September 8, 2015

Interview around the Globe with Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr Interview
Let welcome to our latest and newest member to our list of authors. Let welcome Lauren Carr to Nighttime Reading Center. She here on a book tour. She is stopping by here on September 8 and September 21, 2015. I work with +Laura Fabiani iRead Book Tours and I happy learn about her books and giveaway.

I got the chance to read her books "Three Days to Forever" and Kill and Run. I enjoy both books. I would suggest that you read my reviews for "Three Days to Forever" and "Kill and Run". You got a chance to win a  - Win an e-book copy of Kill and Run with a $15 Amazon gift card (open internationally - 5 winners), Win a print copy of Kill and Run (USA only - 4 winners), Win a print copy of both Three Days to Forever and Kill and Run with a $25 Amazon gift card (USA only). Enter her giveaway Kill and Run Giveaway

Let read her Bio and then go to her interview. #Interviews, #Interviewsaroundtheglobe, #NRC, #Giveaways #bookreview,  #thriller, #mystery, #adultfiction, #policyprocedurals, @TheMysteryLadie and @iReadBookTours

Author Heather Siegel at Nighttime Reading Center
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Open Season for Murder is the tenth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Three Days to Forever introduced Lauren Carr’s latest series detectives, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday in the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Look for Kill and Run, the first installment in this series, to be released September 1, 2015.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. 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, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 
Nighttime Reading Center Interview, Author Interview
Describe your book in 20 words or less.

Five women, strangers to each other, are murdered. Murphy Thornton searches for the thread connecting them to find their murderer.

Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?

As with most of my books, the inspiration came from a variety of different sources. I weaved them all together to make one unique plotline. There have been numerous murder mysteries dealing with many victims, all strangers, murdered by the same killer. Then comes the question, “What common factor made the killer choose these victims?” I decided to turn that plotline on it’s head in Kill and Run. These five women, strangers to each other, come together to meet in secret, only to be murdered. In order to identify their killer, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, must uncover the common thread that brought them together.

How important are names to you in your book(s)? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you use any resources in assisting you to choose the names?

Names are very important. I’ve changed character names as late as the proofing stage of a book. Each one of us have different impressions of names based on our own personal experiences, which are completely unique to us. For example, when growing up, I went to school with a twerp named Eric. Now, I can’t name a character Eric without making him a twerp. It’s just the image that pops into my mind when I hear that name.

Both the meaning and sound of the name are important. Admittedly, I do have a lot of characters in my complex mysteries. It’s a necessity. Therefore, I have to be careful to make each character’s name distinct and different from the other characters so that it can be more easily identifiable. I try very hard, and it is an unspoken rule in writing, to not have more than one character whose name begins with the same first letter. Like I said, I try. In Kill and Run, I have Joshua and Jessica. However, one is male and one is female. Also, these characters originated in two different series. When I created them, I had no intention of them appearing in the same book.

Sometimes, a name will just hit me while creating a character. That name goes hand in hand with who they are. For example, the book I am working on now, Cancelled Vows, the eleventh Mac Faraday Mystery, I introduce a character whose name popped out at me. Once it hit me, the name alone made her whole character come to life.

Other times, I have to work at it. One source I use is the Social Security Administration website. Since I know approximately, if not exactly, what year the character was born, I’ll do a search of the most popular names for boys or girls born in that year. I can even narrow the search to what were the most popular names for boys or girls in a particular state.

In Kill and Run, I introduce a character who was born in Iraq. His family narrowly escaped Iraq after converting to Christianity. For his name, I searched the Internet for Islamic names and their meanings. Tawkeel means “to trust in God,” which was most appropriate for his character.

Which of your characters (in this book) is your favorite and Why?

It is a complete toss-up between Murphy and Jessica, the Thorny Rose detectives. I had created them separately in two different series. Murphy’s character originated as a teenager in my very first book, A Small Case of Murder, the Joshua Thornton Mysteries. I created Jessica in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, and she made a brief appearance in Old Loves Die Hard.

Both characters were already fully developed. But, when I brought them together in Three Days to Forever, they played off each other so well. They complement each other. Murphy is a disciplined military officer. An heiress, Jessica is a former party girl and has a masters from William and Mary. She is planning to go to med school for a doctorate on psychiatry.

I love Murphy’s passion about solving these murders and protecting those who he loves—his thirst for justice. But I also love Jessica’s spunky nature.

Was there a certain scene in this book that was harder for you to write than others?

The sex scenes. Correction: The LOVE scenes between Murphy and Jessica. There is a difference. My reading audience has made it known that they love how clean my books are. No foul language, graphic violence, or explicit sex scenes. I push the envelope a little bit with the Thorny Rose Mysteries. Murphy and Jessica are younger. They are newlyweds. Plus, they live in Washington, DC—the big city where sex, murder, and mayhem run rampant.

It would be unrealistic to have this young vibrant couple not express their love for each other in a physical manner. But, keeping my readers in mind, not to mention my own comfort level, I believe those scene did come off as loving and romantic without the shock value.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’ve been asked this question before and I really don’t have any idea. Sorry.

What was your favorite part to write and why?

The action scenes during the climax. Without giving away any spoilers, all I can say is that readers will be twice as thrilled with two action sequences happening simultaneously—one including a rescue scene on a motorcycle.

If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I’d be a full-time housewife, mother, and beast-master to three dogs. Wait! I am a full-time housewife, mother, and beast-master to three dogs. I guess if I wasn’t writing, I would be spending more time as a housewife, mother, and beast-master to three dogs.​ ​

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Never give up!

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes, I do read my reviews, but I keep in mind that they are subjective—good or bad. I never respond to them, except to thank the actual reviewers who I have sent my books to for that purpose—even if they are bad. Luckily, I have not had an actual book reviewer post a negative review for any of my books. Or rather, if one has, I haven’t seen it. If that were to happen, my rule is to never engage in a dialogue with the reviewer—telling them where they are wrong, etc. Their review is their opinion and they are entitled to their opinion. Nothing I say will change their mind.

As for bad reviews from readers on Amazon or Goodreads or those other sites, if I see the review, I will start to read it. If it is good, I will finish reading it. If I see that the review is a sarcastic, nasty commentary, then I will stop reading without finishing the review. It only takes the rating and a few words to spot that. Those type of readers and reviewers are not going to offer any constructive criticism that will help me with my writing—therefore they are not worth my time or attention in reading their comments.

My advice to writers about bad reviews: Reviews are necessary to success as an author. I was flabbergasted a few years ago when I met a local author who considers himself an authority on publishing who said he “never lets strangers review my books.” Excuse me! If your books are made public, then you can’t stop strangers from reviewing your books. Book reviews are free publicity.

Bad reviews, believe it or not, can help your book sales. I teach writing and publishing in community education. In one class, we discussed an article I had found on the Internet about nasty reviewer. The blogger was saying that generally, readers are suspicious of books on Amazon that only have 5-star ratings—nothing lower. They suspect that those 5-star reviews are from family and friends—not actual readers. When I brought this up in class, the students, all big readers, totally agreed! Three-two-one stars can help in your book sales!

Another thing to keep in mind, dear writers: Reviews are subjective. They are the reader’s opinion! Not everyone feels and sees things the same.

Think of it this way. I’m a mom. I have a husband and a teenaged son. I’m also a gourmet cook. One of my favorite meals is Chicken Marsala. I will spend hours in the kitchen cooking it, along with pasta, parmesan tomatoes, and garlic bread—the works! But, when I set everything on the table and we sit down to eat this fabulous meal that makes my husband swoon with love, my son will turn up his nose at it.

Is my son wrong for not loving it? Does my Chicken Marsala stink? Is my husband stupid for loving it? No, none of that. It’s just that Chicken Marsala is not my son’s cup of tea.

It is the same with books and reviewers.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Right now, I am working on the eleventh Mac Faraday Mystery, Cancelled Vows. In this mystery, David O’Callaghan and Chelsea Adams’ wedding plans collide with one tiny little obstacle. David is already married … and didn’t know it! Now, with less than a week before his wedding day, David rushes off to get his wife to sign divorce papers. When she ends up murdered, 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!

Bonus Question: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren't sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Boy, that’s a toughie! Luckily, I have never been in a life and death situation like my characters get into. The toughest situation I can come up with is when I had writers block for a full year. I was between drafts of It’s Murder, My Son, the first Mac Faraday Mystery. After a year of staring at the computer screen, I walked away, which was tough. Up until then, my whole existence, my identity, was that of being a writer. But, I needed to step back and re-examine my life, my goals, and who I was from a different angle.

A month later, I was back at the laptop and rewrote It’s Murder, My Son, which became my most successful book. That was what broke me through as an author.
Sometimes, I will have my characters do that in my murder mysteries. When they come up against a wall in solving their cases, they will step away, go back to the very beginning, and approach the case from a different angle.

Thank you for stoping by Nighttime Reading Center, Lauren. I hope to see you around here. I hope you stop by once in awhile. I started to laugh with some of the answers. I am happy and will and hope to catch up with your books and in these series "The Thorney Rose Mystery" "The Mac Faraday Mysteries", "The Joshua Thorton Mystery" and of the other ones that come with these.

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