April 26, 2007

Invisible Shield

Invisible Shield Cover

This time, as I promised (since Hotclue is now in Cannes but promises to return next week) I’m interviewing author Scarlett Dean, whom I’ve known for some time and who is one of the rising stars in the mystery field. But let’s let her tell you all about herself.

BA: Morning, Scarlett! Glad to have you aboard Hotclue Live. How about first telling us all about your new book. When is it out, what’s the title, where does it take place, what’s it about, who’s your publisher, where can we buy it?

SD: My new book with Five Star Publishing, INVISIBLE SHIELD will be available to order through bookstores and amazon.com on April 30. It’s a paranormal mystery involving a female homicide detective in N.W. Indiana who has to solve her own murder.

BA: I hope a lot of people buy it! How did you get your idea for this particular book? It certainly is unique and I was wowed when I read it. Talk about an original concept, and the execution was terrific!

SD: I’m not sure what triggered it, but I remember thinking, “What if a homicide detective had to solve her own murder?” Shortly afterward, the main character, Lindsay Frost, came to me and I knew I had to write her story.

BA: Good thing you did or she would have haunted you forever. Was it a struggle to write your first actual mystery, or did you just kick back and have fun with it?

SD: Although my books are primarily paranormal or horror, they all have a mystery of some sort. So it wasn’t a difficult switch to move to a book that is primarily a mystery with paranormal elements.

BA: I can believe that. I felt, when I read it, that you had definitely come into your own as well as invented your own genre. What was the hardest part of writing it?

SD: I don’t recall any part of the book as difficult to write. The characters were so clear in my mind that it felt like the story wrote itself. I had so much fun it really wasn’t work at all.

BA: It does read as though you were having loads of fun writing it. That was the first thing I noticed when I read it and I loved that. How about giving us a couple of excerpts from your favorite pre-publication reviews?

SD: “A provocative series kickoff that may inaugurate a new subgenre, the paranormal police procedural…Kirkus Reviews.” And “An exhilarating mystery with a paranormal twist. Dean has created a fascinating afterlife, and Lindsay’s journey through it kept me turning the pages…Kelly Armstrong, author of Women of the Otherworld Series.”

BA: Great reviews, especially the Kirkus one, since they do seem to love slicing and dicing at times. Are you going to continue with horror, or stick with mystery for a while?

SD: I’ve already written the follow up to INVISIBLE SHIELD and I have an idea for a standalone horror novel.

BA: I’ve read the follow up too, folks, and it’s every bit as good and as much fun to read as the first in this series. You’re really on a heckuva roll, Scarlett. What other books have you had published?

SD: My first three books were with Amber Quill Press :

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Paranormal) A used furniture salesman discovers it’s not the house that’s haunted, but the furnishings inside.

DESTINY’S CALL (Dark Romantic Fantasy) DNA researcher, Dr. Arianne Brasov must find a way to reverse her vampire curse through DNA manipulation or be forced to join her family’s dark reign forever.

THE ACADEMY (Horror) When a demon takes up residence at the Knollwood Academy for boys, the students learn the ultimate lesson in fear.

BA: Tell us about your background and what started you writing.

SD: I’ve always loved reading and eventually wrote short stories as a teen. I started writing seriously about sixteen years ago and find I’m happiest when I’m in the middle of a book.

BA: Ha! You left out that you published a magazine for a while. (With a mind like she has, who knows what all she’s left out, folks.) 😉 How does your family feel about your new career, Scarlett?

SD: I’m fortunate in that they’ve all been incredibly supportive.

BA: That you definitely are! What was your low point during all this ‘getting published’ thing?

SD: When I realized I had enough rejection slips to wallpaper my kitchen. Then Amber Quill Press took a chance on me with UNFINISHED BUSINESS.

BA: Your rejection wallpapering days are over forever, we hope. So what was your high point?

SD: When a cancer patient told me she read my book when she was up at night unable to sleep, and it took her mind off of her discomfort.

BA: That IS wonderful to hear. Makes it all worthwhile, in my humble opinion. (Although when was I ever humble?) Do you have hobbies that keep you sane while you’re writing?

SD: Not really. Writing is what keeps me sane. I do work out regularly to keep the circulation going, taking advantage of the time to troubleshoot plot kinks.

BA: (I’m glad she thinks she’s sane, heh heh heh.) Please describe your writing room, or where you write most of the time, and how you write–are you a plotter or a pantser?

SD: For years I wrote in my home office, but no matter how many Johnny Depp posters I put up, it was still the same four walls. So over the past year I’ve been able to write in different areas of the house, (except my teenage son’s room–I’m not that brave), using a laptop. My muse is much happier. As for how I write, I’d say I’m a vague plotter. Every story starts out with “What if?”, and then I start seeing a vague, or simplified plot come to life. After that, the characters lead the way. I know there are certain things that have to happen in the story, but how I get there isn’t generally planned.

BA: Do you have any time-honored or weird traditions that you feel you MUST do while you’re writing? (Like, mine is, I can’t write with my shoes on.)

SD: I don’t know about things I MUST do when I’m writing, but I’ve learned what I SHOULDN’T do–cook. I always burn the green beans when I put them on to simmer and go write. It’s happened so often it’s a standing joke in my house. But in my opinion, burned beans are a sign that I’m in the zone.

BA: We all hope you visit that zone often and don’t forget about the green beans, or else try the microwave, that might work out a little better for your family. 😉 What are your plans for the future?

SD: I’d like to travel, in part for pleasure, and also for research for future books.

Last question in my endless quest to probe the minds of writers and other oddities: Do you have any hints for upcoming writers? What do you think is the most important thing for them to do or learn as they’re trying to break in?

SD: Be a reader first. It will help develop your writer’s voice. Also, don’t take rejection personally. Learn from it, if possible.

BA: Good advice and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Scarlett! Be seeing you on the Bestseller lists!

Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Scarlett, her website is at Scarlett Dean.com .

Come back again next week, please. Hotclue SWEARS she’ll be back to liven up your life a little and I’m not letting her get away again for a while. That is, unless she really wants to. Y’all know how she is, the little twerp. We love you all, you KNOW we do!

Beth and Hotclue and Sarge, who will soon be dispensing her brand new Fur Ball of the Week. Stay tuned!

The Writing World | Add A Comment  


One Response | | Comments Feed

  1. Scarlett, I’ve read your other books and have also bought them for gifts. We’ve loved everyone of them. Can’t wait for Invisible Shield to release. Congratulations on your bright future!







Copyright © 2006-2022 Beth Anderson. All Rights Reserved.
Web Design and Hosting by Swank Web Design | Powered by Wordpress | Log in