Fabulous Review!

Anyone who has read the comments on this blog will know the name Rami Ungar. An author and blogger in his own right, he has always been a great supporter of mine, so when he offered me the use of his name for Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, I did not hesitate to create a character in his name.

Rami recently read the book and posted reviews all over the internet, which adds an interesting dimension to an already multi-dimensional story. I mean, how many of your characters have ever posted a review of the book they were in?

Rami Ungar wrote:

I wanted to read this book for a number of reasons, including that I know the writer and I’m familiar with her work. I expected a good mystery, and my expectations were not only met, but exceeded.

Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare is a true slow-burner mystery, taking its time to build up the characters and the mystery. As you keep reading, you find yourself drawn in, intrigued by these people and how they could be connected to the death in the story.

I also enjoyed the meta-fictional, fourth wall-breaking aspect of the novel. Since the author wrote herself as the protagonist and based parts of the story on her real life, you can get a very insightful look into her life, as well as her views on life itself and on fiction writing. It’s at times funny, at other times sad, but always very poignant.

I can’t really think of anything that works against the story. It’s a good read if you want a mystery that isn’t rushed and full of action, but instead character and story focused. Pick it up, and enjoy a dance of death not usually seen in stories.

Such a wonderful review! And a perfect description of the story within a story. It truly does a writer’s heart good when a reader not only enjoys the story, but gets it.

If you haven’t yet read Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, I hope this review will entice you to take a look. And while you’re at it, check out Rami Ungar’s blog and books.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Conversations with . . . Me!

For those of you who have read Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, you might remember Rami Ungar, the wannabe writer cop who kept bedeviling poor Pat.

Today I’m being interviewed by the real Rami Ungar, a real writer, on his blog. It was an interesting interview — for me, anyway — because his questions made me think about my two newest books and to see them in a different light. Please check out the interview here: Conversations with Pat Bertram

At the beginning of the interview, Rami mentions that we met during my cross-country trip, which is true. Rami and his rabbi father invited me to a family dinner when I passed through Ohio, and they apologized profusely for the poor fare. Because it was Passover, there were various dietary restrictions, but even if the food hadn’t been gourmet quality (it was truly delicious), I would have been delighted with the meal. I mean really — Passover with a rabbi? How cool is that! (Another couple of firsts for me: first Passover meal, first visit with a rabbi.)

There was a lot of talk that night — religion, writing, comedy, travel — but what I will always remember is the joy of that simple sentence, a strange one to me, a common one to them: “Pass the matzo.”

Be sure to check out Rami’s post for more about our visit:
https://ramiungarthewriter.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-wonderful-visit-meeting-with-pat-bertram-in-person/

If that isn’t enough information about me, you can find a previous interview here: First Conversation With Pat Bertram

And interviews with Rami: Conversation With Rami Ungar and  Meet Rami Ungar.

Whew! I’m sure there are plenty of other links connecting the two of us, but these are more than enough for now. Is it any wonder that this fellow writer sneaked his way into my book about older women dancing — and murdering?

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

 

Pass the Matzo

So far on my cross-country journey, I haved traveled 8,000 miles and visited or passed through 16 states. I don’t collect souvenirs (except for the pink cowgirl hat I bought in Texas). Instead, I collect firsts. My first night camping. My first view of the Sonoran Desert. My first sip of Grand Marnier. My first taste of Greek food. There have been hundreds of firsts on this journey, but a true gem to add to my crown of experience was the first time ever I was at a dinner when someone said, “Pass the matzo.”

If you have spent any time reading the comments at the bottom of my posts, you will have come across Rami Ungar, a long-time follower of this blog and an author of horror fiction. (He has a new book coming out next month, so look for it if you like scary fiction.)

Rami and his rabbi father invited me to a family dinner when I passed through Ohio, and they apologized profusely for the poor fare. Because it was Passover, there were various dietary restrictions, but even if the food hadn’t been gourmet quality (it was truly delicious), I would have been delighted with the meal. I mean really — Passover with a rabbi? How cool is that! (Another couple of firsts for me: first Passover meal, first visit with a rabbi.)

It was wonderful to meet Rami after all these years, a treat to sit in the kitchen with him and his father as they baked the following day’s fare, and a pleasure to meet his beautiful sisters.

There was a lot of talk that night — religion, writing, comedy, travel — but what I will always remember is the joy of that simple sentence, a strange one to me, a common one to them: “Pass the matzo.”

Be sure to check out Rami’s post for more about our visit:
https://ramiungarthewriter.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-wonderful-visit-meeting-with-pat-bertram-in-person/

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(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

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Conversation With Rami Ungar

Author Rami Ungar are doing a blog exchange today. He is interviewing me on his blog, and I am interviewing him on mine.  On his blog, I answer the questions you always wanted to know about me, such as how I got into writing and what books I would take with me if I were stranded on a desert island. So be sure to check out my interview: Conversations with Pat Bertram.

Meantime, meet Rami Ungar.

snakeRami, What is your book about?

“Snake” is about a young man (and I mean young) whose girlfriend is kidnapped over the phone. Later events cause him to have a break with his sanity and he becomes a serial killer, determined to hunt down every member of the mafia family that has his girlfriend. It’s a very dark thriller, and it’s very unusual to have the serial killer as a protagonist. I’m hoping that will allow people to enjoy the story more, though. Fingers crossed, at any rate.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

I guess maybe it was the movie “Taken”. Yeah, there are plenty of similarities, but it’s definitely it’s own story. That’s actually what I wanted: I wanted to create a much darker story than “Taken” portrayed, though that was pretty dark in itself. I like to think I’ve succeeded in that respect. We’ll see what the reviewers say.

What was the most difficult part about writing the book?

Probably time and school work. You want to devote all your time to writing, but inevitably things get in the way, and you end up taking several breaks. In the end it took me six months to write this book, though if I’d had more time to work on it, I might have gotten it done in half the time.

Tell us a little about your main characters.

First off, we have the Snake, our very unconventional protagonist. He’s gone through a great change, and it’s why he’s the killer he is now. I purposely did not reveal his real name in the novel, because I wanted to imply that we all could become like the Snake under certain circumstances.

There’s also Allison Langland, my main character’s girlfriend. Unlike other damsels in distress, she’s a bit more proactive. She doesn’t waste away in a cell hopeless or hoping to be rescued. She’s a fighter, and I love that about her. I think that’s also why the Snake loves her, come to think of it.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?

I did plenty of research on New York City, where the story takes place. I also did research on serial killers and psychopathy, the better to understand what sort of character I was constructing. I even had a forensic psychologist and profiler give me his diagnosis on the Snake based on crime reports I created. All in the name of authenticity.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, it’s an unusual story, so I think that might get people interested. And if people really take the time to check it out, I’m sure a few of them will end up enjoying the story and identifying with the characters. That’s the hope, anyway.

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing another thriller novel, as well as editing the sequel to my previous novel “Reborn City”. I’m also working on interviews, blog posts, and articles. As usual, I’m busy as a bee.

Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?

I guess I’m aiming for readers who like what I like. That means Anne Rice, Stephen King, and James Patterson, with a dash of manga and anime. Don’t know how many people are like that, but I’m trying to find them.

What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?

I could probably spend hours philosophizing about that. There are many, many components that are needed to make a good story. But in brief, a good mastery of vocabulary, spelling, and grammar, a good plot and wonderful characters, and hard work will make for a good story.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Read, write, work hard, and never give up.

Where can people learn more about your book?

Where Snake is available: http://www.amazon.com/Snake-Rami-Ungar/dp/1495434931/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402622066&sr=8-3&keywords=rami+ungar

Blog: http://ramiungarthewriter.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RamiUngarWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RamiUngarWriter

Meet Rami Ungar

If you’ve read this blog at all during the past five months, you’ve probably noticed the name Rami Ungar, a writer who has been a daily commenter. Well, now you can learn more about Rami and his writings because I’ve interviewed him for my author blog Pat Bertram Introduces . . . Here is an excerpt from the interview:

cimg1481Hi, Rami. Good to talk to you! What is your book called?

It’s “The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones”, and it’ll be available later this year as an e-book.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

At least since I first read “Harry Potter”, though I didn’t realize it till I was around ten or so. At that age you want to be a scientist, a superhero, a firefighter, President. But at ten I realized I wanted to write, and I’ve been writing since.

What writer influenced you the most?

I’d have to say Anne Rice, Stephen King, and James Patterson. I discovered the first two when I was in junior high and high school, and they blew my mind. I knew after reading them, horror was what I wanted to focus on. I discovered James Patterson shortly before graduating high school, and I think he was the one who taught me how to write thrillers. To this day, I think of Alex Cross and James Patterson when I think about how I was able to write my thriller novel “Snake”.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I spent about a week for every short story, so about five weeks. Each story had its own challenges in writing it, but I enjoyed writing each and every one of them. I hope people enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I basically collected a bunch of ideas that popped into my mind all of the Fall 2012 semester, wrote them down, and then picked the five best ones out of those ideas and worked on them over winter break. I was really surprised how easily some of these short stories came to me, like “Addict”, which is about a guy trying to recover from a sex and porn addiction. I managed to get that one typed out in a day, a record for me with short stories.

Read more . . .