Hello, Kate and welcome to Book of Secrets! We’ll start out with a fun introduction: Describe yourself to our readers using six words only.
To be honest, I’ve been surprised how interested people are in it. This interview, for example. I never dreamed anyone would want to talk about my writing or plot ideas or the publishing industry itself. And yet it seems that everywhere I go, if people find out I’m an author, there’s a sort of wow-moment that’s always followed by lots and lots of questions. It’s amazing. There seems to be universal fascination in the topic, even among kids. In fact, my own kids—teens who routinely remind my husband and I how uncool we are—will actually boast to their friends that I’m a novelist. Go figure.
Your latest romantic suspense novel, WHERE ANGELS REST, was just released by Forever. Please share a little about the book. What was your inspiration to write this story?
WHERE ANGELS REST was one of those manuscripts under my bed. I wrote it when my agent went off to sell my first book, ONE SCREAM AWAY. While waiting for that book to take hold, she said, “Write another one just like it.”
I have to admit, I was skeptical. After all, ONE SCREAM AWAY hadn’t sold, so why write another one just like it? But I knew enough to know that I didn’t know anything about the writing and publishing world, so I did what she told me to and wrote another book in the same vein—ANGELS.
Then, just like my agent predicted, ONE SCREAM AWAY sold. I needed a sequel for it, so ANGELS went under the bed to languish with a handful of other manuscripts I consider my training-ground for novel-writing. It wasn’t until I had finished ONE SCREAM AWAY and its sequel (LAST TO DIE) and was getting ready to start a new series that I thought about ANGELS again. I pulled it out, but by that time, I wasn’t interested in keeping too much of it. I re-wrote the whole thing to kick off the Mann family’s trilogy. I changed the heroine’s backstory and goals, re-worked the plot—even changed who the villain was—and tried to inject what I had learned from the first two books. About the only thing that remained constant was the hero. (Gotta love those Mann men…!)
I love the book’s title. Can you tell us its significance to the story?
First off, I can’t take credit for the title—that was my wise editor’s move. Originally, I called it DEATHMASK, and I can’t take credit for that either, as it was suggested by a friend of mine. Clearly, I’m terrible at titles. If it weren’t for that particular friend, none of my books would have had titles, and in fact, none of the manuscripts under my bed ever have. I always thought trying to be a writer was nuts, so when my computer first asked me to save my first document with a name, I named the document “Nuts.” I named the next book I wrote “Crazy” and the next one “Ludicrous.” All the manuscripts I’ve written that never made it off my computer are still stored under names that are some synonym of “nuts.” I’ve never thought up any good titles.
Thankfully, I seem to be surrounded by people who have a knack for it. WHERE ANGELS REST comes from the villain’s identity as an “Angelmaker.” This is a villain compelled to kill those perceived as knowing too much and keeping watch. As to where these angels ultimately wind up resting… Well, you’ll have to read the book.
Do you ever get spooked writing romantic thrillers, or discover something a bit too disturbing while doing research?
During the writing, no. While there are certainly times when I “get into it” and find myself emotionally vested in what’s going on, most of the time I don’t realize how creepy things are getting with my villains. I think it’s because I’m too wound up in word choice and scene goal and character motivation and all the technicalities of making it work on the page. I’m a big believer in torturing these characters—they have to have a lot to overcome in order to be larger than life and to provide escapist reading—so I’ll tread into pretty yucky waters to provide that. And usually it doesn’t bother me.
During the research, though, yes. Yes, yes, yes—I get disturbed. In fact, as twisted and sick as my villains are, my research continuously reinforces two things:
(1) There is nothing I could conceive of as warped as some reality. Sometimes I look at my villains and their macabre actions and think I’m too far out there. Then I read up on real serial killers or see something on the news. Reality is beyond anything I could dream up.
(2) Some things are off-limits even to me. Especially when it comes to children. In the end-analysis, this is still feel-good-fiction. I have to torture my characters in order for them to grow and provide a story that takes a reader on a thrill-ride. But there are some things that go on in the real world that I can’t and won’t use. And yes, they are disturbing.
What book are you working on now?
WHERE ANGELS REST kicks off a series of three books revolving around members of the Mann family. The first follows Nick Mann, a sheriff in small-town Ohio. The second follows his brother Luke Mann, into the undercover world. And the third follows their sister, Alayna Mann, when she stumbles onto the most Machiavellian serial killer I’ve ever created.
That’s the book I’m working on now – the third in this series. Of course, don’t ask me the title because it doesn’t have one yet…
What are three things that many people don’t know about you?
Believe it or not, the first thing would have to be that most people don’t know I’m a writer! I don’t advertise that in my other life as a music professor, and when people do find out, they are always pretty amazed. I like to think it’s because I don’t seem sick and twisted.
Second, most people don’t know that I almost never watch TV—even crime shows and the like. The truth is that I’m a junkie about cooking and home-improvement shows, but otherwise, I would never even turn the television on.
Third, hmmm….Well, if I told you that then it wouldn’t be something most people don’t know, would it?
Okay, that was a cop-out. Truth is, I can’t think of any other unknowns. I’m pretty much…well, an open book.
Thanks for the questions! Happy reading.
Kate's Website: http://www.katebrady.net/
A RACE FOR SALVATION
For the past decade, psychologist Erin Sims has been helping victims of violent crimes move on with life...but the one person she can't save is the one who matters most. In only seven days, her brother will be executed for a murder he didn't commit. Convinced she knows the identity of the real killer, Erin is determined to find the man and bring him to justice.
A COUNTDOWN TO DESTRUCTION
Sheriff Nick Mann moved to rural Ohio hoping to forget the tragedies of his past. When Erin shows up in town, bringing scandal and unwanted media attention with her, Nick knows she's trouble. No one believes sleepy Hopewell could harbor a serial killer...until residents begin to disappear. Now as Nick untangles the dark secrets plaguing his town, he can't help falling for the beautiful woman with the warm heart and iron will. And, as the days tick by, the truth becomes clear: Erin is hunting a vicious murderer-one whose only escape is to silence her forever.
Giveaway Rules/How to Enter:
I have one paperback copy of WHERE ANGELS REST to give away compliments of Forever!
- Open to US shipping (publisher's request).
- 18+ only, please.
- Leave a comment with your email address.
- Contest ends 11/25/2012.