My friend and author, Laura K. Curtis’s debut novel, TWISTED, just came out, and she stopped by to talk about the new book and more! Plus, we’ve got an ecopy of the book up for grabs, so be sure to check out the details at the bottom of the post!
Your debut novel, TWISTED, just came out! You have a teaching background, but have you always wanted to be a writer? Will you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I wrote my first book in first grade, so I guess you could say I’ve always wanted to be a writer. (You can see the whole book in its true glory here ) I also really did want to be a teacher and I began teaching in an after school program at age fifteen. I love children, but after putting in some time as a high school teacher in the public school system I became really frustrated.
At that point, I had gotten involved with computers, so I decided that what I really wanted to do was write a digital textbook. It would work sort of like a “choose your own adventure” book in that students would be able to take different paths to acquire the same information. They would be able to do what interested them instead of being stuck with a set curriculum.
So I went back to school to get a PhD. (I had a Masters in Ed, and one in English.) But just as I finished my coursework I got sick (I’m epileptic and my meds stopped working) and I lost my mind! Literally…about half the stuff I’d learned suddenly flew out of my brain! It took a long time to stabilize me, and when it was done, suddenly there was a story I wanted to tell. It was a cozy mystery and someday I might publish it, but that’s the book that got me an agent and started my publishing journey.
Did anything in particular inspire you to write TWISTED? Will you tell us a bit about it and its heroine, Lucy Sadler Caldwell?
Well, TWISTED takes place in an imaginary town in Texas. I grew up in New York (both in a very small town and in the city itself), moved to St. Louis for college and lived there ten years, then moved back to NY, then to TX for seven years, then to Boston, and finally back to NY, where I live now. I met great, strong women in all those places, but the ones in TX really struck me most.
Lucy is one of those people who’s wanted to be normal—whatever that is—forever. But she never could. She grew up in this really small town where everyone knew her mother was a prostitute. And then her mother was murdered, and Lucy took her younger brother and ran away. Now she’s finally ready to face her past and see if she can’t find out who killed her mother.
What kind of research did you do for the novel?
Well, let’s see. I researched snakebites. And human skin. And cell phone tracing. And guns. And a lot of “is this legal?” I’m sure I still made some mistakes, but I did the best I could to be sure the facts about law enforcement were correct.
I have to ask, how did you celebrate when you found out the book would be published?
Oh, my agent would laugh so hard at this question. When she called me to say we had an offer, I asked her a bunch of questions. I wasn’t bouncing off the walls or anything. I’m like that—I’ve been accused of being relentlessly practical. So I asked her some questions about the possible deal, and then I went to the gym. It’s the only time I’ve ever taken my cell to the gym. But she called me back and said we had a deal while I was at the gym, so I went “wow, that’s great!” and finished my workout.
Then I went home and freaked out. And my husband and I went out to dinner at a nice restaurant.
What are a few of your favorite authors or novels? Have there been any that have particularly inspired you?
Well, as anyone who knows me knows, I am an enormous fan of John Connolly’s work. But the fact is, I love to read and I think just about everything I read inspires me in some way. In romantic suspense, I love Lisa Jackson, Karen Rose, Roxanne St. Claire…so many authors, so little time!
What are you reading now?
Pamela Clare’s STRIKING DISTANCE.
What do you look for in a good book?
Characters I want to spend time with. Without that, nothing else will redeem a book.
Is there anything that will make you put a book down without finishing it?
I’m actually a very picky reader, so lots of things will make me DNF a book. Characters I dislike, bad (or no) editing, a story that doesn’t keep my interest, dialogue that’s not realistic…
When you’re not at work on your next project, how do you most like to spend your free time?
Quick! What’s something that makes you laugh out loud?
My dogs! The trouble they get in is just amazing.
What’s next for you, this year and beyond?
In May, the follow-up to TWISTED, titled LOST, comes out. The lead characters of that one play secondary roles in TWISTED. After that, I have a series planned about an organization that specializes in private security and kidnap and ransom cases.
Lucy Sadler Caldwell is a successful true-crime writer. But the one story she’s never been able to come to terms with is the murder of her own mother–until now. She’s returned to Dobbs Hollow, Texas, the hometown she fled seventeen years ago, to finally expose the real killer.
After a bullet took out his knee in Houston, Detective Ethan Donovan found himself without a lot of options, which is how he ended up as Chief of Police in Dobbs Hollow. Lucy sure isn’t asking for his help–she’s not big on trust–but he can’t help feeling a strong desire to come to her aid.
And though Lucy is armed to the teeth, she will need all the help she can get. When she starts digging into the past, she unearths a psychotic killer who will stop at nothing to silence her forever…
Wanna win TWISTED?
2.) Giveaway is for 1 e-copy of TWISTED by Laura K. Curtis to 1 winner
3.) Giveaway is open to everyone
4.) You must enter before 12/3/13
5.) Giveaway book courtesy of Laura K. Curtis
6.) Please see my Giveaway Policy.