Amy Ray, intrepid author and resident of Rye, brought her thriller Dangerous Denial into Pickwick's Mercantile because she enjoyed our shop (a great compliment!) and we are so glad to carry it! This past weekend she came in to sign copies of her book and chat with our customers- it was a pleasure having her and be sure to rush, as we have only a small number of signed copies remaining ($13.95)!
Dangerous Denial is non-stop action- packed with conniving characters, plot twists, and shocking betrayals. In short, a perfect book for summer. The story follows a cast of humanly constructed characters, caught in webs of their individual foibles, and thrust into the sweeping and violent machinations of a wicked man's obsession. Heroine BK Hartshaw is loyal, capable, and strong, but her insecurities run deep. Her dear friend Shelby is both anchor and light through BK's trouble childhood. When Shelby is in danger, BK can little know that the sacrifices she makes for her friend will place her in mortal peril. Hero Trevor is on the run from a terrible force from his past- building a life on a constantly shifting foundation. BK, Shelby, and Trevor's trajectories converge at gunpoint, and there will be no more running.
|Nose-in-residence Steve Johnson, author Amy Ray, and Thistle|
Hello Amy, we're so excited that you took the time to come and sign some books and meet some Pickwickians this past weekend. I read Dangerous Denial and absolutely whipped through it, so we're excited to see it take off in some beach bags this summer!
Thank you! I'm excited that my favorite store in downtown Portsmouth is carrying my book.
Your characters are so compelling and layered- do you find that when writing you stumble upon plots first, or the people in them?
In "Dangerous Denial" I came up with the characters first. The villain, Lenny Mayhew, was one of the first to form. Now it's like he's real to me and my family because I have talked about him so often. I'll spot someone on the street and say, "Hey! He looks like Lenny." Lenny is not a bad looking guy, but he's evil. He didn't start life that way, but he wasn't able to overcome the hardships he endured and the outcome was not good. You find out how bad he is starting with the first chapter when he his holding a roomful of hostages at gunpoint.
He certainly is one chillingly bad dude. What attracted you to the thriller genre?
Although I read different genres, my favorite is mystery/thriller/suspense. It seems natural that I write in that genre as well.
So picking the genre seemed that it was easy; what was the most difficult part about writing Dangerous Denial?
The hardest part was life getting in the way. I started writing the book and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The name sounds benign but the disease isn't. I was sick for seven years--so sick that I wasn't able to write again until about year five. I was lucky to fully recover because the odds are against it.
And we are so thankful for that victory! Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Not any rituals or superstitions, but I do have writing patterns. I get most of my plot inspirations when I'm walking on the treadmill. I listen to a playlist that I put together for my book--songs that remind me of the characters--and let my mind wander. It makes my feet fly! When I'm writing, I find the rough draft to be the most daunting part so I set word count goals and force myself to reach that number. Once I have a draft, I print it out and edit with a red pen while sitting in my favorite rocking chair. I have a plastic bin of red pens from which to choose, but I usually stick to my favorite pen that doesn't blot. That's important, as any lefty knows.
I believe in the power of the pen, thoroughly. That being said- what books inspired you as a child? As an adult?
As a child I was hooked on the Little House books, the Nancy Drew mysteries, and the Trixie Belden mysteries. My cousin loaned me the whole Trixie Belden series--treasure! I read "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens for Freshman English in high school. The twist toward the end of the story so surprised me that it has influenced me to want to write in a way that will surprise the readers of my books. I love plot twists that you didn't see coming. You'll find that the character Lenny also has to read "Great Expectations," but he doesn't like it.
Great Expectations? That's something we can get behind at a store called Pickwick's Mercantile. I will be nabbing your next book for sure! Please tell me there's something exciting coming down the line for your readers.
The next to be published is a short story in the NH Pulp Fiction series, "Love Free or Die." The title hints that it is an anthology of romance stories, but the one I wrote, "All's Fair," is romantic suspense. I needed to have a bad guy! I don't usually write short stories, but I saw the call for submissions and decided to give it a try. I used the writing process to distract myself in the days leading up to my daughter's oral surgery (I'm a worrier to the extreme.) The surgery went fine, and my story was accepted into the anthology. Currently, I am putting the finishing touches on my next novel and will be shopping it around to agents soon.
I'll be reading it!
You're a regular at Pickwick's Mercantile. What is your favorite thing that we carry? What do you think would be your heroine, BK's?
One of my most recent purchases was a Milagros charm in the shape of a wishbone. I now carry it around with me for good luck. It has special meaning because a character in my next book is named Milagros so when I saw the sign near the cash register at Pickwick's, I had to buy one! BK, the main character in "Dangerous Denial" would love the leather bags. She's a business woman and likes to look stylish and professional. Her best friend Shelby is a romantic and would pick up some of your scented candles for a candlelit dinner with her boyfriend.
If Campomaggi were the accessory of choice for afflicted heroines, it would certainly be a chicer world.
Thank you so much for chatting with us, Amy, and allowing us to carry your book in Pickwick's Mercantile! And be sure to come in for your copy of Dangerous Denial! If you can't come in, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will gladly make sure that it makes it to your house!