BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Wednesday, May 07, 2014
LAWRENCE KELTER INTERVIEW
Please welcome Lawrence Kelter to A Writer’s Life today. He’s a new-to-me author whose work I just purchased. Don’t you love finding a new author and learning he’s written a series?
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 BABY GIRL DOE (US and Canada only).
Caroline: Please tell us something about yourself and growing up. Do you go by Lawrence?
Larry: I go by Larry. Whenever someone calls me Lawrence I know that I’m in deep stuff. I grew up on Avenue F in Brooklyn, NY, in a not-so-well-known neighborhood named Kensington. It certainly didn’t have the caché of Flatbush or Bensonhurst, but it was home for me. It was only six blocks long. Can you imagine, a child’s entire world being that small? I guess I didn’t know any better because I loved it; playing handball and basketball at the park on the corner, right down the block from Gold’s Horseradish factory. Trust me, the smell of the cooking horseradish beets cleared out the park pretty quickly on those days when we were down wind.
I grew up with an older brother who I was and still am very close with. I have two half-brothers but they were considerably older by the time I came on the scene and I saw them mostly for family get-togethers and holidays. I was a replacement baby. My parents lost a daughter and I was born a year after she passed away. My father was about fifty so I doubt he was planning to become a father again at that time. I guess I was born to fill a void in their lives. I hope I did a good job.
As I said, I was born in Brooklyn and never got too far away. I’ve been a Long Island resident for the past thirty years. I’ve got an absolutely terrific wife and two great kids who are now off and on their own.
Caroline: Yours sounds like a wonderful childhood. Were you considered a bookworm?
Larry: I was never considered a bookworm. As a matter of fact I was voted The Individual Least Likely to Visit a Library while in high school. If you don’t believe it I’ll scan my yearbook and post it on Facebook for the entire world to see. Just a painful heads-up—my yearbook picture is absolutely dreadful.
Caroline: Everyone’s yearbook photo is dreadful, isn’t it? What do you like to read and which authors made an impression on you?
Larry: I’m a mystery and thriller junkie. I read the stuff everyone else is reading: Nelson DeMille, Harlan Coben, Thomas Harris, Patterson, Deaver—I think you get the idea.
Caroline: What do you do to relax?
Larry: I’m a tennis bum. Well maybe not so much a bum as an addict. It’s a great sport, which I can still play with a reasonable level of competence, and foresee playing into my advanced years.
I love movies; thrillers, comedies, and dramas. If I had to pick my favorite movie of all time it would be My Cousin Vinny. I’ve seen it so many times that I can recite most of the lines by heart. Are you sure? I’m pos-i-tive!
Caroline: My family loves that movie, too. Can you tell readers a quote that sums up your philosophy of life?
Larry: My favorite quote came from Einstein, who said, “Before God we are all equally wise and equally foolish.” I think that one statement fairly well sums all of humanity.
Caroline: Wonderful quote. How long have you been writing?
Larry: I’ve been writing almost fifteen years. I first began writing on a portable Smith-Corona word processor, which I took with me on the Long Island Railroad—commuting back and forth from work (It was the only time I had). Of course now, like most, I’m a laptop writer. My Mac book goes everywhere I go, but I do most of my writing in my office at home. I need a quiet environment to write. With all those characters blabbering in my head there’s no room for external noise.
Caroline: With all the characters in his or her head, writers are never alone, are they? Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Larry: Am I a plotter or a panzer? Well … Neither. Once I have a premise and have researched it to death, I quickly bang out about fifty pages and then read it repeatedly to see if I have something I can build into a full-length novel. I lay out a basic plot if I plan to proceed but revise it every few days as new ideas, twists and turns come to mind.
Caroline: I believe that’s called a plotzer. ☺Do you base your characters on real people or your scenes on actual incidents?
Larry: The premises for my books are as original as I can make them. It’s been said that all the original ideas in the world have already been thought of and that we’re all just stealing from one another. I do my best to dispute that premise, but I definitely study the real world and I’d be lying if I said none of it made its way into my work.
Caroline: I try to be original too, Larry. As you said, there are only so many plots and we have to work making them fresh. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Larry: I hope my writing entertains my readers. I hated to read when I was young and think that was because the reading selections way back when consisted of putrid, boring stuff. I’m not saying for a minute that The Classics aren’t … well classic, but each of us has our own specific preference. I try to make my books exciting with quickly-paced plots, humor, and suspense. My job is to keep the readers turning pages.
Caroline: Well said, although I always loved reading. Not the classics, but from Nancy Drew up through Robert B. Parker. Tell us about your current book.
Larry: My current release is BABY GIRL DOE, which is the fifth book in the international best-selling Stephanie Chalice Thriller Series. I’m not entirely sure why the series has been so successful but in the past two years several hundred thousand readers have welcomed Stephanie Chalice into their libraries. I’m not writing WAR AND PEACE, I’m writing thrillers so I try very hard to entertain the reader at all times, blending suspense, humor, and story-interest into each page.
Caroline: You’re a new author for me, Larry. I’m so happy to learn about Stephanie Chalice and look forward to reading the series. What advice can you give to upcoming authors?
Larry: PERSEVERE! The publishing business has never been an easy one and it’s certainly not getting any easier. Everyone with access to a computer is writing a book and trying to publish it. The good news is that the basics still hold true: Get as good at your craft as humanly possible before you enter the publishing arena. If your work is truly good and unique it will sell. Marketing and hype are more important to your success than every before so remember that after you type the word “END” your real job is just beginning.
Caroline: Isn’t that the truth? Can you share a fun fact with us?
Larry: Here are two fun facts: I will always be deeply indebted to Nelson DeMille, who actually picked up a pencil and edited portions of my first manuscript. Way before he ever 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 was also part of a small writer’s workshop led by Ann Loring. Some of you may remember Ann for her role as Tammy Forrest in the soap opera Love of Life. Ann really helped me to develop my sense of drama. The knowledge she imparted to me was priceless.
Caroline: Wow, what a wonderful background you have. Tell us about BABY GIRL DOE.
Larry: In Baby Girl Doe Chalice 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. BABY GIRL DOE was released on April 25, 2014 in e-book and paperback formats. Early ratings are averaging 4.9 out of a maximum 5 stars.
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Larry: I think we’ve given them a large enough dose of Larry Kelter for one sitting. Thanks for taking the time for this chat.
Baby Girl Doe: Chalice #5
by Lawrence Kelter
BABY GIRL DOE Burb:
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.
The new story finds Chalice and 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 . . . Well, I’ll just leave it to you to find out.
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.
Excerpt from BABY GIRL DOE:
“There’s nothing wrong with the Menuccis, but you know how Dina earns a living, don’t you?”
“She works evenings selling restaurant supplies. Are you crazy or something?”
“Ma, listen to yourself. Who sells restaurant supplies at night? She’s a call girl. My God, how gullible can a person be?”
“Madonna mia, sweet little Dina? Are you sure? She said Vesuvius is her biggest customer.”
“Vesuvius, the Italian restaurant on 49th Street?”
“Yeah, I’m sure there’s an eruption there every time she walks through the door.”
“How can that be? You know Mickey V, the owner; he’s a family man.”
“First of all he’s not Italian, even though he professes to be. He’s Greek. That’s why he never uses his full last name.”
“Yes for real. His last name is Vloganitis, or Vaginitis, or something you’d need antibiotics to clear up, and he’s the biggest sleazeball on two feet. Believe me when Dina visits him in the restaurant, his soufflé isn’t the only thing that rises.”
“So Mickey is Greek?”
I nodded with conviction. “Mickey is short for Mikolas. He got into a jam over unpaid traffic tickets several months back and asked me to help him out. That’s why I know his real name.”
“Were you able to help him?”
“I made a call over to my friend Tay at the DA’s office. She pulled some strings. They let him pay the fines, and he was able to avoid criminal charges.”
“And he’s Greek.”
“Like baklava, Mama.”
“Oh my? Does that mean . . .”
“That’s right, Ma, Dina’s probably multi-portal.”
She cringed. “Stephanie, that’s disgusting.”
“You brought it up. Do you prefer I use the term backdoor specialist?”
“Madonna, too much information.” Ma pretended to retch.
“Ma, you’re such a prude. You’ve never heard of ass play?”
“Isn’t that the group that sings about clocks?”
“Oh my God.” What am I going to do with this woman? “No, Ma, that’s Coldplay.”
“Stephanie, I’m confused.”
Evidently. “Ma, ass play . . . anal sex. Stop being such a Girl Scout.”
She shrugged. “You mean like for a gay man.”
“It’s not just for gay men, Ma. Straight couples do it too.”
“But why?” Ma was completely out of her comfort zone. Fine droplets of sweat broke out across her lip.
How can I put this delicately? “Sometimes a man prefers to squeeze his car into the garage instead of just leaving it to hang out in the nice wide driveway.”
“You’re losing me. What does this have to do with cars?”
Sometimes there’s just no beating around the bush. Yikes. I can’t believe I just said that. “Because, Ma, after a woman shoots two or three linebackers out of her vagina, it isn’t exactly a snug fit anymore.”
Ma smiled with revelation. “Ah. So you’re talking about a man’s pleasure.”
“What about the woman?”
I flashed my palm like a stop sign. “I’m not going there, Ma.” I wasn’t saying I don’t go there, but I wasn’t going there with my mother.
“I still don’t believe it. Dina told me flat out that she sells macaroni.”
I giggled. “A hooker whose cover story is that she sells macaroni? Does that make her a pasta-tute?”
A resident New Yorker, Kelter often uses Manhattan and Long Island as backdrops for his stories. He is the author of the Stephanie Chalice Mystery Series and other works of fiction.
Early in his writing career, he received support from best-selling novelist, Nelson DeMille, who reviewed his work and actually put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first novel. When completed, DeMille said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum.”
His novels are quickly paced and feature a twist ending.