Thursday, May 21, 2015 | By: Cafe

Two-Time Rita Finalist Maris Soule

The Write Way Café welcomes two-time Rita finalist Maris Soule, who loves to ask unusual questions, such as what would Lara Croft be like in her seventies?

Thank you for inviting me to talk about my writing and about the two books I have coming out this summer. Although I didn’t seriously start writing until I was 40, it seems as though I’ve been writing forever.

I started out writing romances and had 25 published, 2 being RITA finalists and several winning awards. But I love reading mysteries and suspense, so I guess it’s no surprise that a lot of the plot lines in my later romances started to include a mystery. In 2007 finally gave in and moved over to the dark side…at least a bit darker than a romance. The Crows was my first book where the mystery/suspense was the focus of the story with a bit of romance in the background. That book led to As the Crow Flies, where my protagonist, P.J. Benson, again gets involved in a mystery and the romance continues. That book ended with P.J. wondering if she might be pregnant and with her boyfriend, Sheriff’s Detective Wade Kingsley, out on his boat on Lake Michigan with his ex wife.

Well a lot of my readers started pestering me. Was P.J. pregnant or not and would she marry Wade? So I started working on another P.J. Benson mystery. But while writing that book, a new character suddenly popped into my head and insisted on her story being told. (I’m sure other writers understand what I mean about a character invading my thoughts and insisting on her own story.) Mary Harrington began as a question. What would Lara Croft or Nikita be like in their seventies? And what if no one knew this woman had been an assassin in her youth, not even her family?

I loved writing A Killer Past. My P.J. Benson mysteries were told in first person. A Killer Past is told in third person, using both Mary Harrington’s POV and Jack Rossini’s. Poor Jack is the police sergeant trying to figure out how a woman in her seventies could put two teen-aged gang members in the hospital, and why Mary won’t admit it, especially since doing so has now put her in danger of retaliation from the gang. Even more frustrating and intriguing for Jack is why he can’t find any information about Mary before she moved to the town of Rivershore, Michigan.

Once that book was finished, I started looking for an agent to represent it. I also went back to the P.J. Benson book and wrote Eat Crow and Die, the third in my “crow” series. And yes, it answers if P.J. is pregnant. It also allowed me to use the memory I had of watching a boat explode on a lake. In Eat Crow and Die, Wade’s boat explodes and his ex-wife and her new husband die. How convenient, the investigating sheriff’s deputies decide, that Wade and his son Jason just happened to be at the front of the boat when the explosion occurred so they weren’t injured. Did Wade rig that explosion to eliminate his ex? P.J. decides, if she doesn’t want the father of her unborn child thrown in prison, she’d better figure out who did cause the explosion.

Well, I was thrilled when I received a contract from Robert Hale Ltd. to publish A Killer Past in hardcover* and a contract from Five Star/Gale/Cengage to publish Eat Crow and Die in hardcover and as an e-book. I had no idea at the time that the two books would be released back-to-back. A Killer Past will be available here in the United States and Canada in June. (It was released in the UK in April.) Eat Crow and Die will be released in July. I love both of these books, but wow, it sure would have been nice if they’d come out at least six months apart. Will anyone buy both books? I hope so. It’s like having two of my children in a competition; I want both of them to win.

If you would like more information about me, these two books, or my other books, please visit www.marissoule.com and I would love it if you would “Like” me at www.facebook.com/MarisSouleAuthor

*A Killer Past is supposed to be in e-book form, too, but so far I haven’t seen any info about that.





25 comments:

HiDee said...

Enjoyed learning more about you and your writing, Maris. Thanks for being with us today!

Maris said...

Thank you, HiDee, for allowing me to be on your blogspot.

Rohn Federbush said...

it is hard to love two children at the same time, but there is always enough love to go around.

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

It's going to be a busy summer for you, no doubt, promoting two books. But how exciting, too. Look forward to reading them both.

Allan J. Emerson said...

Good luck, Maris! I've been going nuts trying to promote one book. But you have over 25 books (!) published; I'm sure you'll sail through the summer like the pro you obviously are. Both of your books sound like fun.

Maris said...

Rohn, you're right about enough love to go around. And just as we love each of our children, we can see something special in each. That's how I feel about these two books.

Maris said...

Lucy, I really would rather be writing, but people like HiDee make this promotion business a pleasure. Again, thanks, HiDee.

Maris said...

Allan, I think you're at a marvelous time in your career. There's nothing like the thrill of that first book. It's like your first child, you want to show him (in my case) off to everyone. Enjoy this time, Allan.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Congrats on having two new novels! I love romantic mystery novels like yours.

Melissa Keir said...

Congrats on your wonderful releases! I do love a little suspense in my romance too!

Susan Oleksiw said...

Congratulations on your new books. You have quite a season ahead of you, promoting two books. I think promoting one is hard, but two! Thanks for sharing your writing and publishing history.

Brenda Hill said...

Twenty-five books published, plus the two you talked about? Amazing. I'm in awe. Congratulations!

Rosanne Loves American History said...

Maris - I feel the same way with OUTLAW HEARTS and DO NOT FORSAKE ME coming out back to back and all kinds of back titles also being reissued in numerous venues. The promotion of books has begun to take as much time as writing them! Constant blogs and Facebook entries/replies. But it's a good feeling to be "wanted" again! We are both lucky to have a lot of older titles being reissued, which keeps the name "out there" and opens the way for bigger orders for new books. You justly deserve this new contract and a rebirth of your writing career! Sometimes it takes several books and several years to truly realize where we belong in our writing. I'm so glad you've found the perfect niche! I have a feeling BOTH books will do well because readers will want that third CROW book and because those books are so good, they will also want A KILLER PAST. Those who love your books will read anything you write!

Maris said...

Thank you, so much, Rosanne. You are an inspiration, and I certainly appreciate your supportive words. We are lucky. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to complain about what others would love to be doing. And, as long as I love writing these stories, I will keep doing it.

Maris said...

Brenda, I've actually had 27 books published. A Killer Past and Eat Crow and Die make numbers 28 and 29. I remember back when my prayer was to have just one book published. I feel blessed to still be writing and have people still want to read my books.

Maris said...

Susan, it was a pleasure to be a guest of HiDee's. I do find myself coming and going with this promo of two books, but it makes life interesting.

Maris said...

Jacqueline and Melissa, thanks so much.

Margo Hoornstra said...

How great is that to have two books coming out together. Just more to love, right? I'm sure you're up to the promoting task(s). Enjoy!

Karen Sue Burns said...

Love your comment about Lara Croft. I imagine her as beautiful and still kicking ass.

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed the post, Maris. Best wishes with your new release!

Maris said...

Karen Sue, that's exactly as I imagined my Mary Harrington. An elegant lady lady of a certain age who shouldn't be messed with.

Maris said...

Thanks, Angela. I do hope both of these books do well. It's similar to sending your children out into the world and hoping they succeed.

Maris said...

Margo, I hope I'm up to the promotion bit. We'll see. Some days it seems like I meet myself coming and going. (How's that for a cliche?)

Patricia Stoltey said...

I especially love the idea of A Killer Past, Maris. I'm adding both of your new releases to my TBR list.

Maris said...

Thank you, Patricia. I, also, love A Killer Past. It's a different kind of story from my P.J. Benson mysteries. It's always fun to try something new.

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