What would you do if you found out your godfather, the guy who saved your life, was a bona-fide mobster? What if your father had ties to one of the biggest crime families in the state, or your brother was a wiseguy on the move? What if your sister was working as a rogue agent to uncover the truth? What if you were caught in the middle of it, forced to fight for your life in one impossible situation after another, where only your street smarts could get you out alive?
The Teen Mobster Series by Bluewood Publishing from up and coming author M. M. Cox answers all those questions and more. We had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Cox as the third and final installment of the series, Covert Criminal, is set to release next month. The bad news is that her series is about to come to an end; the good news? Well, the series is only the beginning of what she has to offer both readers and aspiring writers.
Tell us a little about the series? What does it have to offer?
Cox: The Mafia is part of American history, and our fascination with it reflects this. The Teen Mobster Series gives teen readers a chance to experience what it might be like to be caught between the mob and law enforcement through the eyes of Danny, a teenager with a quick temper and conflicting feelings about family loyalty and doing the right thing. He doesn't come from money, so when he has the opportunity to live with his rich godfather, he's thrilled to not only have a family who seems to care about him, but also all the things money can buy.
However, he soon realizes that the "perks" come with a price. He also discovers that his own past is linked directly to the mob leadership, and in each book, the stakes get higher as Danny finds that he has more and more to lose in the battle. In the meantime, he's dealing with all the things we deal with as teenagers--figuring out his lovelife, keeping up with schoolwork and his sport of wrestling, and finally, forming the friendships that will define his life.
Why write about the Mafia?
Cox: I have a number of family and friends in law enforcement, and I have great appreciation for what they do everyday. To me, nothing holds more conflict than trying to decide whether to be loyal to your family or uphold the law. I know there are people--kids, even--who must confront that struggle on a daily basis.
Who is your favorite character?
Cox: Julia Vigliotti, for sure. Julia's the kind of girl who isn't afraid to speak her mind or rush into conflict, and I respect that. As Gino's (Danny's godfather) daughter, her attraction for Danny eventually becomes a problem and a liability, and he has a difficult time sorting out his feelings for her and his first love, Portia. Julia cares about Danny but creates a great deal of conflict for him, and I love her sarcastic, witty nature.
What's the best thing about being an author?
Cox: There's no "best" thing. I love so many things about what I do. Crafting stories and creating these hidden worlds is something that gets me going in the morning. I love sitting at the computer and putting "pedal to the metal" (or fingers to keys!). I hope that my writing helps people look deeper at things and think harder about what other people have to go through in their lives.
Also, I love the fact that as a published author, I get to help others, through workshops and classes, find their own voice. Taking the time to sit and write a novel is a huge commitment, and the process can be as satisfying as it is frustrating. I love helping others map their way to success, whether that be to complete a project to share with family or polish something to get ready to submit to agents. I've been through that process, so I know how difficult it is to face rejection and self-doubt! This summer I finally landed an agent (Kaylee Davis of Dee Mura Literary) to represent my future work, and even though this is a huge milestone, I still have so much work ahead. But I love this and it's worth it, and I encourage others to take the plunge and keep going. So write on!
Cox's next series will be a YA paranormal spin on crimefighting. Check out more news about her series and events at www.mmcoxbooks.com.
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