Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Conversation with Mystery Author Lauren Carr

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Lauren Carr
with Lauren Carr

We are delighted to welcome back mystery author Lauren Carr to Omnimystery News.

Lauren regularly visits us with guest posts, but we haven't had a chance to catch up with her directly in quite some time. So it was a thrill to spend some time with her talking about her mysteries, the most recent of which is Three Days To Forever (Acorn Book Services; January 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats), the ninth in her Mac Faraday series.

— ♦ —

Omnimystery News: When you wrote your first mystery, did you know at the time how the characters would evolve over time?

Lauren Carr
Photo provided courtesy of
Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr: I didn't set out to center my books around a recurring character, who has now grown into a group of recurring characters. It simply happened.

My first two books were the Joshua Thornton Mysteries. The primary character was Joshua Thornton, a single father of five children, who returns to his small town in West Virginia where he becomes prosecuting attorney. A Small Case of Murder was released in 2004.

Then, in 2010, I released my new series, the Mac Faraday Mysteries. Mac Faraday is a retired homicide detective who inherits two-hundred-seventy million dollars on the day the divorce from his cheating wife becomes final. He moves to Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland where he starts a new life, solving mysteries instead of playing golf or tennis.

But then, some readers of the Joshua Thornton mysteries asked me to return to Joshua. Keep in mind, this is five years after I had written the last Joshua Thornton Mystery. So, I asked myself, "Where would Joshua be now?" His children are grown and he is ready for romance.

That was when I introduced Joshua to Homicide Detective Cameron Gates and they became the Lovers in Crime.

I guess this answers your question about do my characters stay the same, or do they change. Honestly, I grew up reading Agatha Christie and Earl Stanley Gardner. Perry Mason never changed. Yet, I find that my characters are doing a natural transformation, like real people, as the circumstances in their lives change.

In Three Days To Forever, I introduce Joshua's son Murphy to Mac Faraday's daughter Jessica. These two characters are spinning off into the Thorny Rose Mysteries and, it is a given that their characters will change as their romance progresses and they adjust to their new lives together. It will be quite interesting to watch how these two young adults, off-spring of great detectives, the next generation handle crime in the big-bad city of Washington, D.C.

OMN: Into which mystery subgenre do you place your books?

LC: I started categorizing my books as "gritty cozies." But I find that they are moving more into a police procedural category.

In her review for Three Days To Forever, Glenda Bixler at Book Reader's Heaven wrote in her five-star review, "The reason why this intrigued me was the cross-genres of this latest book! Actually, it has all of my favorites in this beautiful mix: Action, Mystery, Police Procedure, Romantic Suspense, and most of all Thriller. With this book, in my opinion, Lauren Carr has taken a major move in the complexity and diversity of her books. They are certainly not cozies any more …".

OMN: What was your greatest challenge in writing Three Days To Forever?

LC: Raising the bar. The storyline came to me, "What if the war on terror came to Deep Creek Lake?" Because terrorists are a whole different type of criminal, I knew that it would not be a standard cozy like some of my readers have come to expect from me. As one character says in Three Days To Forever, "These guys aren't going to give you a chance to read them their rights."

Also, I am very aware that the whole issue of terrorism is controversial to some. But, I'm fearless when it comes to a literary challenge. Good writers are like athletes. If you want to improve, you need to write every day, or your writing muscles will get weak. If you don't challenge yourself, then your writing will get stale, not just for you doing the writing, but for your readers.

OMN: How true are you to the settings of your stories?

LC: The Mac Faraday Mysteries take place in Spencer, (a fictional town) set on Deep Creek Lake (a real lake) in western Maryland. The Spencer Inn, the five-star resort that Mac Faraday owns, is not real. I based it on Snowshoe, which is located in central West Virginia. I have actually received emails asking for contact information to the Spencer Inn because readers want to go stay there, which is surprising when you consider how many guests I have murdered in that hotel.

While Spencer is a fictional town, I have stayed true to the local environment. Deep Creek Lake is a resort area in western Maryland. There are a lot of seasonal residents from metropolitan Washington DC.

The Thorny Rose Mysteries, which is a spin-off from the Mac Faraday Mysteries, will be taking place in the real location of Washington, DC. Jessica and Murphy will be living in a brownstone on the waterfront along the Potomac River. I'm looking forward to researching that.

OMN: We know you keep busy. What's next for you?

LC: I am working on two books that I expect to be released later this spring, early summer.

Open Season for Murder is the next Mac Faraday Mystery. Summer season is the busiest time of the year at Deep Creek Lake, when the seasonal residents return to their summer homes around the lake.

But all is not sunshine and happiness when a television producer and his protégé-slash-mistress swoop in to reunite all of the suspects in the missing persons case of Ashton Piedmont, a young debutante who had disappeared five years earlier.

What at first appears to be yet another annoyance by a so-called journalist exploiting a tragedy breaks into a major murder case when Gnarly uncovers Ashton's body … after which someone starts killing off the reunited suspects one-by-one.

But wait! There's more!

Kill and Run will be the first Thorny Rose Mystery, featuring the Lovers in Crime.

Chester, West Virginia, is in the throes of preparing for what promises to be the social event of the year — the wedding of Joshua Thornton's little girl to Hunter Gardner.

While the Thornton family is busting with excitement about the big day, Cameron is struggling with pain-filled memories of another wedding day so long ago — followed much too soon by an even larger funeral. All hope to push her grief far into the past is dashed when the FBI arrives with news about her late husband. A recently arrested hit man has confessed to killing her husband as a contract hit. The identity of who had arranged the hit, and why, is unknown — but whoever it was had to have deep pockets to hire this assassin.

Determined to learn the truth about her late husband's death, Cameron sets out for Washington, DC, to interrogate the hit man herself.

Worried for his wife's well-being, Joshua, who is stuck at home due to wedding and professional obligations, reaches out to his newly married son Murphy Thornton (who is up to his ears in his first official murder case) and his bride Jessica Faraday to keep Cameron safe, catch a killer, and get her home in time for Tracy and Hunter's wedding.

— ♦ —

Lauren Carr is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit the Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

— ♦ —

Three Days To Forever by Lauren Carr

Three Days To Forever
Lauren Carr
A Mac Faraday Mystery

With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday's huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year.

But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac's and Archie's problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie's mother, and Gnarly running for their lives.

With time running out to the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer's small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything … FOREVER! Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)


Post a Comment

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2022 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2022 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved