Monday, October 24, 2011

Writing and Authors and Lawyers, Oh My!

Una Tiers is my guest this week. Her debut novel, Judge vs. Nuts, will be released soon by Echelon Press.
Una Tiers has written a story about a lawyer in Chicago, a goldfish and a dead judge.  The protagonist, Fiona Gavelle, blithely plods along in her first probate case until she learns that her client may have been murdered.  Her efforts set out to prove that his death was accidental.  While she learns about the practice of law, she will introduce you to her mostly lawyer friends, her favorite aunt and only reveal a glimpse of her personal life, which is in shambles. 
Judge vs. Nuts is a hilariously funny take on judges, but also a scathing indictment of judicial politics.  Lawyer Fiona Gavelle narrates with a wonderful, self-deprecating wit, as she goes about unraveling the murder of a Cook County judge. 
   --Barbara D'Amato, author of Other Eyes.

In Una's words . . .  
By day I’m a lawyer and at night I fight crime.  Despite the seeming differences, both of my roles rely on writing and editing.  Whether it’s a court pleading, opening statement, a letter, will or loophole, I write for accuracy and one meaning only.  When the sun sets, I look for double meanings, humor, chilling sentences and plot twists.
My bottom line is that I teach people about their rights and options. 
My mystery writing didn’t start out as a surreptitious teaching tool; it started with a need to reduce stress after a particularly awful day in court.  From time to time I added a victim and did more editing than writing.  It is really fun.
After meeting a slew of mystery writers, I noticed that I was introduced to the day to day life of a librarian, a food critic, a minister’s family, a several detectives and more. 
Given the opportunity, I invite you to meet one attorney on a day to day basis.  We’ll untangle a murder along the way and slip in a great deal of information about the legal system.  Thank you to my sight unseen writing buddy, Ellis Vidler, for inviting me to her magnificent blog.
  __________________________
About Una

Una Tiers (pen name) is an attorney in Chicago, Illinois.  She writes daily, wills, trusts, court documents and of course, threatening letters.  For years, her creative writing was on hold.  After one nasty day in court, she wrote a short story, murdering the bane of her existence.  It made her laugh and happy. Periodically chapters were added to the story and she laughed some more.  After meeting some amazing authors, Una came to regard fiction writing as a way to teach about the law.   The result is Judge vs. Nuts.   Available at Amazon.com in early 2012. 
 For more information, visit her website:  http://www.unatiers.com/
Connect with her on Facebook  and Linkedin.

43 comments:

Sandy said...

Awesome interview, Una! I worked with an estate planning attorney in the Phoenix area for 8 years. Oh, the stories I could tell! The book sounds wonderful!

Sandy

Donnell said...

Okay, I HAVE to get my hands on this novel. Ellis, as usual you are on the pulse of what I should be reading. Sounds fantastic. Off to order!

Donnell said...

Should have said... Well done, Una!

See how excited I am

UnaTiers said...

Hi Sandy:
You can always share any good stuff for the next book. It will be about trusts.
Thank you for your kind words.
Una Tiers

Deb Hockenberry said...

Your book sounds like a great read, Una! I'll have to put it on my TBR list. You did a great job on the interview!

Una Tiers said...

Hi Donnell: You're right, Ellis is not only a talented writer but she is a great author buddy.
Thank you for posting.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Deb:
Thank you for posting, and the kind words. I feel closer to fame everyday!
Una Tiers

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great read, being a lifetime Chicagoan, the plot thickens, I'm sure ; ) can't wait to check it out!

Una Tiers said...

Thanks anonymous!
Una Tiers

Anonymous said...

love the title; JUDGE vs. NUTS can't wait to see who wins. threatening letters eh? sounds like pre-meditated murder, malice and mayhem. My kind of story. Hey! my password to submit my comment is UNATION! How's that for a coincidence? LOL

~Kris

Anonymous said...

I think UNATION should be used in the marketing for the book, the whole NATION loves UNA! That's the ticket!

Una Tiers said...

Thanks Kris- Want to do a review?

10 Day Book Club said...

It is great to see how you've worked through things (work) with writing. I did the same thing while dealing with loss of family members...and 10 Day Book Club was born. My best to you, Una. Great to be connected.

jack hrusoff said...

If it's true attorney make the best mystery writers -as much from their experience as from writing-- than I'm certain Una's book while shine like a diamond whose facets are expertly cut and which emit gradations and hues which highlight the otherwise grayness of the field. Looking forward to reading all

Ellis Vidler said...

Una, your books sounds fun and interesting. A lawyer in Chicago, a shady judge? I can't wait to read it. You have to come back and say hi when it comes out. I'm so glad you posted today.

GABixler said...

No doubt in my mind, but your creative life sounds a lot more exciting that your job...but, tell the truth, do you enjoy your work as an attorney?

Una Tiers said...

Hi Jack:
Whoa what a comment thank you!
Una Tiers

Jeannie Faulkner Barber said...

Loved the interview! Great job. I use to be a paralegal and enjoyed the 'twists and turns' of the career...much like a good plot!
Jeannie

Caroline Gerardo said...

Your novel is one I want to read!
Being an attorney is creative and you are using writing skills to convince. It is a little different in fiction where we make up stories to steal our readers into our own worlds

Una Tiers said...

Hi Gayle at 10Day:
True, writing helps you learn about yourself. You also learn about your readers when they point out what they liked or didn't understand in the book.
Thanks for posting.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Ellis:
Although I wasn't certain what blogging was about, this has really turned out to be a learning experience, a good one. There was even a bit of tweeting. Thank you again for the opportunity. Not only would I love to return, I have another idea. Mark Twain is involved.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Glenda:

Thanks for stopping by, I had to read your post twice. A friend on FB had the opposite take she thinks writing is more exciting. While I complain regularly about the practice of law, I like helping people plan more than handling crisis. At the same time, I like being the one who can dig them out of a rut.
Una Tiers

Candice said...

I have to have this book, and probably will purchase a couple more as gifts! As a former "social servant" (who worked in and around both the juvenile and the circuit courts) now turned writer since my retirement last year, I can attest that the legal system is, indeed, a very funny business -- after the day is done, that is :) Congratulations on finding a fulfilling way to vent all that pent-up frustration !

Una Tiers said...

Hi Jeannie: I admire and fear those who tweet. Thank you for helping me, it means a great deal to me. This book started out as a stress reliever and turned into a dream. Along the way I have an opportunity to meet some awesome people, all of them, and a few more are commenters here.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Caroline:
While we are required to maintain client confidentiality, I mix the facts up, change men to women, and some back again, and use them in my writing. I have an imagination that keeps me busy and entertained but it doesn't rival what I see from day to day at work.Thank you for posting.
Una Tiers

Polly said...

I can see why you use a pen name. Bumping off real people, even if it's in a book, could have some nasty repercussions. Don't all crime writers vent their frustrations by eliminating someone truly vexing in real life? Your book sounds like fun, Una. Thanks, Ellis, for hosting her.

Una Tiers said...

Hi Candace: Its a fun world. I imagine there are great stories from the juvenile division too. Many of those judges end up in the probate division.
Thanks for posting, please find me on Linkedin or Facebook so that we can follow one another.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Polly:
The book started bumping off real people, but after editing and learning about the process of writing, they remain fragments of my imagination with fragments from my day job. The pen name is because they, the judiciary are rather vindictive and stick together. The story needs to get out. Thanks for posting. Ellis introduced me to something I did not understand but not at least appreciate.
Una Tiers.

Una Tiers said...

Ellis: While I don't understand how you mange the blog so well, I am amazed at the results. I've had a chance to meet with old friends and make new ones. We've been tweeted and 1plused. This was better than the Wild Mouse at disneyland. Thank you again.
Una Tiers

Cynthia said...

I like your concept of using a fun story to teach about the law. I hope your book does well.

Cynthia

Jeannie Faulkner Barber said...

Thank you, too Una...doesn't the 'net' bring some of the most corageous, curious, intriging, motivating, inspiring, and crazy people into your life? LOL! Let's stay in touch! Hugs.

Jeannie Faulkner Barber said...

Thanks Una..doesn't the 'net' bring some of the most interesting people into your life? Let's stay in touch...loving your blog!

Una Tiers said...

Hi Cynthia:
The teaching through fiction was from Miriam Grace Monfredo she taught about women's rights. Thanks for stopping by, this was quite an experience.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Cynthia: What are those beautiful trees on your blog? I want one for my yard.
Una Tiers

Una Tiers said...

Hi Jeanne:
With the web I'va had the exquisite opportunity to meet so many cool writers. I learn something from each one and am thankful.
Una Tiers

chickdickmysteries.com said...

Una, this sounds like a fun story. I too, started writing to relieve the on the job stress (I was a cardiac nurse). I guess it was my way of maintaining control in a place where I couldn't control anything!

Best of luck to you!

Nancy Lauzon
http://chickdickmysteries.com

Una Tiers said...

Thank you so much Nancy. This reminds me of the frog who is smiling and the caption reads "You'd be Happy too if you could eat what bugs you."
Una Tiers

Ellis Vidler said...

Una, you've been a delightful guest. I hope you sell a million. I'll be one of the first in line.

Una Tiers said...

Thank you so many times over. This was not what I expected, it was really COOL.
Una Tiers
All the best on Cold Comfort.

Doreen said...

Such a great interview and I cannot wait to read this book. It sounds so intriguing...
Visiting Una via Linked in and now following here...

Anonymous said...

Hi Uma,
I'll be graduating 12/16 with the treasured MFA in Creative Writing. I enjoyed reading the comment on your book and even more, the stimulus that started you writing fiction. I've had enough legal training to be dangerous. It does make for enhanced storytelling though. Let's stay in touch. Let me know if there is a way we can help each other be better professional writers instead of scribes with an expensive hobby.

Jon

Jon Broderick said...

I don't ant to be anonymous!

Stew said...

It seemed like a very easy process the way you enumerated and made everything in order. How I wish it was that simpler a few years ago but thanks to my sacramento estate planning attorney who eased my burden big time