A writer inspired by nature and human nature


Micki Peluso and book signing

 

Mick Peluso is the author of …And the Whippoorwill Sang—an outstanding memoir:

“Micki Peluso takes readers along on her journey through life as she deals with the tragedy of the imminent death of one of her six children in a story that will bring tears—not only of immeasurable sadness—but also those wonderful tears of the joys and hilarity of a family’s life. As I traveled with Micki along life’s highway and byways, I not only met her wonderful family and friends, I felt like I was one of them. That’s what I call great writing! From antics to dilemmas, you won’t want to miss out on the laughter, the love, the sorrows, the courage or the tears as Peluso poignantly weaves a well-written memoir that will not be forgotten in AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

Let’s get ready to meet Micki

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an outstanding author; and once you’ve met her, I invite you to grab a copy of her book and get reading. You’ll be glad you did!

Hi, Micki. I’m delighted to have you with us on 4writersandreaders today. I absolutely loved …And the Whippoorwill Sang. I can hardly wait to learn more about you and your memoir and to find out what you’re up to now. To start, tell us a little about yourself.

I almost wanted to be a ‘Super Hero’ as a child, save the world and help people; perhaps as a missionary or Peace Corps worker in Third World countries. Plans for that and college collapsed along with my parents’ divorce. Instead my ‘Marilyn Monroe’ type mother talked my boyfriend and me into eloping in our teens with her and her new boyfriend. Get lemons, make lemonade. We went on to have six children and 10 grandchildren and now three great grandkids and I have become a ‘Soupy Hero,’ according to one small grandson referring to my medicinal chicken soup.

How about your family?

My husband and I (mostly me) raised six children, each a year or two apart. He came from a large family which I loved. Our kids were our life and because I kept journals off and on, it gave me lots of fodder for a writing career. It was in the late 1950s through to the mid-eighties before most of them were grown . . . Except for one, our 14-year-old daughter Noelle, the lively, comical beauty that wove the fabric of our family together, who was killed by a drunk (DWI) driver in 1981.

 How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

Like many writers I started with poems and did a lot of creative writing throughout school. With so many kids, I put away most writing until Noelle was killed. As a family of eight we were so shocked and devastated that none of us could speak of her. I turned to writing as a way of expressing my grief. I wrote a short story of the incident which was published by Victimology; an International Journal, along with several poems. That led to slice of life, usually humorous stories about my family, which were published in my daily newspaper. I then became a staff writer and journalist for our biweekly newspaper, writing news items, analysis, interviews and commentary.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”?

Whippoorwill Cover & BUY BUTTONThis lively story opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki’s mother. The couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes. There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks away from the family’s 100 year old farmhouse, complete with ghosts and visiting varmints of all varieties. Micki narrates happier days, using their delightful past to confront an uncertain future—as the family copes with fear and apprehension. One of their children is fighting for life in the hospital; in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarks upon an unbearable journey to the other side of grief and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .

To weep . . .

   To Laugh . . .

       To Grieve . . .

           To Dance . . .

. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

What prompted you to write your memoir?

It was five years after the tragedy when I began the first half of my book, a funny, bittersweet family story, celebrating Noelle’s life and keeping my deathbed promise to her as she lay dying. I was mentored by Bonnie Golightly, a Writer’s Digest teacher who had been part of the ‘Truman Capote crowd’ in her younger days. She wrote a famous best-selling novel plus scripts for several films and other novels. Life dealt another blow and I nearly died from two heart attacks leaving me with half a heart, while Bonnie contracted lung cancer which quickly took her life. The book was on hold until 2006 when I was able to break through the PTSD memory blocks of the times right before Noelle’s death.

Do you have a favorite line from the book?

I have two favorite lines from the book, one funny yet an omen of what was to come, and one which ties into the book’s title.

Noelle and her sister Kelly had just spent all their babysitting money on clothing and planned to go for a bike ride. Noelle had put all the clothes that she purchased on at the same time. Kelly was shocked and asked her what in the world she was doing. Noelle replied that she couldn’t make up her mind. Kelly told her she should be saving her them for a special day. “I think every day is special,” Noelle replied.

The other favorite line was written shortly after Noelle’s death:

“The Whippoorwill swooped down the mountains into the trees singing its mournful dirge of summer’s loss, even as I cried mine.’”

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite characters were my children and while I could not love one more than the other each is a different type of love. A firstborn child’s holds a special place in a mother’s heart and the last child, the baby of the family also holds a special place. Different personalities among the children also cause different types of bonding, yet the love for each of them is love for all of them. It’s common and normal to idolize a lost family member and I tried hard not to do that in this book.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I began the story from the ICU waiting room and flashed back to when I eloped at age 17. I placed short pieces in the ICU in first person, exposing my fears and heartache up until the past merged into the present. These chapters in ICU were the hardest to write along with the ending — both of which I kept as short as possible. Actually the book ends on a good note as something special happens—something sent as a gift from Noelle.

Do you do anything besides write?

Well, I do a fairly good Elvis imitation :). Seriously, I work part time as a law assistant for Kelly, who became the attorney that Noelle had dreams of becoming when she grew up. I helped raise most of my 10 grandkids and I’m still with my husband after 50 years—a herculean feat. For the past three decades I’ve been writing and publishing short fiction, hoping to stretch one into a novel. I do professional book reviews for NYJB (New York Journal of Books) and freelance reviews. My book has won the Nesta Silver Award for Character building, 3rd place on Predator’s and Editors and 1st place in the monthly People’s Choice Awards. Many of my short stories have been published in several book collections and anthologies, including The Speed of Dark which won an International Award for fine writing.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

My book . . . And the Whippoorwill sang is available at Amazon for Kindle and tablets for $2.99 and in print at a newly reduced rate of $12.25; it is also available for purchase or order from your favorite book store. Signed copies can be purchased directly from me or I can mail a signed bookplate to readers ordering from Amazon or other venues.

What’s next on the writing agenda for Micki Peluso?

My current WIP (Work in Progress) is a collection of humorous slice-of-life, short fiction and non-fiction essays and scattered poems, in a book called Don’t Pluck the Duck, to be released in 2015. My publisher has also accepted a children’s book called The Cat Who Wanted a Dog, also due by the end of this year. Tales@Inspire has accepted four short stories, plus several more by Creature Features and one by Women’s Memoirs. And then there’s that novel beckoning . . . sigh.

Micki, it’s been a delight having you here for an author chat at 4writersandreaders. I would love to get a signed bookplate for my copy of “…And the Whippoorwill Sang”; and, I can’t wait to get my hands on your next book!

  • Readers: Micki and I would love to have you stop by the comment section below for a chat.  I hope you’ll ‘run out’ or ‘click away’ and order you copy of …And the Whippoorwill Sang. You’ll be glad you did.

Happy reading and writing, friends! ~Bette A. Stevens

VISIT MICKI PELUSO:

Comments on: "MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso" (68)

  1. Hi,

    I first met Micki in a writing group that we were both a part of on Linked In. This writing group doesn’t exist any longer. But the night that I met her displays Micki’s sense of humour.

    I was having problems with my then windows computer and was at a lost. Frustrated after finally resolving the problem, I went in the writing group to jammer and Micki was also online. She began to tell me about her computer and how it was eating up her emails and causing correspondence to disappear, and I cracked up. Her, in my opinion, Erma Bombeck sense of humour, came through and I laughed so hard I was in tears. That’s how I met Micki.

    Since then, I have read her book and cried with her over her lost; I have cracked up at her trip across country in the trailer with her girlfriend; I bowled over in laughter as, I believe it was Noelle, that came back from the neighbours with her mouth all yellow, because she had been eating eggs at the neighbours house. There are so many good features, no let me say, great features about this book that I cannot name them all.

    What I personally like is the appeal. This book is for everyone. There is no special group of people who should read it. It is a positive affirmation of family, of hard times, of good times, of adventure, of joy, and yes, of sadness.

    So thank you Bette for featuring Micki. And The Whippoorwill Sang is a book worthy to be read and its author worthy to be honoured for writing a poignant memoir of life.

    Micki, I wish you all the best in your writing endeavours. You’re one of a kind.

    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

    • I’m with you, Pat. Micki Peluso is one of a kind! Thanks so much for sharing in the conversation about a fantastic writer and an unforgettable book. Blessings, Bette

  2. Reblogged this on Book Reviews by Pat Garcia and commented:
    Micki Peluso is an author that I admire. Her Erma Bombeck sense of humour locks you into her book, And The Whippoorwill Sang. Micki was interviewed by Bette A. Stevens, and this interview gives you a look into Micki’s life.
    Great job, Bette.
    This is a wonderful, delightful interview, Micki.
    Shalom,
    Pat Garcia

  3. Hi Micki and Bette. I Have known Micki for many years, and we have travelled the road of the “written word” through many peaks and valleys. I’ve read “Whippoorwill” at least three times (unusual for me) and it was as entertaining–said, poignant and hilariously funny the last time as the first.

    pg

    • Hi, Annie. Thanks so much for joining the conversation. I’m with you–Micki Peluso knows how to tell an unforgettable story. Have a great day! 🙂 Bette

      • Hi Betty, yes, she does. I’m Pat,by the way. I know it says Annie Collie, but I’m really Patguth. I’m going to have to change that name. Nobody’s going to know who I am. (Maybe that’s good?)

  4. Woops, that should have been sad

  5. loiswstern said:

    I have worked with Micki as an author, and now as a friend as well. She contributed one of her short stories, The Whippoorwill’s Song (based on her book, ‘And the Whippoorwill Sang’) to the annual Tales2Inspire contest, receiving strong votes from the judges. It is now published in one of the Tales2Inspire Collections. You might enjoy watching this video production we collaborated on for The Writer’s Dream Show @https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAA-Ugv_Wcs
    In my book, Micki is an all around winner!

    • Hi, Lois. Thanks for the visit and for adding to the ‘buzz’. I’m with you. Can’t wait to read more from Micki! Have a wonderful day. 🙂 Bette

  6. Erin Collins said:

    I have been a friend of Micki’s since I finished my own novel. She introduced me to Linda Daly, and LSP Digital published my book. Thanks to Micki, my book finally got published. Hi, Micki! Terrific interview!

  7. Thanks Bette for having me here at your warm, inviting blog.

    Pat, I’m so happy that you enjoyed my book. It’s purpose was to make an impact upon people and it did that for you.

    Annie, I’m impressed that you read my book three times. Thanks more than most of my family and they are in it. Maybe I should have been nicer to them :).

    Lois, I’m pleased to see you here. You’ve been a metor and friend to mesince we’ve met.

    All my best,

    Micki Peluso
    .

    • Dear Micki,

      Thanks so much for accepting the offer to be here with us on MEET THE AUTHOR. I loved your book and can’t wait to read more from you. Hope our readers will stop for a chat and grab a copy of …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG. They’ll be glad they did and I can’t wait to read your next book!

      It’s been a pleasure having you here for a feature visit, my friend.Your writing is superb and your sense of humor unmistakably endearing.

      Hugs,
      Bette

  8. Micki, that was a wonderful interview. I do admire the fact that you would write a memoir. I’d be afraid that my own would be too boring.

    You are one of the most interesting of my friends on LinkedIn and I’m so glad we met.

  9. Thanks for sharing this great interview, Bette! I enjoyed meeting Micki, and already can see the talented writer that she is from this poignant interview.

    • Thanks, Barbara. …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG is an outstanding memoir and I highly recommend it to all of my friends. Happy reading and writing and all of those other amazing things that you do, too! 🙂

  10. kimber cole said:

    I’m micki’s daughter, Kim and I was a perfect child! You mustn’t believe half what my mother says, besides, she doesn’t know the half of what us kids were doing lol! If she did, she wouldn’t have been sane enough to write a book about us!

    Seriously though, it’s so incredibly wonderful to have this book! My sister is alive in this book and so is my childhood. Being able to sit down and turn the pages of my life is the greatest gift my mother could ever have given us and I hope you all enjoy this journey as much as we did.

    • Dear Kim,

      So glad you stopped by to visit today. Your mom is a very special lady and your note brought tears to my eyes, again. Having read Micki’s memoir, I feel that I know each and every one of you. Her gift is a legacy to the world.

      Blessing and love,
      Bette

  11. kelly L. Wren said:

    I am Kelly, another of Micki’s daughters but I do not profess to be perfect lol I have read and re read this book and each time I have a different experience. Sometimes when I have read it, I relived my childhood with Noelle, my best friend in the world but then was also forced to relive the most unthinkable loss.. Other times when I have read the book, I laughed and marveled at how down pat she had each of our very unique personalities and I realize what a great mother she was … to really know and understand each one of us. We all really did believe each one of us were her favorite. I am a mother of three and I have not honed that skill successfully to date. I am so grateful to have this book to hand down to my children so that they can see who all of us were when we were growing up. I wish that my Grammy would have written a book about my mother when she was young. I believe this story is not just our story but the story of how life takes us on unexpected journeys and sometimes it is something that happens to you and not someone else far away and impossible. It is a story of a young family growing up with all the silly and funny experiences until that one incident that changed everything .. moved them to a different realm and forced each one of them to reconcile with the impossible and somehow learn to trust the world again and learn to love again.

    • Dear Kelly,

      It is wonderful to have you drop in for a visit today. Your mom’s book leaves a treasured legacy for your family and for generations to come. I feel as though I’ve watched you all grow up through the years. …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG is an outstanding memoir that touched the heart of this reader. I’m delighted to hear about your own three children. It is evident from your note that they’re in very capable hands. I can picture you keeping a journal in which to store your own precious memories for each one of them. May your treasury be sweet and full.

      Blessings to you and yours,
      Bette

    • I am the youngest of Micki’s children, Nicole, and while I find it charming that the others all believed they were mom’s favorite, I am here to report that I am clearly the favorite child. That being said, I can’t say that I have read and re-read the book, as it was challenging for me to even read it once. Unfortunately I have trouble thinking about that time in our family’s past and it took me weeks to break out of my grief after reading the book after its release. My mother has an incredible talent for writing and allowing the reader to feel as if they are a part of the characters in the story, while also giving the reader a glimpse into the historical moments of our country. After reading this interview I am almost mustering up the courage to pull out my copy of the book and read it again. Maybe tomorrow.

    • colemc70 said:

      While it amusing that my siblings really believe they were my mother’s favorites, I am sad to report that it is me, Nicole who is clearly the favorite child of both my parents. As a parent myself, I realize that your love for each child is very different as they are unique and bonded to me in different ways, but the love you have for your children is fierce and unending. The experience of losing my sister had a profound effect on me my entire life, I feel as though every single turn my life takes is a result of knowing that immense loss is possible. I am blessed with two beautiful children, my son is the first born, and my daughter second. The entire year of my Bailey’s 14th birthday was met with my inexplicable fear of losing her as I did Noelle, I had terrible nightmares and fought with the poor kid every day trying to keep her captive in our home so she would be safe. This was completely irrational, however it was all consuming to me. She will be leaving for college this fall and I am attempting to remain calm and keep my faith that both God and Noelle will protect her, I guess that is all we can really do. I am one of my mother’s biggest fans, she doesn’t realize how incredible her talent for writing is, but her ability to lure her readers into the characters’ lives as if they are a part of the family is achieved so naturally that the reader doesn’t even know it is happening until they are completely enthralled with the story. Sadly, I can’t say like my sister Kelly, that I have read and re-read the book, I have only been able to read it once. It took me months to get over the grief in my heart after reading it upon its initial release, apparently I have stuffed those memories and feelings of loss down pretty deep and they were ready to pounce once I allowed them to. After reading this interview, I feel compelled to go pull out my copy and re-read it now. Maybe tomorrow.

  12. Hi Erin, thanks for stopping by. We had some great times together, sharing the ins and outs of writing and the perils of marketing. Your book is excellent and I wish you luck on it being accepted for film
    Micki

  13. Sharon, it was so wonderful of you to stop by and share this time with Bette and me and others. I hope you got to know more about the book from the interview.

    My best,

    Micki

  14. Barbara, I’m happy to meet you here with our mutual friend, Bette Stevens, someone I’ve come to respect and admire as well as like. I hope this was a pleasant interview for you and if you do check out my book, be sure and let me or Bette know if you can.

    All the best, Micki

  15. Kim, my first born daughter, you most certainly did everything I said and there is much more that you and your siblings think I don’t know but . . .LOL. You’ve been both daughter and friend and as the oldest you had a lot of responsibility, but you were born to rule so I don’t feel too bad. 🙂 I’m glad you use the book the way you do as I do also. What would we do without it? memories fade, but the book remains.

    Love, Mom

  16. My sweet Kelly, you were born good, except for the tendency to have that flaring temper and throwing things–but it kept your brothers in line. You will always be the keeper of memories for this family with your scrapbooking and photo albums, so that future generations can look back at their past and know where they came from. You will also be the one that holds the family together–the peacekeeper. You and Noelle were the closest and will always remain so as she is always with you and all of us.

    Love Mom

  17. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful and talented author, Bette. Her book sounds fascinating, and I just can’t resist a good memoir so I’ve already purchased my copy. Hugs to you, dear friend.

  18. Dear macjam47,

    Thank you for taking the time to meet me, my wacky family, and learn a little about our loves, lives, losses and survival. By purchasing this book, you helped me keep a promise to Noelle to let the world know who and what she was and also to all other young lives struck down by drunk drivers, I’d love to know how what you think of the bok when finished.

    All my best,

    Micki

  19. Thanks Bette and Micki for such in interesting interview, and to Patricia Salamone’s post that brought me here. Micki, you’re a remarkable woman and so glad to have gotten to know you and read your splendid memoir. God bless you and look forward to reading your coming books.

  20. Dear Nicole,

    You must get over your obsession with being the favorite lol. It’s odd how after so many years we all still hide our grief from each other. The ‘great sadness’ that never leaves, Yet we have all moved forward and in sharing Noelle’s life with others, have helped them in their own losses, perhaps stopped some from drinking and driving, and kept a promise to Noelle. Now we move forward trusting in God that something like this will never happen in our lives again.

    Love, Mom

    .

  21. Hi Kathleen,
    I’m so happy you were able to stop by for the interview. I appeciate your coming and am fortunate to have you as a friend and supporting me in my writing.

  22. Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
    A very interesting blog post featuring Micki Peluso, author of “And The Whippoorwill Sang”.

  23. Aurorajean,

    I’m so pleased you could drop by and comment. I’ll be sure to stop at your blog as soon as I find thge link. I just love hearing from you.

    Take care,

    Hugs, Micki

  24. Monica said:

    Hi, I am Nicole’s mother-in-law. Yikes -mother-in-law!. As Nicole knows, I resisted reading her mom, Micki’s book. Nicole has a picture of Noelle and every time I see it I cry. Micki has written a book and it describes exactly how this wonderful family is. I couldn’t bear to read the part about Noelle but when I did I was happy I finally made it through. I am so sad to think I never met this young girl. Micki’s writing is lovely and the stories of the family are sometimes very funny and touching. I am looking forward to reading Micki’s next book. Cheers,
    Monica

  25. deirdret said:

    Dear Bette, thank you for spotlighting Micki Peluso. I, like Pat Garcia met Micki several years ago on LinkedIn when we were promoting our books. Micki and I hit it off right away too. I enjoyed reading all these comments, especially the ones from the girls and Micki’s response to them. They ARE all her favorites, along with her handsome sons. I believe that Micki’s promise to Noelle continues to be fulfilled, to get the word out that she was a unique, loved, and precious young woman. Allowing others to feel the pain the entire family felt has undoubtedly helped many who, sadly, have suffered the same indescribable loss. Micki’s love for the Lord is evident in so many ways. She has forgiven the drunk driver who stole her daughter’s life and she leans on her Savior for strength every day. I am proud to know her. Thank you again for a wonderful interview. God bless you, Bette.

    With admiration and love to Micki,
    Deirdre Tolhurst, Author, A Christmas I Remember

    • Hi, Deidre. Thanks so much for stopping for a visit and adding to the conversation about our multi-talented Micki Peluso. …And The Whippoorwill Sang will long remain with me and I am honored to call its author my friend as well. Blessings to you and yours, Bette

  26. Dear Monica, I am so pleased you stopped by to read the interview and leave a message. I know how hard the book was for you to read but I also knew once you began the good times would overcome the bad in so many ways. I’m glad Nicole found someone as wonderful as your son to father grandkids as perfect as ours are. 🙂

    All my best,

    Micki

  27. Dear Deirdre,
    You are the one who picks me up when I am down and helps restore my faith and for that I am always grateful, since you are no stranger to violent loss of loved ones. As always, your words made me cry–good tears.Thank you for all your support in the often difficult task of keeping my promise to Noelle.

    Love you,

    Micki

  28. Thanks, Georgina, that was so nice of you. I’ll get your link from Bette so I can see it and follow you.
    All the best, Micki

  29. Well, really, I’m tearing up just reading all the comments, never mind the book, which was alternatively hilarious and heartbreaking. I loved it, Micki. I feel it must have helped you and your family to write it, and indeed, the comments from some of your daughters seem to bear that out. What a wonderful family! I feel glad to have met you all.

  30. Hi Helen.
    How nice of you to drop by. I’m so glad you liked the book and hope you can write a short review for me. I’m enjoying your book as well; reading it along with another one that should be first but I enjoy yours too much. Yes, Helen, writing the book saved my sanity and as Kim says, it’s always going to be there when we need to remember or miss Noelle and forget some of the past which time does as a healing aid. It was also trying and difficult at times but overall, I feel I did my utmost to keep my promise to her .

    All my best,

    Micki

  31. Hi Bette,
    Thank you for your visit to my site this weekend. I’m glad you liked my post “How to Get Loyal Visitors…”. I need a favor which would help both of us. You had a post recently on how to grow a blog “audience”. I would like to reblog it. Could you send me the link please? I won’t see it here. My Email is janicegreenfield123@gmail.com. It should get you a lot of exposure. Thank you so much for the help. I don’t see an “older post” button here.
    Janice

    • Hi, Janice. Just sent you an email, but forgot to put in a SUBJECT LINE. If you don’t get it, you can email me at bettestevens@tds.net. Also, if the post I sent isn’t the one you were looking for, just let me know and I’ll find it for you. Have a great week! 🙂 Bette

  32. Thanks, Bette, for making this interview such a lovely experience.
    Micki

  33. Micki, I just finished reading your moving book the other day and today I find you on Bette’s blog. Bette I met on Twitter. I marvel at the way social media brings us all together to share our life journeys. Your comments with your children are interesting, Micki. I wrote a memory book which I shared with my partner-in-crime brother who told me it wasn’t all what he remembered. Interesting how our points of view can so colour the facts of lives. All best to both of you–Elaine.

    • Hi, Elaine. Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat. You are so right on point of view differences within families and relationships. We are all truly unique. Have a wonderful day, my friends and thanks again for joining the conversation.

  34. Dear Elaine, I happy that you read my book. You are so right about point of view. If each member of my family each wrote a book about this, we would have 7 different books. For instance, I felt I went through the tragedy all alone. I didn’t, of course, but I felt alone.
    All my best, Micki

  35. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

  36. Thank you so much for visiting, go cox. I appreciate your coming.

  37. Reblogged this on mallie1025 and commented:
    One of my favorite interviews!

    • Thanks, Micki. Well-deserved congratulations on the latest review for your wonderful memoir And the Whippoorwill Sang. Will keep shouting about it! 🙂 ❤

  38. […] Source: MEET THE AUTHOR: Micki Peluso […]

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