I'm pleased to welcome Karen Randau to the blog today. Karen writes the Rim Country Mystery series. DEADLY CHOICES is the third book in the series and was released last month.
Kathy: Rita and Cliff Avery team up to solve a spate of murders in their picturesque Arizona mountain town of Rim Vista. What made you choose this location for your series?
KR: I live in a similar town in the same area. Sometimes those of us who live in rural places think the bad things that happen in big cities couldn’t happen to us. They can, and this series provides examples of what it could be like.
Kathy: In DEADLY CHOICES Rita and Cliff must also deal with a decades-old cover-up. Have you ever had to deal with something from your past you once thought buried, or at least forgotten?
KR: No, but we all have secrets and things we wish we never did and would never tell anyone about.
Kathy: What first drew you to thrillers?
KR: I like the fast pace and high stakes in thrillers.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
KR: My Rim Country Mystery Series now has three novels published by Short On Time Books. DEADLY DECEIT (June 2016) is about a woman who overcomes the death of her husband in a movie-theater shooting; DEADLY INHERITANCE (January 2017) is about a couple who check into the honeymoon suite of a luxury Scottish hotel and the desk clerk dies in front of them from a poison that was meant for the groom; and DEADLY CHOICES (July 2017) is about a family who comes to terms with their decades-old secrets.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
KR: In DEADLY CHOICES, my favorite character is Rita’s mother Willow. She is a free spirit who learned a new way of life while spending time in a Texas prison. She transforms from a 1960s San Diego hippy to a twenty-first century ex-convict who sounds like a Texan and seems to be experiencing much of life for the first time. She’s fiercely protective of both her daughter and her new love, but not at the expense of accepting reality. She is fun, likeable, and enjoying her new freedom.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
KR: The series started when a real-life shooting in a movie theater resulted in news stories about the victims and shooter, but nothing about the struggle of the people left behind. I wanted to tell a fictional story about someone who survived such an incident. As I wrote, Rita and Cliff emerged as the series protagonists. I often envisioned two of the characters in the TV series Bones as I developed those characters.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
KR: Having a publisher put my work into print gave me confirmation. I’ve always been telling myself stories, and it gave me an outlet for that creativity when I finally understood five years ago that I could put my stories into novels. I enjoy writing, and I enjoy learning new techniques that can help me improve. Having a publisher ready to publish my books gives me a deadline to work toward.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
KR: Hank Phillipi-Ryan, Jenny Milchman, Lee Child, and Steve Barry
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
KR: I just finished THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena (Penguin Books, 2017).
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
KR: I enjoy hiking, action movies, and, on occasion, cooking. My favorite activity right now is spending time with my three-year-old grandson.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
KR: Peanut butter, strawberry jam, apples, and broccoli – and eggs.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
KR: I’m currently working on a new novel that could stand alone or become a new series. REMEMBER is about a woman who overcomes tough odds to recover from a 20-year coma, then she must find and eliminate the invention that put her there before two opposing groups can get their hands on it.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
KR: I enjoy the creativity and the time I get to spend writing.
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