Monday, August 26, 2019

Interview with romantic suspense author Sylvie Kurtz

Romantic Suspense author Sylvie Kurtz joins me today as she starts relaunching her books. Today’s focus is on the novel One Texas Night.

Sylvie Kurtz writes stories that explore the complexity of the human mind and the thrill of suspense. She likes dark chocolate, knitting with soft wool, and movies that require a box of tissues.

Please tell us about your current release.
I've had great fun revising old friends—giving them new covers, sprucing up the insides, especially refreshing the technology. I love that the digital revolution allows me to keep sharing my books with new readers.

One Texas Night is the first contemporary romantic suspense novel I wrote and it contains one of my favorite types of story conflict—amnesia. In Melinda's case, seeing her neighbor murdered triggered memories of a past trauma, making her want to run away. But to have a chance at life—and love—she has to finally face what happened when she was a little girl. She won't be alone. She'll have the handsome Grady by her side as she navigates the twisted corridors of her past.

What inspired you to write this book?
The way the mind works fascinates me. A lot of the reading I do is non-fiction and a good chunk of that is psychology related. Amnesia invites so many possibilities to use in stories that it stirs up the creative juices. Humans are primed for survival and the brain will use any means it can—even making you forget something traumatic.

Excerpt from One Texas Night:
Murder didn't happen in this slice of Texas. In the twelve years since Grady Sloan had served as an officer in the Fargate Police Department, the department hadn't handled a single homicide. Now, less than twenty-four hours into his tenure as interim police chief, Angela Petersen lay dead in the Tarrant County morgue awaiting an autopsy.
As he'd inspected the small brick home on the edge of town, no bold clues had jumped up at him saying, "I did it!" Only blood—a lot of it—splattered over the lace curtains, ruffled pillows, and feminine frills strewn about the living room. No muddy footprints had marred any of the pink carpeting. No bloody knife had lain close by with accusing fingerprints on its handle. No signs of forced entry had marked any of the doors or windows.
Nothing, except the strange woman. And the undecipherable drawing she'd held.
He'd have to use every ounce of his resourcefulness to crack the case.
A lot of fun that would be with the critical town council breathing down his back and watching his every move. After his fiasco with Jamie—his otherwise spotless record notwithstanding—they'd expect mistakes, and be more than ready to point fingers.
In three weeks, Fargate would host their annual Fall Festival. The council had planned Seth Mullins' retirement celebration and the announcement of his replacement as their crowning event.
That didn't leave Grady much time to prove the town council wrong. Or to get answers from the woman who claimed not to remember her name.
His office door blustered open.
"What took you so long?" Grady snapped at his sister. Tension had him strung tighter than sun-dried leather.
"Well, hello to you, too." Desiree Sloan dumped her briefcase and large leather purse on top of his desk, ignoring the pile of papers she scrambled in the process. Flyaway wisps of light brown hair escaped from the French braid that couldn't be more than half an hour old. While she removed the jacket of her bright red business suit, she juggled a cup of take-out coffee between her hands, sloshing drops onto the carpet. Good thing it was the color of industrial grime.
His sister was a brilliant psychologist, but grace wasn't one of her attributes. She plowed through life like a scatterbrained bull in a china shop, but when it came to business, she focused single-mindedly as if facing a matador's cape in a ring. No one garnered more professional respect than Dr. Des. Which was why he'd sought her opinion this morning.
"I got here as fast as I could." She plopped into a chair, popped the loose cover from her cup of coffee and blew on the hot liquid. "You know I'm not a morning person." She leaned back into the chair and crossed one leg over the other. "So, what windmill's got your shorts in a torque this morning, brother dear? Vigilante cow-tipper? Mad donut snatcher at Mamie's?" She slapped one hand on the chair's armrest. Her blue-gray eyes twinkled. "No, don't tell me! Some low-down snake took off with the high school's royal-blue street sign again."

What exciting story are you working on next?
This work-in-progress is a little different. No romance. I tried putting it aside several times, but the characters keep haunting me. It's a mother/daughter story. Grief over the loss of their husband/father has driven a chasm between them and, when an arsonist starts burning down their small town, they have to find a way to heal before there's nothing left but ashes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took a long time. I've always loved by words, books, stories, but never thought I could actually be a writer. Even after I sold my first book, I kept waiting for the phone call telling me they'd made a mistake. Over the years, I was finally able to say out loud that 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?
I don't write full time, but I do try to make those butt-on-chair hours regular. I teach yoga part time and take care of my grandson part time.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have to have the right name for my main characters before I can start writing their story. I also need quiet so I can hear the characters come to life. I always wanted to write in a café, but I never get anything done when I try.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things. An Olympic dressage rider. A horse vet. An RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), but only to participate in the musical ride. A pilot. I was a chicken, but still had a taste for adventure.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
One Texas Night is set for free at all your favorite e-book retailers for a limited time.


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