Monday, March 24, 2008

Guest Author: Lori Avocato

Thanks so much for inviting me to blog here! Let me tell you a bit about myself and how my romantic mystery series came to be. I’m Polish. Okay, American but of Polish decent. I’m proud of my heritage, have witnessed many strong, independent, successful Polish women and one day said to my cousin Barbara, “I’m going to write a Polish heroine.” Barbara immediately yelled, “Yes! And make sure that she is smart, sexy and thin!”

Thus my character, Pauline Sokol, was born.

Smart—thirteen years of nursing.

Sexy—a single thirty-something with great legs!

Thin—size four. Don’t even go there.

When I was growing up, my extended family lived within walking distance and every holiday was celebrated at the same aunt’s house so we never had to think of where we would be going. Maybe they did it that way cause we are Polish and they thought we’d get too confused!

With the past engrained in me, I set out to write my humorous mystery series—a no-brainer with my Polish heroine fashioned after my Babci (grandmother)—the real Pauline Sokol, who lived to be ninety-two years old and died on her birthday—and the first book of my series came out on her birthday. (Insert spooky music here)

With a kick-ass grandmother like Pauline Sokol (Sorry for the bad language, Babci!) I had very little trouble giving fictional “birth” to Pauline in the first book, A DOSE OF MURDER.

Fictional Pauline has the smarts and common sense that it takes to investigate fraud and the medical knowledge that got her frequent assignments from Worker’s Comp fraud, to medical insurance fraud on a cruise ship, to getting high jacked into a mental health facility by the hunk, Jagger?

An, Jagger. He’s another blog.

There’s an ensemble cast of characters from her mother, Stella, who worries that Pauline is still single and should go back to nursing, to her father, Michael, who’s retired but spends all day reading the newspaper, to transvestite Goldie, who dresses better than a runway model and has a heart of gold.

Pauline’s family’s home, circa 1950, remains unchanged and homey although she needs occasional sniffs of pine-scented Renuzit, her mother’s favorite, to calm her worries. No one but an ethnic mother like Stella would replace Pauline’s briefs with thongs—“because, after all, Pauline’s still single.”

I do a daily blog of humor so pop on over if you need a daily chuckle.

After serving in the Air Force as a registered nurse, Lori Avocato decided to switch careers and now writes a humorous mystery series for Avon Books. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, PASIC, NINC, The Author’s Guild and Sisters in Crime.

Her Pauline Sokol Mystery Series, in which a burned out nurse becomes a medical insurance fraud investigator, is a perfect medium for Lori’s quick wit and amusing, believable characters. Lori’s first book of the series, A DOSE OF MURDER, has made the best-selling suspense/thriller list on Amazon and placed second in the Reviewers International Organizations award of excellent for debut novel. You can visit Lori’s website at: where you can drop her a note and read excerpts of the hysterical series.

Lori Avocato’s side-splitting novels featuring spunky heroine Pauline Sokol have been called “delightful” by Publisher’s Weekly and her experience as a former Air Force nurse allows Avocato to infuse her fast-paced plots with authentic medical details.

“… an outstanding mix of humor, family relationships, unusual characters and realistic detecting from the viewpoint of a novice.”

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel


Betina Krahn said...

Welcome, Lori! How cool to know the story behind the story. I didn't know it was your Gran who inspired Pauline!

And as for being Polish-- It seems the Krahns are mostly from that "disputed" region between Poland and Germany that was sometimes considered Polish and sometimes German. I guess they're the German brand of Poles!

Meanwhile, in the series, you call on your own nursing background, right? How long were you a nurse? And do you base any of your stories on what happened while you were on the job?

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Lori!
Welcome to the convertible and WOW I'm so glad you're blogging today. Love the story about your Gran and how she inspired your series. Too cool.

Christie Ridgway said...

Hi, Lori! It's great to see you here and love that your grandmother inspired your heroine. And you were an Air Force nurse? I bet that experience gave you many stories to tell!

Playground Monitor said...

I see on the cover it says Evanovich fans are sure to enjoy this. I enjoyed the Plum books and your series sounds awesome. Aww geez... more books for the TBR pile that's threatening to rival Mt. Everest as the highest peak in the world.

I'll bet your babci is looking down from heaven and smiling about being the inspiration for your heroine. How marvelous you were able to pay tribute to her this way.


lois greiman said...

Lori, thanks so much for blogging with us. I meant to put up a little intro for you, but my computer decided otherwise this morning. It's great to have you with us, though.

For those of you who don't know,Lori and I first met at a mystery conference and have decided to join forces with other mysterious writers at the Romantic Times convention to host the Saturday morning mixer. We're calling ourselves the Mystery Chix & Dix (cuz there's a guy joining us:) So if you're going to be at RT come and see us. Lori is tons of fun.

Lori Avocato said...

It's so fun to be here! Thanks, Lois.

Betina, great to "see" you! Yes, I do base some of my writing on my past nursing experiences, but much more is made up in my head. Real life isn't always entertaining! I was a nurse for 13 years.

Thanks for the welcome, Cindy.

Also, Cristie, yes I did have some fun experiences in the Air Force. Married a fighter pilot. That alone was...interesting.


Babci? I'm guessing you have some Polish in you! Yes, I'm sure she is looking down and facing out all my books throughout all the bookstores in the world! LOL

Debra Dixon said...

Lori! Great to have you hear. I love hearing how stories are shaped.

Readers love humor and it sounds like you've got a great series here.

Lori Avocato said...

Thanks, Deb. I do love to write everyday humor that readers can all relate to. One of my favorite lines is when my heroine, Pauline, says, "I weighted ten pounds, fifteen ounces when I was born, but in my defense, the nurses told my mother I looked much thinner." LOL

Debra Dixon said...

"...I looked much thinner."

LOL! I can sooo relate.

Lori Avocato said...

I can too, Deb. Unfortunately I weighed ten pounds and fifteen ounces too!

Lori Avocato said...

Hey Guys,

It was fun being here! Hope to see everyone somewhere along the line like at NINC, RT or RWA.