I got an email last night. It took me three tries to read it, because I instantly got tears in my eyes and couldn’t breathe. The email said, “Congratulations! …Your book ‘Little Black Dress’ was chosen as the solo ‘Medalist Winner’ in the E-Book Mystery Category of our Fifth Annual New Apple Indie Book Awards!”
Prizes include social media announcements, award certificates, press releases, and medallions for book covers. I was shaking for at least an hour.
I’ve spent today creating graphics, making a few announcements, and updating social media accounts. This means a little more work– in some ways– but the benefits outweigh any trouble.
If you haven’t read Little Black Dress or Red Heels, you still have plenty of time. These are super-fast reads, and perfect for Spring Break! (It’s like if Audrey Hepburn was James Bond.)
Here are the basics: Evan (short for Evangeline) Tyler is a former fashion model, recruited as a covert agent for InDIGO (International Discretionary Intelligence Gathering Organization) hot on the trail of an extortion ring in Paris. She’s field-testing a new high-tech weapon/ cocktail dress filled with tons of surveillance equipment, body armor, and style.
In this third book, Evan and her team leader, Hedge Parker, are closing in on their target, when they are thrown for a major loop.
Car chases, foot chases, hand fighting, explosions, kidnappings, jewels, gadgets, haute couture, and even a few steamy kisses are the staples of this series. With locations like Paris, Marseilles, Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, Kyiv, and Grand Cayman, there is never a shortage of great sites to visit.
Evan is a fiery, red-headed Texas gal, up against some fiercely beautiful blonde Russian models. Strong women characters take center-stage in this series.
It’s a question every writer gets, as soon as the word “writer” is mentioned. I try to answer as succinctly as possible. My experience is that they want to make sure to validate my choices without opening up Pandora’s box. Writers can get chatty. I explain that I write in multiple genres, including children’s fiction, historical Christian Fiction, and light suspense espionage. That is usually enough to satisfy any curiosity the casual inquirer may have.
And what are you working on now?
I tell them I’m on book three of my spy series. I offer my “elevator pitch” that the series is a sort of “If Audrey Hepburn was James Bond.” That usually gets the main theme across. If they ask for more, I tell them my main character is a fashion model-turned-spy who is hunting a villain (or two) who is trying to manipulate world currencies for power.
But what type of story is it?
That’s an interesting question to me because now they’re asking to find out if it would be something they would read. The reason I suggest Audrey Hepburn as my heroine-type is because I write “clean” novels. I don’t use R-rated language, explicit sex, or graphic violence in my books. Bad things happen; don’t get me wrong. My villains are plenty mad, perverted, sickening, and evil. Some of my heroes are a little off-kilter, too. (Aren’t we all?) But mostly, my style is much more Mary Higgins Clark than Nora Roberts.
Usually, people respond kindly, though I have had a few who have told me to give them a call when I do include more explicit sex. I don’t have plans for that, by the way.
Why don’t you focus solely on historical Christian fiction?
I do love it. And I may write more in the future. But I am a sci-fi geek-loving, technology-wielding Texas gal, and none of that fits into stories set in 30-54 AD very well. So for now, I’ll work on my spy stories. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t great spy novels out there right now, but I struggle with reading books that bombard me with vulgar language, sickeningly dark plots, and endings without hope. I figure that if I need a respite from that, others do as well.
I use Pinterest for LOTS of things, including inspiration for my writing. When I begin my framework for a manuscript, I cast the characters. This helps me to “hear” their voices so that I can choose their words more precisely. It also helps with facial expressions, mannerisms, and physicality. Pinterest enables me to cast the story, using characters from any time period, to create a more real ensemble to tell my story.
It also allows me to travel the globe, reference specific places, features, culture, weather, and events. This enables me to world-build more effectively. And since my books often include fashion and food, Pinterest helps me choose just the right touches for sensory imagery. These are the details that bring the stories to life.
I create Boards for all of my stories, and I’m including a link to my Red Heels (my newest novel) board.HERE.
Are you a Pinterest user? Do you use it for work, fun, or something else? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you.