Today we have Thriller/Suspense author, Karen Randau joining us for a short interview session.
Thank you so much for joining us today and for taking the time to answer our questions.
What drives your story forward in your books the most, the characters or the plot, or do you feel they are intertwined?
I think they’re intertwined. I put a lot of focus on making sure there is a definite character arc, not only on an individual book but also throughout a series. My stories are fast-paced and action-packed, so the plot is equally important as the changes the external events have on the character.
If you were a character in one of your books, which would you be? The hero/heroine, mentor, villain, love interest, etc.?
I’d probably be the mentor. I put my heroines through an awful lot, so I wouldn’t want to be them despite the fact that I give them an inner strength that I’d be delighted to have. They all have a mentor who is usually fun-loving and grounded, also characteristics I’d love to have.
Do people you know end up as characters in your book? Be honest…
Yes, definitely! I take characteristics from people I know—some I admire and some I don’t. Most often, I’ll create a character that has characteristics of several people I know, including myself.
If you could meet a literary character, who would you most like to meet?
I enjoyed Elizabeth Bennet in the 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Her intelligence, wit, and ability to maneuver in a male-dominated world inspired me as I was trying really hard to do the same thing. It would be fun to have tea with her.
Was there something in your first edit that didn’t make it in the final copy?
No. My training in journalism and later my career in marketing communications taught me to be a succinct writer. Rather than having to cut out scenes, I typically have to think very hard about what I can add.
What do you do to prepare your mind to write? To get into the mind of your characters?
I prepare by knowing my characters, their trials, and their surroundings very well. In a manuscript that I haven’t finished yet, I had a minor character who I couldn’t really bring to life. When someone asked me to participate in an upcoming box set of novellas featuring female detectives, I chose to use that character as the lead. I understand her so much better now! When I get back to that other manuscript, I think my issues with bringing her to life will be over.
What book as a child/adolescent most influenced you as a writer?
I loved Nancy Drew books as a child. That’s probably what encouraged me to write mystery books myself.
How much research went into your last book?
Choir Loft Murder is the third book in a series featuring a female rancher in Wyoming. I set the series in Wyoming because of how much I enjoyed the state and its beauty when I visited on vacation several years ago. The entire series has required me to research different things that I wanted to include in the story. In Choir Loft Murder, there is an unusual murder weapon (a blowgun), and that required me to do a lot of research on how someone could kill a person with those, what kind it would take, who has that kind of accuracy. etc.
What’s one of the most important things you’d like your readers to know about you? What defines you most as an author?
While my stories always include a crime, I keep the gore, swearing, and sex off the pages. As one reviewer said, I’m able to keep you on the edge of your seat without resorting to those things.
What is one thing about you that may surprise your readers?
I jumped off a waterfall once as a young woman just to see what it felt like. As carefully as I live my life, that would probably surprise some people.
Can you tell us what prompted you to write your latest release?
As the third book in a series, the book needed to show resilience. All three books in the series show a character who struggles with the hardships life has thrown at her. She is strong in many ways but is also an emotional mess. She gets past a little bit more in each of the books, and I wanted this one to be the time when she makes a huge leap forward to finally shed a past mistake that had defined several years of her life.
What’s next for you? What are you working on now?
After Choir Loft Murder, I’m working on another trilogy about a twenty-four-year-old woman who woke from a coma to discover a home invader had assassinated her parents. She dumps witness protection to go on an international quest for answers and justice. The first installment is called Nowhere to Hide, and it’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon.
Thank you so much for joining us today. Read on to find out more about Choir Loft Murders!
Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas: Book 3
Her fiance a murderer? As she digs for the truth, she must fight to survive a plot to frame the man she loves.
Frankie Shep has endured too many tragedies in her life. When she finally dares to love again, a revengeful plot threatens to cancel her wedding plans and send her fiance to death row. But this feisty modern-day rancher won’t stand for it.
A member of the church choir dies from a blowgun dart to a vital artery, and the murder weapon implicates Quint. Frankie is shocked to discover Quint was a champion blowgun competitor but quit the sport after a family disaster. And now he’s refusing to talk about his fate.
So she takes it on herself to track down the killer before Quint accepts a life-altering plea deal. She’s devastated when she unearths his motive for the crime. But someone else lurks in the shadows, and that’s who she’s determined to find. Little does she know the killer follows her every move, ready to strike her down when she gets too close.
Can she unravel the vindictive plot before she becomes a crazed killer’s next victim?
Choir Loft Murder is the riveting third book in the Frankie Shep Suspense Novellas series. If you like engaging heroines, twisty plots, and eerie settings, then you’ll love Karen Randau’s pulse-pounding thriller
Karen Randau authors fast-paced mystery, suspense, and thriller books featuring intricate plots, told from the point of view of strong female protagonists. In addition to the Frankie Shep Suspense series set on a fictional ranch in Wyoming, her Rim Country Mystery Series are set in the quaint fictional mountain town of Rim Vista, Arizona. She is also one of seven authors of novellas in the Tawnee Mountain Mystery Series. She lives in the mountains of Arizona with her multigenerational family.
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