Interview With Author Carol Guy
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My desire to be a writer started when I was a teenager and read my first Agatha Christie novel. I was hooked on mysteries from that point on. Fast forward to the adult years, when I got married and started a family. The writing was put on hold for a while, but the creative urge was still there. Nineteen years later, I found myself divorced and decided to try my hand at writing again. I was fortunate enough to sell an article about sexual harassment to “The Ladies’ Home Journal.” Several months later I sold a short story to a small, independent magazine. Of course, I continued to work “day jobs” and wrote in my spare time. One of those jobs led me to Columbus, Ohio where I was the office manager of the home health department for a major hospital. My boss, a woman named Carol Lindley, was the department director. She and I became friends. When she left that job for a position at a hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, the idea was for her husband to join her in a year when he retired. Accompanying her on the move was their seventeen-year-old grandson, Joshua, who they’d been raising since he was eight years old. Two days after the move, Joshua shot and killed his grandmother, Carol, and was quickly arrested for the crime. My first published book, “A Picture Perfect Kid” is the story of that murder. Since then, I’ve written, and had published, over 20 mystery novels.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel, “The Silent Victims”, is the fifth book in my Crescent Falls cozy mystery series. I created the series because I grew up in a small town and found using that as a backdrop was comfortable for me.
The other books in the series are: “Jolly Dead St. Nicholas”, “Be Mine, Dead Valentine”, Worth More Dead” and “Dig Two Graves.”
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure if it’s an unusual habit, but I must have no distractions when I’m writing. No music playing in the background and no TV on. And, if something breaks my concentration, I sometimes find it hard to get back in the groove.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Agatha Christie had the biggest influence on me. I’ve read all of her books and also have a large collection of them. Reading one of her mysteries is like reading a tutorial on how to construct an intriguing plot and create memorable characters.
What are you working on now?
Since “The Silent Victims” was just released by Extasy Books, I’m now working on a novel called “Unsettled Scores”, the third book in my Eden Harbor series, which I’ve published through Kindle Direct. This series takes place in a small, fictional town near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and involves a private detective named Sam Garrett and his partner, Kate Bradshaw. “Marked for Murder” and “Fatal Obsession” are the first two books in the series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I use Facebook and many of the groups on there to post promos, as well as Twitter and LinkedIn. I also use a professional marketing service to promo a new book when it’s released. Of course, I have a website, which I use as a promotion tool, also.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read, read, read. Expose yourself to all kinds of books. Even though I’ve zeroed in on mysteries as my writing genre, I have, over the years, read all kinds of books, including science fiction, thrillers and romances. Also, don’t get discouraged by rejections. I had my fair share of those when I first started out. And if you decide to go the self-publishing route, such as Kindle Direct, hire an editor to give your book the polish it needs.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
When I was in the process of writing “A Picture Perfect Kid” (after the trial was over and the case was closed) it was a tedious process because of all the material sent to me by the prosecutor on the case. When I reached a point where I felt comfortable making inquiries to publishers, I got a response from one who specialized in true crime books. He told me to send the first four chapters, which I did. His response was quite blunt. He said the direction I was going was too cut and dried. He told me that even though it’s nonfiction, readers still want to be entertained. His exact words were, “Write it like a novel.” After I put my pride aside, I realized he was right. I rewrote the book and Zumaya Publications accepted it within hours of my emailing them the manuscript.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading “Out of the Shadows” by Tim Smith. It’s the eighth book in this author’s romantic spy thriller series about a retired CIA agent, Nick Seven, whose past continues to come back to haunt him. It takes place in the Florida Keys where Nick lives with his Barbadian lover Felicia, who was once his agency co-worker. This novel is published by Extasy Books and available at www.amazon.com/dp/B0BL6JSYDL if anyone is interested in taking a look. I highly recommend the series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’ll continue to write my two series as long as I can think of interesting plots. I hope that will be for a long time. I can’t imagine not writing. It’s not just what I do, it’s part of who I am.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
That’s a tough one. But I guess I’d have to gather up my four favorite Christie novels…or maybe two Christie’s and a couple of those spy novels…. or maybe… Are you sure I’m only allowed four? That doesn’t seem like nearly enough, especially if I’m not rescued right away!
Author Websites and Profiles
Carol Guy Author Profile on Smashwords
Carol Guy’s Social Media Links