Lauren Carr has a new novel to share, Cancelled Vows.
Welcome, Lauren! I love the book and I am so happy to have you here to share your thoughts with us.
- Lauren, all of your mystery series, from Mac Faraday to Lovers in Crime to the Thorny Rose Mysteries are called complex mysteries—meaning that they challenge the reader to figure out who done it. What process do you go through to write challenging mysteries?
I do a lot of thinking. First, I come up with the murder itself. Who is the victim? Who are the suspects? Then I decide on who the killer is. After I have all that, I work on the red herrings and the twists and turns in the plot—the ride from the beginning to the end. I’ll work on all that for weeks, sometimes months before I actually sit down to start writing.
- You write three best-selling series. Are there some murder plotlines that work better with one series than another? At what point do you know which murder mystery goes with which series?
I usually know right away which mystery works best with which series. If you’ll notice, each of my series has it’s own unique flavor.
The Mac Faraday Mysteries deal with the wealthy resort, country club setting. These mysteries involve people of wealth and prestige.
The Lovers in Crime mysteries deal with the rural small town setting. The characters Joshua and Cameron encounter are small town folks who all know each other.
The Thorny Rose detectives, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton, live in the metropolitan Washington DC area. These mysteries involve people of wealth and power—politics and national security.
Once I know who the characters are, then I know which series will be the best fit for it.
- Do you feel like you learn something new about your characters yourself with each book?
Oh, yes. My mysteries are character driven. I’m always diving deeper into the characters to figure out myself how and why they do the things they do. Sometimes, I learn things about the characters that I don’t even tell the reader about. For example, in Cancelled Vows, I really wanted to explore the character of David O’Callaghan and his relationships with women. At the beginning of the series, I’m sure for most readers, David simply came across as a hottie who maybe had an issue with commitment to women. But, by the end of Cancelled Vows, I’m sure readers will be surprised, as I was, to discover that there was more to it than meets the eye. Not only will readers learn more about David, but he learns more about himself.
- If you could put yourself into one of your books, what type of character would you be?
Been there, done that! I actually did put myself in A Wedding and a Killing, the eighth Mac Faraday Mystery. The case in this book is based on a real murder that happened at a church, in which a church secretary was killed in the church office. My husband is the business manager at a church, so I decided to kill him. The victim in A Wedding and a Killing, Eugene, is based on my real husband, and the victim’s wife, Marilyn, is an over the top version of myself. Marilyn immediately becomes a prime suspect because she books a cruise the morning after her husband’s murder, and she doesn’t understand why that would be suspicious. She’s loud and fun and comically honest. I’ve had several readers ask to bring her back in another book, which I do plan to do.
- Each of your characters are fully developed and unique? Where do they come from? Do you base them on real people you know?
My characters come from all over. Some of them, the very root, core of the character may be based on someone I know or have met. But then as other facets of their personality and backstory come about, they will evolve until I have the whole character. All the time, I have to keep the murder case of the book in mind. There have been times that I have developed characters who did not fit into the role I needed for the murder mystery. When that happens, I have to ditch the character and come up with a new one. Once I fired a congresswoman from one of my books. How many people can say they fired a congresswoman?
- Of all the characters you have worked with in your books, who is your favorite?
Gnarly, of course! Gnarly has a life of his own. I just never know what he’s going to do next.
- What project are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on Killer in the Band, the Lovers in Crime mystery coming out at the end of April, 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.
Thanks so much Lauren. It is a pleasure having you here!
Now…about the “gorgeous” cover…what do you think?
In Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr we are back to visit Mac Faraday and other familiar characters. I love a stand alone series with returning characters. I feel a connection with them and want to find out what trouble they have found now. Cancelled Vows is a clean romance with fantastic mysteries galore.
Warning: Those drive through weddings in Las Vegas are real!
David O’Callaghan, a Spencer police chief, best friend and half brother to Mac Faraday, finds himself jumping from the frying pan to the fire when he heads to New York City.
Murder rears its ugly head and Mac Faraday and Gnarly, his K-9 cohort, rush to find answers. Gnarly is quite the character. He has a big attitude to go with his big personality and is a bit of a klepto. I can’t help but laugh at his and Mac’s antics. I mean, what kind of dog gets a dishonorable discharge from the service? Nice touch, Lauren, and its makes me love him more.
Curiosity and mystery from the opening page. I’m trying to figure out why…
I like the internet angle and internet trolls. I have heard nightmares about them and they come alive on Lauren Carr’s pages.
I am not liking David very much right now. Can the whore dog change my mind? I am liking Ali Hudson though. She is a witty investigative journalist, with a slew of Texas sayings and a determination to learn the truth.
Murders are adding up. The plot thickens and the suspect pool takes a twist I didn’t see coming. I love it. The pacing and my fear for the characters makes the suspense mount.
I love a happy ever after and this is great one! Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr is one of her best…yet.
I received an ARC of Cancelled Vows by Lauren Carr in return for an honest review.
Book Description for Cancelled Vows:
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!
Buy the book here: Amazon
About Lauren Carr
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.
Win 1 print copy of Cancelled Vows with a $25 Amazon gift card (USA) or 1 of 5 ebook copies with a $15 Amazon gift card (International)
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