Interview of Barbara Mostella
Rita Lee Chapman
This week it is my pleasure to interview Barbara Mostella-Oliver. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers, Barbara and share something about your life?
My first book is dedicated to my parents Grady and Ruthie Mostella. I’m a native of Alabama now living in Georgia.
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
I started writing and came up with this title for my book about nine years ago while I was working for The Department of Defense as a civilian. My discipline for writing during that time of my career was zero, because my dedication to my career and other social activities kept me so busy. So many adults like myself have had to become caregivers for their parents as I did while still working. It was only after mother passing while in my care, that I truly became motivated and set aside time to complete this book. My book is in memory of both my parents. This is my first fictional book titled “Who Would Have Thought.” The first printing was August 2018 but published in March 2019.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
Yes. I chose this genre because this is the type of book that I enjoy reading, and I have decided that this is the best genre for my writing. There is nothing like a good mystery book to read when it is cold or raining outside, or when on vacation just relaxing. It warms my heart to know that my readers, other authors, and some readers that don’t normally read fiction have truly enjoyed my book.
When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?
I start with an idea first and then put that idea on paper in the form of map. From the map, I develop my outline and characters for the book. Since I write fiction, my next step is to do research online and interview subject matter experts about my idea that may be unfamiliar to me. My reasoning behind the research is to ensure that readers understand all the aspects of the book, but they also learn something from reading my work.
Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?
This is Chapter 2 from my book titled CASE REOPENED. In this chapter it gives you an idea of what the storyline is and hopefully captures the interest of my readers to complete the book. “Who Would Have Thought”. It also gives you the reason why this case has been reopened, who opened it and how it may affect the victim’s family.
THE law firm of Soco & Soco has offices in Alaska, Washington DC. and Atlanta, started by four brothers to investigate mostly high crimes and government-related cases. Jason and Jermaine run the Alaska office, Darnell the Washington DC office, and Jacoby runs the Atlanta office. Whenever the four brothers are together, they are known as the striking four, because every case they defend they attack them with extraordinary evidence to win. Neither one has ever lost a case.
Alphonso is their best investigator in the Alaska Office and has been called in for a meeting with Jason and Jermaine on a Sunday afternoon concerning a three-year-old Washington DC case. This case was brought to the firm by Johnny, the brother of a deceased native Alaskan named Daniel who lived in Delta Junction.
Alphonso did not get much time to socialize with the opposite sex because he devoted an enormous number of hours to the firm. He is a very serious, dedicated investigator and the best among the five other investigators in the firm. Not only is he paid the highest salary of the other five but is also well known throughout the USA. "Alphonso, we need you to take a trip to our Washington DC and Atlanta offices of Soco & Soco for a high-profile government case that has not been solved. It is a cold case file, but new evidence has been brought forward. It involves the death of a native Alaskan from Delta Junction who was a quality control specialist/investigator. He worked for a company called Q'UP. This case will require several investigators, with you as the lead," said Jason.
"It turns out that Daniel was an investigator for the legal department of Q'UP instead of a quality control manager. We also need you to visit the Pentagon and contact special agent Narvell, to get some detail information on this case. You will need to travel on Monday, and Mr. Narvell is expecting you at eight a.m., on Tuesday morning," explained Jason.
"The firm's office manager Joan has made airline and hotel arrangements for you. All you have to do is pack a bag," Jermaine said laughing.
"What am I looking for in this case? Are their contacts?" Asked Alphonso.
"All this will be revealed to you on your visit to the Pentagon. I have also left some background information with Joan for you. This case is three years old, and the victim's brother Johnny never believed the authorities gave them the truth. This was and still is a high-profile case. Some important people could lose their jobs and big money because of it."
"The death of this native Alaskan was very mysterious. The initial cause of death listed by the Washington DC Police department was suicide with a gun. New information has been brought forward involving a woman Daniel was having an affair with. We suspect she now lives in Alaska," stated Jason.
"If she lives in Alaska, why am I going to Washington DC?" Asked Alphonso.
"You will be talking to her past and present supervisors. Narvell was her supervisor at the Pentagon and Matthew is her supervisor in Atlanta. The historical records concerning this case reside with an investigator in Washington. The details will be revealed to you on your visit to the Pentagon. The deceased was an investigator like yourself." Jason explained further.
"You have to also go to Atlanta because the last two locations that the deceased were seen was Washington and Atlanta."
"If I find that special lady on this trip, I may be gone more than two weeks," said Alphonso.
"How many times before have you said that. We hope you get lucky this time. You are getting to be an old man," said Jason, while he and Jermaine were laughing.
"I will see you when I get back," said Alphonso.
Alphonso left the meeting and stopped by Joan's office. She makes the job administratively very easy because of her proficiency and organizational skills. I believe her husband Aaron and her two sons, Amiel and Asa are thrilled to be in her life. Whatever the firm is paying her I think they need to pay her a lot more. "Good afternoon, Joan, how are you doing on this wonderful Sunday?"
"Hi, Alphonso I am doing great. It seems as though you are headed for another long trip."
"Yes, you are right. This time I am going to get lucky and find that special lady on my own since you will not introduce me to any of your friends."
"I do not have any friends that you would be interested in." "How do you know?"
"I have been working with you for over ten years now. I believe I have a good idea of the type of person you are looking for."
"Am I that easy to read?"
"No, you are not. It took me a while to understand you because you are always out of the office. I do believe that from what I have learned of your personality, you would make a good husband and a great father."
"I am glad you think so. Tell those brothers we work for what you believe. They say I am getting too old."
"You have to ignore those two. No one gets too old for love." "We will have to take this conversation up when I return.”
“I stop by to pick up my tickets and information for my trip."
"I have everything ready for you right here. Have a good trip, and I will be waiting for your good news when you get back."
"Ok, Joan. Have a good rest of the day with your family." Joan is the glue that keeps us all together as a family here at this firm. You don't want to make her mad. Most of the time she is justified when she gets upset. Because some of us have done just the opposite of what she has told us.
Alphonso went home to pack his bags, coordinated arrangements for his mail and newspaper to be stopped. He lives in an affluent condominium community named The Hillside View. One of the first residents to move into the new condo community and was now thinking about purchasing a house. The residents he knew called him Al. He loved to socialize and would be attending the social tonight at seven p.m. at the clubhouse.
Lorraine the manager of the condos, planned a welcome social for new owners of the remaining unoccupied condos. Alphonso would have to make it an early night because of his flight the next day. Alphonso parents had five children of which he is the youngest. All of them have spouses and children except him. He was going to work on this when he finished this case. Maybe he would meet someone special on this trip, or he could possibly meet someone at the social this evening.
Lorraine is a very organized person, and every time she plans an event at the clubhouse everyone enjoys themselves. For this event, there is karaoke and a tasting fair with different dishes catered by a restaurant called ‘Keep Coming Back’ furnished by the developer. After the entertainment, Lorraine introduced the new owners and asked them to comment on why they chose this community.
The new owners consisted of three single ladies, two single men, and two married couples. Glancing and checking out the single ladies, neither one struck Alphonso as a potential mate. As they were introducing themselves one of the single men introduced himself.
“My name is Elliot, and I am a retired police officer from Atlanta. A friend of mine name Madison recommended Alaska as a place to settle down. In my research, I found this place with all the amenities you could ever want. Located in a city much like the one I came from. I look forward to meeting everyone and making some new friends,” said Elliott. Alphonso said to himself he knew most of the singles and there is no owner name Madison.
After meeting and greeting the new owners, and having some refreshments, and flirting with the manager, Alphonso headed back to his condo. He needed to get some rest and ensure he had packed enough clothing and toiletry for the two weeks. Every time I travel, I forget something and end up going shopping at my final destinations.
This is not going to happen on this trip. If I should meet that special lady, I want everything perfect even down to the fingernails.
Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character would be Alphonso. This character is a lot like I was early in my career. He is very dedicated to his job and has the highest respect for the law firm which employs him. He puts his career above his personal life and misses out on developing personal relationships. Sometimes our careers take us in a direction that is not always fulfilling and sometimes it becomes just a job that pays the bills. When we truly enjoy a job and are happy with who we are, you know that God had a hand in the choice.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
Because this is my first book, I don’t have any specific marketing advice. I believe an author must figure out what is the best path to get their book to the readers. I have been focusing on social media like (website, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram), just as most authors are. I’ve also found that book clubs, book signing, emails, publisher weekly, and advice from other authors has been useful as well.
How would you describe yourself?
Having worked as a civilian in a military supported environment, I would say that I am very detail-oriented and somewhat of a perfectionist. In everything I do, I give it my best. I am also a stickler for time. I try to be on time for everything I’m involved in, and sometimes I expect others to do the same. So, I am working on that part of my growth.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
When I was younger, I saw my mother, grandmother, and other family members quilting. Quilting has been something that I have always wanted to learn how to do. For the past two years, I have been attending a quilting class and I have learned many quilting techniques. Since attending this class, I have quilted several quilts for family members. It has become an enjoyable and relaxing hobby when not reading or writing.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
I would say Italy because I love Italian food and could eat it daily. Each city in Italy has something unique for tourist to see, taste and experience. I would like to see the Pantheon, and the Dome of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, some of the art and architecture in Florence as examples. Most of all I would love to taste the local cuisine in the different cities.
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
When I select a book, first, I read the synopsis or summary. If a book does not capture my interest in the first couple of chapters and the summary, I probably won’t read the entire book. I like reading not only new authors' books but also those who have been around for a while. As an author, I say to new authors, make sure the summary of your book is outstanding, because it can determine whether a reader purchase or not purchase your book.
Do you have your own website?
Yes. It is:
Are you working on a new book now?
Yes. I am working on a sequel to my current book. The title is “Why Me Why Now?” It will be published early 2020.
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
Yes. I have a book signing at Turning Page Book Shop in Goose Creek, South Carolina December 14, 2019.
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