Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Featured Author: Tammy L. Grace

About the book

When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later.

The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben to visit the luxurious mansions of recording industry magnates, navigate the murky undercurrents of the political world, and probe complicated family matters. Scandalous indiscretions, secrets, and hints of corruption swirl in the midst of their pursuit of the killer.

Coop’s faithful friend and assistant, Annabelle and his loyal golden retriever, Gus, both lend a hand during the investigation. Even his Aunt Camille mines the local gossip mill to unearth potential killers with motive. Yet the case seems hopeless until a crucial piece of evidence emerges that sends Coop and Ben on a race to catch the killer before someone else dies.

Interview with Tammy L. Grace

Tammy, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I found I enjoyed writing in middle school and started writing articles for the local newspaper throughout junior high. Life moved on and while involved in my career, I was in a class and asked to think about what I would truly enjoy doing if I could do anything.  It didn’t take me long to blurt out “write novels.”  So, when I retired in late 2012, I decided to make it a reality.

What’s the story behind the title Killer Music?
I like short titles, so I brainstormed some ideas related to murder and Nashville.  The story is about a music mogul, so I tried to weave in something about music. I ran a list of possible titles by my family and friends and most everyone agreed Killer Music was the keeper. It’s short and sweet, while being appropriate, since the novel involves a music and a killer.

How do you get to know your characters?
I write down attributes and even ask them questions to get a feel for personalities. I am always drawn to characters in a book, so I want to make sure and convey as much as I can about the character, without detracting from the plot. I want to exploit their flaws and make them relatable, so I do my best to figure out what’s important to the characters and what drives them. I want to know a bit about their childhood, values, quirks, and of course physical attributes, but I really want to build characters who are believable and relevant.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I enjoyed several of the characters in Killer Music, but Coop was probably my favorite.  He’s intelligent, loyal, and hardworking, but a bit immature. He’s toting some baggage from his youth, fighting insomnia, and feeling his age. He’s unable to find a serious girlfriend and loves food, coffee, and chocolate. He has a gentle spirit and despite his humorous t-shirts, has a hint of sadness about him. I think he’s lovable and someone I’d like to know. 

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
I think there are bits of pieces of real people in all the characters I create, but there isn’t one character that I’ve created to depict any person I know. I love to observe people and borrow some of the traits I’ve seen, at times embellishing them to create a character. I love dogs and my own Golden Retriever has inspired the canine companions in all my books. I’ve used her personality for Coop’s dog, Gus.

Are you like any of your characters?
There are bits of me in some of my characters. In Killer Music, I’m probably the most like Annabelle, Coop’s paralegal. She’s organized and efficient and has the ability to juggle several things at once. Annabelle and I have those characteristics in common, but my weakness for chocolate pecan cookies is shared by Coop.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
One of my favorite scenes in Killer Music appears in the last third of the book when a piece of evidence leads Coop closer to the killer and he has to confront one of the more obnoxious characters in the book. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll leave it at that.

Who are your favorite authors? 
I love to read and usually consume hundreds of books a year, but I’ll narrow it down to the few I rush to read as soon as they release a new title. Lee Child and David Baldacci are two I can’t live without. I also enjoy Kristin Hannah and Nicholas Sparks.

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
The Dark Tide, by Andrew Gross in hardback and it’s terrific.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I’m a morning person, so tend to do most of my writing in the morning. I have an office in my home and that’s where I write. I make chai tea lattes and usually listen to iHeartRadio while I’m tapping away on my keyboard. For editing, I like to print out the material and usually sit in a comfy recliner armed with colored Sharpie markers.

Where’s home for you?
I live in my hometown in rural northern Nevada.

You’re leaving your country for a year. What’s the last meal you would want to have before leaving?
A bacon cheeseburger and ice cream for dessert.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?
A library.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
I love libraries. My friends have teased me for years about going on vacation and ending up in a library. If I had to pick one, I’d pick the New York Public Library. I love the architecture and feeling of history. It’s a gorgeous building, and if I lived there, they’d have to kick me out at night.

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?
Take a long walk, bake something yummy, and eat it while reading a book.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
I chose to self-publish all of my novels because I like the control it gives the author.  I’m not very patient and with the traditional route, patience is a must. It’s difficult, especially the marketing portion, but I think unless you’re already famous, big publishers don’t want anything to do with authors, especially new authors. All in all it was a good experience and I’m excited to do it again.  Working with Amazon has been very easy, and I would recommend their publishing solutions.

What’s your favorite candy bar?
Wow, I love chocolate, so this is hard. I’d have to pick the Milky Way Midnight, and I’m also partial to Dove chocolates.

What three books have you read recently and would recommend?
Deadline, by John Sanford; The Escape, by David Baldacci; and Die Again, by Tess Gerritsen.

What are you working on now?
I’m starting my fourth novel in the Hometown Harbor Series.

About the author

Born and raised in Nevada, Tammy L. Grace loved reading at a young age. With the help of her middle school teacher, she discovered the joy of writing. After spending a career in local and state government service, she retired and finally has the time to dedicate to writing. 

When Tammy isn't working on ideas for a novel, she's spending time with family and friends or supporting her addiction to books and chocolate. She and her husband have one grown son and a spoiled Golden Retriever.

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

Other books by Tammy