TODAY I’M WELCOMING LAUREN CARR TO MY BLOG FOR AN INTERVIEW AND BOOK GIVEAWAY. AFTER READING THE INTERVIEW, COMMENT FOR ENTRY TO WIN. WINNER’S CHOICE: 1 PRINT COPY (USA ONLY) OR 1 ECOPY (OPEN TO USA AND INTERNATIONAL)
In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.
Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found. Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer. The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.
In Shades of Murder, author Lauren Carr tackles the task of penning two mysteries with two detectives in two different settings and bringing them together to find one killer. “What can I say?” Carr says. “I love mysteries and mystery writing. Two cases are twice the fun.”
In her fifth mystery, Lauren Car brings back her first literary detective while introducing a new one. In Shades of Murder, Joshua Thornton teams up with Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman listed as the victim of a serial killer was murdered by a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.
“Readers of my first series kept asking when I would bring back Joshua Thornton,” Carr explained. “However, they are going to find that single father Joshua Thornton is not in the same place since we left him in A Reunion to Die For. His children are grown. He’s more independent, and he’s ready for some romance and adventure. That’s where Cameron Gates comes in.”
With that, Joshua Thornton, Cameron Gates, and Mac Faraday all land together in Deep Creek Lake. Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course as they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with killer who’s got a talent for murder!
What/who inspired you to become a writer??
I believe writers are born. They are always writing. My earliest memories are rewriting the Bobbsey Twins after reading it. Instead of looking for a lost bracelet, they were hunting down a kidnapper.
Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??
Mysteries. Hands down. I consider mysteries word puzzles. They’re like jagsaw puzzles only with clues. The fun in reading them is putting it together. The fun in writing them is to take the murder, and tear the mystery apart and then scatter the pieces throughout the book.
What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???
Silence. It used to be music. Classic Rock and Roll. But now, I write in silence, with my dogs (what I call my Muses) at me feet. My dogs, Ziggy and Beagle Bailey, follow me everywhere.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you relate to the most??
Tough question. It used to be Joshua Thornton, my first protagonist. In my first two books, the Joshua Thornton mysteries, he was a single father, widowed with five kids. He felt clueless when it came to his children. That reflected me, a new mother at the time.
Now, it is Archie Monday, in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. She’s his spunky side-kick. She literally came with the house that he inherited from his birth mother. She was his late mother’s research assistant and editor. Now, she’s his romantic interested and things keep heating up between them in Shades of Murder.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself?
Never give up. Most of writing is perseverance, from getting the book written, to editing it, to publishing it, to promoting it. There’s a point every step of the way where you want to stop, but you can’t. You have to keep on going if you want to achieve that dream of being an author.
How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?
Dreams. Even when I get to a point where I don’t know what to do next, I will go to sleep and it will come to me.
I find inspiration for my books everywhere. Someone can be late for an appointment and I’ll be thinking, “Supposed she was kidnapped and murdered by the garbage man, who ended up being a long lost uncle and she’s the only living heir …” Or maybe I’ll overhear someone talking in the booth behind me while waiting for my husband to meet for lunch. They may be gossiping about a co-worker, but in my writer’s mind, I’ll twist and turn it around until I come up with a dead body found in the lunchroom at Petco.
What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??
I am now working a new series, Lovers in Crime. In that, I bring together two characters I introduced in Shades of Murder: Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates. Dead on Ice will be out this fall. I would like to see one of my series become a television series, possibly on Hallmark Mysteries.
How long did it take you to write Shades of Murder? What/who inspired these books??
Shades of Murder took about a year to write, and I went through several drafts before I came to the final storyline that it is now.
Since I was going back to Joshua Thornton, my first protagonist in the Joshua Thornton Mysteries, I had to really think about him and where he would be in his life now. It’s been five years since I had written A Reunion to Die For. Not only am I in a different place, so is Joshua. His children are leaving the nest. He’s got more independence and is ready for some romance in his life. He’s not the same protagonist that he was when I wrote A Small Case of Murder. He’s ready to lighten up now, which I’ve done myself.
I had been asked by fans of the Joshua Thornton Mysteries to bring back Joshua. So I decided to include him into this Mac Faraday mystery. Since Joshua and Mac don’t know each other, I had to come up with two murder mysteries that, on the surface, don’t appear to be connected, and then bring them together. Coming up with this puzzle was not only a challenge, but a lot of fun.
Mac is a homicide detective whose wife leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce becomes final, he inherits $270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake.
In Shades of Murder, he inherits a stolen painting that had disappeared the night its artist was murdered. So he starts investigating that case on Deep Creek Lake. Meanwhile, Joshua is working on a cold case of a Jane Doe murdered in Pittsburgh. They come together in the middle of the book.
Shades of Murder actually introduces two characters that I will use in my next book, Dead on Ice, which will come out this fall: Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates.
If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??
Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. I consider them the masters. I jump up and dance on Cloud Nine anytime a reviewer compares me to Agatha Christie, who I am pleased to say, a few have. That makes my whole week.
Let’s do something fun…write something about each of the next 10 words in 10 words or less.
Fantasy: Can become a reality of you stick to it.
Energy: Something I’m going to lose if it don’t use it.
Balance: Something you get after 50.
Synchronicity: An unobtainable goal in marriage.
Imagination: Use wisely.
Invention: What I do when cooking.
Freedom: You have it. All you have to do is look.
Intelligence: Is a terrible thing to waste.
What made you decide to jump on the E-book trade?? And how do you feel about it??
I was asked. My first two books, A Small Case of Murder and A Reunion to Die For were first generation e-books. I received an e-mail from amazon inviting me to upload them for e-book sale. You could say I was a pioneer. Okay, I did not invent E-books, but I certainly followed closely behind the lead wagon.
Back then, we are talking 2007, soon after A Reunion to Die For came out. At that time, I uploaded them in pdf format. They were available and selling for years. I forgot about them. This was even before the KDP site was up. Then, one day a couple of years ago, I see a horrible review for A Reunion to Die For because of the formatting. The technology had changed so much, and Amazon was still using that pdf that they converted to Kindle, but it did not convert well. I reformatted both A Reunion to Die For and A Small Case of Murder and uploaded them.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?
So I’m willingly going to a desert island? As if I plan to be there? Well, my two dogs would be there. So I need to bring dog food, dog beds, dog treats. Will this island have leash laws or can I let them run free.
That leaves the laptop, sun screen, ice cream, coffee, and Kindle for me.
How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??
I plan my books in advance, but in my head. During that process, I will write a loose outline, which I usually don’t refer to because I help to get it straight in my head. Then I sit down and write by the seat of my pants.
And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??
I’d love to go back to the 1940’s or 50’s and be a screenwriter in Hollywood writing movies like Alfred Hitchcock or turning Agatha Christie’s books into movies on the silver screen.
Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself 🙂 Please include your social media links.
Contest! Contest! Contest!
This fall, Dead on Ice, the first installment in a new series entitled the Lovers in Crime Mystery, will be released. This book brings back Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates, who we first meet in Shades of Murder.
In Dead on Ice, Cameron investigates the murder of a female porn star, whose mummified body turns up in an abandoned freezer found in Joshua’s cousin’s basement.
From June 1-July 31, I am holding a contest to Name the Porn Star! The winner will win autographed copies of all three Mac Faraday Mysteries, and a copy of Dead on Ice, which will be released Fall 2012. (E-pub or print, winner’s choice. Print versions are only available for winners in the US)
The contest is to provide both a stage name (naughty is okay, but it must be clean) and the real name of the murder victim in Dead on Ice. E-mail your suggestions to me (email@example.com). Put Name the Porn Star in the subject line. Please include contact information, including mailing address and phone number.
Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.
Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Lauren’s fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.
Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
Blog: Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
Gnarly’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/GnarlyofMacFaradayMysteries
YouTube: Shades of Murder Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwOm59Wxgmg