How about your three favorite things?
My book, UNCHAINED MEMORIES, in print
A photograph of my family that’s on my desk
A ring my husband gave me
What is the best part and worst part of writing?
I love getting in the zone, when the words flow and the characters speak for themselves. My fingers fly over the keyboard and I don’t want to stop to take a break to do anything else. It’s so gratifying to see the number of pages I just covered with hopefully brilliant dialogue, perfect conflict, and lovable but flawed characters. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those days when the words are not coming to mind, the dialogue is forced or stilted and the conflict is cliché. Then, you just have to put down something on the page with the hope of rejuvenating those creative juices or walk away and do something else.
How much is your character like you?
My main character in UNCHAINED MEMORIES is a medical malpractice lawyer and I’m a divorce lawyer. We are both litigators and we both work on emotionally difficult cases. We also both work a lot. I think all my heroines have a piece of me in them, however, they come from different backgrounds and that is what distinguishes us. For example, the heroine of my novel, Charlotte Taylor, was in an automobile accident with her parents when she was a senior in high school. Both of her parents died. That formed the person she is today. It drove her to her goal of becoming a medical malpractice lawyer, it affected the relationship she has with her sister, and it affects her ability to love without fear of losing that love. All of our individual experiences over the years create who we are today. By giving my characters a history, it helps me determine their goals, motivations and conflicts internally and externally.
When not writing, what are you doing?
I represent clients as a divorce lawyer by day. In addition to litigating cases, I also mediate and engage in collaborative divorces. I also write articles and blogs for local newspapers and our firm’s blog on legal issues in divorce. In addition to practicing law, I am on two boards, Dress for Success Mercer County and Thomas Edison State College Foundation. In both organizations, I am on individual committees. I am Chair of the Special Events Committee for Thomas Edison as well as the Sponsorship Chair for their annual gala. For Dress for Success I am on the Board Development Committee. At least three times a week, I go to Jazzercise. I love to dance and that’s the only exercise class that keeps me coming back. On weekends, my husband and I have dinner with friends and/or our two daughters. And now I am planning my older daughter’s wedding.
Oooh, a wedding, how exciting. And kudos for being so involved in your community.
Below is the blurb for UNCHAINED MEMORIES
As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn't do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.
Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town...until he discovers her chosen career path.
Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?
Charlotte dashed into her condo, threw her briefcase on the floor and stripped her clothes as she hustled to the bedroom. The clock flashed six-fifteen and even though she wasn’t much of a primper, that gave her less than thirty minutes to make herself look . . . look what?
This wasn’t a date. It was a casual dinner with an old friend, as Clay had made a point of enforcing when he’d called. And she’d agreed. Yet, her heart danced as she jumped into the shower.
After having washed the wear of the day away, she opted for a wrap-around navy dress which clung, she hoped, in the right places. Yes, it was Thursday and yes, there were no expectations of a date, but they were meeting at Zoey’s, a five-star restaurant in the center of town. Why not look nice?
With a minute to spare, Charlotte entered the muted vestibule, her stomach somersaulting at the thought of spending the evening with her former crush. But no matter how many times she’d admonished herself to simmer down, it hadn’t worked.
She needed to act cool, disinterested, aloof. Which had never been difficult with anyone else she dated. There was that word again. This is not a date. And even if it was, Annie had indicated Clay’s reputation was that of a player, although it hadn’t been confirmed. In reality, he could be in a serious relationship, or gay. A laugh escaped at that thought. Impossible. Clay had too much testosterone, not to mention, unending charm and sophistication where women were concerned.
“Charley, you made it.” His voice flowed through her senses.
She turned toward him and her breath caught in her throat. He had on a charcoal gray suit, white shirt and a navy tie. Oh, so sexy.
She leaned in, accepting a cordial kiss on her cheek.
“We have a table in the corner.”
They followed the maître d’ and Charlotte amusedly watched ladies’ heads turn, following Clay in his wake. How did he do that?
Sorry, ladies, but for the next two hours he’s mine. She couldn’t help the self-satisfied smile that insinuated itself on her lips.
Candlelight gave the room a soft, romantic glow, and large vases of fresh flowers were strategically placed on tall tables around the restaurant. Very elegant. Clay held her chair, and she eased into it, begging for every feminine charm she might have hidden within, to display itself at the right time. Obviously, her lecture to herself was not working.
“You look beautiful,” he said as he sat across from her.
She looked into his gorgeous green eyes and almost repeated the compliment. “Thank you,” she said instead.
His thick, dark brown hair hadn’t a strand of gray and his expensive looking suit molded itself to his slim, toned physique. Maybe he had a few laugh lines around his eyes, but they made him look even better.
“So, other than working at Princeton General, what have you been doing for the past ten years?” she asked, steering the conversation toward a more personal exchange.
He arched an eyebrow. “Are you asking about my love-life?”
Her face burned at his pointed question. He obviously knew what she was after. And now she was embarrassed to admit it. But she wasn’t going to let on. Staying cool in uncomfortable situations was a trait of a good lawyer, and she had been practicing it since she’d started law school.
“Is that what you’d like to talk about?”
For more information go to www.mariaimbalzano.com
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