Monday, May 11, 2015

Interview with mystery author Kellie Larsen Murphy

Welcome, Readers.

Today’s special guest is mystery author Kellie Larsen Murphy. She’s under the spotlight to chat with me about her newest psychological mystery, Stay of Execution.

During her virtual book tour, Kellie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win the gift card, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Kellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.

Welcome, Kellie. Please tell us about your current release.
Stay of Execution is the second book in my Detective Cancini Mystery series although each book stands alone. This second book features a far more grisly subject matter—rape and murder on a college campus. Detective Cancini arrested the “Co-Ed Killer” two decades earlier only to learn the man has been released based on new and unshakable DNA evidence. When that same small college town is once again the target of a series of rapes and murders, Cancini is drawn back to the investigation, the old and the new.

What inspired you to write this book?
While there was no real-life case that inspired this book, it is timely in an odd way with the recent press on sexual assaults across college campuses. I began this book while I was publishing A Guilty Mind (2012) because I wanted to know Cancini better and see what he could do. I loved setting it in a fictional college town where crime is limited and less threatening. It wasn’t hard to imagine how the shock and fear at rape and murder would spread like wildfire. It was also very interesting to write a character as sick as the “Co-Ed Killer.” Lastly, this novel gave me the opportunity to reveal more about what makes my favorite lonely detective tick.

Excerpt from Stay of Execution:
The boy looked up at the tall trees, their branches thick and twisted, blocking the warmth from the sun. He pulled the strings of his knapsack tight and walked faster. Feet moving quickly over the slippery ground cover, he tripped, falling forward toward the round trunk of a large oak. “Stupid root. Stupid trees.” Picking himself up, he wiped his hands on his jeans, the brown, wet moss leaving marks on the worn pants. It was only then that he noticed what had caused his fall. Not a root. A leg. He stepped closer to see a bare leg, a woman’s leg, covered in dirt and leaves as though someone had tried to hide her. The boy’s eyes widened, and he screamed. Turning, he ran from the woods toward the first house he could find, still screaming.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I love that you asked that because it is exciting. The third book in the series is actually inspired by a real-life story that I’ve taken and tweaked and, to be honest, twisted into something far more sinister. It isn’t a spoiler alert to tell you that the book opens with the shooting of a young and handsome priest on the steps of the altar. Cancini has his work cut out for him with this one!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is different for every author, but for me, it came in two stages. The first essay I had accepted for publication was the first time I thought I might be a writer. The essay was called The White Wine Society and was published in Sasee Magazine. I was overjoyed. I did then publish several more articles in a variety of regional and local magazines, but still, I didn’t say out loud that I was a writer. It was a part-time pursuit for me as my full-time focus was my family and four kids. When A Guilty Mind was published in 2012 and I started work on the second novel, I decided it was real. I’m a writer.

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?
While I can now say “I’m a writer”, it probably doesn’t qualify as full-time. I no longer freelance so I can focus on novels, but I am still busy with family responsibilities. After the kids leave for school, I try to spend as many hours as possible dedicated to writing and the business of writing (aka marketing), but not all day. I spend the majority of the afternoons with kid-related activities, errands, etc. However, there are many hours spent not writing but planning, plotting, or thinking about my manuscript while walking dogs, in the evenings, etc. Any time to actually write is truly treasured.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’ve been known to write in the car. Because my schedule isn’t 9 to 5 and I often fit my writing time into that schedule, I sometimes bring my computer and write while sitting in a parking lot waiting for a child to finish an activity, sport, whatever. I also write in the car when we take family trips. It makes the miles go by faster!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be a broadcast journalist when I was in high school. I was the editor of my yearbook for two years and helped out on the school paper. However, the college I went to didn’t offer journalism as a major and so I chose something more practical – business. I worked in finance for years although I did take creative writing for fun after work. The itch was always there!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love for readers to give Stay of Execution a try and get to know Cancini, but whether they do or not, I want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to stop by and talk about my work. Like most writers, I’m an avid reader and I know how special books are to those who love to read. Thanks so much and happy reading!


Thanks, Kellie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Mai T. said...

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Unknown said...

Thanks for having me today!

Unknown said...

Mai, thanks for asking. No, I haven't collaborated with any other writers yet, but I would be open to the idea. Some really excellent novels are published that way!

MomJane said...

Short but really exciting excerpt. I loved it.

Unknown said...

Thanks, MomJane. Glad you enjoyed it and have a great day!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Rita. Hope you got a chance to enter for the gift card!

Stormy Vixen said...

Enjoyed the interview and the excerpt! Thanks for sharing, sounds like an exciting book.

Unknown said...

Great interview!