with Marian Lanouette
We are delighted to welcome mystery author Marian Lanouette to Omnimystery News today.
Marian is the author of the "Jake Carrington" mystery series, the second and most recent of which is Burn in Hell (MuseItUp Publishing; January 2013 ebook format).
We recently had the chance to talk to Marian about the series.
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Omnimystery News: When you were writing If I Fail, did you know it would be the first in a series?
Photo provided courtesy of
Marian Lanouette: When Jake Carrington came to me it flashed through my mind like a movie. As I sat there and watched the screen in my mind I knew his story would take more than one book. Once the action stopped, I turned to my computer and outlined four books and wrote the first three chapters for each so I wouldn't lose the flavor of the series.
OMN: Tell us more about your writing process.
ML: I don't create an outline per say. As I stated above, a story comes to me like a movie. I see the whole story, than I sit down and type down a short synopsis and an outline. It will change as I write, because sometimes the original story changes as the characters start speaking with me.
I do have what some call a bible for the Jake Carrington Series. I keep a OneNote file and a hard covered loose leaf note book. In each one I have character and setting descriptions, style of clothing for each repeating character, their bios, what their favorite food is and their backgrounds going back into their teen years. In a series, it's important that you keep your characters descriptions on the money or your readers will call you on it.
OMN: How would you catagorize the books in this series?
ML: If I Fail and Burn in Hell are mystery novels with strong romantic elements (might even be called romantic suspense.) Both books are also Police Procedurals. They do cross-over genres. I do find it can be a disadvantage, because the stories are strong cop stories, but the main character and his partner's personal lives play a big part in the each book.
OMN: Give us the synopsis of Burn in Hell in a tweet.
ML: Murder, sex, stalking, just a normal day for Lieutenant Jake Carrington … that is, until he becomes the one being stalked.
OMN: Is Jake Carrington based on a real person?
ML: No character is based on anyone I know or me. Nor are they based on real events. I love the freedom of fiction. In Burn in Hell I used my background working at a cemetery/crematory to create realistic, fictional settings and characters.
OMN: How do you research the plot points of your books?
ML: I use a combination to check my facts. The Internet is one source. So is firsthand knowledge. I love going to the library to browse through several books and read up on my topics. The most challenging is what I'm working on right now. I'm reading all about serial killers. Let me tell you, this is very dark reading.
The most exciting by far was talking to officers about the job. I enjoyed listening to their stories about procedure and their cases.
OMN: Suppose you were casting for a film adaptation of your book. Whose agents are you calling?
ML: Matthew Morrison or Hugh Jackman would make a great Jake Carrington. For Louie Romanelli I'd say Clive Owen or Emile Hirsch.
OMN: What is the best advice — and harshest criticism — you've received as an author?
ML: The best advice I received was from a bestselling author who said write the next book once your first one is under contract. There is no marketing better than to follow up your books with another. She was right.
The harshest criticism I received was on a stand-alone book. The reader said she didn't like it and should have known better by the cover. She rated it a one because she didn't like the genre. Everyone else rated four or five stars.
The advice I'd give an author just starting out would be to join a professional writing group or groups. I don't believe I would have been published this soon without my two main groups.
OMN: Complete this sentence: "I am a mystery author and thus I am also …".
ML: I am a mystery author and thus I am also a reader of all articles on crime. I love reading true crime and fictional murder mysteries. I got hooked at a young age reading the local newspaper. Much to my mother's horror, she discovered me reading about the mass murder of the nurses in Chicago at the age of five. After that I had to sneak the paper to see if they solved the case. I'm glad to report they did arrest the guy and sent him to prison.
OMN: What authors do you read today?
ML: I love J. D. Robb's In Death series. I love anything by Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, and Karen Rose.
OMN: What kinds of questions or feedback do you enjoy receiving from readers?
ML: I love all feedback, good or bad. It is wonderful when a reader takes the time to reach out.
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Marian Lanouette was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the seventh child of ten. At the age of eight she wrote every day, whether it be a poem, a short story or in her journal. An eighth grade assignment got her published. Though she failed the assignment, the nun was impressed with her poem. It was supposed to be a four line poem, but she couldn't still her pen. "The Beach", her first official published work, is still her favorite though much longer than four lines. It was the nun who submitted the poem for her to the local paper.
Marian currently resides in New England with her husband. For more information about the author and her work, please visit her website at MarianL.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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Burn in Hell
A Jake Carrington Mystery
A botched missing person's case … A nervous mob boss …