Beatriz Williams talks about COCOA BEACH

  COCOA BEACH by Beatriz Williams is a historical novel that blends a riveting mystery with a bit of romance. The story goes back and forth within a five-year period, from 1917 to 1922. The meat of the suspense has Virginia trying to find out if her husband was really killed in a fire or did he just disappear. Now during the early days of prohibition she travels with their daughter to Florida to settle his affairs and find out the truth, including the possibility that he was a rum smuggler. Unwilling to listen to the warnings of a prohibition agent she begins to unravel the evidence. Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the...

My Evolution into a Domestic Thriller Writer

Years ago, I was the proud author of a procedural series about a federal prosecutor in New York. I loved writing those books, and they came pretty naturally to me, given that I’d actually been a federal prosecutor in New York. Write what you know, the old adage goes, and I definitely knew about narcotics and gangs and murder investigations. But there were a lot of other things I knew that didn’t fit into the neat format of the procedural, which demanded so much space for –well, procedure. I hankered to write about those things, too. When I think about the classics of crime fiction that I find most compelling as a reader, I have to confess...

Behind the Book: Researching BLOOD FOR WINE

Ordinarily, research is the bane of my writing life. Doing the grunt work, then deciding what to leave in and what to leave out, is simply not as satisfying as writing the prose that will eventually be my next book. Good research takes time, too, and time is always in short supply. I’d rather be crafting dialogue or honing a descriptive passage than chasing down whether a Glock 17 has a safety or if DNA can be extracted from a human hair. However, the research I did for BLOOD FOR WINE—the latest Cal Claxton Oregon Mystery—was a labor of love rather than a necessary evil. The story centers on Cal’s good friend and neighbor, Jim Kavanaugh,...

Interview with Chevy Stevens

Elise Cooper: Chevy Stevens is not your real name? Chevy Stevens: Yes. I did not want to use my real name when I wrote my first book because I was self-conscious. Chevy came from a nickname used by my father and Steven is the name of my brother. My real name is Rene Unischewski, a complicated name to say the least. It is something I had to spell out my entire life so I chose an easier name. EC: How did you get the idea for the story? CS: As I was writing another story I second-guessed myself, because I was not connecting with the characters. Instinctively I felt it was not the right book, the premise was not strong enough. I decided to...

Can’t Leave Rachel Out! 

I wrote my first novel—GRAVE DESIGNS—on a dare from my wife. I was a young lawyer in a big Chicago law firm at the time, and I had no grand plan beyond finishing the manuscript and trying to see whether I could interest a publisher. And thus when my agent announced that she’d received an offer from the publisher for the next two books in the series, my puzzled response was, “What series?” “The Rachel Gold series, Mike. She’s a terrific character, perfect for a series.” And so it began. DEATH BENEFITS was the No. 2 in the series, FIRM AMBITIONS No. 3, followed by DUE DILIGENCE, SHEER GALL, and more in the Rachel Gold series. I took a break...

Interview with Haylen Beck / Stuart Neville

Jon: Stuart, this book is really different than anything I’ve read by you. Is that why you are publishing under a pseudonym? Stuart: Yes, but it’s also to do with the American setting. It’s one of the peculiarities of crime fiction that authors tend to become associated with a locale. Ian Rankin is inseparable from Edinburgh, for example. I’ve become associated with Belfast, for better or worse, and only RATLINES varies from that – and even then, Dublin’s only eighty miles away. So to set a book in Arizona was quite a departure in itself. And yes, the style is quite different. It’s a thriller, but it’s more high concept and overtly...