Interview with mystery novelist Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is here today to chat about mysteries, self publishing, and so much more (including a contest). She is doing a virtual book tour for her newest novel is Shades of Murder. If you’d like to learn more about the author and her writing, you can visit her other tour stops to learn more.
Welcome, Lauren. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I fell in love with mysteries when my mother read
Perry Mason to me at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton
mysteries,
A Small Case of Murder was
a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.
A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of
these books are in re-release.
I am also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries,
which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in my
series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting
rave reviews from readers and reviewers. My fifth mystery, Shades of Murder has been receiving rave reviews since its release.
My sixth book,
Dead on Ice
, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime,
in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron
Gates.
I am the owner of Acorn Book Services. Between
writing and publishing my own books, I am also a publishing manager,
consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for
independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will
be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.
I have also become quite popular as a speaker at
schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. I enjoy passing on
what I have learned in all my years of writing and publishing by conducting
workshops and teaching in community education classes.
I live with my husband, son, and two dogs on a
mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit my websites and blog at:
                 http://mysterylady.net/
Blog:
Literary Wealth: http://literarywealth.wordpress.com/
And feel free to connect with me: 
Twitter:
@TheMysteryLadie
Please tell us about your current release.
In Shades
of Murder
, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune.
This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any
stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.


Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the
art world by storm. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found
dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.
Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way
into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, former JAG
lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever
expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer. The Favor: Solve the one
murder wrongly attributed to him.
In Shades
of Murder
, I have tackled the task of penning two mysteries with two
detectives in two different settings and bringing them together to find one
killer. What can I say? I love mysteries and mystery writing. Two cases are
twice the fun.
In my fifth mystery, I have brought back my
first literary detective while introducing a new one. In Shades of Murder, Joshua Thornton teams up with Cameron Gates, a
spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman listed as the victim
of a serial killer was murdered by a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set
out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the
scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that
way.
With that, Joshua Thornton, Cameron Gates,
and Mac Faraday all land together in Deep Creek Lake. Little do these
detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision
course as they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with
killer who’s got a talent for murder!
What inspired you to write this book?
I had been asked by fans of the Joshua
Thornton Mysteries to bring back Joshua. So I decided to include him into this
Mac Faraday mystery. Since Joshua and Mac don’t know each other, I had to come
up with two murder mysteries that, on the surface, don’t appear to be
connected, and then bring them together. Coming up with this puzzle was not
only a challenge, but a lot of fun.
Mac is a homicide detective whose wife
leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce becomes final, he
inherits $270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake.
In Shades of Murder, he inherits a
stolen painting that had disappeared the night its artist was murdered. So he
starts investigating that case on Deep Creek Lake. Meanwhile, Joshua is working
on a cold case of a Jane Doe murdered in Pittsburgh. They come together in the
middle of the book.
Shades of Murder actually introduces two characters that I
will use in my next book, Dead on Ice, which will come out this fall: Joshua
Thornton and Cameron Gates.

Excerpt:
“What does the letter say?” Archie came
back in from the kitchen. With the scissors, she broke through the plastic cord
wrapped around the box.
Mac was still reading
the first letter. “It’s a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo. This guy, Archibald
Poole, died. He had left this to Robin Spencer. In the event of her death
preceding his, it was to be passed on to her next of kin. Since that’s me, I
get it.”
Archie stopped snipping.
“Archibald Poole?”
Gnarly stopped sniffing.
“Did you know him?” He
was breaking through the seal of the white envelope addressed to Robin.
“Creepy old man. One of
those eccentric rich guys. He didn’t make it all on the up and up. I think
Robin remained friends with him because he was good material for her books. He
lived in a big mansion up on top of a mountain in southern West Virginia.”
Mac was only half paying
attention. “He left Robin a painting.”
With one end unsealed,
Archie peered inside the box to see that the contents were wrapped in brown
paper and padding.
Sitting on the top step
leading down into the dining room, Mac read the letter out loud:
Dearest Robin,
If
you are reading this, then I’m dead and you are now observing my gift to you.
So, what do you leave to the girl who has everything? When that girl is Robin
Spencer, it’s a mystery.
You
will find that I have left you an Ilysa Ramsay painting. That alone makes it
worth a fortune. But, ah, my dear Robin, this is not just any Ilysa Ramsay
painting. It is her lost painting.
You will recall that
Ilysa Ramsay was brutally murdered on your own Deep Creek Lake in the early
hours of Labor Day in 2004. At the same time, her last painting was stolen from
her studio where her dead body was discovered. She had unveiled what she had
declared to be her masterpiece to her family and friends the same evening that she
was murdered.
Grasping the frame
wrapped in packaging, Archie tugged at the painting to pull it out of the box
while Mac continued reading:
Everyone
in the art world has been searching for Ilysa Ramsay’s last work of art. With
only a handful of people having seen it; and no photographs taken of it before
its theft; its value is priceless.
As
my good luck would have it, a month after her murder, my guy called me. He had
been contacted by a fence representing someone claiming to have the painting
and wanting to unload it. Being familiar with Ilysa Ramsay’s work, I was able
to authenticate it. Also, I had seen reports from witnesses who had described
it as a self-portrait of Ilysa.
As
I write this letter, Ilysa’s murder has yet to be solved. Nor do I know who had
stolen the painting. It was sold to me by a third party.
And
so, my dear lovely Robin, I leave this task to you. Here is the painting that
the art world has been searching for, for years, and a mystery of who stole it,
along with who killed its lovely artist. Enjoy, as I know you will!
My Love, Archibald Poole
Her yellow suit droopy,
Archie slapped her hat down on the dining room table, and ripped through the
padding to reveal the painting of a red-haired woman lying across a lounge with
a red and green clover pattern. She was dressed in an emerald gown with a ruby
red choker stretched across her throat. Ruby red jewels spilled down her throat
toward the bodice.
Gnarly sat on the floor
at Mac’s feet to gaze at the painting.
They studied the image
together.
“Just
what I always wanted,” Mac said. “A stolen priceless painting with a dead body
attached to it.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Dead on Ice is coming this fall. Dead on Ice introduces a new series featuring Joshua Thornton and
Cameron Gates. In Dead on Ice, Pennsylvania State homicide detective Cameron
Gates is tasked with solving the murder of a porn star whose mummified remains
are found in an abandoned freezer in Joshua’s cousin’s basement.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I think I
started thinking of myself as a writer when I saw my income tax return and
found that my husband had listed my employment as “Writer”.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your
work day like?  If not, what do you do
other than write and how do you find time to write?
It was.
But now that I have become a publishing manager and publisher, I spend my day
helping other authors. Not that I’m complaining. I love working with authors.
My day
will start out about seven o’clock with answering e-mails and social media.
After a couple of hours and two pots of coffee, I have to turn off the e-mail,
which is very distracting, and work on my clients’ books. This can be anything
from editing to layout design to proofing. Some days it is marketing with
writing press releases or sending out queries to reviewers. At about four
o’clock, it is time to get dinner started for my family. By eight o’clock, it
is time to start working on my books. I will write until about eleven o’clock.
Between
all of that, we squeeze in taking dogs out, bringing them in, doing laundry,
cleaning up the kitchen, taking out the garbage, and nagging my son to do his
chores.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I’m always one book ahead. Right now, while I’m
editing Dead on Ice, I am thinking
about my next Mac Faraday mystery. I haven’t written a word. I’ll think about
the murder and story-line and developing the characters while doing mindless
tasks like cleaning up the kitchen and folding clothes. My husband has said
that when suddenly a bunch of things get fixed about the house (I’m the fix-it
lady in the house), he knows I’m working on a murder in my mind.
About the time that Dead on Ice is released in the fall, I’ll be ready to sit down to
write my next mystery. It will take a couple of months of writing, three months
of editing, and then six weeks before it will be released in the spring.
Quirks. My dogs, Ziggy (Australian Shepherd) and
Beagle Bailey are my muses. They follow me and my laptop everywhere. I write
everywhere–a writer’s studio, the master suite, the living room in front of
the fire. My muses are always at my feet while I’m writing.
As a child, what did you want to be when you
grew up?
A mystery writer. See. Dreams do come
true.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?

Contest! Contest! Contest!
From June 1-July 31, I am holding a contest to Name the Porn Star! The winner will win
autographed copies of all three Mac Faraday Mysteries, and a copy of Dead
on Ice
, which will be released Fall 2012. (E-pub or print, winner’s
choice. Print versions are only available for winners in the US)
The contest is to provide both a stage name
(naughty is okay, but it must be clean) and the real name of the murder victim
in Dead
on Ice
. E-mail your suggestions to me (writerlaurencarr@comcast.net).
Put Name the Porn Star in the
subject line. Please include contact information, including mailing address and
phone number.

Thanks, Lauren!

3 thoughts on “Interview with mystery novelist Lauren Carr

  1. Lauren Carr says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today for this interview, Lisa. I look forward to meeting your readers.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Nice interview. Lots of interesting information.

    I am still trying to think of a name for your porn star, Lauren. 🙂

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