Find us on Google+

Good Morning, Booklovers!

Happy Wednesday! Thank you for stopping to have coffee with us.
Our guest this week is author Neil Plakcy who writes in several genres from romance to mystery, but brought with him an usual paranormal mystery, Genie for Hire.

Welcome, Neil. How do you take your coffee?

NEIL:  Good morning. I like to take my own cup into my local Starbucks (that way they don’t have to cover it with a lid) and get a grande raspberry mocha with whipped cream and a mocha drizzle. The baristas know me and take lots of pleasure in creating a great-looking coffee piled high with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Ally: I hope you brought your favorite cup, because my magic pot can do anything! While I supervise the creation process, please introduce yourself to readers.


Neil Plakcy lives in South Florida, and if there aren’t genies around there is certainly a lot of crazy activity, which inspires his mystery and romance novels. Additional inspiration is provided by his two golden retrievers, Brody and Griffin, who are always getting into mischief.
You also asked for something unusual:
I was a contestant on Jeopardy! when I was much younger, and flubbed a question about a food item that was “hopping onto restaurant menus.” I guessed kangaroo, when the correct answer was rabbit, and that clip was part of the New York channel’s ads for weeks afterward.


Ally:  What inspired you to write a story about a genie? How does this ability help and hinder him as a PI?

I started to see a lot of paranormal mysteries inspired by Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books, but I didn’t want to do the same old thing. I thought for a long time about what kind of paranormal hadn’t been done to death in mysteries, and came up with a genie. From there it was easy to start listing his abilities and how he can use them as a PI. He can’t transport himself from place to place, so he has to drive, but he can transform briefly into a wisp of smoke—which gets him underneath locked doors. He’s loyal and determined, and contractually obligated to fulfill the wish he’s hired to do.

Ally:  When and where do you do your best writing? Do you write on a schedule or whenever you can catch a few moments?

NEIL:  I have organized my life so that I can get to Starbucks every morning for at least an hour before I have to go to work. My brain is trained that when my butt hits that hard chair and the smell of coffee fills my nostrils, it’s time to get to work. I also will use the voice recorder on my phone to catch details or plot bunnies before they slip away.

Ally:  Describe your route to publication. ie Are you indie or traditional? Whichever route you chose, would you consider the other?

NEIL:  I’m a hybrid author. I started out with traditional (read: small press) publication, and began working my way up the food chain. Because I have a tech background I jumped at the chance to create my own ebooks back when Kindle meant “start a fire” and I’ve been happy to continue on both tracks.

Ally:  What are you working on now?

NEIL:  Right now I’m working on edits for my seventh golden retriever mystery, HONEST TO DOG. Reformed computer hacker Steve Levitan and his crime-sniffing golden, Rochester, begin sniffing out clues when a college classmate of Steve’s drowns in the Delaware Canal,which runs through the center of town. Did he fall in? Or was he pushed? I hope to have it out soon after the new year.

Ally:  I love quick answer questions, so here's a few for you:
  • a. favorite dessert: Reese’s peanut butter cups, or anything that mixes peanut butter and chocolate
  • b. an item on your bucket list: An African safari
  • c. a car you wish you owned: Jaguar convertible
  • d. a book you have reread: Laurie Colwin’s Happy All The Time
  • e. two tv shows you hate to miss: Inspector Lewis on PBS, and Longmire on Netflix

Ally:  I'm not a Netflix user, but Longmire may drive me to it. I loved it on A&E. Neil, it's been a pleasure having you, but I see our time is almost up for today. I've reserved just enough for you to show readers your book! :)

There is real magic in the world, and false magic, and it takes a genie to tell the difference.

The hero of Genie for Hire, Biff Andromeda, is a centuries-old genie in a buff body who can’t use his powers for his own good – he must earn his keep by granting wishes for clients of his private detective agency, located in the Miami suburbs. To solve a series of crimes from theft to murder, he’ll have to go up against members of the Russian Mafia. Biff will need all the help he can get, from his squirrel sidekick Raki, his butterfly operative Sylph, and his lady love Farishta, a marid, or genie whose powers come from water. One problem, though – Biff is allergic to water and can only tolerate it when Farishta’s around.

Buy Links:, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords, and in print from CreateSpace.

Reviewers have called the book charming and praised its combination of magical elements with a solid mystery.

Other books by Neil Plakcy:



Comments are closed.