Interview with novelist Gledé Browne Kabongo

Today’s guest is Gledé Browne Kabongo who has written a psychological thriller called, Conspiracy of Silence.

She’s currently visiting different blogs each Monday for 16 weeks. Gledé
will be awarding an Italian leather journal to a randomly drawn commenter
(US/Canada Only) during the tour. For a chance to win, leave an email address with a comment below, and if you’d like more chances to win, visit other tour stops and leave a comment there. The more times you comment, the better your chances of winning.
Browne Kabongo began writing at the age of fourteen when she covered soccer
matches for her hometown newspaper. She has also written for the Patriot Ledger and Metrowest Daily News, two Massachusetts based metropolitan
newspapers. She earned a master’s degree in communications from Clark University,
and once had dreams of winning a Pulitzer Prize for journalism. These days her
dreams have shifted to winning the Pulitzer for fiction, and a Best Screenplay
Academy Award. For the past decade, Gledé has worked in senior marketing roles
for organizations in the Information Technology, publishing and non-profit
sectors. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.
Welcome, Gledé.
Please tell us about your current release.
Conspiracy of Silence is a psychological thriller set in
Boston. The protagonist Nina Kasai has it all: stunning looks, Ivy League
pedigree, a successful career, and an adoring husband. She’s the kind of woman who
outwardly makes other women envious. But she’s been telling lies and keeping
secrets about her past. When
she lands the cover a prestigious business magazine however, she can no longer
hide from the powerful enemy she escaped. Wealthy philanthropist Phillip
Copeland wants to be the next Governor of Massachusetts and warns Nina to
remain silent about the secret they share or else. She’s a woman on the edge
because she’s kept her past hidden for her own reasons and to expose Phillip
Copeland would cost her everything, including her husband. How does she become
unstuck? Her one shot at reclaiming her life hinges on a dramatic courtroom
battle where nothing is as it seems. Can Nina survive the final verdict?
What inspired you to write this book?
Everyone has
secrets and sometimes, tough decisions have to be made about whether or not to
reveal those secrets. I had a conversation years ago with someone close to me
and I was shocked by what she told me. That sowed the seeds for Conspiracy of Silence. I decided to
focus the story on a beautiful, Ivy League educated executive who is forced to
confront a secret she buried many years ago, and the consequences that follow.
The book ends with a dramatic courtroom showdown, which ironically, sets her
free psychologically.

Marc paced back and forth on the living room floor, his face
laced with anger. It didn’t take long for Nina to discover the source of his
wrath. He held up a photograph of Nina and Sonny Alvarez.
“Are you having an affair?” he asked, his jaw twitching.
Nina took two steps backwards, as if the damning photograph
would cause her physical harm if she got close. She knew who had sent it and
she berated herself for underestimating how low he could sink. By her way of
thinking, Phillip figured if her marriage fell apart, she would come running to
him and he could get her to do whatever he wanted. It’s the way he manipulated
people: get them in a vulnerable state and then swoop in for the kill or make
some grand sweeping gesture that would get you all happy, and before you
realized what was happening, it was too late.
“That’s a strange question, Marc. When have I ever given you
reason to think I was being unfaithful?”
“Never. Until now.”
“Babe, you’re getting worked up over nothing,” Nina said
calmly. “Sonny and I are old friends from Stanford. I met him for lunch to
discuss business.”
“On a Saturday? You said you were spending the weekend with
Charlene. Look at the date on the bottom.” He shoved the photo into her hands.
“It was a quick, unplanned trip. Sonny works for a research
company and Jack came to me with the idea of hiring his firm. I told Jack I
would take care of it because of my connection to Sonny. I wanted to get it out
of the way—one less thing on my plate during the work week.”
“Why haven’t I heard about this Sonny until now? And if
there’s nothing going on, why lie to me about going to Charlene’s?”
“I already explained that, Marc. I told Jack I would take
care of it because I knew Sonny personally.”
“So your boss called you on a Saturday, mentioned this
research firm and you just decided to hop on a plane to Baltimore, just like
Nina wiped her sweaty palms on her skirt and took deep
calming breaths.
“Marc, I swear I’m not having an affair with Sonny or anyone
“Then can you please explain this? It came with the
photographs.” He pulled out a white sheet of paper from his back pocket and
handed it to her.
Your wife is a liar. You deserve the truth.

What exciting story are you working on
I am very
excited about my next book tentatively titled Swan. It’s the story of research scientist Dr. Shelby Cooper who
receives a mysterious phone call with a shocking ultimatum: leave her family
forever or take the rap for a murder she didn’t commit.
When did you first consider yourself a
Although my
first article was published when I was fourteen, I never really considered
myself a writer. I wrote for my college newspaper and had newspaper and TV news
internships. After college, I freelanced for a few months. But even when I was
writing Conspiracy of Silence, I
never really considered myself a writer. Now that it’s published and I have my
next three books in the pipeline, I now legitimately feel that I’m a writer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like?  If not, what do you
do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I
could write full-time. That is my ultimate goal but I have a day job as a
marketing director for a non-profit and a family. I typically write on the
weekend or stay up late during the week if I’m really in the writing zone.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
writing advice says you should write every single day and though I’m struggling
to gain that discipline, I don’t operate that way. I can go weeks without
writing and then once I get going, it’s hard to stop. I go through a few rounds
of sporadic writing and at a certain point in the manuscript, I become obsessed
where it consumes me day and night. Not good for my family but that’s how I get
it done.
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
I wanted to
be a banker and my second choice was to be a doctor. I hate math so the banker
thing wouldn’t have worked out and the doctor choice was only fleeting. By the
time I was eleven years old, I got bitten by the journalism bug and I’ve been
writing on and off ever since but my biggest dream has always been to write
novels that people can’t put down.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I have some
fun facts up on my author website but I would say the weirdest one might be
that I’m still annoyed that Matt Damon wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for the Talented Mr. Ripley and I don’t
understand why Jude Law was. I know. Totally random.
Buy links

Thanks, Gledé.
Readers, just a reminder that Gledé will be awarding an Italian leather journal to a randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada Only) during the tour. For a chance to win, leave an email address with a comment below, and if you’d like more chances to win, visit other tour stops and leave a comment there.

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