Today, we're welcoming back author Cara Putman with her debut Love Inspired Suspense novel, Deadly Exposure. You can read my review of the book in the June newsletter on my web site: www.lenanelsondooley.com
It’s part of who I am. I have always loved reading mysteries from my days as a preteen reading Nancy Drew, the Happy Hollisters, and Trixie Beldon. Over time I graduated to Mary Higgins Clark and John Grisham and really wanted to write suspense like that. Filled with twists and turns and the race to beat the author to the conclusion. But at that time Christian fiction consisted of prairie romances and Bodie Thoene’s books. I inhaled those, but couldn’t see myself writing those. Fast forward ten years and Christian fiction is so amazingly diverse. I discovered Brandilyn Collins, Mindy Starns Clark, and Colleen Coble, and thought there just might be room for me in Christian fiction after all. And I knew I wasn’t interested in writing for anyone else.
Writing the historicals married my passion for World War Two and my love for discovering untold stories. There also isn’t a glut of those stories, so the timing was perfect.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Hmmm. That would have to be my wedding… God has blessed me with a man who puts up with my intensity and supports my dreams. Then the birth of my kids and last, receiving that first contract at the 2006 ACFW conference.
Yes, I was there and remember the excitement. How has being published changed your life?
I don’t know that it has. I still have to write at all hours of the night. Steal moments from sleep. In a way it has validated that I did hear God when He said run. But I know it was still His voice, even if I was writing without a contract. But that first contract helped me make focus as I mad other decisions.
What are you reading right now?
A great book by Alex and Brett Harris: Do Hard Things. These two teenagers are amazing.
The Lost Memoir of Jane Austin: very interesting novel
And getting ready to read/review a stack of Complete Idiot Guides as I prepare to write a book for that series this summer.
What is your current work in progress?
I am finishing a proposal for a sequel to Deadly Exposure…it’s really taking shape. And I’m finishing research for my next World War Two historical tentatively titled A Promise Kept. It’s set in Ohio and will tell the story of a just married couple who opens their home to an evacuated British child in the very early pre-war days. Can’t wait to dive into that book…and I need to since it’s due October 1.
What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to go back to Europe and focus on the World War Two sites starting with Normandy. To have the time to absorb the places that I’ve read so much about would be amazing. I have a feeling it would be like going to Gettysburg Battlefield and seeing the battle play out over the location.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The four books that are finished and releasing over this year are all set in Nebraska, my home state. That was a natural since I know the state so well. Ohio kind of chose me and will require some on-sight research since I haven’t spent much time at all there. And, other locations that I know will be settings one day are other places I’ve either lived or visited frequently. Last August we vacationed in North Carolina, and my husband and I kept walking around saying it would be a great location for a book.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would so love to spend time with Margaret Thatcher. I have long admired her – she was a political leader at a critical time and I know I could learn much from the time with her. I’d love to ask a few questions, and then just listen to the wisdom she’s accumulated over a lifetime of service. The other person would be Sandra Day O’Connor. Another woman who broke amazing ground with grace and intelligence.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I scrap-book, lead Bible studies at church, love to garden, make cards – really just about any craft. Invite people over for dinner and to play games. Read, blog, read, blog. :-)
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Finding the time. Because I have small children (a 7 ½ year old, 4 ½ year old, and by the time this is posted a newborn) I have to do most of my writing in the evening. Fortunately, Eric is wonderful about helping with bedtime and does most of the bedtime reading. But even so with my ACFW duties and other responsibilities it’s a struggle to find the time to write. I’ve had to give up a couple things like TV. It’s a rare day or night that I watch anything. But deadlines are a great motivator to get the writing done. And I HATE even the thought of missing one.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Join a writer’s organization like American Christian Fiction Writers (www.acfw.com). I learned so much about the nuts and bolts of writing. Then attend a conference like ACFW’s. That’s where you’ll meet people, editors, and agents, that can become relationships that lead to contracts. You still have to do the writing and create a page-turner, but the right contacts can then help see that book in print.
The national ACFW conference is coming up in September in Minneapolis. I'm teaching a workshop and doing paid critiques. I'm really looking forward to the huge, public book signing in the rotunda of the Mall of America.
Deadly Exposure is my (hopefully) first suspense with Love Inspired Suspense. Krista Stroever took a chance on this book and pushed mey hard. I love the result. It’s my story, but oh-so-much better. Here’s the blurb.
How could a killer have struck in a crowded theater? That was the question plaguing TV news reporter Dani Richards. She'd been in the box next to the victim -- and hadn't heard or seen a thing. Now the very man who broke Dani's heart years ago is investigating the murder. And when her coverage of the story led the killer to stalk her, police officer and former flame Caleb Jamison insisted on protecting her. Dani was afraid to let Caleb close again. Yet she had no choice. The killer's sinister phone calls left no doubt that he'd come for Dani next.
I worked at a small town TV station for a couple years in college, and loved the chance to resurrect my love for journalism with this book. It’s a fun read, filled with twists and romance.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.caraputman.com. My blog is one of the tabs there, or you can go directly to it at http://carasmusings.blogspot.com. You can read excerpts of my books on my website, see reviews of the books, and more. And I blog Monday – Friday about Life, Law and Books. I often have book giveaways and lots of reviews, so be sure to stop by.
Thank you, Cara, for spending this time with us.
Readers, check out her web sites, but before you go, leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a free copy of Deadly Exposure.