CP: Thank you for having me here. I've always been such a fan of spy books and movies, it was only natural that Love, Lies and Deceit would about the CIA. With my latest novel, the plot itself was my motivation to keep writing since it was loosely based on a real mystery that happened near my home.
RJ: Could you tell us a little bit about your book, Loves, Lies, and Deceit?
CP: It's about a CIA rookie officer, Julie McBride, who against agency regulations, falls in love with her training officer, Jason Reid. When Jason is arrested for treason, he turns to Julie to help him clear his name and to find the people who set him up.
RJ: You work in social services and your husband was a counter intelligence agent and electronic whiz in the Army. What influence did that have when you developed your characters for your first novel?
CP: So far, my job in social services has not yet influenced my writing. I actually try to keep them separate, although some of my co-workers have been encouraging me to write about some of the antics that go on in our office. My husband has been a huge help with the technological things in my books. He was also a police officer for a while after the army and that helped in my second book.
RJ: Your second book is loosely based on a real mystery. Could you tell us about it and how you developed your novel from a real incident?
CP: About fifty years ago, a family disappeared near where I live and the mystery of their disappearance was never solved. I'm a huge history buff and that story has always fascinated me. I only included the part about a missing family in my story. I changed the names, of course, and I solve the mystery in my book, unlike in real life. I had several newspaper articles about the real disappearance, in addition to reading many of the local history books about it.
RJ: Do you use a particular plotting mechanism, ie. Storyboard, three act structure or are you a pantzer when you write?
CP: I keep all of my notes and research in a three-ring binder. One of the sections is for an outline. It's not a traditional outline like you would think, but more of a paragraph-type outline of the story.
RJ: What do you think makes a good mystery or thriller?
CP: I have to really like the main characters of the novel. If not, then I lose interest in the whole book. Obviously, the plot has to keep me trying to figure out who did it.
RJ: What is your typical writing day?
CP: I have a job that I work at full time during the day, so my writing is usually done on the weekends. I usually spend about an hour each weeknight doing the marketing for my writing, and working on my web page and blog. I try to get my weekend housework done in the mornings so I can write in the afternoons. My husband works on the weekend, so I normally have the house to myself. I do sometimes write in the evenings during the week, depending on if I am close to getting a chapter finished.
RJ: What tools do you feel are a must for a new writer?
CP: I don't know how writers ever researched before the Internet was around. I find it invaluable when it comes to researching a location. I think you also need a good place to write. I have a desk, but I rarely write there. I like sitting on the couch with my laptop, or taking it to a coffee shop. Wherever you feel the most comfortable and the most creative without interruptions is where you want to write.
RJ: What was the most difficult thing you encountered on your road to publication?
CP: My first obstacle was learning about proper formatting of the manuscript. Then I ran into the problem of head-hopping the point of view, definitely something you don't want to do. After learning about those things and getting my first acceptance, I then realized that I had to do all the marketing for my book. I learned real fast about the techniques on how to get the word out about my book.
RJ: What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
CP: I have had many authors tell me not to get discouraged. It's hard not to when you have received so many rejection letters. They told me to keep at it and it would finally happen. I didn't give up and finally, I got that acceptance call.
RJ: What would you like to tell the readers about yourself? What are your future plans? This is your opportunity!
CP: I will definitely keep writing romantic suspense. I'd like to try writing a contemporary mystery with little or no romance in it. I actually have one started, but haven't worked on it for months. I will be starting my next book in November and am already plotting and working on character development. I don't have a title for it yet, but it will be located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and involve lots of hiking and mountain climbing.
RJ: Thank you so much for visiting with us. I wish you great success with your books and hope you’ll visit us again.
CP: Thank you for having me here. I have enjoyed our discussion.
Carol Preflatish says she first started writing in elementary school where she wrote funny plays. Today, she writes romantic suspense, and her first novel, Love Lies and Deceit was released from Red Rose Publishing. Also an avid photographer, she has had photos published in Golf Journal, the official publication of the U.S. Golf Association. Carol lives with her husband in their cabin in the woods of southern Indiana. To learn more about Carol, visit her website at http://carolpre.webs.com/ or her blog at http://carolpre.blogspot.com/
You can purchase her book from Amazon.com. by clicking here, Love, Lies, and Deceit for a kindle edition or from redrosepublishing.com/books/product_info.php?products_id=399s. for a download of an e-book.