AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'DOUBLE TAKE' ABBY BARDI


Abby Bardi is the author of three novels: Double Take, The Secret Letters, and The Book of Fred. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals, and she has written academic articles on Roma (Gypsies). She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Ellicott City, MD, the oldest railroad town in America.

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About the Book:

Title: Double Take
Author: Abby Bardi
Publisher: Harper Collins Impulse
Pages: 186
Genre: Mystery
Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The seeds of Double Take began when I was fourteen and a waitress at a restaurant in Chicago where I started noticing strange things. Eventually I figured out that the restaurant’s silent partner was sponsoring the local drug dealers and burglars. At some point I started jotting down notes on characters and plot ideas, but that was how it began, as a real-life mystery.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing Double Take took many years, off and on, so in that sense it was hard, though I really enjoyed immersing myself in its time periods—it’s set in both the ‘60s and the ‘70s. I kept adding things, remembering details that needed to be there and trying to capture the feel of the period. It was like creating a collage of images I had collected over the years. I guess my best writing tip is, don’t be afraid to take decades to write a novel.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher was the wonderful HarperCollins Australia.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The biggest surprise when I published my first novel The Book of Fred (Double Take is my third) was that my pub date turned out to be on September 11, 2001, now known as 9/11. I had been looking forward to that day for months, and needless to say, it didn’t turn out the way I expected.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

The book I’m working on right now is a historical-time-travel-alternate-history-literary-romance about the 1893 Columbian Exposition. I’m not sure when it will be published—still looking for an agent who likes time travel (not everyone does).

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Double Take is based on a lot of things that really happened to me and to other people I knew. For example, I really did see someone get shot, though in real life he didn’t die. I seem pretty boring and normal now, so I guess that might surprise some people.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

No matter how bleak things get, there’s always hope.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you! Final words: if you’re a writer, keep writing!
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