It’s a beautiful morning in Hawaii for Mondays Are Murder. Today I have with me author Patricia Paris.
Laurie: Good morning, Patricia. So glad you could talk with me today. I know you are basically a romance novelist, but this blog is about murder, so I’ll focus on your book, A Murderous Game. The plot makes it sound like a typical crime thriller. Is that what it is, or is this book a romance that happens to contain a murder?
Patricia: I am a romance novelist, and write two different types of romances. The first are contemporary romances that are both sweet and passionate. In these, the hero and heroine are faced with difficult decisions that threaten their new found love. My Cedar Cove Series: This Time Forever and Letters to Gabriella are examples of these. The second are romantic suspense, like A Murderous Game.
I wouldn’t call A Murderous Game a thriller, more so a mystery. The heroine, Abby Carpenter, is going through a difficult divorce. Her husband is a master at bullying her into concessions and embarrassing her through a string of public infidelities. As a way of dealing with her anger and frustration over his continual demands, or “exorcising the demons” as her best friend, Rachael, calls it, Abby imagines different ways of killing her soon to be ex. Her life is turned upside down when the man turns up “really” dead, and Abby becomes the primary suspect in the murder.
Her newly developing romance with Gage Farriday, a powerful man from her past, who was awarded a multi-billion dollar development contract that her dead husband had also bid on, leads to further complications when Gage also becomes a suspect. As the detective on the case begins to narrow in on the case, the murderer tries to cover their tracks, putting Abby right in the line of fire.
Laurie: That sounds both intriguing and exciting. What kind of person is your protagonist, Abby Carpenter?
Patricia: I see Abby as a very independent, career-minded woman who tries to make the best of whatever life throws at her. She has a wonderful, occasionally biting, sense of humor, but most of it self-directed. Despite becoming the target of a sleazy reporter’s expose, she finds a way to face the world with her head held high—at least until she can return to her townhouse each evening where she believes herself to be safe. She’s a bit of a dreamer, with a kind heart, but she has a quiet strength that serves her well when she needs it most.
Laurie: How do you come up with the characters in all your books? Are they based on people you know, or are they purely fictional?
My characters just come to me. Oftentimes, they take on different attributes and behaviors as I write the first draft and they begin to get more flushed out. None of my characters are based on actual people, although I will sometimes give them a characteristic, habit, or a quirk of people I’ve encountered over the years, like my hero, Blake in This Time Forever, who has a definitive habit of sticking his tongue in his cheek when he’s pondering something. For the most part, they’re purely fictional, but as they come from my head, I’m sure a bit of me has spilled over into each of them somewhere.
Laurie: When did you begin your writing career?
Patricia: I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. As a very young child I wrote stories about animals, imaginary friends, or taking some wonderful adventure. I wrote my first novel in high school. It was horrible! I still have it in a box in the basement, and it’s amusing to look back on it every decade or so. I also wrote poetry in high school and was often a contributor to the school newspaper. My first published novel, This Time Forever, which was released about nine months ago, took me over three years and dozens of rewrites before I was satisfied with it. But there were several written both before, and in between, that I have stuffed away in file drawers waiting to be pulled out to see if I want to rework them.
Laurie: How much time do you put into writing?
Patricia: I spend most of my time writing. I’m fortunate in that I don’t work outside the home, so I can devote as much time as I have energy for on my writing. I do some form of writing almost every day. When I get stuck on plot, or my characters aren’t cooperating, I’ll sometimes take a break from my WIP for a few days or more to let things brew. While that’s bubbling on the back burner, I’ll usually work on another book, either outlining or flushing out what I’ve already written.
Laurie: What are you currently working on?
Patricia: I have two WIP’s going at the time. One is the third installment of my Cedar Cove Series, titled: Return to Cedar Cove. My primary focus right now however is on the sequel to A Murderous Game, which is titled: Run Rachael Run. It is also a romantic suspense, but slightly darker and a little edgier than A Murderous Game (AMG). The heroine, Rachael Gooding, was Abby’s best friend in AMG, and she’s a real corker! I can’t tell you how many readers contacted me to ask if I was planning to write a book for Rachael. She’s a high-spirited, in-your-face if she has to be, heroine. Her stunning good looks make men drool in her wake, but they cause her more problems than they’re worth, including murder. Run Rachael Run is set to be released in the Spring of 2013.
Laurie: Your fans clearly have a lot to look forward to! Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Patricia: I’d like to thank you, Laurie, for inviting me to spend time with you to talk about A Murderous Game. Although I’m a romance novelist at heart, I love all genres, and am an avid reader, especially mystery; so it was fun for me to focus on my story through the mystery lens as opposed to the romance one which I generally do.
Laurie: Find A Murderous Game and all of Patricia’s books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/A-Murderous-Game-ebook/dp/B0057ZF5I0
Follow her blog at: http://patriciaeparis.com/wordpress/