Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today's Mystery Author Guest: S. R. Claridge

As promised yesterday, fellow Colorado mystery author S. R. Claridge is visiting my blog today. To read her bio and see her photo, please page down to yesterday's post.

Above is the cover photo for her upcoming May release, Death Trap, the fourth book in her Just Call Me Angel mystery suspense series. When Giovanni’s private jet explodes with Angel presumably on board, the family is thrust into a state of crisis and mourning. Learning that the explosion was not due to a malfunction but a well-planned attack, Angel’s men set out on a course for revenge while Giovanni must face the hard reality of assigning a new Boss to the family. Unknown to anyone, Angel is alive but is forced into hiding from the terrorist group enacting revenge on her grandfather, Salvatore. She watches in horror as her men are lured one-by-one into a trap of death, with their only chance for survival falling on the shoulders of a stranger with an unstable past. Tempers flare and bullets fly as the lines of family loyalty blur into a melting pot of Mafia destruction.

Below are S.R.'s answers to my interview questions. Please leave a comment for her, and if you have a question of your own for her, ask it!

1. Who or what inspired you to start writing and when did you start?

I started writing poetry when I was 11 years old, right after my grandmother died. Writing became my emotional outlet and I never stopped. I’ve written poetry, greeting cards, song lyrics, scripts and finally found my niche about five years ago in the fiction world of romantic suspense.

2. What tools and process do you use to “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

They come to life on their own as the story develops.

3. How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

I’m a pantser. I write whatever feels right in the moment.

4. In the age-old question of character versus plot, which one do you think is most important in a murder mystery and which one do you emphasize in your writing? Why?

Both are important; however, a weak plot can be carried by a strong character, but weak characters can’t be saved even by a good plot.

5. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

The marketing and publicity side of being an author is the most challenging part for me. It’s difficult to find balance between the writing and the marketing, not to mention all the other hats I wear, i.e. mom, wife, daughter, chauffeur to my kids, etc. ;-)

6. What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

During the school year, I take my kids to school at 8:00 am and come home and write from 8:30 to around 2:30 when I have to pick them up. One day a week I focus that time on marketing. In the summer I write a lot at night, as I am busy playing with the kids during the day.

7. What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

Don’t quit.

8. Now here’s a zinger. Tell us something about yourself that you have not revealed in another interview yet. Something as simple as your favorite TV show or food will do.

I love Grey Goose martinis with bleu cheese olives. I crave Mexican food every Friday night. I loved the TV series 24. I’m a Seinfeld fan and believe great wisdom can be found in simple wit.

9. What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I am currently working on the fourth book in the Just Call Me Angel series, called Death Trap, and due to be released in May 2012. I am also working on an independent suspense thriller about a cult-like organization with political under ties.

10. Is there anything else you would like to tell my blog readers?

Thank you for allowing me to visit today, Beth! I hope your readers will visit my website and check out my blog.

Thanks, S.R.! Now, who has a comment or question for her?


Donnell Ann Bell said...

What a terrific interview. And the plot sounds terrific.

Beth, thanks for the introduction to this author. I don't think I ever was this interesting or as organized when my kids were in school.

One comment: You save a day for marketing, when do you clean house? One of these days we should truly get this cloning process underway.

Best wishes.

S.R.Claridge said...

LOL! Thank you for the comment and you've asked a great question. I often clean house after the kids go to bed, if I'm not too tired. There is no question that when I am deep in the throes of writing a novel, my house suffers. BUT... the way I see it, if everyone is fed and loved and happy, the house can wait. :) Have a great day! Love, Susan

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Susan, on your next release. Raising a glass of Grey Goose martinis with bleu cheese olives!