Thursday, March 26, 2015

INTERVIEW with Kellie Larsen Murphy, author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution

·         Describe your writing in three words. Straight-forward, suspenseful, descriptive (at least, that’s what I’m shooting for!)
·         Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track? After I’ve written the first draft, I will go back through the book, chapter by chapter, and create a timeline and outline. In this way, I can fine-tune any inconsistencies and weed out action/characters unnecessary to the plot. I don’t formally outline when I start a book although I always know how the book will begin and how it will end (who the bad guy(s) is/are!).
·         Was there any research involved in your work? I’ve had to do some research in both of the Cancini books. In the latest, Stay of Execution, I studied up on DNA and loosely used real-life actions in Virginia (re-examining old evidence with new technology) as a backdrop for the plot.
·         Favorite snack when writing. I love to munch on a homemade trail mix with almonds, granola, raisins, dried cranberries, wasabi peas, pretzels, and peanuts. Yum!
·         Is the Thesaurus one of your best writing friends? Yes, primarily because I have some favorite words. I tend to overuse them in early drafts and it’s only when I read over my work (especially out loud) that I hear them.
·         Who gets to read your drafts before they're published? I am so lucky to have a team of six beta readers. We meet for structural and plot issues. I also have family to read very early and very rough drafts. While my mother may still love everything I do, my sister and daughter will not only edit, but leave detailed comments. The best critics are those who can tell it like it is (in a loving way). After I get through all those readers, then I will submit to an editor. And then I revise and run it through one more reader. I’ll repeat until I’m satisfied.
·         What project(s) are you working on now? Right now I’m working on the third book in the Cancini series. My favorite detective is back in DC, investigating the violent murder of a young priest.
·         Where can readers find you and your book(s) online?  Both of my books are available online through the major book retailers Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple.
Kellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A GUILTY MIND and STAY OF EXECUTION, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs. She would be happy to hear from readers through her website,