I had the pleasure of meeting Carol last year at one of my signings:) She's a fellow Hoosier and I was
Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your latest release.
Hi, Molly. Thank you for hosting me here today. I'm Carol Preflatish and I write romantic suspense. My newest release is "Saved by the Sheriff" with Secret Cravings Publishing. It's about magazine writer Jaime Wilson who visits Indiana to investigate an unsolved mystery about a missing family and finds herself becoming the next target. Sheriff Ben Hunter has to come to her rescue and together they work to solve the mystery as well as who is trying to kill her. She didn't count on falling in love with the sheriff and he didn't think he would have to work so hard to keep her safe.
Have you ever had an idea for a story which scared you after you began writing it?
I write suspense, but I don't believe I've ever had an idea that scared me.
Have you incorporated actual events from your own life into your books?
"Saved by the Sheriff" is very loosely based on a real mystery that happened near where I live. It's something I was always interested in and I think that made writing the book a little easier. The real mystery was never solved, unlike my fictional story which does come to a conclusion at the end of the book.
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, doing much of it before I start writing. But, I'm always checking facts and things while I am in the writing process, too. It's an on-going thing for me. I love to research so I can make most things as accurate as possible.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I always hope that when someone reads my books, they can be taken away from real life for a while. I read to relax and hope that my readers can experience the same thing.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
I'm sort of a little of both. I usually work from a very vague outline sort of like a synopsis, but when I start writing I go with it. Sometimes it follows the original outline and sometimes it doesn't. I think all stories take on a life of it's own. Your characters will eventually start talking to you and they will take the story its own direction. For instance, I'm working on a contemporary mystery series right now and the main male character just told me that he and his former girlfriend have a son together. Wow, that just came out of nowhere, but I really like how it can play into the story.
How long did it take for you to be published?
I started writing seriously in 2000 and my first novel was published in 2009. That was the second novel I completed. I still have the first and am going to do a revision and rewrite and hoping to get it published also.
If you could go back and tell yourself anything when you first began your writing career, what would you say?
I would say that besides learning to write a book, I should also learn about the business side of writing. I was clueless as to what to do once my book came out. I realized that I had a lot more learning to do.
Laptop or pen and ink? What are your ‘must-haves’ when writing?
Laptop and pencil. I sometimes find that I can be more creative when I sit and write with pencil and paper. Lately, I have been sticking to the laptop a little more though. My main "must-have" is sweet tea. I can go through a huge pitcher of tea during a Sunday afternoon of writing. I'm trying not to snack too much, but I do like to take a break with a big bowl of popcorn. That's by far my favorite snack.
Who are your favorite authors? Who would you say influenced you the most?
My favorite authors are James Patterson, the late Robert B. Parker, and Lisa Gardner. I can't really think of any one author that has influenced me the most, but I find myself inspired by new authors that have really made it in the business, whether that be through self-publishing or with one of the big New York publishers.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I love the outdoors and camping. We have a tent and try to camp as much as possible in all four seasons. Winter can be a little tricky, but if you're prepared, it can be a lot of fun and there are no bugs to worry about in the winter. Several years ago, I remember us driving home from a camping trip and it snowed on us all the way home.
Thanks again for having me here today, Molly. My latest release, Saved by the Sheriff, is now available at Secret Cravings Publishing as an e-book, with the print version to follow in a few months. You can purchase it here and you can learn more about me at my blog.
Jaime carefully walked up to the old house that stood near a newer home with a barn between the two. She took a few pictures through the windows. The inside of the house looked like no one had been there in years. Perhaps left just the way it was when the Murdock's had last been there. She stood at the front door and couldn't resist trying the knob. The door opened.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he warned.
"I'll just take one picture of the inside and then we'll go." She took one step into the house.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he related again.
"You should listen to the boy," a deep voice echoed from behind them.
She knew that voice.
"Come on out."
Jaime turned to see Ben standing at the corner of the old house, handcuffing Bobby behind his back. "What are you doing?" she asked, walking over to them.
"Arresting him for trespassing. You're next."
"Didn't you see the No Trespassing sign?" Ben asked.
"Then you should have turned back. Now, turn around."
Jaime put her camera on the porch and turned around for Ben to handcuff her. "This isn't exactly what I in mind when I thought of you handcuffing me," she mumbled to him.
He didn't answer, but instead picked up her camera and led them through the trees to his police car that was parked in front of the other house. She assumed it belonged to the Cook family. A woman in a housedress stood on the front porch.
"They won't be back out here again, Mrs. Cook," Ben called to the lady.
He opened the back door of his car and Bobby got in. Before Jaime got in, she looked up at Ben. "I'm sorry."
He didn't answer, but put his hand on top of her head so she wouldn't bump it as he guided her into the car.