Today we're honored to be chatting with author Kelly Miller about her latest book, Deadly Fantasies, the second book in the Detective Kate Springer series.
The first Kate Springer book, Dead Like Me, won second place in the best mystery category of the 2011 FWA Royal Palm Literary Awards competition, and was a semi-finalist in the mystery category of The Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Books Awards competition.
Kelly is generously offering signed paperback copies of both books, so be sure to stay with us to the end of the post and enter the giveaway via the form at the bottom.
A big thank you to Kelly for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy her insights.
What inspired you to write your latest book?
Deadly Fantasies is the second book in the Detective Kate Springer series. The first book was all about the protagonist. It’s her story and in it, the reader finds out what makes Kate Springer tick, why she makes the decisions she does. In this second book, I wanted to develop the secondary characters and explore Kate’s relationship with them. Because of Kate’s horrific past, she obsessed with the need to control the events and people in her life. In writing this story, I wanted to see how her friendships would hold up under this overwhelming need to dominate.
What is “Deadly Fantasies” about?
A ringing phone at 1:17 am is never a good thing, but Homicide Detective Kate Springer doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring the call. On the other end of the line, a confessor admits to murdering her husband. Dr. Nina Grace needs help, and Kate knows it’s time to repay a debt. No matter the consequences, Kate must fight to keep the investigation from solely focusing on her friend.
Jonathan Grace controls the people in his life like he does his business—with a chokehold. His insatiable appetite for living life on the edge leads him to a club where he’s encouraged to act out his darkest desires. But what happens when one man’s fantasy becomes another’s nightmare?
Did Dr. Nina Grace kill her husband or did Jonathan’s secret life lead to his death? Detective Springer knows that no matter what her friend admitted, she couldn’t be capable of the horrific torture and murder of her husband. But will Kate’s blind loyalty be her downfall?
How did you come up with the title?
Since this is the second book in a series, I knew I wanted the word “dead” in the title because the first book is called “Dead Like Me.” Though my daughter suggested “Dead Like Us” and “Dead Like You,” I quickly nixed those suggestions and chose a word that summed up the idea of the book, “Fantasies.” It fits well because the book answers the question, “What happens when one man’s fantasy becomes another’s nightmare?”
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Domestic violence is an underlying theme in the book. I like all of my novels to have a meaty message to them. I’ve woven the subject into the story so the reader doesn’t feel like I’ve gotten on top of a soapbox and preached to them, but they’ll still come away having a feeling of learning more about women dealing with these types of violent situations.
What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a hybrid. Because my novel’s a mystery, I have to outline enough to know how I’m getting from A to Z. I also plot out the major landmarks along the way. But I like many of my chapters to grow organically. That’s the fun. Sitting down at the computer and seeing where the characters want to go. I’m just along for the ride taking notes on their crazy antics.
Give us an insight into your main character.
Homicide Detective Kate Springer is a flawed woman. When you first meet her, you may not like her—she seems a bit cold and bristly. But it’s just her way of keeping everyone at arm’s length. She’s lived too much life in her thirty-eight years, and she struggles with issues of trying to control the people and the circumstances around her. Yet once you get deeper into the story, you realize she’s trying to become a better person. She knows her faults and she wants to better herself. But just like all of us, she makes mistakes on the path to becoming the woman she wants to be.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your book?
Anna Torv from the old television show “Fringe” would make the perfect Detective Kate Springer. She’s got the look and has played roles in the law enforcement field.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
I write police procedural mysteries. I think my writer’s voice lends well to the genre. I’m not one to write a long flowery description of a sunrise, but I’m spot on when describing the smell of walking onto a crime scene.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
My biggest influence is Lisa Gardner. I’ve always been a fan of hers and love her strong female lead, D.D. Warren. If you haven’t read Catch Me, it’s a must to add to your reading list. Other favorites include Lisa Jackson, Tami Hoag, Laura Lippman, Harlan Coben, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If want to go the traditionally published route and you’re having difficulty finding and agent/publisher, enter your manuscript into writing contests. When I was having difficulty getting anyone to look at my work, I entered the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award Competition. When I won second place in the mystery category, suddenly everyone requested to see my first few chapters. Winning any kind of writing award looks good on your query letter and sets you apart from other applicants.
Do you ever experience writer's block?
Yes. I’m right in the middle of a gnarly case of writer’s block. I’ve started my third novel, a completely different story with a new cast of characters, written in a new style. It’s more of a suspense book. In the time I’ve had this block, I could have already written the third book in the Detective Kate Springer series. I’m not sure as to why the block is happening, as I’ve never experienced this before. The words to the Springer books just flew out of me, but this new book—it’s like pulling teeth trying to get a single chapter out of me. I’m hoping the difficulty is simply in the fact that there’s a learning curve for writing in a new style—third person instead of my usual first person. Also it takes a while to create new characters from scratch.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Breaking through the noise of a crowded marketplace. Sometimes trying to get the attention of readers is like screaming into the wind. The first book in the series, Dead Like Me, was named a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2013 Best Indie Book Awards competition, and I still can’t get it in front of the right readers.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Is there anything easy? Well, if I were forced to choose, I’d say so far the easiest thing has been coming up with the ideas for the books. I have enough ideas to get me through book seven. I just don’t have the time to write them.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write when my three children are at school. I used to get two hours a day to write but now my youngest just started kindergarten this last fall. It’s the first time I’ve had all three in full-time school in twelve years. It’s odd that I find myself more productive on my two-hour-a-day schedule than I am now with five hours.
Where can we find you online?
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kelly-Miller/e/B00BJ8UBW4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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