Breaking News: Kenzie's guest blogging over at the Writer's Evo blog. Stop by and see her new cover for Teacher's Pet, plus any advice she's giving to newly published authors! Gee...you think she used any pointers I gave her? Also, drop by Kenzie's Place and see her new cover for Teacher's Pet:)
Today my guest is fellow Indiana author, Carol Preflatish. Carol and I 'met' through the first yahoo chat loop I had joined, the Indiana Writer's Connection, and during the past two years, we've encouraged each other, bounced promo ideas around, and despite only living about ninety minutes from each other, our schedules have never quite managed to 'gel', but I hope to meet her someday:)
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Thanks for having me here today, Molly. I'm Carol Preflatish from Indiana and my first novel was released on December 17 from Red Rose Publishing. "Love, Lies & Deceit" is a romantic suspense about rookie CIA officer, Julie McBride, who against company regulations, falls in love with her training officer, Jason Reid. But, when Jason is arrested for treason, Julie has to decide whether she believes in him enough to risk her own career and life to help him prove his innocence.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
I've written two manuscripts involving espionage and did a lot of Internet research about spy stuff for those stories. I often worry if I'm on some government list somewhere because of what I researched.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
Not exactly about my own life, but the book I am working on now is loosely based about the unsolved disappearance of a family that happened in my local area about 50 years ago. The story has always fascinated me to the point that I have a file of old newspaper clippings about it.
How much research do you do? Do you research first and then write, or do you write first, then research as needed?
I research a lot. I like to write about difference locations and do extensive research about the geographic area where the story is located. Since4 I write about espionage and police work, I rely on my husband for technical assistance. He was with Military Intelligence in the Army and afterward, was a police officer for a while.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I would hope that by reading my novel, readers can take a break from their hectic lives for a little bit of romance.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'm probably a little more of a plotter because I do try to outline what is going to happen in each chapter, but as I write things have a tendency to change. At that point, I become a pantser. As for the second part of your question, I think as authors, we create characters that come to life in our minds in order to make the story as real as possible. I remember when I finished my first manuscript, I felt a little sad because I knew I was done with the two main characters. It was almost like losing a good friend.
How long did it take for you to be published?
I started seriously writing in January 2000. I signed my first contract in February 2009. "Love, Lies & Deceit" was the second manuscript I wrote. Unfortunately, I write very slow because I work full time and write part time.
You self-pubbed your cookbook, Masters and Disasters of Cooking, through Lulu.com. Tell me what inspired you to put this together.
My husband always got a kick out telling the story about how he thinks I
poisoned him right after we got married with that Chicken and Rice dish. That
got me thinking and laughing at so many cooking disasters I've had since I was a
child taking my first project in 4-H. I decided to put them in a book with the
good recipes included.
Your blog, Carol's Food Bites, features some yummy recipes:) Are you planning to put another cookbook together soon? My family has certainly enjoyed some of the ones I've tried!
Thank you. I'm glad you've liked them. I would love to put together another
cookbook from the stories and recipes on my blog. Time is problem right now. I
work full time and with working on my fiction right now there just isn't enough
hours. I sure hope to be able to put those recipes and stories in a book some
day. I really enjoy writing about them. I use a lot of food in my fiction and
would love to put together a cookbook with the recipes for the dishes I have
Are you ever going to finish the book you teased me with last year, titled (forgive me if I get this wrong!!!) Heating Up The Kitchen? I remember reading an excerpt you posted and want to read more:)
The working titles are "A Kitchen Affair" or "Kitchen Heat." It about a girl who
is going to culinary school by working part time in a bakery. The manager at the
bakery encourages her to start doing work as a Personal Chef. She balks at that
idea until the most eligible bachelor in town, a millionaire of course, comes
into the bakery one day. His cook has just quit and he is hosting a dinner party
the following weekend. The bakery manager volunteers the heroine to do the
cooking and well the rest falls right into place, with several bumps along the
As soon as I finish my current book, I plan to get back to that one. Thank you
Just out curiosity, what's the origin of your unusual last name?
Preflatish, pronounced Pre-flat-ish, is Hungarian. I married into that name and
we've never found anyone else with that last name.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
I would tell myself to persevere and stick to it. There were many times where I just put all of my writing away and not write for months because I didn't think I could do. I didn't give up, but put it on the back burner for a while. There's nothing wrong with that, except I think I let too much time go by before I picked it back up again.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Actually, I am a pencil person, which is another reason I write so slowly. I feel so much more creative when I am writing in long-hand, but then I have to take more time to type it up later. When I take part in the NaNoWriMo every November, I write on my AlphaSmart word processor. That is probably my main 'must-have' for my writing. I also have a large supply of mechanical pencils and college rule notepads.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
My favorite author is James Patterson. I love his Women's Murder Club mystery series. I'm also a fan of Robert B. Palmer and Lisa Gardner. I don't think there's any one person who has influenced me more than another.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I write suspense and mysteries, but I have a very comical side. I love humor and love to make people laugh.
Since it is January, what are your goals for the coming year?
My immediate goal is to market "Love, Lies & Deceit." My more long-term goals are to try and finish two books in 2010. I only have about three chapters left to write on my current manuscript and I've already written about four chapters on another.
What is your favorite New Years’ Eve memory?
I'm really a boring person when it comes to New Years' Eve. My husband and I always stay home on that night. I do remember last year we bought a bottle of champagne at Walmart. Obviously, it was the cheap stuff. I think it was the nastiest thing I have ever tasted.
Is there something you really wanted for Christmas, but didn’t get?
I was going to buy myself a laptop computer for Christmas, but opted instead to fly to Mississippi and spend Christmas with my daughter, which was much better than a computer.
Ideal winter time: Snow or a white beach?
I love snow. We live in a log home in the country and I love how it looks around here when it snows.
Thank you for being here today! Please tell us where we can find your books.
Thank you so much for having me here. "Love, Lies & Deceit" can be purchased from my publisher at http://www.redrosepublishing.com/. I also have a cookbook called "Masters & Disasters of Cooking" and it can be found on Amazon.com. Both books can also be found on my web site, http://carolpre.webs.com/
Carol is giving away a free copy of Love, Lies, and Deceit:) All you have to do is leave a comment with your name and email address. She'll draw a name at random tomorrow. Good luck!
Love, Lies, and Deceit
Against regulations, rookie CIA officer Julie McBride and her training officer, Jason Reid fell in love. But, when Jason is arrested for treason, Julie has to decide whether she believes in him enough to risk her own career and life to help him prove his innocence.
Back on the highway, Julie took the George Washington Memorial Highway to Alexandria and to her apartment. When she walked in the door, a strange feeling came over her. She turned on the light and looked around the room. Everything looked in its place. She put her keys and purse on the table and walked into the kitchen. That's when she noticed the glass sitting next to the sink, used. She knew she hadn't dirtied a glass that morning. She walked into the living room and got her gun from the desk drawer. The only place someone could be hiding in her apartment was the bathroom or the bedroom.
She walked toward the bathroom. The door stood ajar. With her foot she pushed it all the way open and turned on the light. No one was inside, or hiding in the shower. Once in the hallway, she stepped toward the bedroom. This door was open, but the room inside was dark. With gun in one hand, she reached in to flick the switch with the other. But, before she could turn the light on, a hand grabbed her arm with the gun and flung her on the bed. Someone landed on top of her and pinned down her hand with the gun. Her attempt to scream was stifled because a hand clasped over her mouth. She tried to struggle, but he was too strong.
"Stop fighting me and don't scream." The man took the gun out of her hand. "I'm going to take my hand away from your mouth. You aren't going to scream, are you?"
She shook her head no. Gradually, he removed his hand from over her mouth until she was able to speak. "Get off me, you bastard!" She had recognized her assailant's voice.
He rolled off and she turned on the light. Jason stood on the other side of the bed from her.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I needed to talk to you."
"You couldn't pick up the phone and call me? I would have come to your apartment." She rolled her neck to make sure she was okay.
"My phone is being monitored."
"What do you want?"
"I need your help, but first I need to know if I can trust you." He swallowed hard. "Did you have anything to do with the drop in Austria, resulting in my arrest?"
She looked at her gun in his hand. "You still have my gun. How I answer your question determines what you do with it."
He placed her gun on her bed. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize I still had it. Julie, I have to know if you were involved in some way."
She laughed. "I must be a pretty damn good spy if you need to ask me that. No, I had nothing to do with it."
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, dropping his head. "I believe you."