Welcome to the RPLA Showcase
Each year at the Royal Palm Literary Award Banquet, authors experience the joy of earning accolades for all the hard work that is often done in the privacy of the home with little to no recognition. Our goal is to showcase the best of the best at the 2015 Royal Palm Literary Awards and provide First Place winners with a well-deserved spotlight. Not only are we recognizing extraordinary talent, but we’re giving readers an opportunity to sample excerpts from the winning stories.
2015 Published Humor/Satire (Fiction)
Boca Undercover by Miriam Auerbach
Miriam Auerbach won First Place in the Published Humor/Satire (Fiction) category. In Boca Undercover, Harley-riding, wisecracking female private eye Dirty Harriet goes undercover in a posh drug-rehab spa to investigate the mysterious deaths of teenage patients.
Click the link to read a sample:
Q & A with Miriam Auerbach
Q: Where do you get your story ideas?
A: I live in South Florida…need I say more?? All I have to do is read the newspaper – also known as the Annals of Wacky Florida Crimes. How about the tough guys who broke into a home and stole what they thought was cocaine…but turned out to be the cremains of the owner’s two dogs? Or the guy practicing dentistry without a license who kissed a patient’s butt while treating her tootache (how exactly do the mechanics of that work?)? Or the guy driving down I-95 in a convertible with a missile launcher sticking up into the air? I swear, it’s getting almost impossible to write satire about Florida because by the time you’ve dreamed up some over-the-top scenario, it’s already happened.
Q: Anything in particular about your award-winning RPLA entry that you’d like to share?
A: This is the fourth book in my Dirty Harriet mystery series, featuring a Harley-riding, wisecracking female private eye in Boca Raton. I had a lot of fun writing this satire about a fictional Boca drug rehab/spa. And sure enough, while I made up a lot of stuff about my fictional residential facility, The Oasis – such as its gourmet dining, massages, and 1000-thread count sheets, by the time the book came out, so did such a facility – for real. It advertises itself as an exclusive and luxurious treatment center offering aromatherapy and equine-assisted therapy, among others. Of course, any resemblance to real places in purely coincidental.
Q: Who do you credit with inspiring your writing?
A: My first inspiration was Sue Grafton of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series. The first book of hers I read, many years ago, involved a fraudulent chiropractor. At that time, I was married to a man who was studying to be a chiropractor. So I was offended on his behalf, and didn’t like the book. But a couple years later, I was divorced from that man – and suddenly that book became a lot more appealing. I devoured the rest of those books and went on to find similar others featuring strong female leads investigating crimes. Today, I’m humbled to say that my writing style has often been compared (favorably!) to that of Janet Evanovich.
Q: Any tips for new writers?
A: Write what you are passionate about. Join a writer’s organization and a critique group. Continue learning the craft (I still am!). Understand the realities of the publishing business, but also understand that dreams do come true. I did not know a soul in the publishing industry, but by writing a great book and doing my homework, I was able to obtain a New York agent and ultimately, publication.