I LOVE Lauren Carr’s romantic mysteries and I am delighted to be able to share Killer in the Band with you today.
There is also an awesome giveaway, so be sure to enter!
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREN CARR
I love learning about authors, their inspiration, their likes and dislikes and those funny little things that give me insight into their personality. I am so happy to have Lauren Carr here, sharing some thoughts about her books and herself. Welcome, Lauren.
Lauren Carr is the bestselling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, and the Thorny Rose Mysteries. We caught up with the charming mystery writer during her most recent virtual book tour for Killer in the Band, the 3rd in the Lovers in Crime series.
Lauren, thank you so much for chatting with us. Right off the bat, I’m curious. Is it hard to break away from your successful Mac Faraday series to work on a different one?
Yes and no. I love Mac Faraday and the gang in Spencer, Maryland! But that’s not to say that I don’t love Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates. The Lovers in Crime mysteries are set in Chester, West Virginia, the real small town where I grew up. Joshua Thornton was my first protagonist featured in my very first books, A Small Case of Murder and A Reunion to Die For. Returning to Joshua Thornton, Cameron Gates, and their family is very much like going home again.
Killer in the Band focuses a lot on J.J. Thornton, Jr., Joshua’s eldest son. Are you planning to take a new direction with the Lovers in Crime?
No, not at all. Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates are the Lovers in Crime and they always will be. But, like real people, they don’t live in a vacuum. Joshua Thornton does have a family from his previous marriage who are going to insert themselves into Joshua’s marriage and the Lovers in Crime’s cases.
In Killer in the Band, J.J. returns home after graduating from law school and rekindles a romance with his first love, Suellen Russell, a woman twice his age. When it turns out she has information on one of Cameron’s cases, J.J. can’t not get involved.
When you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing?
I will think about a book, or a part of a book, for a long time before I sit down to write it. I thought about Killer in the Band for a couple of years before I sat down to write even one word.
For new books, I will have everything sorted out in my head, most especially the killer, how he or she did it, and how my protagonist captures them before I sit down to write it. These are the most important elements for me to have. If I don’t have those things sorted out, then I could end up halfway through a book and find that I have no ending, which would be a huge waste of my time.
I will write notes, but only to sort the mystery out in my mind. More than half of the time, I don’t even refer to them once I sit down to write. The process of writing out the notes helps to sort it out.
Who is your greatest inspiration to write? What person makes you believe in yourself, and how?
My mother and my husband. My mother was the first to encourage me to put my imagination on paper. It was easy since I have always been a big reader.
Also, my husband Jack, no matter how many rejections I would receive, always insisted that I keep on going—keep on writing. Even when I had writers block, he was there for me.
Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why?
Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. They were my first favorite mystery authors, so they will always have a special place in my author’s heart. My complex mysteries have been compared to Agatha Christie and when that happens, it makes my whole day better.
What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?
Seeing all of my books break through on Amazon to make the top one-hundred in sales in both cozy mysteries and police procedurals. When readers and reviewers began posting fabulous reviews, and even sending e-mails, I knew then that all those years of hard work and learning were worth it.
Has becoming an author changed you, or the way you think about certain things? If so, how?
I am definitely more confident about my writing. Also, I have become more open to other authors’ writing.
I turned down two offers from commercial publishers to independently publish It’s Murder, My Son, and I have never looked back. Before I decided to be an indie author, I was rejected by many literary agents and publishers for a variety of reasons. In a nutshell, they did not think that I could be a commercial success. One literary agent, a big one, told me how talented I was in a two-page letter, ending with a rejection because he did not know how to market me.
I did not fit into a box that they had created. But I have found an audience, and I am a success. Many indie authors, who commercial publishers and literary agents would refuse to talk to, have found audiences without the blessing of commercial publishers or literary agents.
This has made me believe that if you write what you love, even if it is not my cup of tea, or the cup of tea of a New York bigwig, then if you publish and market it correctly, there is an audience out there for you. It’s just a matter of bringing your work to them.
What is your greatest fear about being an author?
From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish Killer in the Band?
That is a very tricky question. I’ve been thinking about the plot for Killer in the Band for a couple of years. I’d say a year ago I sat down to start writing it, right after the release if Kill and Run, which features Joshua Thornton Jr’s twin, Murphy. I was more than halfway through writing the first draft when in March I was completely inspired by the presidential election to write Candidate for Murder. Since that book had such a timely theme, I had to set Killer in the Band aside. I returned to it in June.
I guess to answer your question, I don’t know.
And now, for something completely different…some slightly off-the-wall and possibly irrelevant questions. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you like!
What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?
Hershey Milk Chocolate Bar King sized for candy. Rocky Road ice cream slathered in Magic Shell for ice cream.
Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?
Praise me for what I have done, while sighing with relief because during my twenties & thirties, it was touch and go there.
Do you have any talents you haven’t shared with us?
I’m a gourmet cook and love it.
Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?
A pink handgun with “Pink Lady” engraved on the muzzle, big box of dark chocolate to eat, a cell phone with all of the bars, and working laptop to write about my adventure while waiting for a ship full of handsome sailors to come save me.
What are you working on now?
Each series will continue to grow on their own with interconnecting mysteries occasionally. In January, there will be a new Thorny Rose Mystery, A Fine Year for Murder.
In A Fine Year for Murder, Jessica Faraday and her husband, Murphy Thornton, dive into the cold case murder at a family owned winery.
After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?
As long as readers are clamoring for mysteries, I’ll be writing them.
OMG. She did it again. Lauren Carr has created another romantic suspense mystery that had me reading, ignoring my hubby and my mother, unable to put it down until the last page was read.
Killer in the Band is A Lovers in Crime Mystery that is chock full of wonderful characters, both human and animal. Her ability to bring them all to life is amazing. I laughed and cried, because she made me do it.
I cannot pick a favorite character. They are all amazing in their own way. It took me a little while to figure out the culprit(s). Even the bad guys have their reasons for doing for what they do and I could empathize with them…for a moment or two. BUT nothing justifies taking a life.
There is more than one mystery that will have to be solved and more than one villain. I felt so bad for both of them and that is when I know I have read a fantastic story.
Lauren does have a way of springing surprises on me that have my jaw hanging open, thinking, I sure didn’t see that one coming.
The animals…I just don’t know what to say. Some people do seem to have a special ability making it seem as if they talk to them. I do not want to spoil anything, but…have you ever looked in your critters eyes and wondered what they are really thinking?
The characters have trust issues that take time to work through, making it read like real life. I want to tell them…to be a go between and explain things, but that is not my place. I am just a spectator in this complicated story.
My emotion were high and low, happy and sad, and I was left with a good feeling when all was said and done.
I WANT MORE!!!!!!!
I received a copy of Killer in the Band from Lauren Carr.
Summer of Love & Murder
Joshua’s eldest son, Joshua “J.J.” Thornton Jr., has graduated at the top of his class from law school and returns home to spend the summer studying for the bar exam. However, to Joshua’s and Cameron’s shock and dismay, J.J. moves into the main house at Russell Ridge Farm, the largest dairy farm in the Ohio Valley, to rekindle a romance with Suellen Russell, a onetime leader of a rock group who’s twice his age. Quickly, they learn that she has been keeping a deep dark secret.
The move brings long-buried tensions between the father and son to the surface. But when a brutal killer strikes, the Lovers in Crime must set all differences aside to solve the crime before J.J. ends up in the cross hairs of a murderer.
Praise for Lauren Carr’s Mysteries:
“Lauren Carr could give Agatha Christie a run for her money!” – Charlene Mabie-Gamble, Literary R&R
“As always, Lauren Carr brings an action-packed story that is almost impossible to put down. Her mystery plots have so many twists and turns that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. And the action just didn’t stop from the very beginning till the very end.” – Melina Mason, Melina’s Book Reviews
ABOUT LAUREN CARR
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
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