Today, we're hosting Patricia A. Guthrie on her around-the-world virtual book tour. Patricia, welcome to New Zealand. Your book, "In the Arms of the Enemy" is a murder mystery. What sub-genre would you classify it under: cozy, thriller, romantic suspense? Tell us why you chose this particular sub-genre.
This is a romantic suspense novel. I grew up on my mother's Agatha Christie series, and I've since developed a love for romance novels. It was just a matter of time that I fell in love with the combination of the two genres. The climax of one spurs on the climax of the other. Romantic Suspense is very popular in the U.S. I think I fell into it naturally. (And romance and mystery writers are fun to be around. No kidding.)
I love Agatha Christie and I agree: romance and mystery writers are wonderful people. Now, make us all want to read your book.
I'll try my best.
Light Sword PublishingPresents: In the Arms of the Enemy
By: Patricia A. Guthrie
WANTED: ASSASSIN TO KILL RACE HORSES
ON DEMAND: FLEXIBLE HOURS-GOOD BENEFITS
When the death of a racing stable's prize horse and his trainer is blamed on the stable's owner; his son, Adam Blakely, goes undercover convinced that the trainer's partner, Maggie McGregor is the killer. Determined to leave the tumultuous world of horse racing, Maggie returns home to try and find peace. When a handsome horse owner moves his horse into her father's boarding stable and asks Maggie to train his horse, family finances dictate that Maggie accept--and that's when the accidents begin. Drowning in deception and lies, Maggie and Adam search for a killer and uncover an insurance scam so insidious, it threatens to rock a horse racing empire and bring the killer to their doorstep. They need to learn to:Keep your friends close; but your enemies closer.
Review magazine "Affaire de Coeur" says, "With a strong mystery and a sizzling romance, Ms. Guthrie captivates readers from the start. This is an enjoyable thriller with a plot that will keep you guessing until the climactic end." Affaire de Coeur gives In the Arms of the Enemy" five stars.
Mmmm. So now you should provide information on where to buy it :-)... .
In the Arms of the Enemy is available online at: www.amazon.com, www.borders.com, www.b&n.com (Barnes and Noble), www.waldenbooks.com, www.lightswordpublishing.com (publisher).
What made you decide to write about the horse-racing world?
I think the characters of the horses may be your main enticement to watch horses perform whether it's at a racetrack, show ring or running in the pasture. They're magnificent and graceful creatures with amazing personalities.
The racetrack is filled with colorful characters. It's an exciting place full of diversity Good people, bad people, people who come to watch, people who come to bet and people who come to make a quick buck off the backs of the vulnerable. The fictional track of Kalian Downs is taken from my imagery of Arlington Park Race Track in Illinois, a lovely track. But only the prologue actually takes place on the race track. The rest of the story takes place in Cullum McGregor's (that's heroine Maggie's dad) boarding stable, there's also an inn by Lake Michigan and on a yacht in a yacht club on Lake Michigan.
Sounds better and better. Now, what books or courses would you recommend for somebody just starting out on the novel-writing journey?
The first thing to know is this is not an "easy" profession. Most writers never get published, let alone make it into the big time. Knowing that, how badly do you want to write? It's like anything else that's truly worth your time and dedication. You read, you write, you re-write, then you re-write some more. You read craft books and fiction by many authors. You commit time to your journey and pick yourself up when you stumble and fall. There will be many potholes in the way. So, get on your iron-toed shoes. I have a pair, half-worn out. And lots of chocolate. That's a standard industry joke. At least among women writers.
You might ask yourself, do you love to tell a story? If the answer is yes, then the journey is really worth it.
I've never taken an official "course" in writing. I've done it the hard way, by trial, error, workshops, reading craft books, sending out manuscripts and getting rejected, then going back and rewriting. I belong to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and take many online workshops sponsored by individual chapters. I belong to Sisters of Crime ( a great group for mystery writers) I also have found some great critique partners along the way.
Books: Chris Vogler's A writer's Journey, Donald Maas Writing the Breakout Novel Debra Dixon GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict, Chicago Manual of Style, Stephen King On Writing, Janet Evanovich How I write, Renni Browne and Dave King's Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, and Dwight V. Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer.
I have the Writer's Digest collection of everything you need to know about solving crimes. Books on forensics, books on getting into the mind of killers, (See Anne Rules' Deliberate Stranger, the book about the serial killer, Ted Bundy.)
But, check on line and on some on-line blogs by writers who write in the same genre. You might discover a wonderful collection of reference material. I'm not making a plug, but one of the best reference lists is in www.charlottedillon.com I'm constantly looking up something on her list.
You also need: a good thesauraus, a good dictionary and a good grammar book.
What do you hope to get out of virtual book tours, such as this one?
Well, of course book sales. Every author and her publisher wants and needs that to survive.. Getting our names out to as many people as possible. I'd like readers to remember me as a serious author sprinkled with a sense of humor.
The story of In the Arms of the Enemy is a topic that's seared my soul for a long time. The book is dedicated to horses lost to man's greed and inhumanity and to those humanitarians whose mission is to save and protect them.
And a very worthy cause it is! I hope you get lots of publicity and lots of book sales. Are you doing a "real life" book tour or a book signing too?
I'm doing book signings at local Barnes and Nobles, Borders and some independent book stores. I've held book signings in horse barns during veterinarian days and at a dog obedience seminar. I love going out, meeting and talking to people. I've haunted conventions and seminars. I was at the Texas Book Festival and the Essence of Motown with my publisher. I've been at several seminars and workshops with my Chicago chapter of Sisters in Crime, and my RWA chapter holds workshops with some dynamite instructors.
Gosh, do you have time for anything else? Tell us who you are when you're not a writer.
I have three feisty collies and a quarter horse who keep me busy. My dogs have decided they want to be my "ghost writers" and help me at every given opportunity. Usually sitting on my feet. Jackson (four-year-old gray horse) doesn't sit on my feet, but he does have a rather inquisitive personality. He's the only horse I've ever met who's nosed through a magazine cover to cover. No explaining that one.
I read as much as I can (when I can get the time) and love to watch British mysteries (Poirot, Miss Marple, Midsommer Murders, Sherlock Holmes etc).
Lord of the Rings is my favorite movie, filmed in your beautiful New Zealand. You live in a lovely country.
Indeed. Thank you so much for being with us today. For much more information about Patricia Guthrie and In the Arms of the Enemy, visit her virtual book tour site - http://inspiredauthor.com/promotion/Patricia+Guthrie