Author Barbara Erlichman tells us about The Judas Hoard — an exciting thriller and her third book with iUniverse!
Please briefly describe your book . . .
Linden Travers wakes up locked inside a strange house with no memory of the previous night. Switching on the TV, she learns that her uncle is dead and she’s accused of stealing the Judas Hoard, his priceless coin collection. Of the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas Iscariot for betraying Jesus Christ, the 6 shekels are all that remain. Convinced she’s been framed, Linden escapes the house and returns to New York, the city she calls home. Home, though, will be a tourist-friendly hotel – the best place to stay out of sight and out of touch while trying to prove her innocence.
Linden’s relatives have no problem accepting her guilt. They hire a private investigator to find both her and the Judas Hoard. Alex Blair, an expert at finding people, thrives on such challenges and quickly tracks her down. But the Judas Hoard has vanished without a trace.
The Voice is the one person who knows where Linden was the night her uncle died. Equally anxious to find the Hoard, he taunts her through phone calls, but his electronically distorted voice gives no hint as to his identity.
Alex is sure Linden’s guilty until he hears a threatening voice mail from the Voice. As he begins to believe her story about being kidnapped and drugged, they go from being enemies to lovers, but Alex’s evasion about his own past makes Linden reluctant to trust him entirely.
Everyone becomes a suspect when Linden’s search for the missing coins turns deadly. Following the trail of cryptic clues left by her uncle, she must use all her ingenuity to stay alive and outwit The Voice.
And can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and educated in England and came to work in New York for six months. I met my future husband soon after my arrival and have been in the U.S. ever since. Based in Manhattan, my husband and I operated a rare coin and collectibles company and travelled throughout the U.S. and Europe attending conventions and auctions. I also put in my time in Corporate America working in advertising, marketing and sales. In addition, I freelanced as a copy editor and proofreader so I’m a fanatic about typos, inconsistencies and bad formatting (especially on TV stations’ creeping crawl.)
I have also published 2 books – One of a Kind and Yesterday’s Enemy. Both novels evolved from my experiences in the numismatic and fine arts fields. One of a Kind, which is about the discovery and auction of a unique 1873-S silver dollar, gives an insider look at the rare coin industry. The idea for Yesterday’s Enemy came while travelling through Europe on a buying trip, where we drove from country to country with little problem. In this novel, an art historian agrees to inventory an art collection at a remote chateau in France only to discover that she’s also expected to smuggle terrorists out of the country.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject, and style? What inspired you to write your book?
One of my favorite authors is Lawrence Block and I particularly enjoy his Matt Scudder series and Keller novels (especially the character, Dot). I admire his ability to describe people and places so vividly using just a few words.
The seeds of The Judas Hoard sprouted while visiting a client in Key Biscayne. There was a news item about a woman who was hospitalized with amnesia. Wondering how she had ended up in such a situation and if she had any family was the genesis of The Judas Hoard.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
My novels are written for entertainment and escapism and I hope that’s how my readers find them to be. I don’t want to solve other people’s problems or change the world – just provide a few hours’ relief from everyday problems
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
No. I hate novels that set me up for a sequel – except for Invisible Ellen by Shari Shattuck. I actually emailed her to ask if she was working on a sequel. She replied that she was – and I enjoyed it as much as the first. And I hope she writes another sequel. Never say never.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book? Please feel free to mention any accolades you have received.
Nowadays, the most important promotional tool is having an on-line presence. I’m planning to set aside several hours a week to update my Facebook pages, Goodreads, Linked-in and Google+ as well as anything else that’s around. I’m always ready to take advantage of any opportunity to promote my novels.
I’m always ecstatically pleased and surprised when people tell me how proud they are of me for being published. I tend to think anyone can write a book, but I realize what’s easy for me is not so simple for someone else.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
My favorite part of my iUniverse experience was being in charge. With “traditional” publishers, there’s always the chance of your contract being withdrawn if you don’t follow their suggestions. With the iUniverse team, I always felt that I had everyone’s support and doing what made me comfortable was the most important thing.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
WRITE IT DOWN. So many people have said to me “I’ve a great idea for a book.” It may very well be a great idea but it’s not going anywhere unless it’s written down. And if you’re serious about writing, be prepared to accept criticism and develop a very thick skin.