Author Interview with Karen Randau

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Book Description:

A cocoon of naiveté shatters on Rita Warren’s thirtieth wedding anniversary, when a terrorist murders her ex-Marine husband Jared and thirteen other movie goers.Ensnarled in a cover-up that puts her in an assassin’s crosshairs, Rita must unravel a web of lies and connections that date back to Jared’s service in the Iraq war – before a mysterious kidnapper returns Rita’s daughter Zoe one body part at a time.

This fast-paced thriller is one you won’t want to put down from beginning to end.

Excerpt:
I’d never seen him in our small town of Rim Vista. He turned his blue and black motorcycle into the movie theater parking lot behind the silver Cadillac my husband Jared used for
ferrying high-dollar real estate clients around Arizona.
The motorcyclist’s blue riding clothes matched his sleek Yamaha. The snug fit of his clothes suggested a lean and muscled young man. He paused by the sidewalk, at the front of the lawn where we parked and turned the reflective shield of his helmet toward us. He
pulled a paper from his jacket pocket. Looked down, then in our direction.
Stuffed the object into his saddlebag.
Jared pulled my attention away from Motorcycle Guy when he slid a box with flowery wrapping from under his seat. “Happy thirtieth anniversary, Rita.” He flashed his special smile that melted my heart, as it had the first time I saw it in high school. Maybe whatever had been bothering Jared for the past six months was over, and life could return to normal.
My excitement plummeted when I tore open the package and an ugly purse fell to the floor, cherry tooled leather with a vintage Wild Westaura. I warned myself not to ruin what had otherwise been a fun day and attempted a bright and cheerful tone. “Kind of an Annie Oakley look.” I nestled into his shoulder, rubbed his cheek, breathed in his scent. “Thank you. I will always cherish it because you gave it to me.”
“That’s what you used to say to the kids when they made you crafts at school.” His firm grip on my shoulders almost hurt as he pushed me away.
“And I’ve kept and treasured those things.” I hoped my smile would recover the lighthearted mood we had maintained all day.
“Hid them is more like it.” He opened his door, told me to put his present in the trunk, and stomped away.
Motorcycle Guy was still idling his bike at the front of our lane in the parking lot. Jared walked around him, toward the box office. Motorcycle Guy watched me open and shut the trunk, then moved forward and blocked my path to the sidewalk. Only for a moment. Long
enough for a shudder to roll through me. Between that young man acting strange and Jared losing his temper again, I no longer wanted to see the movie.
Through a wall of windows in the lobby, while Jared bought snacks and exchanged enthusiastic greetings with neighbors, clients, and strangers, I watched Motorcycle Guy park his ride, store his helmet, and buy his ticket. He was about six feet tall, with a shaved head and face. Handsome, in a twenty-something Will Smith way. He nodded a quick
greeting when he entered the lobby, then looked away. Maybe I’d misjudged him.
Maybe he was just waiting for his date to arrive.

Author Interview

1.Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

I was a child during the turbulent decade of the 1960s. My taste in music harkens back to that time. As a young adult in the 1970s, I got a sense that I am a global citizen who can achieve whatever I’m willing to work hard to get with lots of self-discipline. I hold a degree in journalism and have worked in the area of marketing communications for most of my career, in the industries of high-tech, entertainment, and non-profit. I’m passionate about my work with an international relief and development organization that helps vulnerable people in developing countries pull themselves out of poverty. I’m married and have an adopted daughter with four children, a biological son with one child so far, and a Schnoodle who likes to stay plastered against my leg as much as he can. My lead foot inspires me use cruise control even when driving in town (especially in those 35-mile-an-hour zones). I live in the mountains of the southwestern U.S. because I enjoy four mild seasons.

2.Which project are you currently promoting?

I’m promoting my debut novel, which is Deadly Deceit, the first book in my Rim Country Mystery Series.

3.Can you tell us what the book is about?

Deadly Deceit is about a woman named Rita Warren who lives the kind of life we all want — happy family, nice house, good friends… until a confused young man blows away her husband and thirteen other people during movie previews and popcorn in the local theater. Now alone and stalked by a mysterious man on a Harley, she begins to question everything she thought she knew about her thirty-year marriage. And about herself. She overcomes the kind of adversity we hope to never encounter to find that she is stronger and smarter than she ever imagined.

4.How did you come up with the title for this book?

I came up with the title when I was brainstorming titles with my publisher. Rita’s adversity is the result of her husband deceiving her, and it turned deadly after thirty years.

5.What inspired you to write this book?

The opening tragedy is ripped from the headlines. Rather than let terrorism scare me into not living my life, I decided to write about how one victim could overcome the traumatic event and not let it destroy her, her life, or her freedom.

6.What made you decide to become a writer? Writing is part of who I am. I started writing to figure out my own life when I was child. I’ve always enjoyed telling stories.

7.What genre do you generally write?

I write mysteries and thrillers, which is what I like to read. I love a great story that’s fast paced and has lots of action. I’m a fan of the Indiana Jones movies and try to start my books with the kind of fast-paced action common in those movies.

8.Did you always wanted to be a writer?

If not what did you want to be? There was a short time, after I read about the famous Civil War nurse Clara Barton, that I thought I wanted to be a nurse. That flew right out the window when I had a tonsillectomy at age 12. Nurses had to clean up my messes and look at people’s blood. No way! Crying children break my heart. Most of my life, I wanted to be a writer and pursued an education and a career in that direction.

9.When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Even though I’d been writing most of my life, I didn’t consider myself a writer until I had writer in my professional title (I was about 29 then). I didn’t consider myself a novelist until a friend talked me into writing a novel, and I started taking classes on novel writing. That was only about four years ago.

10.What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?

I admire my main character, Rita Warren. She started out as a self-absorbed, shallow person and grew into a generous, brave, and committed woman who wants to help other women and their children overcome the kinds of adversity that she has experienced.

11.How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to the culmination? It takes about six months. I’m disciplined about it, starting with a detailed outline and sitting down to write even when I don’t want to. I write the first draft (and usually use up my outline before the end of Act 1), then go back and ratchet up the twists, action, clues, and red herrings.

12.How do you deal with negative reviews?

I take them as potential lessons that I can watch out for the next time.

13.What other projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing the second book in the Rim Country Mystery series, Deadly Inheritance. In it, I take Rita and Cliff to Scotland, where Cliff will discover his roots, but only after he and Rita have encountered lots of troubles along the way, of course.

14.When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?

It starts with an idea about the beginning action and outcome. Then I figure out the message I want to deliver and get to work writing.

15.Is there a message you’d like to get across through your story?

We all have it inside of us to overcome adversity.

16.Is there a genre you’d never consider writing? If so, why?

Erotica. I’d be too embarrassed to have my family read it.

17.What is your least favorite part about getting published? Pitching to harried agents and publishers is no fun. Also, I’m not crazy about promoting myself when what I really want to do is write another novel.

18.Was the road to publication a long one for you?

Once I decided to write a novel, it took about four years to get published. That was four years of learning how to write an engaging fictional story, writing more than one manuscript (I rewrote one of them five times), and learning how to pitch and market my work.

19.Do you use a pen name? If so, why?

No. I think using my own name holds me to a standard of not writing anything that I don’t want identified with me.

20.Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to write one to two books a year in the Rim Country Mystery Series, and I hope at least one of them becomes a movie.

21.What is the best advice you can give to a new author?

Write what you know, and know that you know more than you thought. Learn how to do it right, and discipline yourself to keep writing and pitching, even when it’s no fun and you don’t’ want to.

22.Where can the readers find more information about you?

My website is at karenrandau.com, and I’d love to engage with readers on Facebook, at facebook.com/karenrandauauthor.

Bio:

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A native of the southwestern U.S., Karen Randau has been writing and telling stories since
elementary school. She holds a degree in journalism/public relations from The University of Texas at Austin and has enjoyed a long career in marketing communications.After a short stint working in a psychiatric hospital, when she wrote three self-help books, Karen joined an international relief and development organization to use her skills to help people struggling with extreme poverty.
She has traveled to numerous developing countries, witnessing famines, violence, and hopeful people working to overcome a generational cycle of poverty.

She loves to read and write fast-paced mysteries and thrillers, especially those with intricate plots, lots of action, and rollercoaster-like twists and turns.

 

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