Thursday, October 9, 2014

Character Interview: Police Chief O'Callaghan

A Blue Million Books is very happy to feature Lauren Carr's newest book, A Wedding and a Killing, a Mac Faraday Mystery Book 8. Lauren's a little busy, what with the new release and all, and Amy's busy getting the second book in the Goose Pimple Junction series ready to publish, so GPJ's Tess Tremaine sits down with the chief of police of Spencer, Maryland, David Patrick O’Callaghan, to get the lowdown on Lauren and her mystery series.


About the book:

When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him ... even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married — along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a body in the church office.

“Of course Mac Faraday can’t get married without a killer making an appearance,” author Lauren Carr says about A Wedding and a Killing, the eighth installment in her best-selling mystery series.

Readers will find that Lauren’s latest whodunit reveals just a touch of sibling rivalry between Mac Faraday and his half-brother, Police Chief David O’Callaghan. When the Deep Creek Lake murder unviels a cold case in New York, Mac Faraday rushes off to clear the name of a local citizen, while David O’Callaghan focuses on the homicide at Spencer Church.

“Characters take on a life of their own, if you let them,” Lauren says. “Readers, and the author, become bored if the character is allowed to stagnate. David O’Callghan has really grown since It’s Murder, My Son. When I first introduced David, he was young. What he lacked in confidence, he made up for in determination. In A Wedding and a Killing, David feels compelled to solve his case on his own when Mac starts making headway in New York — if only to prove to himself that he can.” 

In A Wedding and a Killing, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?


About Police Chief O'Callaghan:

In his early thirties, David Patrick O’Callaghan is the son of Patrick O’Callaghan and his wife Violet.

Patrick O’Callaghan was the legendary police chief of Spencer, located on the uptown side of Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. He had a reputation of being one of the most clever and courageous police chiefs in the area. Since his death after a long illness, David has taken over his father’s position. While he’s got big shoes to fill, he does manage to hold his own.

Being the son of the police chief in a resort town in which most of the residents are listed in Who’s Who is a mixed blessing. On the downside, David did not enjoy the luxuries of his school friends. However, being the police chief’s son did give him a certain social standing.

Handsome and charming, David was, and is, popular with the ladies. This proved to be a curse as well as a blessing when David’s relationship with his first love ended due to his own infidelity.

Unfortunately, David’s childhood did have some dark periods. As he grew up, David came to realize that his father, while faithful to his mother, was in love with another woman — the world famous mystery author Robin Spencer, whose ancestors had founded the town of Spencer.

A loyal and honorable man, Patrick O’Callaghan remained faithful and committed to David’s mother. But jealousy and bitterness would often drive her to emotional breakdowns, which would mean long commitments to a mental institution. Unable to care for David on his own, Patrick would send David to live at Spencer Manor with Robin Spencer, who David had come to love like a second mother.

As an adult, Patrick O’Callaghan revealed a family secret to his son. As teenagers, Patrick and Robin had a baby out-of-wedlock. Her parents had sent her away to have the baby and had the boy put up for adoption. Eventually, Robin’s parents had broken the young couple up. By the time Robin returned to Spencer, Patrick had already married David’s mother.

David had an older half-brother. No one knew his name or where he was.

After Patrick O’Callaghan’s and Robin Spencer’s death, their son, Mac Faraday, arrives at Spencer Manor, which he had inherited from his birth mother. During Patrick’s terminal illness, she hunted Mac down in order to tell Patrick about what had become of their son.
Intrigued, and determined to fulfill his father’s wish, David embarks on a brotherly friendship with the retired homicide detective. In no time, Mac Faraday becomes not only David’s brother, but his best friend as well.


Tess Talks with Police Chief David Patrick O’Callaghan

Hey, Chief. I heard you were a handsome man, and I must say I heard right. Tell me, how did you first meet Lauren?
I met Lauren Carr while she was writing the first Mac Faraday Mystery, It’s Murder, My Son. It was so much fun that she invited me back for each book after that. It isn’t like she could do a Mac Faraday mystery without me. After all, I am now the police chief of Spencer, Maryland.

Want to dish about her?

She has a weakness for ice cream slathered in Magic Shell.

I wonder if Slick serves that at the diner. Anyway...tell us about your favorite scene in A Wedding and a Killing.
The motel scene. Don’t get excited. In A Wedding and a Killing, a murder is committed in a church office. This murder reveals a cold case in New York. So, Mac goes off to New York to investigate that, while I investigated my case in Spencer. I believe this is the first time Lauren allowed me to work a case alone without Mac’s help.

We were tracking a missing suspect’s credit card charges when we got a hit that her card was used to book a motel room in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, a town off the turnpike. My deputy chief and I rushed to the motel to nab our suspect. We had an army of Pennsylvania state troopers, and Bogie (my deputy chief) and me ready to break in and take our suspect into custody.

Well, I don’t want to give away the plot. Let’s just say we were in for quite a surprise.

Sounds exciting! Do you have a hard time convincing Lauren to write any particular type of scenes for you?
Love scenes. I don’t know what it is with Lauren, but she keeps closing the door on me. Up until The Murders at Astaire Castle, I had quite an extensive love life. I admit it. I’m a sucker for a lovely lady. I’ve had my heart broken more than its fair share.

But now, I am in a committed relationship with Chelsea Adams. But Lauren refuses to give me any love scenes. Oh, yeah, we get to kiss and hug and what-not, but when the clothes start coming off, Lauren slams the door and keeps the reader out.

What’s with that, Lauren?

Yeah, what's with that, Lauren? Give the man some love. Okay, Chief. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?
They’re my family. Growing up as an only child, with my mother being away sometimes, and Dad working all the time with such an important job, I guess I would wish that I had a brother or someone who I could lean on sometimes.

Robin Spencer was cool, but sometimes I felt in the middle because my mother hated her so much. I’d feel like I was betraying Mom when I liked Robin. It wasn’t until I was grown up that I put everything together about what was going on.

I’m still shocked at how quickly Mac and I clicked to become not just brothers, but best friends. I look at him and I see Dad.

Then, there’s Archie Monday. She used to be Robin Spencer’s editor and research assistant. She’s gorgeous. She’s also like the sister I never had.

Mac and she are getting married. Well, that’s why the book is called A Wedding and a Killing. They were trying to elope when Gnarly found a dead body in the church.

As for Gnarly, the German shepherd Mac inherited from Robin: Well, Gnarly was the only K-9 to receive a dishonorable discharge from the United States Army. They refuse to talk about it — saying that it’s classified. Having seen how smart and conniving Gnarly can be, I have to wonder why.

Gnarly is pretty much his namesake—he’s gnarly in every meaning of the word.

I wonder if he would like Ezzie. We should get them together. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Go fishing. My father and I used to go fishing all the time – usually when he wanted to talk to me man-to-man. It grew to the point that I would cringe when he would suggest we go fishing. Now what does he want to talk to me about, I would ask.

Now that he’s not here, I miss those trips and talks.



What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
First Impression: That I’m quite young to be the police chief. I’m in my early thirties, but I’ve had a lot of experience in my young life.

After knowing me for a while, I hope that they come to realize that it’s not smart to underestimate what’s behind my piercing blue eyes.



What's the worst thing that's happened in your life?

Without a doubt, it would have to be when my mother stabbed me in the chest with a fork.

Yikes!

I was, and am, a major in the marines—Special Forces. I’m now in the reserves. I did two tours overseas and fought terrorists. I’ve been in gunfights. But, emotionally, I was never prepared last year when my own mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia stabbed me in the chest with a fork. It went in pretty far, too. I had to go to the emergency room. Of course, I’m the chief of police and word did spread.

Bogie, who happens to be my deputy chief and godfather, took my mother to the nursing home. She’s been there ever since.

I try to visit her, but when she sees me, she thinks I’m my father and becomes agitated. The doctors have even told me not to visit her alone, but to take someone with me. Me — chief of police — and I can’t visit my own mother by myself for fear that she’ll attack me.

That must be just awful. What have you learned from that experience?
Well, as an adult, looking back at what I saw in my parents’ marriage — I can see that jealousy can literally make you sick. My father was in love with another woman. Yes, he loved my mother, but he was in love with Robin. He swore, and I believed him, he kept true to his marriage vows. He and Robin never cheated on my mother. But there’s no denying that they had an affair of the heart.

Those can be tough to deal with – for all parties involved.

Still, Mom refused to believe that my father was faithful. And, even when she knew that his heart was someplace else, she refused to let him go. It was like she was punishing him — and I was an innocent victim in all of it.

That is just dreadful. I'm so sorry.

But, when I go to see her at the nursing home, I see that she is the one who really paid the price. Her jealousy ravaged her mind and body like a cancer.

Jealousy can eat you up, it can.

I refuse to live my life like that.

Describe the town where you live.
Spencer is the Martha’s Vineyard or Hamptons of western Maryland.

Located in the corner of Deep Creek Lake, Spencer consists of Spencer Mountain. The Spencer Inn, another part of Mac Faraday’s inheritance, rests on the very top of the mountain.

Most of Spencer’s wealthy residents are seasonal. They flood into their summer homes from May through September, or even into October after the fall foliage. Then, they will come back for skiing at the Spencer Inn.

We do have a few year-round residents. Mac Faraday, who lives in Spencer Manor at the end of Spencer Point, is one.

Describe an average day in your life.
There’s no such thing.

Ha! I hear you. Well, it's been a pleasure getting to know you, Chief. You'll have to come over for tea sometime. Promise?

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eight installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

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 year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

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 three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, West Virgina.


Connect with Lauren:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Visit Lauren's author page on Amazon.com to purchase her other published works.

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