Here’s a treat for all you crime fiction lovers – an interview with bestselling crime fiction/thriller author Carolyn Arnold.
Hi Carolyn, thanks for letting me probe your psyche. . .
To begin, please give us a brief summary of your books, and tell us what makes each one unique.
TIES THAT BIND and JUSTIFIED are both part of the growing Madison Knight series. The series is designed as a stand-alone, which means you can read these books out of order and still pick up on the series' characters and storyline.
Major Crimes Detective Madison Knight, fueled by determination to find justice for the victims, is a strong, independent female amidst a career dominated by men. If you love a strong protagonist lead, I invite you to meet Madison for yourself.
In TIES THAT BIND, meet Madison Knight as she and partner must pull together to stop a potential serial killer.
In JUSTIFIED, the 2nd in the series, see the softer side of Madison Knight as she's assigned to a case on Christmas Eve.
ELEVEN is a thriller that follows new FBI agent Brandon Fisher on his first case. Working in the shadow of Supervisory Special Agent Jack Harper of the Behavioral Analysis Unit his career seemed set. But when the team is called to a small rural town where the remains of ten victims are found in an underground bunker, buried in an unusual way, Brandon knows he'll never return to his normal life.
With one empty grave, and the case touching close to home, he fears he's become the target of a psychotic serial killer who wants to make him number eleven. Only thing is, everything Brandon thinks he knows is far from the truth.
And, in answer to your question as to what makes each one unique, it is the characters.
At the age of 34, Madison Knight knows she wasn’t destined to be a cop, coming from generations of those who served before her. She isn’t holding on to a childhood trauma for which she seeks retribution. In fact, she’s probably a poor candidate for a Major Crimes Detective with her distaste for the sight of blood. But she pushes herself beyond it because she wanted a purpose to her life as opposed to just making it through it.
She didn’t want to be part of the cookie-cutter mold with family and kids – even though she came close once. The once being enough to seal the fact she didn’t need a man, and given time and opportunity any man would cheat. Instead, she was left with a broken heart and her belief there was someone special out there for everyone was shattered.
In ELEVEN, the reader follows along with a new FBI agent. So many books focus on an experienced lead.
You’re so prolific. How do you fit it all in?
I balance a full time day job with full-time hours devoted to my writing, editing, marketing and networking.
What do you like to do when you are not working/writing?
I’m a homebody for the most part, but also love doing new things at times. I love getting away to Toronto, and seeing Broadway plays and I enjoy fine dining. Around home, I love settling down with a good movie, or a good book, with a glass of red wine (okay maybe more than one glass).
Hah! Who is your favorite author of all time? In other words, who accompanies that glass (or three) of red wine?
If I were to pick one alone, it would be David Baldacci. He has a way of tapping into the lives of powerful men, and making you understand their motivations—ethical or not. He has a way of providing details to the reader, which form a strong connection to the characters in the book. He’s helped me in my writing journey because I realize how important it is to take the time to “flesh out” characters.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually reading about four indie books right now, as well as a David Baldacci novel. I don’t like to disclose the books I’m reading until I’m finished and post reviews, though.
You sound like me, I’m always in the middle of several books at once. So, what are you writing at the moment?
At the moment, my project is edits on SACRIFICE, the third in The Madison Knight series. It’s slated for release summer this year, with the latest deadline in mind being the start of July.
Describe your writing routine. Do you have any special rituals such as a certain type of music playing or anything like that?
Usually when I’m writing, I love first thing in the morning. I don’t normally play any music when I’m writing...I have recently started to do so with the editing process (the house can be so quiet sometimes). And let’s not forget coffee. I need coffee.
Yes, coffee, and lots of it! I know you help out other authors all the time. What is the philosophy behind this?
It’s part of who I am. I love supporting my fellow authors, as they have, and do support me as well. We are really a community in my mind, a brotherhood of sorts. As far as I’m concerned we’re stronger as a group. We can’t view our fellow authors as our competition. As a friend of mine has been quoted as saying many times, “there is room for all of us to succeed.”
I love that idea. The older I get, the less competitive I become. Do you have any tips for other writers? Or those who want to write?
I know I’m not the first to say this, and I won’t be the last, but write every day. If you are finished with a writing project, still keep with busy with other writing processes, such as editing, or if you’re schedule is tight, write regular posts for your blog.
The other thing is, never give up. Keep strong. Accept the fact that you’ll have your low moments, and move on.
I agree wholeheartedly. Now, just for fun, (and because I like weird stuff), tell us the funniest, scariest, or strangest thing that ever happened to you. . .
Well, you may appreciate this, Ann, as you’re a paranormal author, but in the planning stages of ELEVEN when I was still brainstorming the basic plot, I swear I saw the killer right in front of me. Yes, I realize that sounds creepy, and I know it freaked me out at the time.
I was out for dinner with my husband and we were talking about the book. I still hadn’t completely pegged the killer, his background or the motivation yet. Then I swear I “saw” him...just standing in the restaurant. He was there and then gone. (I was drinking some wine, but probably still could have driven at this point.)
I also had vivid nightmares during the early stages of ELEVEN as well. So if you’re in for a dark novel, pick it up! Humor and lighter moments are also essential to balance out the dark elements in this novel, and you’ll find all that in there too.
Oooh, you’re right, I love it! Manifestation of a character . . . cue the Twilight Zone soundtrack. Thanks so much for being here, Carolyn, and for all the things you do to support the rest of us.
Okay, folks, to wrap it up, here’s a recap on this amazing author:
Carolyn Arnold is the author of several novels in various genres. Her mystery novels Ties That Bind and Justified have reached best seller status on Amazon United States for Kindle. Her FBI thriller Eleven released November 2011, and made it on The Miami Books Examiner's “Top 12 Fiction Books of 2011” list. She currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near the well-known Canadian center, Toronto.
Where to connect with Carolyn online: