Hello, Tall Poppy readers! Please join us in welcoming Adria J. Cimino to the blog today to talk about her upcoming novel THE CREEPSHOW (publishing April 11th). Here’s a bit more about the book (pre-order it here), her secret (now not-so-secret) superpower, and a favorite author moment …

Wanda Julienne was the perfect employee. Until she had a baby.

Wanda, a thirtysomething single mother, would love to spend more time with her newborn daughter, and maybe even rekindle the flame she once had with her baby’s father. Instead, she’s stuck fighting discrimination and harassment at her horrid job.

After maternity leave, Wanda returns to her financial analyst position and finds her world turned upside down. The arrogant colleague who filled in for her tanked her funds—and should have lost his job for it. Instead, management blames Wanda and pressures her to repair the damage overnight while also taking on new assignments, all of which feels like an elaborate set up. Add in a dose of sexual harassment and Wanda, who can’t afford to lose her job, is trapped and sees no way out.

At home, the situation isn’t much brighter. Wanda struggles to balance her baby’s needs and her tough work schedule. Her best friend, Galina, and the ex-boyfriend Wanda never thought would return, Max, offer support, but the attention only suffocates her.

Wanda turns her back and isolates herself, submerged in a downward spiral, until Galina suggests a way out—but the exit won’t be without drastic consequences. To save herself and make a better life for her baby, and maybe one day Max, she does the only thing she can. She fights back.

Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.

My five-year-old daughter. She’s bilingual (French/English) and the French was dominant until about a year ago. So now, we’re in that fun stage of acquiring new vocabulary. The bigger the word, the better, according to her. The other day I told her she was irresistible and then she told me I was “isistible” too.

What’s your secret — or not so secret — superpower?

I used to be an unofficial cat rescuer. I say “unofficial” because it wasn’t as if I worked for an association. Literally, abandoned cats would somehow end up crossing my path, and each time I was able to find them homes. It’s happened five times. The most dramatic occurred when we were on vacation in the Pyrenees and a cat, clearly lost or abandoned, showed up at our rental the day before we were set to leave. Earlier, I’d seen a flyer in town about a man who took in cats… and for some strange reason, I’d picked up the flyer and kept it. So there I was, frantically trying to get in touch with this guy. After a lot of phone tag, he arrived, we caught the cat, and he brought her to his home. And he followed up with me days later to say that he’d found the owner! I haven’t had any experiences recently so I don’t know if I still have my super power…

Talk about a fun/interesting reader interaction you’ve had?

Shortly after the publication of my debut novel, Paris, Rue des Martyrs, I was a guest of the U.S. Embassy at the Paris Book Fair, and since most visitors to the fair are French and looking for French books, I wasn’t expecting to draw much interest! And then, all of a sudden, a young woman came running over with my book in her hands. She had traveled from Normandy to Paris to get me to sign Paris, Rue des Martyrs. If she hadn’t been holding my book, I might have asked: “Are you sure you’re looking for Adria?” I wasn’t used to such attention!

What’s your next big thing?

Actually something I’ve been working on with fellow author and Tall Poppy Vicki Lesage. We’ve started BookStar, an e-book newsletter promoting e-book deals as well as new releases. We created it after realizing that we couldn’t find a book deals newsletter out there specializing in Women’s Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit and other works written by women and for women. So we created one! As for my work as an author… I’m looking forward to two book releases this spring: The Creepshow and A Perfumer’s Secret.

Talk about your book’s cover and title?

I once knew a couple of people who referred to their place of work as “The Creepshow.” So that immediately came to mind when I drew up the rough plan (I never outline) for this book. It’s the story of a woman named Wanda who faces discrimination after maternity leave. At work, she’s surrounded by a cast of unsavory characters, all themselves involved in a power struggle. “The Creepshow” seemed like the perfect fit! And since I usually struggle with titles, I was thrilled to have come up with one before I even started writing.

Thank you for stopping by, Adria, and all the best to you and THE CREEPSHOW!

Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow (release April 2016) and A Perfumer’s Secret (release spring 2016). She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria lives in Paris with her husband, Didier, and daughter, Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by. You can connect with Adria on her website, and on Facebook and Twitter.