Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Interview with thriller author Lawrence Kelter

Today’s special guest is mystery thriller author Lawrence Kelter. He’s touring his newest novel, Baby Girl Doe, with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Lawrence will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and 5 runners up will receive an autographed print copy of the book (US and Canada only). To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too.

Lawrence Kelter is the bestselling author of the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series and other works of fiction. Early in his career, he received direction from bestselling novelist Nelson DeMille, who put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of his first book. He was also a member of a writer's workshop led by the late soap opera legend and AFTRA president, Ann Loring. His novels are quickly paced and routinely finish with a twist ending.

Welcome, Lawrence. Please tell us about your current release.
Everyone deserves a well-earned vacation, don’t they?

Guess again!

Plans have been made and the bags are packed but Detective Stephanie Chalice is having about as much fun as Michael Vick at an ASPCA fundraiser.

In his latest thriller, Baby Girl Doe, the fifth book in the international best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series, author Lawrence Kelter tackles murder, arson, abduction, and government secrets held as closely to the vest as those related to the existence of UFOs at Area 51 in Roswell, New Mexico.

The new story finds Chalice and her eye candy husband, Lido on the East End of Long Island, vacationing with Max, their new arrival. Things go wrong from the very start. Their vacation rental burns to the ground, bodies pile up, and just to make things interesting, Lido . . . All I’ll say is that you’ll never believe it.

Chalice may be out of her jurisdiction but she's never out of questions or determination and soon connects two unsolved homicides. As always, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and her initial findings plunge her deeper and deeper into the most extraordinary investigation of her career.

What inspired you to write this book?
Baby Girl Doe is the fifth book in the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series. Why do I do it? Because it’s a blast and I get a great deal of satisfaction from building a story that people will enjoy. The five books in order are: Don’t Close Your Eyes, Ransom Beach, The Brain Vault, Our Honored Dead, and of course Baby Girl Doe. If you want to know why I began writing in the first place, well… Who hasn’t dreamed of writing the great American novel? The idea held the allure of wealth, celebrity, and acclaim. I quickly discovered the sobering truth, that only about one percent of all published writers earn enough money from their royalties to write full time. And yet I persevered. Why did I keep going? I have several answers but the top two are: That I enjoy it, and that in some odd way I feel as if I’m creating a legacy and memorializing myself with my books. I hope that my books will live on long after I’m gone.

Excerpt from Baby Girl Doe:

I zigzagged between the two opposing lanes of traffic as I gave pursuit.

He was in a flat-out run, but I was not going to be beaten. Not now, not with Gus’ captor in sight. I reached down deep and found an extra gear, one that I didn’t know existed. I was running so fast, I felt as if I could take off. I was closing in on him: two yards behind . . . one . . .

I lunged and took him down by the ankles. As he attempted to kick free, I pounced upon him, fists flying. I hauled back and was ready to pummel him when I froze. “You? It’s you?” The face I was about to strike was one I had seen before, but looked nothing like the person I had seen on the ladder outside my bedroom window. This man was the one who told me there was absolutely nothing suspicious about the fire the day I first inspected the remains of Bill Alden’s cottage. Two bodies, burnt beyond recognition—now I understood who would use that specific MO. Dummy, you couldn’t make the connection?

“You son of a bitch.” I heard the sound of others running toward me, but my fist was clenched.

“Chalice, we’ve got him,” Ambler said. “Don’t!”

There was no force on heaven or earth strong enough to keep me from striking him, this man who had turned my family’s world upside down and put my husband’s life at risk. I drove my fist into his jaw and heard it crack. I was ready to hit him again when someone grabbed my arm. I looked up and saw Gus. His cheek was swollen, and there was dried blood on his face.

“Thanks, babe,” he said, “I’ll take it from here.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have several projects in the hopper; Chalice 6, Palindrome II (the second book in a psychological thriller series), and Secrets of the Kill, the first book to feature FBI Agent Chloe Mather. With Chloe Mather I’ve created a female protagonist with complex attributes. She struggles with PTSD, and the consequence of a childhood spent without a father. But this is a woman who accepts no pity. First and foremost she is an FBI agent with a moral code equaled by none. She learned a lot from her tour of duty in Afghanistan as one of the first women Marines to be deployed into an active combat area as a member of the newly formed Female Engagement Team.

Here’s a little bit about Secrets of the Kill, which will be released this summer.
Two governments with one objective, stop the spread of terrorism at any cost. America and Israel, lifelong allies in an age-old war.

To win this battle they will have to sell their souls.

A mutilated body has been found, a body not meant to be discovered. But now that it has, Pandora’s box is open and secrets never to be learned are spilling out.

An Israeli woman living in New York has been murdered. She has been raped and butchered, an outrage that ignites a fuse that burns all the way back to Tel Aviv.

Enter FBI Agent Chloe Mather, a hard-charging ex-Marine with no sympathy for the kind of maggot who could commit such a violent atrocity.

What begins as a challenging homicide becomes more, much more and Mather is pulled into an investigation, which involves the mob, Israeli intelligence, and a radical terrorist faction.

They say that blood is thicker than water but is it thicker than the bonds of patriotism? Mather will ponder this question and many others as she fights to bring an innocent woman’s murderer to justice, and prevent a geopolitical atrocity from taking place on American shores.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always wanted to write but could never find the time or inspiration. I finally completed a manuscript but then lacked the confidence to do anything with it. It was at that point that a miracle took place. I sent a letter to Nelson DeMille who was far and away my favorite novelist. He read the manuscript and actually picked up a pencil and edited portions of it. Way before he said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he said, “Kid your work needs editing, but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having writing talent. Keep it up.” I’ll always be indebted to that man.

I think that moment arrived when I signed my first publishing contract with Leisure Books in 2005. Although I always believed in my work and found an agent fairly quickly (not that I didn’t compile a huge stack of rejection slips along the way), I didn’t feel validated until a legacy publisher wanted to publish me. Up until then there was this cloud of doubt that hung over me. I asked myself over and over, “Am I good enough? Am I not good enough?” That was a few years before Kindle came on the scene. Traditional publishing was still the only way to go. Was I going to make it to the bookshelves or was my work destined to sit in my desk drawer forever?

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yup! I now write full time. I’ve been at it for quite a while, balancing my writing passion with a boring full time job. It’s only recently that I began earning enough money to write fulltime. Thank God! I love it and hope things continue to go as well as they have. The Series has sold well over 300,000 copies in the last two years and topped e-book bestseller lists in the US and UK.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My writing process is a little weird. I’m not saying that I have a patent on the process but my mind is a little warped and so it happens like this: Once I have an initial premise I begin researching extensively, looking for real-life situations that in part share some similarity with the proposed storyline. If I find enough “meat” I quickly dash of fifty pages and decide if I like them enough to keep on going. After that, yes, I outline because I don’t want the story to meander.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Pretty standard stuff; I first wanted to be a major league baseball player but I was too clumsy. After that I wanted to be the next rock star. I wanted to play guitar like Eric Clapton, but … it sounded more like a cat scratching on a Stratocaster. I wanted to be a film star but can’t act, yada, yada, yada.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Almost all writers live for the validation of their readers. It doesn’t matter if you’re James Patterson or an unknown, whether you’re earning millions or just doing it for enjoyment. Until someone says, “Gee, that was really pretty good,” all the time and effort means nothing. I’m no exception—Like Lady Gaga, I live for the applause.
Thanks, Lawrence!

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the interview, Lisa.
Have a great day!

bn100 said...

Interesting info about the book