Thursday, September 24, 2015

Interview with romantic suspense author Tamsen Schultz

Romantic suspense author Tamsen Schultz is here today to chat with us about her new novel The Frailty of Things.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Tamsen will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances to win, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Tamsen Schultz is the author of several romantic suspense novels and American Kin (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine). In addition to being a writer, she has a background in the field of international conflict resolution, has co-founded a non-profit, and currently works in corporate America. Like most lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking (and writing) about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, four cats, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack.

Welcome, Tamsen. Please tell us about your current release.
Kit Forrester is tough, loyal, and has built a life for herself in Windsor, New York that she truly enjoys. But when she sees something someone is willing to kill for to keep quiet, she suddenly finds that life—and her burgeoning new relationship with (good) mercenary Garret Cantona— is at risk. It’s not at all fair, especially considering she didn’t even realize what she’d seen, but then again, Kit’s never been one to put much stock into what’s fair and what’s not. Together with spies, an alpha male brother with major communications issues, and her sexy mercenary, Kit must decide if bringing closure to many is worth the risk to one—and if it is, how she’ll survive.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Frailty of Things is the fourth book in the Windsor series and given that Windsor is a small town, I thought it might be time to take a break from wreaking so much havoc on the community and set one of my stories out of the area. But, since I like creating a community amongst my characters, I wanted to use someone my readers had already been introduced to. It didn’t take long to settle on Kit Forrester, the international best-selling author and former high flying society girl. Given that Kit’s past hadn’t been explored before this book, I had a freedom to combine my love of travel, arts, and international politics into a story that hops between the US and Europe and has ties to South America. It also gave me the opportunity to delve into the concept of family and betrayal in a way I hadn’t before. To make a short story long, like most of my books, I’m inspired by my own interests. I’m always asking myself “what if,” and Kit’s background, life, and circle of supporting characters gave me the chance to ask that question a lot.

Excerpt from The Frailty of Things:
Garret took a step back and crossed his arms over his chest. “This was your idea, wasn’t it? You talked to Drew?” he asked, a pit gnawing its way through his stomach.

Slowly, she inclined her head.

He locked his jaw to keep from yelling in frustration. Yes, he was upset that she and Drew had worked up this scheme without him, but what caused him even more irritation was the fact that the reality of their situation had just come crashing back down on him and the whole thing, truth be told, terrified him.

He turned toward the wood stove and knelt to add some firewood, just to give himself something to do.

“You’re angry,” Kit said, her voice soft behind him. She hadn’t moved, and for that he was grateful.

After a long moment of silence, during which he shoved a few logs into the burning stove, he let out a deep breath and answered. “At the situation, Kit,” he said, watching the fire dance around the logs, their orange and blue flames licking the new wood as if testing its suitability.

“I am too, Garret. That’s why I suggested the book signing to Drew. I want—no, I need this to end.”

And then he heard it. He heard all the stress in her voice, all the fear and anxiety that he’d recognized and dismissed as they’d been holed up in their cozy little cabin for the past five days. He couldn’t ignore it now, he couldn’t dismiss it and turn their attention to more interesting and diverting pursuits the way he’d been doing. He couldn’t try to make this better for her by forcing it under the rug.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have a book in editing right now called, An Inarticulate Sea, and it’s the story of Carly Drummond and Drew Carmichael, both of whom are good friends of Kit’s. It’s set back in Windsor but the crime at issue happened many years before. Together with some of the regulars from the Windsor Series, they’ll have to figure out who committed that fifteen year old crime, just what it has to do with the body of a US marshal someone dumped in Windsor, and whether more people are in danger.

I’m also in the process of writing A Darkness Black, Caleb Forrester’s story (he’s Kit’s brother). Remember me mentioning he’s an alpha male with major communication issues? Well, the poor guy is going to meet his match. Catherine, a luxury events coordinator and widow of one of Caleb’s best friends, won’t let him hide anything—which is rather inconvenient when he’s also trying to discover whether or not someone plans to commit a murder during one of her events and if so, how he can stop it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure there is a right answer to this, but somehow, what I’m about to say seems like the wrong one because the truth is, I still don’t necessarily think of myself as a writer. I’m not sure why—I have five books out and am growing a fabulous reader base, but yet, when asked what I do, rarely do I answer that I’m a writer. I think you’ve just given me something to work on!

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?
I don’t write full time—I also work full-time negotiating agreements for a large corporation. I’m a lawyer by trade and have spent several years focused on various forms of contract law and negotiation. I’m also a wife and mom (with two boys) so we’re pretty busy around here. As to when I write, the answer to that is easy but not very glamorous—I write when I can. Usually I’ll write in the mornings when the house is quiet, but now that the boys are back in school, the whole house is up at 6am which is not uber helpful. Maybe I’ll be inspired by some of my colleagues and start getting up at 4am

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
So one person’s interesting is another person’s annoying—when I write I need it completely quiet. I thrive in the quiet, but I’m pretty sure my family thinks it’s a bit over the top especially when I leave the house or wear ear plugs. In fact, I dream of owning a pair of those ear-things that flight crews wear. If I had a pair of those, that would be both interesting AND satisfactory. Also, if I’m writing at night I like to sip whiskey. Or bourbon.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer and then a vet and then an astronaut and then a doctor. And then I ended up majoring in philosophy and becoming a lawyer after ditching the diplomat/CIA agent idea. I think it’s no wonder I write—I can still be all those things (if only superficially) without all the time or schooling commitment.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just thanks! Thank you for taking the time to read this lovely interview and for following the tour. Also, thank you if you’ve picked up any of my books (or are maybe just thinking about it). I love hearing from readers (really, I do) so feel free to reach out and say hi.


Thanks, Tamsen!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

Mai T. said...

What is your biggest failure?

Unknown said...

Interesting interview. Thanks for sharing :)

Tamsen said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed the interview and the book sounds great, thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview, thank you.

MomJane said...

Really liked your comments. The excerpt was very interesting and I enjoyed it.

Tamsen said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by, reading, and commenting!

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for the great post, I enjoyed reading it :)

Unknown said...

This sounds like a great book, thank you! I really enjoyed your interview and I'm with you in that I would have to have silence!