Thursday, March 1, 2012

Author Spotlight: Kira Peikoff

Many of Gazalapalooza's regular readers are authors, who well understand how excited our Spotlight Author Kira Peikoff is right now. Peikoff's debut novel, an exciting thriller titled Living Proof, just came out last Tuesday. All of us remember what and how we felt the day our first book was released. We all know how energized and electric Peikoff feels on this momentous occasion, and I'm confident everyone joins me in wishing her great fortune and fun not only with Living Proof, but also with all the books she has yet to write.

Why, you might ask, would a debut author like Peikoff so bravely subject herself to the sweat-inducing glare of the Gazalapalooza Author Spotlight? After reading Living Proof, you'll see Peikoff has no fear of jumping into controversy. It's a well-written and compelling thriller that boldly examines some of the most contentious medical, legal and philosophical issues confronting us today. Arianna Drake, a brilliant young doctor specializing in infertility treatment, runs a clinic that attracts scrutiny from the U.S. Department of Embryo Preservation. Trent Rowe, the DEP agent tasked to gather evidence sufficient to shut down Drake's clinic and end her career with imprisonment, instead finds himself allured by Drake despite her past radicalism, and the illness that threatens to take her life very soon. The more Rowe learns about Drake's life and her illegal but miraculous work, the less sure he is of things he took for granted before meeting her. With lives and an unprecedented medical breakthrough on the line, Drake and Rowe find themselves facing danger, ruin and death against the backdrop of one of today's prevalent sociocultural conflicts. The story's set 15 years from now, but Peikoff's plot could spring from fiction to fact far sooner than that.

Sounds good, doesn't it?

Peikoff's no dewy ingenue. She seems like a brave woman. Let's explore that. So without further ado, we'll get Peikoff comfortably seated in the cushy Spotlight chair, and then blast her with the Author Spotlight.

Gazala:    In my omnipotence, I've sentenced you to be stranded alone on a desert island for offenses best left unnamed. In my beneficence, I've decided to allow you a limited amount of reading material to make your stay a little less bleak than it would otherwise be. I'll spot you your religious text of preference, and the collected works of William Shakespeare. In addition to those, name the one fiction book, and the one nonfiction book, you'd choose to take with you, and why you choose them. 

Peikoff:    I would bring a sweeping epic like Gone with the Wind to keep me distracted for a long time, and Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird to inspire me to keep writing. I probably wouldn't have my laptop, but could you at least throw in a pen and some paper? 

Gazala:    Your debut novel is an excellent and gripping thriller titled Living Proof. I've read it. I enjoyed it immensely, and recommend it highly. Shockingly enough, however, from time to time my bare recommendation doesn't always motivate a book's potential reader to become a book's actual reader. Tell us something about Living Proof, and why its potential reader should make the leap and become its actual reader. 

Peikoff:    Living Proof will take you to a place you've never been before, but it's a place you might very well end up in your lifetime. As it pulls you in, it will also make you think. You may surprise yourself by sympathizing with a character you were prepared to dislike; you may even find yourself questioning some of your own beliefs. If you like your thrillers timely and smart, this is the book for you. 

Gazala:    What are books for?

Peikoff:    For me, books are my drug of choice--my regular and much-needed dose of enlightenment, entertainment, wonder, and inspiration.  

Gazala:    W. Somerset Maugham said, "There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." Do you agree, or disagree, and why?

Peikoff:    Partially disagree. I think everyone can agree that a novel needs a beginning, middle, and end, plus a central conflict. Beyond that, it's pretty wide open. 

Gazala:    I smell something burning. Ask yourself a question, and answer it.

Peikoff:    Q: What will I get if I buy your book, besides a gripping read? A: I'm so glad you asked. For everyone who buys the book the week it comes out (2/28-3/5), I will mail you an autographed book plate! Just send a picture of your receipt to 

Even after all that, Peikoff still looks calm, cool and collected. Not a drop of sweat to be seen on her. Impressive. I'd say it's a sign you ought to check out Living Proof. You can do that at Amazon by clicking here.

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