The Swap by Nancy Boyarsky has finally been released, I read the advance copy last year and loved it. I’ve been impatiently awaiting the release date ever since, and now everyone can enjoy it!
The author, Nancy Boyarsky, has done a wonderful little Q&A, don’t miss it! And to celebrate the release , I’ve got an autographed copy to give away to one lucky winner (US residents only) and details can be found at the bottom of the page. Contest is open from February 7, 2017 until February 21, 2017. Enter to win today!
When Brad Graves is transferred to London temporarily, wife Nicole comes along in an attempt to save her failing marriage. After arranging a house swap with the Lowrys, Nicole and Brad settle in at their temporary home. Soon after, strange things happen and Nicole begins to feel like her life is in danger. After reporting several terrifying incidents to the police, who are sympathetic but disbelieving, and when the Lowrys don’t show up at her LA condo, Nicole begins to investigate on her own and finds herself being drawn deeper and deeper into trouble.
The Swap is the debut novel by the author and I wasn’t sure what to expect as I sat down to read it. Once I started it, it was hard to put it down! I read about half of this one evening and then couldn’t sleep all night because I was so busy thinking about what was going to happen. I loved the premise of a house swap gone wrong, and there was a mystery on almost every page. Who can Nicole trust? Who is behind the attacks and what do they want? What happened to the Lowrys? And the one question that wasn’t answered, who broke in to her condo in L.A.?
This was the kind of thriller that raises the hair on the back of your neck, and it’s all too easy to feel Nicole’s fear as she’s stalked, threatened and accosted by thugs, her anguish over her crumbling marriage, and her betrayal, anger and sadness towards Brad. On the other hand, there were a few times when I wanted to reach in the book and give Nicole a good, hard shake and tell her to wake up. Seriously, girl, your intuition is waaay off! The spectacular conclusion was the perfect way to end the book, a little romance and a lot of action. What more can you ask for?
The Swap is an excellent 5 star thriller that will keep you turning pages – and looking over your shoulder – right to the very last page.
About the Author and Q&A
The Swap: A Mystery is Nancy Boyarsky’s first novel. She has been a writer and editor for her entire working career. She coauthored Backroom Politics, a New York Times notable book, with her husband, Bill Boyarsky. She has written several textbooks on the justice system and articles for newspapers and magazines. In addition to her writing career, she was communications director for political affairs for ARCO. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in English literature. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and now lives in Los Angeles.
What made you decide to have The Swap set in London? Did you consider any other locations?
London is my favorite of all cities. My husband and I go there almost every year. I wanted to have a mystery built around the concept of an innocent abroad, and London seemed the perfect setting.
How did you do your research for The Swap? Did you go to London?
My husband and I swapped houses with a London couple a number of years ago. The house in Chiswick is the house we stayed in, although I made it more sinister for the sake of the plot. We also took a tour up the west coast of Scotland to the Isle of Skye, a journey I included in the book when Nicole goes (much against her will) along that same route. On the way to Skye, we stayed at a wonderful hotel called the Isle of Eriska. The hotel is an old manor house dating back to the late 19th century. I put that in the book as well. Other research, like train schedules, money conversion from pounds to swiss francs, etc.,I looked up on the web. Finally, I had a editor friend who’d spend many years living in London check it over mistakes I’d made in describing London. She was very helpful.
Which of your characters is your favorite?
My heroine, Nicole Graves. Why? I like the way she acts on her instincts without hesitation. She’s very brave. I admire those qualities. I myself am much more cautious, although I am just as curious about people and their lives as she is.
What scene did you find was the most difficult to write?
I don’t think any were harder or easier than others. It’s tough for me to get the first draft written. Then, reading it over, it’s painful to see how much work remains to be done fixing plot glitches and refining my writing. That said, I do love rewriting. I used to attend the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. One of their sayings is: “There’s no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” That’s absolutely true, at least for me.
What’s next for Nicole?
My publisher is releasing the next installment of Nicole’s story, The Bequest, in August. It takes place in L.A. When one of Nicole’s coworkers is murdered and leaves her a fortune of unknown origin, she’s caught in the crosshairs of a media feeding frenzy and the murderer. There’s also a hot romance.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A cat. I have three. Muriel Spark in A Far Cry From Kensington, my favorite of her books, gave this advice to a character who wanted to write but was having trouble concentrating. “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, especially some piece of writing, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work, the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk-lamp. . . .The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquillity of the cat will gradually come to affect you so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.”
What lessons did you learn from writing your first book that you’ll apply to writing future books?
Don’t rush it. Sometimes the story seems to write itself; other times, it’s a long, difficult slog, like I’m experiencing with my third book. Either way, if you keep at it, you’ll eventually finish the story and have the challenge and pleasure of going back for the rewrite.
What are your influences/inspirations for writing?
I’ve always loved to read, and I majored in English literature in college. I’ve wanted to write a novel as long as I can remember but had no idea how to begin. I have spent most of my career as a writer and editor of nonfiction articles and, later, in corporate communications. Only when I took a mystery writing class at UCLA Extension did I learn how to set up the plot for a mystery novel. And then I had it!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an author?
Holding the first copy of that book with my name on it is an enormous thrill. It’s hard to beat that. Being a published author gives me an audience for my stories, which is very important to me. And, finally, I love reading reviews from readers. Thank heavens that most of them have been kind.
What’s the best way for readers to contact you?
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My Facebook author page is under Nancy Boyarsky.
One lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a signed copy of The Swap! Entering is free and easy, click on the graphic below to enter. Good luck!
To enter: Click on the giveaway image below. and Rafflecopter will give you 3 ways to enter. Each option will give you one entry, and you can enter up to 3 times a day!