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, October 15, 2014
WHAT'S INTIMATE ABOUT MURDER?
Today's guest is Stacy Verdick Case and she's sharing an interview with readers plus details of her latest release.
Stacy will award a $50 Barnes and Noble GC to one winner, and a signed ARC of An Intimate Murder (US only) to two randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during this tour and her standard tour.
Caroline: Tell readers about growing up:
Stacy: My older sister and I were military brats. Growing up we moved all over the place but we always ended up back in Minnesota so that’s where I call home. No one would mistake me for a jock growing up – LOL! I was really a dork. I’m still a big dork. My husband rolls his eyes when I’m being goofy but my daughter thinks it’s the best. To her I’m like a big kid she gets to play dress up with.
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Stacy: Well, I’m a literary omnivore. I don’t really have a favorite genre, it just depends on the mood I’m in. Douglas Adams sits comfortable next to Edgar Allan Poe, Laura Ingles Wilder, and Harper Lee on my bookshelf. I think that would be the best writers dinner EVER! I would mortgage my house to be there.
There are a lot of authors who have been great influences on me for instance the late, great Cheryl Anne Porter. She gave the most fantastic writing classes. If authors can get their hands on audio copies of her workshops you would be smart to do so. As far as my favorites the list is too long and getting longer all the time.
Caroline: I love the term “literary omnivore.” That describes me also, except that I don’t read horror or true crime. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?
Stacy: It’s so rare that I have time to myself but when I do I fire up the DVR and watch The Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels, ore Rizzoli and Isles. Of course it sounds trite but I love to read. I’ve never met a writer who didn’t love to read so when I’m not watching good stories I’m reading them.
Caroline: I love “Hell on Wheels.” Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
Stacy: Oh yes! Words are so powerful to me. I collect quotes and sayings so they adorn most surfaces of my home, but the one that I read over and over is from Abraham Lincoln and it came to me at a point in my life when I really needed to hear it. One of those serendipitous moments in life and I posted it on my bulletin board.
Isn’t that so true!
Caroline: Yes, it is. How long have you been writing?
Stacy: As long as I can remember. I must be a natural born storyteller because when other kids had security blankets, I carried a red spiral bound notebook. Why red? I have no clue because my favorite color is blue, but it always had to be red.
Caroline: Well, red is a power color. Where do you prefer to write?
Stacy: After my daughter was born I had very little time where I could devote a block of time to writing and create the “perfect” conditions, so I write where and when I can. I keep paper and pen with me at all times (still carrying my security notebook!) and I also have a digital recorder to “write” while I’m driving. I literally have to steal time to write. If I have a date night with my husband he knows that if he walks away to go to the bathroom I will be writing when he comes back. But I do put it away when he comes back. I never want to be so wrapped up in my writing that I forget what really matters most – family.
Caroline: Ah, yes, family before career. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Stacy: I am a complete pantser! A writer friend of mine and I wrote a blog piece called Plotter vs. Pantser about our different styles because she’s the create a 3-ring binder of back story befor you start to write type of plotter and I just sit down to write. I never know what’s happening from one moment to the next. I once killed the heroine of my book and sat back and went, “Huh.” I was so stunned! It all worked out though. It always does.
Caroline: Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Stacy: Absolutely! I tell people around me, “You’re all fodder.” The first book in the Catherine O’Brien series A Grand Murder, was written to kill off a former boss who stole a lot of money from me. Most of the people in my books are amalgams of people I know. If there’s a quirk about someone I like I will give it to one of my characters. I think that helps make them feel real to people. There’s an attorney in An Intimate Murder who is a complete rip off of an auditor I met once through my work. Of course if any of the auditors I’ve worked with are reading this they are all scrambling to buy a copy of the book and find out if it’s them!
Caroline: I feel we are each the sum of all our experiences and observations. Do you set daily writing goals?
Stacy: I do want to write every day but life is life. I try not to pressure myself because if I sit down and say I HAVE to write 10 pages today that’s when I’ll get stuck and not be able to write anything. However if I set out to just write the next scene a lot of times I end up with a lot more pages than I would have set as a goal for myself because I would have thought there was no way I could reach it. Because I’m a pantser my writing comes out in fits and flows. Some days are good and some days aren’t. It seems to work out.
When I first started to write with the goal of being a professional writer I went to all the classes that said I had to do this and had to that and completely stressed myself out trying to be everything I was supposed to be according to what everyone else seemed to be doing. Then I learned that what works for them doesn’t work for me. It wasn’t until I chucked all that advice out the window and found my mojo that everything fell into place.
Caroline: It’s true that we must find what works for us. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Stacy: Enjoyment. I’m an entertainer and I’m okay with that. I was once taken to task (again in one of those writing workshops) because we were supposed to tell everyone what we wanted to accomplish with our writing, and I said to entertain people. The workshop presenter told me I wasn’t thinking “globally” enough and she would come back to me. I told her she could come back to me if she wanted but my answer would be the same. I’m not out to save the world, I just want to give my readers some pleasure. If can make you smile or laugh then so much the better. What if the world laughed just once all at the same time. Imagine a moment of universal levity. How’s that for thinking globally!
Caroline: I so agree. Why is wanting to lighten others’ lives not a great goal? What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Stacy: More books in the series and possibly a few stand-alone books. I would love to see Catherine and Louise make it to the small screen. I think they would make a great TV detective team. Like a modern day Cagney and Lacey – would that be so much fun!! Oh my gosh, I get giddy thinking about it.
Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Stacy: Book 4 – and I can’t give any spoilers because I’m a pantser and I don’t know what’s going to happen yet, but from what I’ve written so far I can tell you that Gavin’s mother plays an important role in book 4, which is making things interesting for Catherine. I’ve had to put it on hold for a little bit to do the press and stuff for An Intimate Murder but I am itching to get back to it.
Caroline: Marketing does impact our writing time, doesn’t it? What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Stacy: Cultivate a belief in yourself. In this business there’s a person waiting to tear you down around every corner. If writing is something you want to do then you have to have faith in yourself and not care what other people think. That’s really hard for some people to accept. They write and then want reviewers, etc. to validate them and I’m here to tell you that more often than not you will be disappointed if that’s what you’re waiting for. Your belief in your writing needs to be stronger than any outside source if you’re going to survive.
Caroline: Great advice! What’s a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you?
Stacy: That I’m an upcycle addict. I love to take things that are old and worn out and create something beautiful from them. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember – even before upcycle was a word or a trend. People come to my house and tell me how much they love something and then I show them what it looked like when I bought it at a thrift store or a garage sale and they can’t believe it. If I wasn’t a writer I would probably have a little shop selling things that I’ve recreated. Maybe if I retire someday you’ll find me doing that.
Caroline: Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
Stacy: I’m an excellent shot. I know it surprised me. LOL! I don’t own any guns but I’ve taken training so that I can write knowledgeably about shooting and it turns out I’m a really good shooter.
Caroline: Tell us about your series .
Stacy: It’s the Catherine O’Brien mystery series. There are three books so far A Grand Murder,A Luring Murder, and An Intimate Murder.
Caroline: Can you give readers a blurb about AN INTIMATE MURDER?
Catherine O’Brien, the irreverent detective, is back in
An Intimate Murder.
When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murder in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O’Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn’t the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?
How about an excerpt from AN INTIMATE MURDER:
I locked eyes with her and wished, not for the first time in my life, that I had telekinetic abilities. If I had, I could mentally disembowel Jane Katts. That’s probably why God never blessed me with that particular gift.
“Hello Detective.” Jane Katts’ tone was overly pleasant. She must have trumped me in some way and now she’s was just waiting for me to concede the trick.
“Close the door behind you, O’Brien.” The chief rocked back in his chair and smiled.
There was nothing in his smile except pleasantry, which made me more nervous than the one Jane Katts had given me. A broad smile was so alien on the Chief’s face that I was certain that Jane Katts had managed to pull a switcheroo and replace the chief with a pod person of her own design; one who is not hard-edged and sand-papery as I have come to expect but instead soft, with as much grit as a nail file.
“I’m afraid there’s not enough chairs so one of you will have to stand.” The smiley version of our chief of police said.
I braced my feet a shoulder width apart and crossed my arms over my chest, I preferred to stand for whatever nasty surprise Jane Katts had in store for me.
Louise sat and introduced herself to Jane. They exchanged a handshake.
“Ms. Katts is the reporter who asked for the exclusive interview.”
He glossed over the detail about her being the reporter who had engaged in a calculated smear campaign against the department.
“She would like to change the angle of her story to get more of an inside view.” The chief’s eyes cut to my face and I saw a hint of the real chief behind whatever hoodoo Jane Katts had performed on him.
Where can readers find your books? (buy link) You can buy An Intimate Murderby clicking the link. Otherwise it’s available, along with the other books in the series, wherever books are sold!
While you’re on either site sign up for my Willing Accomplice mailing list to learn about upcoming promotions, future releases, contest, and exclusive content! I will be doing a really cool giveaway for newsletter subscribers only once I reach 100 subscribers so sign up today!
I’m also on twitter which for some reason I just love! @SVerdickCaseNow you’ll all have a chance to find out what a twit I am.
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Stacy: That I love hearing from readers. If you want to talk to me just tweet me, email me, post a message of Facebook, or because I have some old-school love in me you can snail mail me at: PO Box 242, Stacy, MN 55079
Thanks for sharing with us today, Stacy, and best wishes for continued success!
Stacy Verdick Case, Author
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.
An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.