Friday, September 16, 2016

Interview with mystery author Karen Randau

Mystery author Karen Randau is here today talking about her new thriller novel, Deadly Deceit (Rim Country Mystery Series Book 1).

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

A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen Randau has been writing and telling stories since elementary school. She holds a degree in journalism/public relations from The University of Texas at Austin and has enjoyed a long career in marketing communications. In her work with an international non-profit, she has traveled to numerous developing countries, witnessing famines, violence, and hopeful people working to overcome abject poverty. She loves fast-paced mysteries and thrillers, especially those with intricate plots, lots of action, and rollercoaster-like twists and turns.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Deadly Deceit is about a woman named Rita Warren who lives the kind of life we all want — happy family, nice house, good friends… until a confused young man blows away her husband and thirteen other people during movie previews and popcorn in the local theater. Now alone and stalked by a mysterious man on a Harley, she begins to question everything she thought she knew about her thirty year marriage. And about herself. She overcomes the kind of adversity we hope to never encounter to find that she is stronger, smarter, and braver than she ever imagined.

What inspired you to write this book?
The opening tragedy is ripped from the headlines. When these things happen, we hear a lot about the criminal, but we tend not to hear as much about the families who struggle to piece together their shattered lives and emotions. That’s the story I wanted to tell, using a heroine with faults and weaknesses like the rest of us. I wanted her to become an example of how we can overcome even the darkest day of our lives. Rita could have chosen to let her fear cripple her. Instead, she chose not to let her trauma scare her from living a full life.

Excerpt from Deadly Deceit (Rim Country Mystery Series Book 1):
Minutes later; theater full, lights down, previews playing, Motorcycle Guy stood in the aisle next to Jared, glaring down at him. Both hands were now under his jacket.

“Can I help you?” The rudeness in Jared’s voice made me cringe. For the thousandth time, I wondered what had gotten into him lately.

“Baa baa.” Sarcasm coated Motorcycle Guy’s strange words. He dropped his jacket to reveal a gun in his right hand.

The muzzle flared. My eardrums felt as if they shattered. Popcorn, blood, flesh, Jared’s brains pelleted my numb face. Jared slumped against me, then toppled forward. I tried to catch him but slipped on the gore that covered us. We fell to the floor.

Motorcycle Guy shouted something about Allah and disappeared.

Curled under my seat, I covered my ears with my hands. I squeezed my eyes to shut out the image of my husband’s body. Much of his head gone. Jared no longer inside. A crypt of aloneness encased me. My scream spewed grief, fear, and a dozen other emotions that I was too panic-stricken to identify.

More shots. Muffled wails. Jared’s combat experience in the first Gulf War had always made me feel secure, untouchable. He couldn’t protect me this time. I pulled my knees to my chest as I touched Jared’s hand, and prayed that I would be with him in heaven.

A distant man’s voice shouted, “Hey, scumbag.” Another shot rang out, different than the others. Then everything was quiet … except for muted sobs and a sharp, rhythmic ringing in my ears, created by the shot that had taken Jared from me forever.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently working on Deadly Inheritance (Rim Country Mystery Series Book Two). In it, I take Rita and Cliff to Scotland. Cliff discovers that his roots are much different than he was told his whole life. A hotel clerk dies while check in to the honeymoon suite of a luxurious hotel. The action shifts into high gear for a one-of-a-kind tour of the Scottish Highlands. Cliff discovers the truth about his grandfather he never met, and Rita puts her life on the line to prove their innocence as the body count continues to rise.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing since I first learned how to print my name in elementary school. I processed all of my major life events by writing about them, but for myself. English was my favorite class throughout school. I earned a degree in journalism but still didn't consider myself a writer until I had writer in my professional title. I didn’t consider myself a novelist until a friend talked me into writing a novel, and I started taking classes on novel writing. That was about four years ago.

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 work full-time for an international relief and development organization that helps vulnerable people in developing countries pull themselves from poverty. Writing marketing materials is a part of my workday. I find it difficult to write after work and do most of my novel writing on the weekends or in the early morning before work.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I put a lot of effort into outlining the entire book before I start writing. Then I use up my whole outline by the end of Act 1 and have to re-outline from major turning point to major turning point. I also do a lot of writing in my head while I hike in the woods or as I pace around my house.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a short period, I wanted to be a nurse like the famous Civil War nurse Clara Barton. That flew out the window when I had a tonsillectomy and learned what nurses do. For another short while, I thought I wanted to be an interior designer, which would make the artists in my life laugh because of my lack of skill in that area. That lasted one semester in college. Most of my life, I wanted to be a writer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Deadly Deceit is published by Short on Time Books and is currently available in paperback and e-book. The audio version will be out soon.

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

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Nikolina said...

I was really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

CJ said...

Great interview!! Good luck with the books release and all of your future endeavors. Thanks so much for the giveaway and I hope you have yourself a great weekend! :)

Rita Wray said...

I have enjoyed the tour. Sounds like a great read.

DanieX said...

this book sounds really good!!

Peggy Hyndman said...

Who are some of your favorite authors; what strikes you about their work?