Series: Charley Davidson #9
Published by St. Martin's Press
Published on January 12 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Paranormal, Romance
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In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.
To read an excerpt from the first chapter of The Dirt on Ninth Grave, go here.
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novels? Why?
The first! For reasons that are beyond me, the last line is much easier than the first. I feel a great deal of pressure with that first line. It has to do so many things! It has to hook the reader, set the stage for the whole book, be fresh and engaging, and hook the reader. Did I mention it has to hook the reader? NO PRESSURE!
Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
The only reason a title might come first for me is because my editor needs it for marketing purposes. Usually, the title comes very late in the game for me. I’m more worried about the content. And I’m not the best at coming up with titles. First Grave on the Right, the first in the Charley Davidson series, was a total fluke. I’m not usually that on.
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
Now you’ve done it! I have a process that I’m a tad anal about. It goes a little something like this:
I’m a plotter. Big time. I plot like there’s no tomorrow. I barely start a book without three distinct outlines.
The Skeleton Key: This answers four basic questions: Where are we? What time of day is it? What major event happens in this scene or series of scenes? And in what order does the story unfold?
The Outline: This is a brief synopsis of the entire book. It is usually about 5-9 pages long and is what I send my editor for approval before actually starting the book.
The Detailed Outline: This is where I take the skeleton key, plug the outline into the appropriate areas, then add any details I’ve come up with including specific scenes, little extras I want to reveal here and there, funny lines or situations I want to use, and even internal and external motivation. These outlines usually run between 40 and 60 pages, but remember that part about adding scenes? Yeah, by this point I’ve already written a nice chunk of the book.
Next, I take the final detailed outline, copy and paste it into my manuscript, and delete as I go. This way I never stray far from the conceived story. I don’t wander around aimlessly, wondering where I’m going. I know exactly what is coming next, and very often, if it’s a “hard” scene (meaning I’m too lazy to write it at that moment), I’ll jump to another scene. I don’t get bored and/or stuck very often and I rarely pull my hair out by its roots. I’ve tried pantsing it. It wasn’t pretty. I had writer’s block by the time I got to page three.
NOTE: Let me just say that I write ALL over the place. I do not write linearly in any way, shape or form. By having such a detailed map of where I’m going, I can write on chapter two one day and chapter nineteen the next. Another (possibly more important) advantage to this technique is that there’s never a dull moment. Each scene has a purpose. Each scene moves the story forward. This makes the book tight, the pacing strong, and the story smooth. Just sayin’.
What’s in your “Author Survival Kit”? (Pens, Caffeine, iPods, Prozac?)
Prozac, hahaha! Okay, for me it’s definitely coffee, maybe some Matcha tea and/or Red Bull, Dubble Bubble, Post-Its (everywhere!), and my headphones. Anymore I need sound to drown out distractions, but I only listen to instrumental soundtracks like Pirates of the Caribbean and How to Train Your Dragon or sounds of nature like thunderstorms or beaches. Soothing and functional!
If you could use 3 words to describe your books, what would they be?
Sarcastic, irreverent, and a tad jaded.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Backpack through Europe
Write my 100th book
Hit #1 on NYT
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
At the moment, my mind can’t get beyond coffee. Does that count?
What is something you never leave home without?
Phone (God forbid!)
What are the last 3 books you enjoyed reading?
A Highlander’s Touch by Karen Marie Moning
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
The Long Walk by Stephen King
What are 3 words you’d use to describe yourself?
Sarcastic, irreverent, and a tad jaded. (Weird, right?)
Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what is it?
Procrastination, though I’m not sure how hidden it is.
THIS OR THAT?
Sunrise or Sunset?
Both! I live in New Mexico. They are glorious here!
Coffee or Tea?
Hot or Cold?
PC or Mac?
By Land, or by sea?
Both. I love it all!
Half-empty or Half-full?
Autumn or Spring?
Summer or Winter?
E-book or Print Book? (Preferred reading)
E-book (I can make the letters big!)