Hi, Cheryl! Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m a thriller writer, mom of two, owner of a mischievous pug, and dedicated coffee lover. I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Living by the ocean has shaped my life and my work. I’m also a member of the NS bar and worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture Consulting before turning my hand to writing.
I love to walk, hike, and go camping with my family. My favorite daydream is to travel around the world.
Do you have a morning routine?
I’m a morning person – at least after I have a cup of coffee! After I get my kids off to school, I go for a power walk with my dog, and then I come home and get to work. I spend the first hour going through emails and social networking. Then I dig into my work in progress.
Do you prefer the peace and quiet when you are writing or do you listen to music?
Interesting question! I wrote DAMAGED, the first book of my thriller series, in a coffee shop. I needed the break from working at home, and didn’t mind the chatter around me. Now I mostly work from home, and I like to work in quiet. However, I do find that music inspires me. I love to watch So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol, and I often will hear a song that speaks to me about the theme or mood of my book.
For example, when I heard Jeff Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” – which is very haunting and melancholy – I immediately visualized the first scene I wrote for INDEFENSIBLE (it eventually was moved to the middle of the book): Randall Barrett, the managing partner of Kate Lange’s law firm, sitting in a concrete prison cell after his whole life came crashing down on him.
I read that you have always been fascinated by crime, which explains your career in law and your books. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
Oh, when I was around eight years old. I was a devoted bookworm as a child, and could lose myself in a book. I remember telling my older brother that I could write a book. He, of course, said I couldn’t. That was the moment when my desire crystallized. Then, in junior high school, I had an English teacher who taught creative writing. She fanned the spark. However, I didn’t actually pursue writing as a career until several decades later. I was home with my two young children, and needed an outlet. After not having written a word of fiction since junior high school, I enrolled in a creative writing course, which I attended one evening a week. Then I took another. It gave me the skills to try my hand at writing a novel. It took about eight years of hard work to become a published author.
How important would you say it is to write from experience? Example your heroine, Kate Lange is a lawyer and you had a career in law.
Sharing the same experiences as Kate Lange definitely helped in terms of shaping her character and plotting my books. In fact, my goal in creating her character was to share my experiences working in a blue-chip corporate environment. I wanted to show the politics, the ambitions, the struggles and insecurities of a high-pressure environment.
On the other hand, some of my other characters are in occupations with which I’ve had no experience, ie. Homicide detective Ethan Drake. Since I write in their point of view, I spend a lot of time researching and interviewing experts in their fields. I’ve been very fortunate to that these busy experts have been so generous with their time.
Did you have a vision for what you wanted Kate to be like?
Yes. DAMAGED was based on an actual criminal case, but I wanted to create a character who had no real crime-solving skills. I wanted the lead to be a woman in her thirties who is just coming into her own. Someone who has known heartbreak, who has bills to pay, whose dream job ends up being less than dreamy. But Kate is a survivor, and believes in doing the right thing. She’s an ordinary person put into an extraordinary situation.
There are so many serial killer books out. How do you keep things new and refreshing?
Several ways. First of all, only the first book of the series has a serial killer, and that was because the case that inspired DAMAGED’s plot was conducive to having a killer who had numerous victims, ie. a serial killer. And the series is set in Halifax, which to date has not had a serial killer. So it created an element of tension in the book for the homicide team.
But in my mind, the book is really about the case that is tangential to the serial killing, the people who are caught up in it on so many levels – and how they deal with the serial killer in their midst. As well, because I was aware of the fact that there are many books about serial killers, I created one who has a unique issue.
Having the serial killer in the first book, also created many story threads for INDEFENSIBLE (book #2), as Kate deals with the ramifications of surviving an attack of a serial killer.
How many Kate Lange books can we expect?
There are currently four books under contract. DAMAGED (June 2010) and INDEFENSIBLE (January 2011) are available everywhere books are sold. The third book in the series, TATTOOED, will be released in June 2012.
Can you briefly share about book three, Tattooed?
I’m excited about this book because there is a cold case – and I love forensic anthropology. I’ve also been fascinated by the mainstreaming of tattooing over the past few years, so in TATTOOED, Kate goes head-to-head with her alter ego: a tattooed artist who is connected to a traumatic event in her past.
Any last words?
Writing this series has been a rollercoaster ride for me. I’ve been so appreciative of the emails and reviews from readers and bloggers. I love to hear from readers, so please drop by my website, or hang out on my FB Book Page: We have fun there!
Thank you for this interview. I am a fan of your books!
Thank you, Cheryl! I really appreciate you featuring me on your blog!
I was born in Ontario, Canada, the youngest child of two immigrants. My mother emigrated from East Germany after World War II. My British father was hired to work as an engineer on the ill-fated Avro Arrow project.
At the age of two, my family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Growing up by the ocean has shaped my life, and has, in turn, shaped my writing. I attended the University of King's College, where I took the Foundation Year Program, studying the greatest works of Western Civilization. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. Following that, I studied law and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar. I've always had an interest in public policy, so I returned to university to complete a Master's Degree in Public Administration.
I then worked as a strategy consultant for an international consulting firm, travelling all over North America. When I had my first child, my local office closed. I decided to stay home with my young family, a period in my life for which I am very grateful. It also gave me an opportunity to exhume an old passion: writing.
Inspired by a criminal case in the United States, and drawing on my professional career at blue-chip firms, I wrote Damaged, the first of four planned books in the Kate Lange series. Kate is my everywoman superwoman. Damaged will be released by MIRA Books in June 2010. The next book in the series, Indefensible, will come out in January 2011. The third, Tattooed, is planned for the summer of 2011, and the fourth in June 2012.
You can find me on Facebook, and on Twitter. If you'd like to receive my newsletter, sign up here.
I currently live in Halifax, with my husband, two children, and a pug.
I have a copy of INDEFENSIBLE to give away. US and Canada only. Sorry. Please leave a comment or question for Pamela or share what you like about this series. Leave a email address. A winner will be picked on March 12th.
As if reading this interview was not enough to convince you to read these books, than enjoy my review of Indefensible.
Attorney Kate Lange is back. Before Kate can get too comfy, her boss calls. Randall Barrett has just become the prime suspect in his ex-wife’s murder. Helping Randall is going to take all of Kate’s strength. On one hand, Kate wants to believe Randall is innocent but on the other hand the facts are hard to ignore.
Detective Ethan Drake is adamant about stopping a killer. No children should have to find their mother’s body. Can Detective Drake prevent the killer from claiming another victim?
Indefensible is the second Kate Lange novel. This book can be read as a stand alone novel, though you are going to want to read the first book, Damaged as this series is that good. I like Kate. She is a fighter. Ethan was also great. He is like a blood hound. Once he goes down a path, he sticks with it until the bitter end. To be honest I never thought the clues leading me to a certain character as the killer was right and I had my opinions about who it was. Of course I was wrong. Indefensible is a one seat read and a book that you will want to read again and again.