Sunday, February 25, 2018

Author Interview with Tricia Sanders

Carly's View would like to welcome writer Tricia Sanders. Tricia is the author of  MURDER IS A DIRTY BUSINESS. Tricia  writes about women with class, sass, and a touch of kickass.  A former instructional designer and corporate trainer, she traded in curriculum writing for novel writing, because she hates bullet points and loves to make stuff up. And fiction is more fun than training guides and lesson plans.

When she isn’t writing, Tricia is busy crossing dreams off her bucket list. With all 50 states checked, she's concentrating on foreign lands. Safari anyone? She's an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, so don't get between her and the television when a game is on. Currently she is working on a mystery series set in the fictional town of Wickford, Missouri. Another project in the works is a women's fiction road trip adventure.

Her essays have appeared in Sasee, ByLine, The Cuivre River Anthology and Great American Outhouse Stories; The Whole Truth and Nothing Butt. She is a proud member of The Lit Ladies, six women writing their truths into fiction. To learn more about Tricia, visit her website at

CJ:       What made you decide to become a writer? 

TS:     My love of reading started me on the path. I used to re-write the endings of books when I was a child.

CJ:     Who are some of your favorite authors and why? 

TS:     Harper Lee is my all-time favorite. She had the guts to write about a tough issue and of all the books I have read, her message is probably what resonates most to me. I’m also a big fan of Harlan Coben. He is the ultimate in suspense writers. His books twist and turn and keep you guessing until the very end. 

CJ:     If you could be any character in any book, who would it be and why? 

TS:    I love this question and probably no one will be able to relate to my answer. When I was maybe in 5th grade, there was a series of seven books I read, The Donna Parker books by Marcia Martin (aka Marcia Levin.) I used to imagine myself as Donna Parker. Those books were my first introduction to mysteries. My books are long since gone, but I found all of them on eBay a few years ago and purchased them. They hold a place of honor on my bookshelf. 

CJ:    Do you have any hobbies you would like to share?

TS:    I love to travel and I’m an amateur photographer, things that I would like to incorporate into my writing. 

CJ:    Tell me about your first kiss? 

TS:    Oh, a lady never tells. Was it magical or not so magical? Definitely magical.

CJ:    Do you have another career besides writing? 

TS:    I do not, but if I did I would love to do something travel-related, maybe being a tour guide in some romantic, exotic, beautiful place. 

CJ:   What’s an item on your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?

TS:   I would love to hike in New Zealand. 

CJ:   Tell us the best vacation you have ever been on.

TS:   Easy one. Just returned from a 17-day trip to Kenya and Tanzania (awesome.) First time in Africa. First time below the equator. First time riding in a hot air balloon (amazing.) First time seeing a Cape Buffalo up close and personal (scary!!!). First time vacationing with 2 of my sisters-in-law (fun.) First time encountering Tse Tse flies (not fun.) First time seeing the annual wildebeest migration (OMG!) It was a trip of firsts and one I will never forget. If you ever have the opportunity, do not pass it up. 

CJ:    Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

TS:    For my mysteries, I usually find inspiration in newspaper headlines. For women’s fiction, I try to imagine myself in a worst-case scenario and then build that for a character. Usually my characters come to me first, then I try to imagine them in a certain setting. 

CJ:   Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans? 

TS:   Book 2 of the Grime Pays series is in the works as well as a women’s fiction travel adventure. Stay tuned.

Blurb from Murder is a Dirty Business:

When Cece Cavanaugh’s husband empties their joint bank account, steals her designer luggage, and runs off with a younger woman, Cece must decide whether to ask her manipulative mother-in-law for a handout or get a job. Choosing the easier path, Cece lands a job cleaning a crime scene where a high school coach was murdered. When his wife is implicated—a young woman Cece practically raised—Cece finds herself mopping floors, balancing an empty checkbook, and ferreting out a killer.

Amid all this messy business, Cece bumps heads with a handsome detective. She tries to ignore her growing attraction to the detective, but he gives new meaning to the term “hot flash.”

After she stumbles onto a clue that could vindicate her friend, her elation turns to panic when she haphazardly confronts the killer. Through the danger and romance, Cece discovers self-reliance and inner strength.

And that crime – at least, someone else’s – does pay the bills.
Keep up with Tricia on Social Media: 

Buy Links for Tricia's Books:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Character Boards and Family Trees

Hey Guys, It's Carly!  Today I am entertaining another question that I get asked a lot. "How do you keep your characters straight? How do you remember their details? How do you come up with enough material for a book? Okay, that's three questions, but they have the same answer. 

I have a couple of different things I use in order to keep the details handy. Most of you probably utilize this tool already, but maybe not for your book details. The answer is Pinterest.  I have boards created for each stand alone book/series that I am working on. I collect pictures of actors/actresses that I see in my head as a character. If that character has a certain item that means something to them, I will post a picture of that. For example: In the book, Sasha Bishop: Shifter, Sasha has a prom dress fashioned from around the 1870's. The picture I had in mind is on the Sasha Bishop board. Not only does this help me remember the characters names, but also those details unique to them.

Another thing I do is "family trees."  I start with the main character and work my way back by five generations. I make up names for all those people and a brief history. The reader may not ever know this information, but it gives me an idea of where the character comes from and why they react the way they do. If it is a secondary character, I only go back two generations. Not only does this help me keep the family lineage straight, it also gives me birthdays, careers, and spouse/children names. A lot of people have commented that is a lot of work for something that may or may not make it in the book. I tend to agree, however, several times, especially when writing a series, this has helped me keep small details straight. It has also aided me with story lines. How many times do you get stuck in the middle of your story and don't know where to go with it? Maybe your character is at a cross-roads and doesn't know how to move forward. When this happens, I take a break from the story and read through the family trees. Many times a new plot twist has developed from something I read from an ancestors background. If that doesn't help, I will go on Pinterest and look through the character boards for that series. This has helped many times in nudging me with a minor detail that blows up into a story line.

Sometimes these character boards and family trees can lead to a whole new book or series. Again, using the Sasha series as an example, I came up with all sorts of interesting characters from the family tree idea. I now have a new three book series planned based on some of those characters titled Prelude to a Vampire. Thanks to these tools, I have a whole lot of new ideas cooking for the new series and characters.

That's all for tonight.  Join me back here on February 25th when I interview author, Tricia Sanders!