a major Beatles fan. Kennedys, Beatles, that was the 1960s for me in my childhood cocoon.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Hill and speaking with him briefly at the National Press Club Book Fair and Author’s Night in November 2012. I will treasure the book he autographed for me. This memento could not compare with the construction paper “medal” President Kennedy hand-sketched for Mr. Hill after a 50 mile hike, but no one could match JFK’s wit and style.

"Mrs. Kennedy and Me" brought back painful memories of a shared world experience and renewed an empathy and sense of wonder about those who experienced the events first-hand, people who many of us feel we have read so much about we surely by now know just about everything about them, but then we remember we never really can know them in a personal sense. Ah, the nature of observing celebrity. Mr. Hill humanized Jackie Kennedy like no one else quite has been able to do to date. He was there for the moments she didn’t want to talk about to most people. They shared a bond of experience no one else ever will fully comprehend, although Mr. Hill has brought us much closer to an understanding of what was lost in November of 1963.

Oddly, perhaps, "Mrs. Kennedy and Me" brought a sense of peace about the matter of Camelot to me. I hope the catharsis of writing the book also has brought peace to Mr. Hill.

Thank you, Mr. Hill.
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Published on December 10, 2012 20:20 • 114 views • Tags: appalachia, assassination, author, book, clint-hill, generations, jackie, kennedy, onassis, secret-service

October 7, 2012

I’ve been at a loss for words and in somewhat of a state of shock for several days now about Facebook and how our lives have changed as a result of this incredible social phenomenon. Something big happened on my newsfeed Thursday night and Facebook never will be the same for me again.

A large community of us learned the D.C. police were looking for family members of a Facebook friend. “If u are a family member of Andrew please call detective _______ at 202-###-###.” There was an eerie, unsettling feel to this out-of-place-looking post. I saw this status update from Andrew’s wall around 10 p.m. as I made what I thought would be a quick check of my Facebook page before heading to bed on a work night. At first, I wondered if the message with a “u” instead of “you” spelled out were some sort of identity-theft scam or a practical joke – Andrew was an excellent writer who shared a funny signboard bemoaning bad grammar from my site the day before. The detective’s name was not capitalized. Was this for real?

There had been more than 70 comments posted within two hours, so I clicked into the comments. Several writers were suspicious of the detective’s post because of the apparently rushed grammar and the thought of a police detective using only our friend’s first name, not his full official name. This just didn’t look “official.” Then a couple of friends began calling local hospitals. Hospital operators did not have our friend listed anywhere, but some wondered if the hospitals might be trying to limit information to family only. A mutual friend finally called the number listed in our missing friend’s status update. We learned the post came from the D.C. homicide squad.

Yikes! An uneasy queasiness set in and I shed a few tears wondering if my friend, a D.C. cab driver, had been shot in a robbery. Then, someone linked a story about a D.C. townhouse fire that was published shortly before the detective post. A man had died and two others reportedly escaped, one might have been missing. The timing was suspicious. What had happened to Andrew? There were so many inquiring minds wanting to know.

After midnight we learned our friend’s sister had been found. The D.C. police were on the way to her house. Many of us remarked this did not look good, but a faint hope remained; maybe Andrew was in the hospital with a serious injury after some sort of horrible event where someone, but not necessarily Andrew, had been killed. Our friend couldn’t be dead. He had posted several hysterically funny jokes earlier in the day. Something was wrong, but surely Andrew couldn’t be gone.

Early Friday morning, a nephew confirmed our friend had died. This man my age, 53, was changing a flat tire on his cab, had a heart attack, and died before reaching the hospital. Just a few months ago, another guy we went to college with unexpectedly died of a heart attack in his car while stopped at a traffic light. You know you are getting old when your contemporaries start dying of heart attacks.

My message box was now flagged. It was a woman from Andrew’s cab company. I called and spoke with her for a few minutes before leaving for work. We decided to become Facebook friends.

Andrew Cseplo was one of the funniest people on Facebook. I looked forward to his posts every evening. So many priceless photos and jokes were made more amusing by his brief, to the point commentary. Andrew had a way of ripping political hypocrites to shreds with his outrageous statements, but people from opposing sides usually still laughed along with Andrew, quite an accomplishment in the current politically volatile environment.

Andrew could be so over the top, sometimes crude beyond the boundaries of polite conversation, but also so gentle. He loved cats. And he had a special fondness for any news or potentially funny information about Star Trek and astronomy, or human anatomy. He collected jokes about Uranus. He had posted a Star Trek photo earlier on Thursday, one of his last posts. Captain Picard beckons, “What do you mean you can’t find Uranus using Apple Maps?” But then, his last post was about Big Bird looking for a job. It is sad to contemplate Andrew is not going to be able to vote in this election after all his posts about it.

It’s weird. I didn’t even know Andrew all that well. He had left his position as editor of the Broadside student newspaper at George Mason University in 1979 before I joined the staff in 1980. A new editor had come on board and Andrew no longer was as involved in newspaper activities. I remembered Andrew had been a founder of a delightfully irreverent group many Broadsiders joined -- the Slimey Bouggeres.

But thirty years later, Andrew was one of that initial group of Broadsiders who friended me on Facebook shortly after I joined in January 2009. It’s been a wild ride since, and I’ve come to treasure my Facebook community. It has been touching to see all the classic photos of Andrew’s younger man antics and groomsman duties throughout the years now being posted on what has become a memorial site bringing new life to fond memories of and for so many people. No one is ready to let Andrew go just yet.

Harkening back to our college days, Andrew recently had posted a cover photo from Monty Python. It reads, “On second thought, let’s not go to Facebook… it’s a silly place.”

Well, it wasn’t so silly Thursday night.

Andrew – we already miss you. I don’t think I ever will see a Star Trek or Uranus joke the rest of my life without thinking of you. I hope you are out there among the stars, still making fun of Uranus. May the force be with you to make it so.
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Published on October 07, 2012 18:03 • 746 views • Tags: broadside, facebook, george-mason-university, memories, star-trek, uranus, yellow-cab

August 2, 2012

I read an article in The Washington Post the other day (July 31, 2012) that I cannot let pass into the information overload oblivion without comment: “Ancestry study ties president to one of earliest black slaves.”

Researching my novel, "Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?," I came across several articles about so-called Melungeons. The word is a variation of the French word for mixture, and is commonly used to describe people of mixed races whose American ancestry dates back to colonial times. The roots of my tangled up bush of a family tree were planted in the Appalachian mountain region of southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina in the late 1600s. Since my childhood I have been told I was descended from Cherokees. In the late 1970s, when my late mother was found to have Mediterranean blood platelets, we learned of Melungeon legends about Portuguese sailors escaping Carolina coast shipwrecks to wander into what then was called The Wilderness, to mingle with the mostly English/Scottish/Irish mountain folk.

Well, there’s a little more to it than that. With the computerization of genealogical records, historians are now seeing closer relationships between early American white families of northern European descent and Native Americans known to have mingled with and/or married escaped and freed African slaves. During the genetic testing I underwent in preparation for the unsuccessful in vitro fertilization procedure that led to a search for “the milkman,” I learned I have a rare genetic mutation present in only one percent of the population. It is most common among African Americans.

It appears the President’s white mother, Ann Dunham, was descended from one of the first African slaves in Virginia, John Punch (later changed to Bunch). Genealogical studies are showing there was quite a bit more racial mixing during colonial times than many likely realized. I look about as lily-white as anyone could imagine. But judging from some of my family names linked to those who were known to mingle with and/or marry Native Americans and/or other darker skinned people trying to avoid what then was a dangerous nonwhite classification, it appears I may be more related to President Barack Obama than one might presume, previously mostly having considered only the Biblical, evolutionary, and various religious theories suggesting all of humanity is related. It’s only a matter of degree of relationship between the peoples of all races and religions around the world. Could the current President and I also be related to our Founding Father, President Thomas Jefferson, through the Hemmings family?

I’ve known since I was a child I was a distant cousin of Harry Truman. The buck stops here when it comes to the truth about American heritage – some purported blue-bloods and God-fearing rednecks probably should not be so smug about their lineage. Maybe I should quote my late cousin(?) Rodney King and ask, why can’t we all just get along? Some might say the melting pot and our democratic principles based on tolerance have been the key differentiators in making America the beacon of hope for the world. The darkness of divisiveness is not enlightening.
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July 23, 2012

'Twas the night before my first book launch
And I’m all in a fog
So I think I’ll start writing again,
This time a blog.

Well friends, the gestation period for "Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?" would kill most humans, but this baby’s about to be birthed, so, I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labors.

Some of you may be wondering who the Hell is Lisa Pell. Despite writing professionally for some 30 years, I’m only now considering myself an author, on the eve of my first novel being published.

My origins as an author go back to my conception, literally, which led to my quirky paternity mystery with a Facebook twist. Delving into that baby business in the book title, most of my first six years were spent in the Appalachian mountains of southwestern Virginia, with the exception of the first three months after my premature birth. My family then moved to northern Virginia, where teachers in Fairfax County public schools, and later, professors at George Mason University, encouraged my writing.

After graduation, I became a reporter for a newspaper in Alexandria, Virginia. Then I branched into radio and television as an on-air reporter in Bristol, Virginia, and Charleston, West Virginia, before I became homesick for northern Virginia. Back in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, over the past 25 years or so I've worked for several public relations firms, large and small, and now am employed with an information technology project management firm as a communications consultant for a U.S. government agency.

But my roots are still in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. And that's where my novel comes into being.

Inspired by my own experience, "Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?" is the story of my alter ego, Lori Pomay, whose name is what I call a "mutt-a-zation" of the French word for clueless.

It’s a quirky paternity mystery with a Facebook twist.

You can read more about it on my website, www.whosyourdaddybaby.com, but, basically, it’s about a woman in her forties undergoing genetic testing for in vitro fertilization, only to be told the dad she always knew could not possibly have been her biological father. When discussing blood type incompatibilities, the fertility specialist, in his lovely French accent, said, "I senk you better senk about the milkman." This mid-life shocker sends Lori on a four year search, during which she met all sorts of interesting characters and learned a few medical/scientific tidbits doctors and friends suggested she might want to share with the world.

It’s a mystery that should appeal to those searching for their roots, with DNA testing foibles and myths of history exposed. I'm fond of saying it's a mystery only a mother could create, but Paul McCartney might say only your mother should know. I’m still a Beatlemaniac.

So, this is where I begin on my blogging adventure. I’ve also developed some fun music videos and reading excerpts. The first is: "Nothin' Butt a Mutt," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGv09f...

Look forward to seeing you on the blog trail. I will be delving into all sorts of issues about paternity searches, Appalachian history, mixed race Melungeons, as well as some quirky medical and scientific testing issues and historical myths.

Have a wonderful week!
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