AUTHENTICITY IN CRIME FICTION: "A PLOT DOESN’T NEED TO BE POSSIBLE; IT NEEDS TO BE PLAUSIBLE." MELINDA COLT
Most of us read fiction books to escape into new and exciting worlds from the comfort of our own homes. We love following great detectives or private eyes as they connect clues, and we love to hate most of the villains that skilled writers portray in their books. Being part of the chase and trying to figure out the whodunnit is a delight to the mystery reader, just as the thriller reader loves to be completely enthralled in the heads of the characters and living vicariously in their fictional worlds.
But even when it comes to fiction, authors need to keep a degree of accuracy, especially if we’re talking about crime fiction. My mantra as a fiction writer: “A plot doesn’t need to be possible; it needs to be plausible.” It works, up to a point, and as a young reader, I enjoyed many books that were extremely entertaining and well written. However, now I find flaws in many of them. Why? Because back then, I used to read any genre. Now, as a crime fiction reader and writer, I analyze every detail in a story.
As for my books, I work diligently to offer my readers the best possible experience in my detective mysteries, The Irish Garda Squad. I can honestly say that researching these books has taken longer than writing them, and before I started writing Dare Game, the book that starts the series, the first thing I did was contact An Garda Síochána – Ireland’s police force – and ask them to assist me with my research. The sergeant I spoke with was quite helpful, and even though it was impossible to answer all of my questions and scenarios (I hadn’t even plotted book one yet), I got the basic information that I requested.
Another stroke of luck was meeting detective Simon McLean — retired cop, author, and active member of LEAP Scotland, who was extremely patient while answering all my questions. Being a civilian with no crime-fighting background whatsoever, I can assure you some of my questions were pretty dumb.
My publisher, my editor, and my husband, aka Mr. Walking Encyclopedia, were incredibly helpful, as were the Cops and Writers Facebook group led by Patrick O’Donnell. All of these constitute a treasure of knowledge, and judging by the reviews, led to an authentic experience for my readers.
As I prepare to release the next book in the series, Silent Strike, I am confident that I’ve done my homework, and I’ll deliver a story my readers will love!
If you haven’t started the series, find the first book, Dare Game, at your favorite retailer!
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This was a "Wow, what an amazing world we live in!" moment, standing on Doe Mountain after a long hike up...
It was hard to put myself into a thriller mindset, wondering what I'd do if I were living out here and saw a plane go down. Imagining myself doing a good thing and finding myself in a life-and-death situation with a sexy, mysterious guy I wasn't sure I could trust...but the other guys were pretty darn clear about trying to kill us both.
Ever slept outside in the desert?
I have! Well, I cheated. I rented a little guest cottage out in the boonies and enjoyed some creative time, some quiet time, and the experience of being out in the wild, so to speak. I wanted to get a taste of what Claire and Quade felt and saw and smelled while having to spend the night in the wilderness. I heard animals rustling and saw so many stars it was if I were looking at a different sky. Thankfully, I wasn't hiding from bad guys who were out to kill me, so there's that!
I absolutely believe that our souls are infinite, and that our experience here in this life is because our souls long to feel everything: love, joy, and yes, even grief and pain. My new romantic bestseller ONE LAST PROMISE explores all of these, and especially hope.
ONE LAST PROMISE is a book of my heart, with action and a gut-wrenching love story...and an HEA that my peeps have to work hard for. And this week only it's on sale for the first time ever!
One Last Promise is a Stand-Alone Story - No Cliffhanger!
Romantic Thriller - Supernatural Suspense
Men as Wild and Rugged as The Last Frontier Itself
Five brothers risk their lives to rescue those caught in the death grip of the Alaskan wilderness…and risk losing their hearts to women as tough as the Land of the Midnight Sun.
The siren call of Alaska’s untamed wilderness, vast mountain ranges, and majestic glaciers draws thrill-seekers from around the globe. But with more unsolved missing-person cases than anywhere else in the world, the Alaska Triangle has an ominous reputation. Enter the Midnight Sons, five brothers who risk their lives to rescue those in peril.
Being a hero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, though. The pay sucks, as does the fact that the team leaders have to be ready to spring into action 24/7, 365 days a year—a lifestyle not conducive to a healthy love life. Worse, while the brothers are experts in their individual fields, they each harbor inner demons and secrets that threaten to tear their family apart… and jeopardize any chance of finding the women who could complete them.
Carmen's stories overflow with romance, suspense, a hint of humor and, of course, a few Kleenex moments. After all, what would a great story be without an emotional event setting the stage? All her novels are sensual, but not erotic, gripping but not graphic, and will make you cry, laugh, love, and hope. Although some of her books include supernatural or ghostly beings, her stories dance on the edge of make believe. Her hope is that as you read her stories, you'll wonder, "Hmmm...what if?"
Currently, she lives in Arizona with her husband of twenty-nine years and a very spoiled "rescued" calico they lovingly refer to as “Baby Kitty,” even though she's twelve years old. Carmen enjoys learning about different American cultures, so she moves a lot. She's lived on both of Florida’s coasts: Cocoa Beach and Tampa Bay; Charlotte, North Carolina; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Chicago, Illinois; Bullhead City, Arizona; the Northern Central Valley of California, and now she lives in "The Heart of Arizona." But she's always looking for her next adventure, so she travels every chance she gets.
Most of her novels share some of our favorite hobbies, mostly, anything to do with the great outdoors. Both she and her husband love to read on the beach—or in a coffee shop if it's raining—and if the weather is really nice, they go kayaking or hiking. Carmen says she rarely spends her days off at a movie theater or the mall. In fact, she claims to hate shopping, and laughs that her husband would rather do anything other than watch a movie when she's already read the book. :)
The Justiss Alliance Series
When five Navy SEALs take the fall for a covert mission gone wrong, the brotherhood of bad-asses joins The Justiss Alliance, a private agency that exacts justice outside the law.
Tina Wainscott is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty books with romantic thrills and suspenseful chills. Her stories are full of ravines and shaky bridges, sometimes scary people and situations, but at their heart are about people who overcome their baggage to find their happy endings.
She's also the New York Times bestselling author of the Offspring Series under her pen name Jaime Rush.
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