Monday, February 8, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: LAUREN CARR




ABOUT THE BOOK


Police Chief David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding day is fast approaching. Unfortunately, at the last minute, David discovers that there is one small problem to be taken care of before he can tie the knot—divorce his first wife!

Lauren Carr takes fans of the Mac Faraday mysteries to the Big Apple in this nail biting adventure. In Cancelled Vows, David, Mac, and Gnarly, too, rush to New York City to dissolve David’s marriage to an old girlfriend—and he’s got five days to get it done. When murder throws up a road block, it is up to David’s best man, Mac Faraday, and Gnarly, K9-in-waiting, to sort through the clues to get David to the church in time!



INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN CARR


Lauren, what do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?

Timing. I write full time. However, even so, it is difficult because when I really get going at a certain spot in a storyline and the words are flowing freely, reality will come crashing in. My son gets home from school and I need to stop in the middle of a conversation. Or I’m in the middle of a pertinent scene or shootout and suddenly, it’s six o’clock in the evening, I have people bleeding out on the streets, and I’ve taken nothing out of the kitchen to cook for dinner.

Seriously, not only is it frustrating, but it is those types of interruptions that can cause the type of mistakes in continuity that readers may pick up after the book is released. For example, in Kill and Run, in one scene, one reader noticed that Jessica sat down twice during a conversation without standing up before sitting down the second time.

I have no choice but to blame my family for picking up this nasty habit called eating. It wouldn’t be so bad if they knew how to cook.

I hear you. What’s more important – characters or plot?
Characters! Hand down!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I thrive on finding unique and interesting murder cases for my books. So plot is very important. You can have a fabulous group of characters but if the plot doesn’t grab you, then you aren’t going to stick around. I have read books with fabulous, interesting characters—but it was very hard to read the books because as great as the characters were, nothing happened.

However, no matter how great the plot is, if you don’t care what happens to the characters, then you aren’t going to get past chapter three. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve stopped reading because I really didn’t care if the characters lived or died.

I have found that really intriguing, interesting, fun characters, once they come to life — which is if they are fully developed, will make a great plot. That happened in Cancelled Vows. Dallas Walker started out as a minor character, who ultimately stole the book and took it on a roller coaster plot because she is such a great character. That wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t such a fascinating character.

What do you think makes a good story?
Twists and turns in the plot that leave the reader breathless. I have a rule when I write. When my reader expects me to go in one direction, I purposely take them in the opposite direction.

What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Being an author is a business — treat it like one. When I first started getting published, my husband, who is my business manager and has a law degree in business law, kept telling me that this is a business. He wanted receipts and when I would be offered a personal appearance I would be so excited — until he started asking questions like, “How far away is that? How much gas are you going to use getting there? How many books do you expect to sell? Are we going to make money or lose money?”

I considered him a wet blanket. After all, I was an author — an artist! Once, I accepted a speaking engagement at a library that was over five hours from my home. I drove five hours there in the pouring rain, spoke to a full house. They were so engaged and had so many questions, I was there twenty minutes longer than expected. Then, they all rushed out to borrow my book. I sold one book. I didn’t even make enough money to pay for the gas.

Now, I do treat my writing and book promotion like a business. I rarely make public appearances because I get more promotion for my time spent online via blog tours and guest blogs. I’m still an artist—an author, but I’m also a business person.

I agree wholeheartedly with that. Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
Think of marketing as one of those chores that’s all part of the business — not an option. In every profession there are things that you have to do because it is part of taking care of business. Lawyers have to keep up on new laws — otherwise, they could make mistakes that will land their clients in jail. Doctors have to deal with insurance companies and forms or they won’t get paid for their services.

Authors have to deal with marketing or readers won’t know about their books and if readers don’t know about their books, they won’t buy them. If readers don’t buy your books, then you won’t make money.

A best-selling author told me to spend one hour a day working on marketing — using social media and the Internet. Within a year of taking her advice, my books started making best-sellers’ lists, and I am now in the top-100 police procedural authors on Amazon. I now spent three-four hours a day working on marketing.

How often do you tweet?
Every single day. I have an assistant who does my tweeting using Hootsuite. But I get in every day to promote fellow authors via retweeting their posts.

What do you love about where you live?
The beauty and silence of the mountain—and the view of the valley, too.


What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?
Going to a fabulous new restaurant, getting waited on, and trying something I have never eaten before — followed a sinful dessert. Then, going home to a clean kitchen and not have to wash dishes.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Ice cream encased in chocolate fudge Magic Shell.

What's the biggest lie you ever told?
I don’t know if this would constitute as my biggest lie, but it my most embarrassing lie. Years ago, some friends of ours moved, and they gave us a propane gas tank for their gas grill. It was an older tank and didn’t fit our gas grill. My husband tried exchanging it for a tank that would fit our grill, but no place would take it. He tried taking it to the dump, leaving it with the garbage collector — no one would take it. We had this tank literally for years, and it was rusting, and we couldn’t get rid of it. So, one day, I was taking one of our empty gas tanks in to exchange it for a fresh tank and my husband suggested that I take this old tank and just leave it on the curb at the exchange when no one was looking and let them deal with it.

Well, my then seven-year-old son went with me. When we got there, I carried the one tank in and placed it next to the bins with the gas tanks, and the other, I just took out of the car and placed it over on the other side, in plain sight, but far enough away from ours in order to pretend I had nothing to do with it.

Well, when the clerk came out to unlock the bins to take out a fresh tank, he saw the old tank and of course, asked if it was mine. I said it wasn’t.

Right then, my son says, “Yes it is.”

“No, it not,” replied.

Tristan then looks worried. “Don’t you remember, Mom, you took it out of the back seat of our car and put it right there.”

He looked at me like I had lost my mind. “Don’t you remember, Mom? It was only a few minutes ago when we first got here, before you went inside.”

Meanwhile the clerk is looking at me.

Finally, I said, “Sorry, I don’t recall that at all.”

Then I took Tristan home and told him to talk to his father — after all, it was all his idea!

What drives you crazy?
My son is seventeen years old. That about covers it.

Name one thing you’re really good at and one thing you’re really bad at.
I’m a gourmet cook, and my husband says he married me for my cooking.

I am really bad at cleaning up after I cook. I’m horrible at cleaning, period. Yet, my husband was a navy officer and had done three tours on aircraft carriers. So, he is very particular about cleaning, which makes it worse. For that reason, a cleaning lady is a necessity. No matter how bad things are financially, a cleaning service has to be in our budget.

What’s your least favorite chore?
Cleaning—because I am really bad at it. I simply do not see dirt.

What are you working on now?
For 2016, I am aiming for four books, one for each series. Cancelled Vows is the eleventh installment for the Mac Faraday Mysteries. At the end of April, Lovers in Crime will see the third installment for that series, Killer in the Band. Readers will get to know more about Joshua Thornton Jr (J.J.), Murphy’s identical twin brother. J.J. has graduated at the top of his class from law school and is returning home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to the Thornton’s shock and dismay, J.J. decides to move in with Suellen Russell, a lovely widow twice his age. The move brings long buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. When a brutal killer strikes, the father and son must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the crosshairs of a murderer.

In September, fans of the Thorny Rose Mysteries will see the second installment for that series, A Fine Year for Murder. I’m also planning to close out the year with a November release of Murder for the Holidays. This is a Mac Faraday Mystery that will include some flashback to an earlier case involving Patrick O’Callaghan and Robin Spencer.

Then, in November, Mac Faraday fans will see a Christmas mystery entitled, Murder for the Holidays. This mystery will include a flashback to an older murder case involving Patrick O’Callaghan (Mac and David’s father) and Robin Spencer.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday and Lovers in Crime Mysteries and the Thorny Rose Mysteries. 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 four dogs (including the real live Gnarly!) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.



Connect with the author: 
Website    |   
Blog    |    Twitter     |   Goodreads 

Facebook:
Lauren's page    |   Gnarly’s page   |   Lovers in Crime Page  |    Acorn Book Services page  


Buy the book: 
Amazon 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you, Amy, for inviting me to A Blue Million Books to meet your friends and followers. It's always fun to visit!

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    Replies
    1. I'm always happy to have you here, Lauren!

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