J. Carson Black is the bestselling author of seven novels, including her Laura Cardinal series, which currently has under three titles under its belt.
She has a total of 12 books; seven published and also one short story. Her Laura Cardinal series has three books in the series: Darkness on the Edge of Town (#59 on Kindle), Dark Side of the Moon (#387 on Kindle), and The Devil's Hour (#362 on Kindle).
All of her books are doing amazingly well, and she is a truly talented writer. I was thrilled to be able to host her on my blog for a two-part series; the second, catered to the readers and fans of her work.
Tell me about yourself, how you became to be a writer, and why you are a writer.
The simple explanation: I can’t not write. I am a writer by every definition of the word, and was a writer from the time I was a child. My first “book” was THE EASTER EEG, written and illustrated by me – a few scrawled words (kind of ) in crayon on the flipside of my dad’s test papers (he was a teacher). My mother was brilliant at appealing to my materialistic instincts to keep me reading. Every Friday night we’d go to a store called the House of Paperbacks, and my parents would turn me loose to buy whatever books I wanted. (Books were about 75 cents then.) I’d pull together six or seven books. I remember buying THE MOUSE THAT ROARED and ANIMAL FARM, and of course---you’ll like this---MY FRIEND FLICKA. When I read Ray Bradbury’s SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, I wish I’d written that book. I wanted to be an author. I got shunted into music because I could sing well, but eventually I found my way back, and sold my first book, DARKSCOPE, in 1990. It was a horror novel, inspired by THE SHINING and GHOST STORY.
Tell me about your book – what inspired it?
My husband and I were watching TV (cable news) and John Mark Karr was being flown to Boulder to face charges for killing JonBenet Ramsey. He’d been flown over from Europe, dining on shrimp cocktail and entertaining his captors---federal marshals, I believe---and now the press was lined up to watch his arrival in Boulder. So the private jet came in, and you would have thought it was the Space Shuttle. All the cameras, all the microphones, an absolute frenzy! Just as it was for Michael Jackson when he went to court. This is the new American way. Celebrity out of nothing. It turned out later that John Mark Karr was playing everybody---he didn’t kill JonBenet Ramsey. But he’d fulfilled his purpose---he’d fed the hungry maw of the media for a short time. Glenn and I looked at each other and had the idea for THE SHOP fully-blown.
What’s your favorite chapter in your book, and why?
It wasn’t a chapter, but was surprised that one of my bad guys turned out to be a lot of fun. The former Attorney General of the United States, Franklin Hubbard, loved his wife and admitted he loved her more than she loved him. He was funny and interesting and was a good foil to my assassin. My assassin planned to kill him, but couldn’t help liking him. There’s a scene on Franklin’s boat where he cooks the assassin eggs benedict, and they get along great. They teamed up together…for a while.
How did you choose the title of the book?
It just came to us – when Glenn and I watched Karr’s plane come in, we thought there had to be a secret government “shop” to do what we planned, and so the title became THE SHOP.
How long does it take you to write a book, and what’s your daily writing schedule?
I’m a slow writer. I can do a book a year. But I will have to pick up that pace now. I try to write 6,000 words a week, when I’m working on a book. That doesn’t take into account all the research and preparation as far as characters, scenarios, etc.
What made you choose your particular genre?
I love thrillers and I love crime fiction. It’s what I read. There are about 30 authors I love in the genre, and the only thing as fun as writing a thriller, is reading a thriller.
Are you working on another book now – if so, what would you like to tell the readers about it?
It’s another thriller, along the lines of THE SHOP as far as the style goes. The book, ICON, stars a movie star, literally – the Tom Cruise of his day, a man named Max Conroy. He escapes rehab in the Arizona desert, but they’ve screwed him up---and now someone is coming to kill him. He teams up with a sheriff’s deputy who has autobiographical memory. His memory plays tricks on him, and she remembers everything. I’m about 25K into it.
Where can you be found on the internet?
SUMMER BOOK CLUB