AUTHOR WEDNESDAY -MELISSA MAYBERRY AND TRAVIS CASEY

typewriterAuthor Wednesday presents two authors today. Melissa Mayberry has visited her before to talk about her series, Mellifica. Now she’s collaborated with Travis Casey on the newly released Enemy of My Enemyfilled with suspense, action, and lots intrigue. EOME Front CoverMelissa drops by for an interview today, but first I’ll let her explain how this collaboration came about. As an author myself, I find it fascinating and inspiring that two authors can write together to create a novel. 

Welcome, Melissa! Let’s start by talking about the birth of this project with Travis Casey.

A few years ago, Travis Casey critiqued work for my first series, Mellifica. He seemed to enjoy the story, but I remained a bit skeptical of his praise. After all, that story is a young adult romance. When I returned the favor and critiqued Travis’ book, Trouble Triangle, I fell in love with a rowdy, smart-mouthed sailor named Tyler Chambers. Immediately, I noticed the quality in Travis’ work, but the complexity and depth in his characters captivated me and each week I was anxious for more.

Soon, Mellifica became a series, as did Trouble Triangle. Anyone who has finished a novel can attest to the euphoric rush. We finished our first novels around the same time and became addicted to writing and each other’s stories. At the time, my daughter started writing fan fiction with her friends. They would write one paragraph and the other person would write the next. I liked that idea, but on a less complicated scale. Every writer I know has their “writing bestie” and it wasn’t difficult to know who to pitch this idea to.

Travis accepted the idea as a challenge, and I dug through my list of ideas and proposed the idea for Enemy of My Enemy. Neither of us had written action, but both of us could write a rich character. We created characters for each other, and Travis assigned me to the sass-mouthed Gemma Gage. She was a materialistic woman who ignored a very complex and organized crime spree, simply to reap the rewards. My biggest challenge was that I actually hated the idea of her and her shallow ways. Bringing life, depth, and personal growth to this character took a lot of work. Eventually, I learned to love Gemma Gage and allowed her to survive to the end of the book.

Thaddeus Kline was the project I gave to Travis. After writing such a naughty character in his first series, I threw him a curveball with Thad. Sure, Thad has an agenda to kill, but deep down he was a good guy pressured into a dreadful situation. Thad isn’t a born killer, but he is a quick study when he needs to avenge his woman.

Co-writing this book was a lot like reading a new book. I had a basic idea of who this character was, but no idea how Thad would handle Gemma. Most of the time, I had no idea what Gemma’s responses would be.

Fortunately, sparks between Thad and Gemma flew faster than bullets from an ugly gun.

 

So you began by creating characters for each of you to use in the story. That’s a very intriguing way to start, and it focused on both of your strengths. You said you’ve been writing for a few years now, but when did you first discover your voice as a writer?

In high school, I was a writer for the school paper. Seems silly now, years later, but my creative work was always picked by the editor. Of course, that piqued the artist in me, and I wrote a lot of short stories. Life got in the way, so I stopped writing for a while, and my first novel came to me, and I had no choice but to write again.

And thus began your life as an author. Do you have any writing rituals?

The one that most people find surprising is closing my eyes. Reading my books, you get a lot of personal information, whether you know it or not. When I’m dishing out the embarrassing stuff, I type with my eyes closed.

That’s good. Anything to get it down on the page! Do you have a vision of yourself as a writer?

I often think of writing as an outlet—a stress relief. Not only does work and family stress me, but a story rattling around in my head put a certain pressure on me, and I can’t stop until I’ve let it out. Sometimes, it’s a problem when I have a lot of stories on my mind and no time to write.

Yes, I get grouchy when I can’t write my stories. When things are stressful, I’m often asked, “How can you write during this time?” How can I not write during stressful times? It takes my mind off the reality of my days. You both switched genres with Enemy of My Enemy, to a genre unfamiliar to you and Casey. Why did you decide to try for a thriller? 

When Travis agreed to write with me, we wanted to do something fun. Something with a back and forth banter, but could eventually bring the characters together. Two people that were leery of each other, but with a common goal that fit nicely into an action novel.

Interesting process. I’m a little envious of this collaboration! Do you have a favorite character from this novel?

Well, I created Thad, and Travis created Gemma, but then I had to write Gemma, and he had to write Thad. So, yeah, I do love Thad. I’m all about a gentle bad-boy.

That’s a very attractive proposition for sure. I really love how you came up with the concept. Now, what about the title. How did you choose it?

I have a file of book names that I think of and then build a plot around the title. I don’t remember how this particular name came to me, but Travis liked it, and we made a plot together.

How long do you estimate it took you to take this book from your decision to do this project together to a finished, published novel?

It’s been in the works for a few years. Travis and I had other projects that we worked on and then came back to this one.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

We went with self-publishing. Although my publisher is great with the other books, we wanted something we had full control and say over.

That’s what I love about being an Indie Author, too. What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

Oh, I love hearing that it’s fun to read. Writing Enemy of my Enemy was entertaining, and we want our readers to have a good time reading it.

Let’s talk about how it actually worked with the collaboration. The idea came from you, but what about the execution of it? 

Travis and I had very different opinions about this. We have similar writing styles, but very different imaginations. But when it comes down to it, we both write off the cuff, so even our own conceptions changed when the story progressed.

Who is the antagonist in this book?

Bruce Gage. I’m laughing thinking of him because I remember how much Travis hated him from the beginning. Bruce was just a character that you love to hate.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in Enemy of My Enemy.

I love Gemma’s opening scene. Gemma was being held captive in an unconventional way but Thad inadvertently took care of the problem was pretty cute during that scene.

Thank you for stopping by today, Melissa. I enjoyed learning about how this book came to be. You and Travis are very fortunate to have found in one another kindred writing souls.

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About Melissa Mayberry: In a series of ironic events, Mellifica presented to Melissa Mayberry in such a way that she had to dust off her writing skills and put the story to paper. The story soon became her passion and rekindled her love of writing. Living in the Blue Ridge of Virginia, Melissa works full time as a nurse, student, and mother. Her past will haunt her until the story is told.

610py-pa9bl-_ux250_About Travis Casey: Travis was brought up in Midwest America before embarking on a nine-year Navy career that allowed him to travel the world and learn about life. He has ping-ponged across oceans moving from mainland United States to Hawaii, to Scotland, to Seattle, to England, to Minnesota, to…

His writing is light-hearted fiction writing comedic novels with humor being the focal point binding his stories together. He has written Tyler’s Trouble Trilogy, which comprises three stand-alone novels. The first in the series is Trouble Triangle, a romantic comedy. Followed by the sequel, Oceans of Trouble, where the adventure continues to the Far East in this suspense novel. His third novel, Forbidden Trouble, follows the natural progression into a romance but retains the humor and suspense that readers enjoy in Casey’s writing.

An international move from England to Minnesota inspired the satirical memoir, Foreigner In My Own Backyard. Following that, Travis released the sequel, Foreigner On My Own Front Porch. This real life series takes a humorous look at the American lifestyle as he repatriates himself to the United States after living in England for the past twenty years.

Links: 

Facebook Fan Page 

Enemy of My People – Amazon

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – CATE BEAUMAN

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It’s Author Wednesday again. Today I welcome back Cate Beauman, who is introducing her latest addition to the Bodyguards of L.A. County. Finding Lyla – book ten – brings back Ethan Cooke Security’s bodyguard team to solve yet another thrilling crime. Cate tells me that each book in the series stands on its own, so no worries that you have to read the first nine to understand Finding Lyla03 Finding Lyla - Ebook Small

“Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary,” Cate said.  “Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in!”

The Inspiration Behind Finding Lyla from Cate Beauman:

Typically, I get my story ideas from crime documentaries or some sort of crime television program, but I can’t say that is the case for Finding Lyla. When I was coming up with ideas for this novel, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a hero that had struggled through some rough times and a heroine that had some unresolved issues of her own, but was soft, strong, and gentle all at the same time. During the summer months, I started paying close attention to the ongoing Russia/U.S. conflict, and Lyla and Collin assured me they wanted their story to revolve around an adventure that combined all of these elements together.

Blurb from Finding Lyla  

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

Excerpt from Finding Lyla

She crossed her legs, the picture of calm, even as her temples began to pound with the sudden headache. “I’ve turned my back on nothing. Dance is personal. My reasons are personal, but I can assure you nothing would make me happier than to see peace restored between the two countries I call home.”

“And you will help with this?”

She frowned. “Help restore peace? Roman, you overestimate my influence.”

“Perhaps you underestimate your power. Are you not Mina Markovik’s daughter? Have you not followed in her footsteps?”

God knows she’d tried. “I will never be my mother.”

“But you are ‘Russia’s Princess.’”

But she wasn’t. The weight on her shoulders grew exponentially—as it did every year when the title she’d never asked for was thrown in her face.

“This comes with great responsibility,” Roman continued, staring at her, clearly waiting for her response.

She consciously relaxed her hands when she realized her knuckles were white. As their gazes held, she swallowed. How was she supposed to tell him she had canceled her plans to travel east? By honoring her father’s requests to stay in New York, she disgraced the woman who’d died giving her life. With an inner sigh, she sat up straighter, remembering that she owed the beautiful woman who perished nearly twenty-five years ago. “I understand my responsibilities. I accept my duties.”

“Russia has heard nothing from you since the tragic bombing in Saint Petersburg almost two weeks ago.”

Another request from her father: to distance herself from the politics of extremists and deadly acts against the Russian Federation. “Of course I’m deeply saddened and disturbed by such a horrible tragedy.”

“Your father wasn’t shy about his condemnation of the attack. He’s quoted as calling them guerrilla tactics that cannot be tolerated by the United States any more than they are the Russian Federation.”

“Yes. My father is very troubled by the violence.”

“Rumor has it your father is discouraging your travels to the Mother Land for fear of your safety.”

Her spine snapped straight at such a clear invasion of her privacy. How could anyone know that? She discussed her personal issues with very few people. “The rumors you hear are wrong.”

“Ambassador Avery hasn’t pressured you into staying home safe and sound in New York?”

“No, he has not.”

“So you won’t be postponing your trip to Russia?”

“No, I will not. I’ll be coming for my three-week holiday as I always do, and I’ll be performing The Markovik Number at the Bolshoi Theater.”

Roman gaped. “You’ll dance The Markovik Number?”

“Yes.”

He edged closer in his seat. “It’s never been seen before. The choreography is unknown to all but a few.”

“Yes,” she repeated.

“This dance is a pas de deux?”

She nodded while her mind raced as she dug herself deeper into her current mess. Not only was she now going to Russia, she was also committing herself to imitating the steps of a true legend. Many had compared her to Mina through the years, but that was nostalgia. No one would ever hold a candle to Mina Markovik on stage.

“Who will you partner with?”

“Sergei Ploeski,” she decided. As soon as word spread, there was no doubt Russia’s best male ballet dancer would be committed to learning the choreography.

Roman’s eyes grew wider. “You will dance with Sergei Ploeski?”

“Mmm. A token of goodwill between two beautiful countries.”

Roman all but rubbed his hands together. “The headlines will be wild. “Ploeski and Markovik-Avery: History.”

“It will be an honor.”

“Your father knows of this?”

“He encouraged me to reach out to Sergei, to bring my mother’s last dance to life during such uncertain times,” she lied without qualm, knowing such a statement would put her father in a positive light.

“This is fantastic, Lyla.”

“I’m excited,” she fibbed again as she struggled not to fidget.

“And your visit at Orphan House Ten, will you still meet with the children?”

“I plan to carry on with my usual schedule.” Which would drive Dad crazy.

“With added security and precautions no doubt.”

She shook her head. “No. You know I don’t use security.”

“Surely your father will insist.”

“My father and I both believe that we must be cautious with the new threats, but we must also live our lives. I plan to carry on in Russia as I always have—drive my own car, walk the streets without being flanked by any sort of protective personnel, eat out with friends and family.”

“You can’t exactly call yourself a normal citizen.”

“Why not?”

“Normal citizens aren’t from the womb of great dancers. Few can call themselves the daughter of an American ambassador.”

“I am both of these things, and I’ve never wanted to be treated any differently than anyone else.”

“There is certainly truth in that, Princess.” Roman shut off his recorder and stood abruptly. “Thank you for sitting down with me.” He bent forward, absently pressing a kiss to Lyla’s cheek. “We’ll catch up when you land in Russia next week. I want an exclusive.”

“Of course,” she muttered, waiting for him to disappear around the corner before she let her head settle against the back of the seat. Closing her eyes, she groaned as she rubbed at the throbbing in her temples. What had she done? Dad was going to lose it when she explained what had just happened. She stood and started back toward her dressing room, not looking forward to the call she was about to make. But there was no turning back now. Every word she’d spoken was on Roman’s handy little tape recorder.

The Unofficial Finding Lyla Soundtrack

Music plays a HUGE part in my writing process. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube while I create my stories and compile a collection of songs that I feel represent my characters or the situations they face as each novel unfolds. It’s a rare occasion that my creativity demands silence (And that’s a good thing. I’m a mother of two boys. Quiet doesn’t exist in my house.). I thought it would be fun to create a list of songs that ‘spoke’ to me while I wrote the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Finding Lyla:

  • “Today” by Steve Moakler
  • “Beautiful Things” by Gungor
  • “Teneferie Sea” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon
  • “Anywhere but Here” by Safety Suit
  • “Never Gonna Be Alone” by Nickelback
  • “Nirvana” by Sam Smith
  • “Don’t Deserve You” by Plumb
  • “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry
  • “You’re in Love” by Taylor Swift
  • “Fight Song” by Rachel Platton

05 Cate Profile PicAbout Cate:  International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, Justice for Abby was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while Saving Sophie took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series. For information on Cate’s new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, click here to sign up for her newsletter.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

Contact Cate:

Website

Facebook 

Goodreads

Amazon Author Central

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW FRIDAY – ON LUCKY SHORES

On-Lucky-Shores-Front-Only-Large (2)Kerry Donovan stopped by Author Wednesday this week to talk about his new thriller On Lucky Shores

I edited the novel, but my review has nothing to do with my professional work as a book editor. My review considers what makes a novel interesting and intriguing, and well, thrilling, if that’s the genre, which On Lucky Shores is. Kerry knows how to deliver on all levels. The book opens with the rugged and handsome drifter colliding into a mountain town and rolling into the lives of its inhabitants. But first there’s an accident, a secret, and an untimely death.

That’s just the first chapter. Chet Walker eventually makes it into the town of Lucky Shores intent on finding a place to play his music, delivering a message loaded with mystery from a dying man, and staying out of trouble. But trouble rides on the case of his guitar from the site of the accident he witnessed to the hospital where he fends quite nicely for himself against the local ruffians. But he has yet to encounter the sheriff, the doctor, the mayor, or the lovely woman running the local cafe.

It’s that woman at the cafe to whom he must deliver his message–a message that will spin the town all around, causing its residents to race up the mountains surrounding it. Josephine is adorable, and Chet finds himself drawn to her.

But for me, the best thing about the novel was my reactions and thoughts as I read it through the first time. I couldn’t figure out who done did it. I’d think I knew who the villain was, and then I didn’t. Not until the very end, near the climax, did I know for sure. And that’s the mark of a true author of a thrilling mystery. I’m not a fan of always knowing exactly who did what to whom. I like the tension created from not knowing, when every scene could be loaded with real clues or clues meant to confuse the reader who is suddenly headed down the wrong road out of town.

The book also contains a romantic thread in the growing attraction between Josephine and Chet. So even though there’s mystery, intrigue, and thrilling parts, I also enjoyed the the sweet and tender love that grows. Perhaps the genre is best described as romantic suspense.

Perfect combination. I recommend you give it a try yourself. You won’t be disappointed. And I must say for an English bloke living in France, Kerry Donovan did an excellent job of adapting to the Rocky Mountain setting and making it believable. [Go Broncos!]

Kerry_J_Donovan - Web pagesAbout Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).

 

Purchase Links:

On Lucky Shores Amazon US

On Lucky Shores Amazon UK

 

 

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – KERRY DONOVAN

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday. Today I’m featuring Kerry Donovan, an author who appeared here last fall, but since then he’s published a new book, On Lucky Shores. Full disclosure: I edited this thriller set in the Rocky Mountains and invited Kerry back to talk about it because I so enjoyed reading this novel – even with my red pen poised above the page. Kerry is also a very funny guy, so sit back with a cup of coffee and prepare to be entertained.On-Lucky-Shores-Front-Only-Large (2)

 

So let’s start right off with it, Kerry. Tell us a bit about your new work, On Lucky Shores.

On Lucky Shores is an adventure novel set in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The hero, Chester ‘Chet’ Walker is hitchhiking around America in search of inspiration to write his next song when he witnesses an accident. He tries to help the injured driver who gives him a cryptic message and begs Chet to take it to his estranged daughter, Josephine Dolan. Reluctantly, Chet agrees and heads for the isolated resort town of Lucky Shores. He doesn’t know it, but the message he carries just might get him and Josephine killed.

For the book, I’ve developed a cast of characters to populate the pages: a hard-nosed sheriff, a plethora of suspicious and angry townsfolk, a female mayor (Josephine’s aunt), and a helpful doctor. One or more of them is a thief, and maybe even a killer.

The novel is a modern-day western with action, adventure, a mystery, and a romance at its core. There’s plenty of room for a sequel (which I’ve already started writing). If the readers like the story, I’ll carry on writing it. If they don’t, I’ll still carry on writing it. Tee hee.

This isn’t your first novel, but the first in this series starring Chet Walker. Do you see a common thread emerge in all your works?

I guess you’d call my body of work character-based thrillers. At least, I hope they contain good, well-rounded characters and plenty of thrills.  If they don’t, I’m a charlatan.

You could be a bit of both. Just teasing, of course (maybe). I think perhaps all of us authors might have a touch of the snake-oil salesman running through our veins. Let’s get serious for a minute. I love what Rachel Carson (Silent Spring author) said in an interview near the end of her life. She said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Describe a time when a subject chose you.

When it comes to a new book, I never really plan anything. I usually have a basic idea for a story and then dive in. For On Lucky Shores, I was video chatting with my son, a musician who was thinking about backpacking around Australia. He wondered whether it would be possible to pay his way by playing gigs in small towns as a sort of modern day minstrel, singing for his supper. It got me to wondering whether I could write a book where my hero was doing the same thing. My creative juices started flowing and I sat at my desk and started writing. Six months later, On Lucky Shores was ready for publication.

That’s a bit of how I work, too. Sometimes just a line will come to me complete with a character name. It usually turns out nicely when we follow our muse. Is there a form of written expression you’d like to try?

I’d love to write in poetry but don’t understand it. Chet wrote some lyrics for On Lucky Shores, but I’m not sure that counts.

Sure it counts! I used to think I might be a poet. I wrote a few for a character in one of my novels, but I never feel comfortable with the form. I know the setting in your current work uses setting as a plot device. What role does setting play in your novels?

In On Lucky Shores, the Rocky Mountains are so integral to the story they almost form a character in their own right. They cut off the town from the rest of the state, they look down imperiously on the action, and both hinder and help Chet and Josephine in their pursuit of the truth. Without the Rockies, there would be no story.

That’s true. They serve as both sides of the protagonist/antagonist coin. I know you said you’re currently a work on the next in this series, but are you planning to continue writing in the same genre?

Who knows? I write whatever takes my fancy. I even have an idea for a children’s fantasy novel set on a planet where a natural disaster forced the population to live underground eons ago. It started as a bedtime story I told my sons way back in 1983. One day, I’ll write it for my grandchildren. Maybe.

That sounds like a wonderful idea. I hope you do it. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

“Kerry J Donovan is the greatest writer living today.” Yep, no doubt about it, my wife is a saint, although some might say she was being a little sarcastic.

I’m sure she believes it, but I’m wondering what was happening at the moment she said it. So we all get them, and some writers are bothered by them. What advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

A bad review? Ignore it. You can’t please all the readers all the time.

I agree. Also, most bad reviews–mine and those of other authors–don’t give a legitimate reason for disliking a book, so discerning readers will figure that out. One of the sets I’m in with other authors received a one-star review with the comment. “I haven’t read the set yet.” What’s your one sentence pitch for On Lucky Shores?

Traveling musician, Chet Walker, learns the truth behind the saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.”

How did you choose the title?

The title is ironic. Lucky Shores is probably the unluckiest town in Colorado, and Chet Walker is only visiting. Originally, it was going to be called simply, Lucky Shores, but I added the “On” to show the temporary nature of Chet’s visit and to add more of a question.

How long do you estimate it took you  from that conversation with your son to the finished product now available for purchase?

Six months, but that excludes the years I spent at primary school learning to write in the first place.

Is the book traditionally or self-published?

On Lucky Shores is self-published. I prefer the immediacy and control of the indie publishing scene, and what’s more, I retain a great share of the retail price.

What is the message conveyed in the book?

Hitchhiking musician should wear gloves. When trying to help the victim, Chet cuts his fingers. How can you play the guitar with cut fingertips?

 

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in On Lucky Shores.

The cover shows Chet standing on Vantage Rock overlooking Little Lake. The photo encapsulates one of the main themes of the book—the mountains can offer solace and protection.

 

If you could invite two other authors over to your house for dinner, who would you choose?

Michaela Miles—she’s my best internet friend but lives in Brisbane, Australia, and we’ll probably never meet in person, but I’d love to.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle—as a teenager, I read a compendium of Sherlock Holmes stories and fell in love with the crime thriller genre. I still have that book.

Do you have any particular rituals or good luck charms in your writing process?

Silence. I need total silence to write. My poor wife has to wear headphones when watching TV in the evenings.

Speaking of your wife, how does your immediate family feel about your writing life?

They all think it’s a fad. They ignore the fact that it’s been a fad of mine since 1985.

What do you do during your down time?

Down time? That does not compute, Will Robinson.

What book are you reading right now?

Michael Connelly’s, The Burning Room. I’ve read all of the Harry Bosch books.

If a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

That’s easy, George Clooney. Or should I say, George Clooney’s driver. You know, he’s the one who looks like Uncle Fester from the Addams Family.

Yes, you told me that before in your last interview, but I see you’ve changed the answer a bit. George wasn’t available, I take it. Thanks, Kerry. As always, it’s a delightful to have you stop by Author Wednesday. Please come back when that sequel is ready!

Kerry_J_Donovan - Web pagesAbout Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).

 

Links:

Author Wednesday Interview, September 9, 2015

Facebook

On Lucky Shores Amazon US

On Lucky Shores Amazon UK

Twitter

Website

DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon US

DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon UK

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – JAMES MOUSHON

cropped-typewriter.jpgI’m excited to welcome James Moushon to Author Wednesday today. James has been a tireless supporter and promoter of Indie Authors, so it gives me great pleasure to return the favor. He stops by today to talk about his latest release, Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories, featuring the character Jonathon Stone.moushon1-alphadog300

Welcome, James! I’m so happy to have you here today. Let’s start with some information about you as a writer. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”

Actually, I have been both. In 1994, I became a published writer in national business magazines. At that time, I was writing about the coming digital conversion of books and business forms and what it would do to companies and their products.

In 2011, I became a published author with the release of my first novel, Call Off the Dogs. This title is being rewritten with the working title: Cajun Ghost (release date in the Spring 2016).

Do all your books have a common theme or thread? 

All my books are centered around my main character, Jonathon Stone. Jonathon is a CIA agent, working domestically for a secret CIA division called DOT. Because the CIA isn’t allowed to operate in the U.S. by law, this division is off the books. Jonathon attempts to catch terrorists and assassins while he struggles with drinking, gambling, and the ladies.

Sounds like a bad boy American James Bond. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

It comes from a review for Operation Alpha Dog:

These stories… don’t waste any time and jump straight into the action. Some excellent plot ideas that work well in the short space given to them, quite different in locations and style but all very compelling and rewarding reading. So good, I devoured it in one sitting.

What’s your one sentence pitch the new collection of short stories?

A six-pack of complete Jonathon Stone Mystery short stories filled with murder, mystery, and espionage.

Sounds intriguing! How long do you estimate it took you to write, and then publish, this collection?

There are six unique stories. I would estimate two months of writing and editing, but the elapsed time was much longer.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

This is a self-published collection. I started from the technical part of creating eBooks in 1994. That transferred to learning the whole publishing process. Choosing self-publishing was next.

You were really in at the beginning. I didn’t start until 2012 with the Indie Author movement, although I’d been published traditionally since 2000. What is the best thing someone could say about Operation Alpha Dog?

It is a quick, interesting read with twists and turns for the reader to enjoy.

That’s always good for readers living in such a fast-paced world. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

The collection is an extension of Jonathon Stone Mystery series and the various assignment the CIA has had Stone conduct.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?

This is part of the fun I have writing. I very seldom write about a location I haven’t lived or visited. I study terrorism, the CIA inner workings, current events and specifics of the locations Stone must visit to carry out the op.

I love doing the research for my books as well. Not everyone does, so that’s a good start. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

Jonathon Stone catches an assassin in “Operation Red Dragon.”

Jonathon Stone’s plans for a quiet gambling experience is interrupted by the sighting of a known gun for hire from Mexico. A casual weekend in the desert for Jonathon changes into an apparent assassination plot. With the FBI and the Secret Service involved, Jonathon tries to apprehend the elusive hit man before he can do damage.

Thank you so much for stopping by Author Wednesday, James. I wish you great success with this new collection of short stories. And I hope you’ll stop by again–maybe for a guest post on the wisdom you’ve gained through your experience and research on being an Indie Author.

moushon1About James:  James Moushon is a Mystery author and a published writer in the electronic document field. He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published two books: Black Mountain Secrets and Game of Fire, and Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories featuring Jonathon Stone. He is currently wearing two hats. He is a mystery author and a book publishing blogger.

Social media sites

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Author’s Blog: eBook Author’s Corner

Blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Blog: HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Twitter: @jimhbs

E-Mail: james.moushon@gmail.com

Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

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Spotlight post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author’s Spotlight

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Links to books

Black Mountain Secrets

Game of Fire

Operation Alpha Dog

 

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – STACI TROILO

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgIt’s a pleasure to welcome back Staci Troilo to Author Wednesday. Today Staci is taking over the blog with a post on writing in multiple genres. I’ve read all of her books to date, and she switches from mystery to mainstream to romantic suspense with ease. Here’s her take on why it might be helpful or harmful to an author. Read on to find out which one she prefers!

Amazing When Sweaty Teaser

Pros and Cons of Writers Crossing Genres

By Staci Troilo

Hi, P.C. It’s an honor for me to be here today. Thanks for inviting me. And to your readers, hello! I’m glad to be here and appreciate the chance to chat with you for a bit.

While many writers have backgrounds in the sciences, mathematics, and law, one constant remains—

Writers are creative.

That can mean different things to different people. For me, it means I can’t be pigeonholed. I have too many interests, too many ideas that appeal to me, too many stories to tell.

Many successful authors have branded themselves by their genres. I say horror; you say Stephen King. I say romance; you say Nora Roberts. I say thriller; you say James Patterson.

And that’s proven quite lucrative for them.

The problem with me is this. You say horror; I say I have an idea for a story. You say romance; I say I have an idea for a story. You say thriller; I say… well, you get the idea.

So which way is right? Specialized niche or multi-genre?

The Pros of Writing Multi-Genre

  1. Creative Freedom—You have all these great premises and concepts bouncing around in your brain. There’s no reason to squelch them. Write them. Write them all.
  2. Audience Overlap—Some readers are fans of a genre, but some are fans of a writer. If you write two or more genres, a reader who found you and loved you because of one story could try to cross over to your other genre work. A sci-fi writer can’t usually attract a western reader, but if that western reader loved your historical, he might try your space opera because he likes your style. He may even tell his friends.
  3. Earning Potential—If you write only in one genre, you’ve limited your sales to what that genre can generate. Expanding to other genres opens you to a higher potential revenue.
    *Note: I am not advocating writing solely to earn money. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about the art. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, I am not suggesting writers pick a genre that offers a high sales potential and writing for it. If you aren’t interested in a genre, it will be obvious in your writing, and your numbers will suffer for it. Write what you love, love what you write, and write only for the love of writing. (If you agree, Tweet it.)

The Cons of Writing Multi-Genre

  1. Branding—It’s difficult to brand yourself when, for lack of a better term, you’re inconsistent. There’s a reason Stephen King is synonymous with horror. That’s what he built his reputation on. If he began by writing three novels a year, but each in a different genre, he may have taken longer to gain traction with his fans.
  2. Organization—If you’re only focusing on one genre, your mindset doesn’t need to change. But when writing more than one style of novel, you may be in development in one genre, writing in a second style, and editing yet a third. It can take time and focus to deal with these changes. And if you’re working with an agent and/or publisher, you could find meeting their deadlines and expectations difficult.
  3. Time—If you write vastly different genres (say, Christian inspirational and erotica), you not only know there won’t be cross-over in your audience, you know that publishing one of these genres could cost you readers in the other. In cases like these, creating a pen name/new persona and marketing each genre separately would be the best solution for the respective works. It will also take roughly twice the time.

Which path you choose is up to you. I couldn’t commit, so I chose multi-genre. So far, I have seen crossovers in my readership, and I’m pleased to reach more people.

My Cathedral Lake Series is mainstream fiction focusing on dysfunctional family dynamics. The relationships in these novels are critical to plot development. My Medici Protectorate Series is romantic suspense with paranormal elements. But, as in my other novels, the relationships drive the plot. So, despite the two different genres, there is one constant—my writing.bleeding heart

I love to tell stories. I get inspired by things every day, so my idea list is constantly growing. I don’t think I’ll ever find myself without fodder for a new work. How many genres will I ultimately try? Who knows? But I am certain of two things:

  1. My loyal fans will test out my other works.
    and
  2. My stories will always be driven by strong character relationships.

So, yes, I do write in multiple genres. And I love it. But I am consistent in what I provide my readers.

Maybe the genre doesn’t matter so much. Maybe it’s all in the delivery. I’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment and let’s discuss it.

Staci pose 1About Staci:  Staci Troilo writes multi-genre fiction focusing on flawed relationships. Her series and standalone titles span mystery, contemporary, and romance genres and several sub-genres, including suspense, paranormal, and medical dramas. Her short fiction has won many regional awards. Find her at http://stacitroilo.com.

Bleeding Heart—Franki, secret legacy of the Medici, is prophesied to return Italy to its former glory. Targeted for assassination and ignorant of her enemy’s identity, she is protected by Gianni, the warrior destined to defend her. He must conquer her fears and his demons to save them both. Available now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.

Connect with Staci:

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Read other posts about Staci and her books:

Author Wednesday – October 9, 2013

Author Wednesday – February 11, 2015

Book Review Friday – Type and Cross

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – KERRY J. DONOVAN

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Author Wednesday returns with a bang (pun always intended) with crime, action, and fantasy writer, Kerry Donovan. I’m delighted to start the new season with such a talented and creative author. His series, The DCI Jones Casebook, features three thrillers, Ellis Flynn, Raymond Collins,  and the recently released, Sean FreemanTHE_DCI_JONES_CASEBOOK_sean_freeman (1)

Welcome, Kerry! I’m honored you’re the first author after my summer break. I can tell this is going to be an interesting interview.

Hi Pat, thanks for inviting me onto your blog. Great to finally meet you in the flesh, so to speak.

So let’s start it out with a question I like to ask all the authors. When did you first discover your voice as a writer?

Oh Pat, when I find my writer’s voice, I’ll let you know.

Seriously though, I find this quite difficult to answer. Currently, I write in three different genres, crime thrillers, action adventure, and fantasy. I think using the same voice in each would be rather restrictive. I try to set my voice according to the theme of each novel. It’s not easy, but if I keep trying for long enough, one day, I might get it right.

My father, an artist, once told me that if he were ever to be completely satisfied with a finished painting, he’d probably give up and start writing. I can’t paint.

I ask the question because it tells me many things about folks. I’m fascinated because I’ve often wondered if I’ve ever discovered a voice. Glad to know I’m not alone in finding mine. But I have a feeling you have a very strong voice and are simply too modest to admit it. Let’s move along to another favorite question. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”

Again, I’ll let you know. And again, seriously, I’ll call myself an author when people start recognizing me in the street and say, “Hey, isn’t that the author …” That’s unlikely to happen as I live in France and only publish in English. I rarely travel to the UK except to visit my three wonderful kids, and three (soon to be four) gorgeous grandchildren.

I had it happen at the gym the other day. Does that count? Probably not, since I’d just done a book signing there. Sweat and autographs — great combo. So let’s talk about how you write. Do you have any writing rituals?

Don’t really have any. I sit at my desk in front of my PC keyboard in my office in the attic and type. That’s it really. I rarely plot an outline but have an idea where to start and then I let the characters take over. I tried writing in the garden last summer, but the flies annoyed me, and I couldn’t see the laptop screen for the bright sunshine. I guess Hemingway didn’t have the same problem when using his typewriter, eh?

Probably not, but he did write in an attic in Paris, so you better get back inside. Do you try to convey any special messages to your readers, even though your writing happens organically?

I don’t. All I want to do for my readers is entertain them with the best story I can create. If writing a crime thriller, I want to thrill. If it’s a mystery I want to give the reader all the information they need to solve the crime but still give them a surprise ending. I hate stories where the author introduces the killer and the motive in the final scene so the reader can’t work things out for themselves. If writing a fantasy, I base it in the real world but add a little something strange and fantastical. I want the reader to ‘see’ and understand the concepts covered. You won’t find any vampires, werewolves, or ghouls in my books. At least not many. If writing a romance, I want the reader carried away on a sea of love and emo… hang on, I don’t write romances. My wife has told me I don’t have a romantic bone in my six-foot, three-inch body.  She’s probably right. In fact, she’s always right, or so she tells me.

All wives are always right. I see you get a little passionate with your answers, so perhaps there’s a romantic fragment in your funny bone. What’s going on with your writing these days? Describe your current projects.

Currently, I have two prime works-in-progress, although my laptop has dozens of unfinished and part finished works, and rough outlines. I like to have at least one book nearly complete—at least close to the beta read level—and one in production.

The nearly complete one, On Lucky Shores, is an action adventure set in the Colorado Rockies and follows down-on-his-luck travelling musician, Chester ‘Chet’ Walker. The story opens with Chet trying to find a gig in the picturesque, and fictional, lakeside town of Lucky Shores. On his way to town, he is involved in a car accident and receives a message from a dying man. In trying to give the message to the man’s daughter, Joey, Chet finds himself embroiled in an eight-year-old secret. He also becomes the target of a ruthless killer or killers who want the secret to remain hidden, and becomes the victim of Cupid’s arrow. Joey steals his heart.

Well, perhaps there is a little romance in my books after all.

My second WIP is the fourth installment of my DCI Jones Casebook series of British crime thrillers. In this story, one of my cast of characters hunts for the crooked cop responsible for the death of another cop. The villain is also involved in the illegal importation of weapons into the UK. I’m half way through the first draft of this one, so it probably won’t be ready for publication until the New Year 2016. As they say, watch this space.

If you’ll have me back closer to the time, I’ll be happy to give you more details. :¬)

I hope you’ll come back! My favorite authors always have a standing invitation. I do think there’s a romantic lurking inside waiting to jump out. You certainly like to keep things interesting from the Rocky Mountains to the UK, all the while living in France. Tell me a bit about the fictional folks in your books. Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Absolutely, he’s Detective Chief Inspector David Jones—never Dave or Davie. He’s a senior detective of the old school. I describe him as a veteran, dogged, empathetic, and successful. He’s about my age, but is slim-built, of less than average height, single (never married), and successful. In fact, he’s nothing like me apart from the age thing.

What stands David Jones apart from most veteran fictional cops is that he’s not allowed his job to make him jaded with life. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends and empathetic to the victims he tries to protect. He’s a tad OCD, but only in that he likes things to remain in order and in the correct place and alignment. David can see when something doesn’t fit and often uses this ‘ailment’ to solve crimes.

In my head, I see David Jones as looking like my dear old father. I love them both, but don’t tell David that, or he’ll look at you funny. He’s old school, see, not at all touchy-feely :).

We need him here in the States to help clean up a few things. Even though he’s your favorite, he’s not much like you except for his age, so if a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

Without doubt, that would be George Clooney, but he’d have to wear a much grayer wig. Oh, my wife’s just read that and fallen over in hysterics, excuse me a moment while I help her to her feet and give her a glass of water—she doesn’t drink whisky.

As an alternative to George, maybe you could find a James Stewart lookalike. Did I tell you I was tall?

Thanks for having me, Pat. I’ve so enjoyed our chat.  Blimey, now I’m a poet.

I hope your wife is all right, but tell her if George Clooney plays you, guess who gets to play her? Oh, that’s right, his beautiful Italian wife isn’t an actress. It’s been my pleasure, Kerry. So good to start off the new season of Author Wednesday with such a fun interview. I’m going to hold you to your word and expect you back with the very next release.

Kerry_J_Donovan - Web pagesAbout Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).

 

 

Links:

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DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon US

DCI Jones Casebook Sean Freeman Amazon UK

 

AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – DAVID RHEEM JARRETT

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Wecome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome David Rheem Jarret who stops by today to talk about his novel Last Straw, a thriller filled with crime and suspense. David admits the main characters is actually “an anti-hero who some readers will actually see as the protagonist, even though some of the crimes he commits are heinous.”  Add two young police officers–an intelligent, sensitive male and a strong, attractive female–who must not only deal with catching him, but also with their own steadily increasing attraction to one another to throw some romance into the mix.  It all sounds exciting, but I’ll let David talk about himself and the book. Welcome, David!

The Writing Life and the Last Straw by David Rheem Jarrett A1RubOdlbwL._SL1500_

I discovered my voice as a writer while in high school but was not able to call myself an author until June of 2014 when I published Last Straw.  I have no writing rituals, although my favorite time to write is two hours in the morning during what I call my quiet time.  This time is after I’ve brought my wife coffee in bed, had a couple cups myself, and read all the current news and mail on the computer.  Once this quiet time is over and the events of the day begin, there’s no point in trying to write.

I have no illusions about being a great writer, although I believe I use the English language well, and my vocabulary is fairly extensive.   I try to avoid clichés and use language that is perhaps more sophisticated than others in my genre.  I try to create plots that are believable – things that could actually happen in today’s world – and characters that are believable also – no superheroes jumping buildings in a single bound or dispatching entire groups of bad guys singlehandedly.  My stories are usually “morality plays” in which good triumphs over evil.  Even in Last Straw, even though I identify and sympathize with my anti-hero, he has to lose in the end.

The two authors who have most influenced my writing are John Sandford and Michael Connelly.  They both write gritty crime/police procedural thrillers, and they write their stories with great realism and accuracy.  One of my pet peeves as a reader is reading a crime/thriller/suspense novel involving firearms in which the author obviously has no real knowledge of them.

My current work in progress involves a rather complicated scenario.  It is also a thriller of sorts, but not what I would all a classic one.  A man and his wife, fed up with life in the city, retire early and move to a remote rural area of California where they own property.  A Native American Vietnam veteran, feeling he has not lived up to his heritage, moves to the same area and tries to live in the woods alone in order to experience the lifestyle of his ancestors and perhaps vindicate himself, at least in his own eyes.  The actions of these characters are often seen through the eyes of a great bear, a character in its own right, that the Indian saves from a poacher’s trap early in his odyssey.  There is political intrigue as the local power company uses a nefarious scheme to coerce the county commissioners to vote to dam the river on which the ranchers depend in order to create a recreational area and power plant.  In addition, there is constant tension between the city man and the perverted poacher, who hates him and covets his wife.  As of now, the book is too long and needs to be cut somewhat, and I am in the process of editing.  It is a very ambitious project and may need to be longer than planned in order to be able to tell the whole story.  As yet, I have no title for this WIP.

I chose to write Last Straw because of the shenanigans being pulled by members of the financial community during the lead-up to the Great Recession in the United States.  An enormous number of people, myself included, got hurt because of their actions, and I felt compelled to write about one fictional person’s response.

My favorite character is Thomas Pickering.  He is a product of the school of hard knocks.  He is not a young pretty-boy and has character flaws.  However, he is smart; he is tough; and he believes as I do in “an eye for an eye.”

I use third person omniscient past tense in all my writing.  I detest the use of first person or third person limited, as neither has the ability to show the reader the thoughts and feelings of each character.  I use italics to describe these inner thoughts, and though some do not like this technique, I do, and as long as the italicized passages are not too long, I believe them not to be objectionable to the reader.  I never use present tense narration as I think it sounds stupid.

As far as bad reviews are concerned, not everyone is going to like every book.  You are going to get a bad review now and then.  They are usually emotionally driven and not constructive, but learn from the ones that are thoughtfully written and that actually might help you in your future writing.  Always remember, though, that writing is an art, as is music, painting, or sculpture.  It is not a science, and therefore whether you are happy with it determines whether it is worthy or not.  Of course, if you are writing solely to make money, this changes the paradigm and you must write what the public wants to read — hence the plethora of romance novels and series novels so prevalent today.

Last Straw tells the story of a bitter man, robbed of his future by unscrupulous financiers, who finds and punishes them in very creative and ugly ways, and the attempt by two young police officers, themselves embroiled in an escalating affair, to discover enough evidence to arrest and convict him.

My wife actually chose this title, and since she has been so supportive of my writing and a good beta-reader, I deferred to her judgment.

This book took approximately three years from inception to publication.  It was self-published as an e-Book primarily because I could not obtain representation from literary agents (Do not get me started on that subject, as the diatribe will go on forever).  I decided if the e-Book were well-received, I might order print copies also, but I am finding it hard to find enough readers, even though almost all reviews have been positive, to justify the trouble and expense of doing this yet.

Simply put, the message conveyed in the book is “if you mess with the bull, you are going to get the horns!”

The best thing someone could say about this book is that it kept him or her turning the pages from beginning to end without ever becoming bored or tempted to skim.

Conceiving this book took little imagination. I was financially damaged by the same type financiers as my character, Thomas Pickering. The book was my vicarious way of getting even.

Thomas Pickering is the antagonist (although some may feel he is the PROtagonist depending on their point of view), and I don’t think I have ever enjoyed creating a character more.

Any prospective reader must know that there is both graphic sex and graphic violence in the book, but the story does not dwell on either.  These are necessary to provide the elements of a thriller, but the actual book is more about feelings, relationships, and right versus wrong.

As I have said before, John Sandford is the quintessential crime thriller writer, with Michael Connelly a close second.  They both would be welcome to share dinner and a few cocktails with me.

I have no rituals, no music while I write.  I usually write in my bathrobe and slippers in my study/computer room prior to the day’s other activities. My immediate family is highly supportive of my writing. I do use places with which I am familiar as the settings for my books.  I do not like travel unless I can do it in our motor coach; therefore I will probably never write novels set anywhere but in the USA.

If one were to make a movie of me, Bruce Willis would be my pick for my character.

Dave - Publicity photoAbout David: David Rheem Jarrett was born and raised in Berkeley, California. After graduating from Dental School, he and his wife and two daughters moved to Reno, Nevada, where he and two others started the first group practice in the state, and practiced general dentistry for thirty-five years before retiring in 2005.  Since then he has been doing what he promised himself he would do years ago – writing novels. He is active in physical fitness, golf, fly fishing, firearms, and gunsmithing, RVing, computers, and reading.  He and his wife have been married for fifty-two years, and enjoy spending time together and with their three children and seven grandchildren.

Click Links below for more information on David Rheem Jarrett and Last Straw.

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Author Wednesday – David Lawlor

cropped-typewriter.jpgI am pleased to present David Lawlor today for Author Wednesday. David’s visited my blog several times before and I’ve reviewed his Liam Mannion books here, but today he’s stopping by to tell us about his new release, which is a departure from his usual historical fiction set in Ireland in the post World War I era. I’ll let this talented author and editor take if from here to tell you about High Crimes.HIGH CRIMES HIRES(1)

From David: I’ve written four historical fiction novels – three following the adventures of Liam Mannion from World War I, through the Irish War of Independence and on to the Irish Civil War, so stalkers and sex abusers in modern Dublin are not my usual subject matter. Yet that is what I found myself writing about in my new novel, High Crimes.

The seed of an idea came one night while watching a five-minute documentary on television. It was filmed from the perspective of a crane operator, with various operators talking about their work and what they see from their lofty viewing point. One man on the programme told of how, every day, he used to see a woman strip naked and set about cleaning her apartment.

It was such a strange image that I wondered what would compel her to do such a thing – and what the crane operator really thought about it as he watched her. From there, the ball started rolling and soon I had added several more apartment block residents who were living under the watchful gaze of my crane operator, Tommy Reynolds.

Tommy is a seriously disturbed individual. He’s arrogant, conniving, and quite brutal in what he says and how he goes about following his subjects.  He does not self-censor but gives full vent to his feelings. He speaks direct to the reader in a full-on verbal assault. You might wonder what research I did for Tommy – how I tapped into his sociopathic nature. Well, er, aside from reading up on how cranes operate, very little. The fact is that all that venting he does came from inside me (which makes me wonder about myself sometimes, but that’s another story entirely). We all self-censor – that’s the norm in a civilized society – so, to be able to let fly with the most inappropriate and hurtful of comments was liberating. Yes, Tommy is nasty, but he was also great fun to write.

Less fun was my other arch villain – an ex-priest, Cathal Mac Liam, who is a paedophile. Mac Liam is pure evil. In the past, he abused his victims in orphanages, now he uses the internet to find them and to traffic children to be abused by others.

I read several articles, written by both the abused and the abuser, to get a sense of what Mac Liam should be like. That research proved to be truly shocking. A lot of his thoughts are actually taken from real case histories, as was some of the chat-room dialogue I used in the book. My character may seem far-fetched to some but, believe me, real people like him are out there doing terrible things to children.

My stalking victims are varied. There’s Maggie, a policewoman whose childhood was destroyed and whose entire life has been blighted by the memories of her abuse at the hands of Mac Liam. Then there’s Jack, a widowed soldier trying to come to terms with why his wife drowned herself and their infant son. There’s also Paddy, who is struggling to cope with his wife’s dementia and with a disowned drug addict son. Ann, a high-flier in a government department, is building a new life for herself in Dublin following years spent in New York. Finally, there’s Ernie, a talented artist who starts using cranes in his paintings as a motif.

Mac Liam impacts almost all of their lives, while Tommy watches them from his crane, filming and following, and listening, too, until finally he worms his way into their lives with deadly consequences.

Reynolds and Mac Liam are vile. We marvel at their cruelty and feel sympathy for their victims. Unfortunately, sometimes those victims are pushed beyond all endurance and see suicide as the only recourse.  I thought it would be good to see the victims finally stand up and fight back, which is what happens in this book.

The tone of High Crimes is very different to that of my historical fiction trilogy – Tan, The Golden Grave and A Time of Traitors. Finding that new voice was exciting as was writing a story set in the modern world. That doesn’t mean I’m done with the past. I have a soft spot for Liam Mannion, the hero of my trilogy, and he’ll be reappearing in a new book further down the line.

The beauty of fiction is that we can immerse ourselves in any world we choose – that goes for the author as much as the reader. It’s why I’m hooked on writing and why I’ll keep doing it as long as my body and my mind allow.

I’m glad that you are going to keep putting out suspenseful and powerful novels. 

About David:David Lawlor David Lawlor has worked as a journalist for the past twenty-five years and is currently Associate Editor with The Herald newspaper in Dublin. He’s also a book editor. [Note: David was my editor for Native Lands.] To date, he’s published three novels in the Liam Mannion series – Tan, The Golden Grave and A Time of Traitors, which are historical fiction thrillers set during the Irish War of Independence, in 1921. His first a contemporary novel is High Crimes.

Other Author Wednesday posts about David Lawlor:

November 12, 2014

July 7, 2013

Book reviews of David Lawlor’s Liam Mannion novels:

A Time of Traitors and Tan and The Golden Grave

 

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THE GOLDEN GRAVE

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Website: https://historywithatwist.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @LawlorDavid

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/rocWgb

Amazon

High Crimes 

Tan 

The Golden Grave 

A Time of Traitors 

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Author Wednesday – Cate Beauman

???????????????????????????????Today I welcome back the prolific author, Cate Beauman, who has just released her seventh romantic suspense novel in the Bodyguards of LA County series. This is Cate’s third appearance on Author Wednesday. Her body of work is impressive.05 The Bodyguards of LA County Series

Here’s what Cate has to say about Saving Sophie, the newest installment in her bestselling series. 03 Saving Sophie_3D

Stone and Sophie are as opposite as can be—or so it seems—and that’s why telling their story was so much fun! Readers met Stone in Justice For Abby. He’s a gorgeous bad boy, more interested in taking care of himself than worrying about anyone else. Stone’s a hard-ass. There’s no other way to say it, but everyone has an achilles’ heel. That’s what drew me to Ethan Cooke Security’s latest bodyguard. I kept asking myself what type of woman had the power to bring a man like Stone McCabe to his knees. Enter Sophie Burke, a shy jewelry designer dealing with lots of trouble, and you just might have your answer.

I hope you enjoy Sophie and Stone as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Cate

About Saving Sophie

When the only choice is to run…

Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Read an excerpt from Saving Sophie:

Sophie glanced around one last time at the town she’d called home for more than twelve years as Dylan merged south on the onramp towards Brunswick, knowing she would never come back to the place where she and her mother had made their fresh start.

“Your train leaves at nine. We should make it in plenty of time.”

“I’ve never traveled by train.”

“Me neither.” Dylan moved into the right lane, letting faster traffic pass. “Have you decided where you’ll go?”

She shook her head, even though she’d thought of little else since she woke this morning, knowing today had to be the day. “Somewhere big. Somewhere where he can’t find me.” She swallowed. “He’ll look. He’ll never stop,” she said, staring into the side mirror, waiting for the black Mercedes to rush up behind them and force them to pull over. “You have to be careful.”

Dylan huffed out an amused laugh. “That bastard doesn’t scare me.”

She wished he didn’t scare her either. “Be careful anyway.”

“I will, but he’s a coward.”

“No more than me,” she murmured, glancing down at the hints of bruised skin peeking out from under her sleeves.

Dylan tossed her a look. “Don’t go there.”

She sat back fully in her seat, unable to take her eyes off the mirror until Dylan eventually exited the interstate and drove toward the center of town, stopping in front of the Amtrak station as the train pulled up.

“Looks like you won’t have to wait.” She set the emergency brake and searched through her purse. “Here’s my license.” She handed over the Maine ID and paper ticket she’d bought and printed when Sophie gave her the green light from her kiosk at the mall. “We don’t look all that different with your wig, so this should get you your next ticket in Boston.”

“Thank you.” Sophie leaned over and gave Dylan a big hug. “Thank you so much. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you.”

“Don’t look back, Sophie.” Dylan eased away, squeezing her hand. “Get out of here and never look back. Here are the phone numbers for the Stowers house shelters in Baltimore and LA I told you about—just in case.” She handed over the March copy of Trendy magazine with papers sticking out from the edges.

“Thanks. Please don’t forget to put flowers on my mother’s grave.”

“I won’t.”

She nodded and hugged Dylan for the last time. “Bye.”

“Bye. Take care of yourself.”

“I will.” Sophie got out, sliding her backpack on her shoulder as she made her way to the bored-eyed man at the ticket kiosk.

“Ticket and ID, Ma’am.”

Sophie handed over both, holding her breath, waiting for her plan to fall apart.

“Safe trip.” He gave them back.

“Thank you,” she murmured, letting loose a shaky exhale as she turned and moved toward the train, wanting to run instead of walk. She boarded the first available car and stared out the window as she sat down, watching Dylan pull out of the lot in the rusty hatchback, already missing the only person she’d had a connection with. She bobbed her leg up and down, struggling to keep her fidgeting at bay. Minutes passed, feeling like hours, until finally the doors closed. The train jerked forward, moving toward Boston—the first stop on her journey to freedom.

 

Cate profile picAbout Cate Beauman: Cate currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, their two boys, and St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. She is the author of the best selling romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Before her career as an author, Cate worked in special education for twelve years.

“I’m a pretty lucky girl; one day I woke up and my entire life changed. I saw the light, so to speak, and decided I was going to be a writer. Now, four years later, I’m currently working on my eighth novel, Reagan’s Redemption, which I plan to release in early spring of 2015. I’m very grateful for the support and success I’ve had.”

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