A Killer of a Novel

When 17-year-old Senate page Katie Converse goes missing on her Christmas break fob20cover1near her parents’ white Victorian home in Portland, Ore., law enforcement and the media go into overdrive in a search for clues.

Three friends at the pinnacle of their respective careers–Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor; Cassidy Shaw, a crime reporter; and Nicole Hedges, an FBI special agent–soon discover that Katie wasn’t the picture of innocence painted by her parents.

Did Katie run away to escape their stifling demands? Was she having an affair with the senator who sponsored her as a page? Has she been kidnapped? Is she the victim of a serial killer?

About the authors
April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. April had one detour on her path to destruction: when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine.

By the time she was in her 30s, April had come to terms with her childhood and started writing about hit men, drug dealers, and serial killers. She has published six mysteries and thrillers, with five more under contract. Her books have gotten starred
reviews, been on Booksense (twice!), translated into four languages, short-listed for the Oregon Book Award, and chosen as a Quick Pick by the American Library Association.

April co-wrote Face of Betrayal with Lis Wiehl, a legal analyst on FOX. They have a contract for three more Triple Threat mysteries.

In March, April’s young adult thriller, Torched, came out from Putnam.

What others are saying
Publishers Weekly
“A sizzling political thriller… The seamless plot offers a plethora of twists and turns.”

Romantic Times:
4.5 stars  “Wiehl and Henry have penned a winner that seems to come straight from the headlines. Captivating suspense, coupled with tightly written prose, will entertain and intrigue.”

Ingram:
“Readers are in for a treat as trial lawyer/commentator Lis Wiehl and mystery author April Henry team up for a political thriller.”

Links:
April’s Website: aprilhenrymysteries.com        
April’s blog: aprilhenry.livejournal.com

Tell us about your latest release and the inspiration behind it.
In Face of Betrayal, Katie, a 17 year old Senate page, disappears. The prime suspect: the Senator who may have been more than just a mentor. Three women – an FBI agent, a federal prosecutor, and a TV crime reporter – team up to find out what really happened. Lis and I wanted to weave in some of the experiences she has had as a federal prosecutor and a TV reporter.

Any fan/fan mail stories you care to share? The good, the bad and the ugly.
The good: Once I was recognized in a grocery store – and when the guy doing the recognizing told me his name I realized he was a well-known local chef. He talked to me for a minute, praising my books to the skies, and then said, “I’ll let you go. I’m sure you’re tired of being bothered.” I wanted to throw my arms around his ankles and beg him to stay.

The ugly: Having a guy come to a signing at Borders one time who thought my main character was a real person. He kept asking me, “Does Claire like to run in Forest Park?” Finally I said, she might, if she were real… The coordinator ended up walking me to my car. And a few weeks later, the bodies of three murdered women were discovered in Forest Park. My questioner, though, was not the killer.

Are your children readers and have they become more so because you write? What do they think about what you do and the pursuit of your dream?
My daughter is a reader, but I have to be careful not to push the books I love or she won’t read them. I write young adult books as well, so I read them, but I can’t walk in and say “You have to read this book.” I have to leave it lying around or get caught reading it. Her friends think that what I do is cool, but she tells them it’s boring – I just stare at computer all day. She still comes in very handing for critiquing. Since she was little I have read aloud chapters to her, and her comments have always been good. She’s told me when a phrase was too over the top or commented that a chapter ended in a “nice cliffhanger.”

When deadlines hit, what happens in your house?
We eat a lot of already prepared food from Costco.

Do you put your friends in your books? Names, incidents, characteristics? Have any of them recognized themselves in a not-so-good way?
I have used the first names of friends. In my first book, Circles of Confusion, nearly all the last names came from kids I went to grade school with.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing instead?
I thought about doing so many things: lawyer, doctor, researcher. But please don’t take writing away from me. It is the best thing ever.

What is the most memorable first line you’ve ever read in a novel?
They shoot the white girl first. —Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)

Which do you most like writing–dialogue, action, or description?
Since I write mysteries and thrillers, I’m all about action.

Do you think about writing series or do you prefer stand alone titles?
I do both, so I have the best of both worlds. My adult mysteries with Lis Wiehl are part of a series (we signed a four-book contract). My young adults so far have all been stand alones.

Have you given your favorite names to characters yet or are you waiting for that special character and book?
I have written enough books (eight so far, with four more on the way) that I’m having trouble not re-using names. When I was writing my first published book, I was pregnant, and my husband and I argued over what to name our baby. For a girl, he wanted Sadie and I wanted Claire. Since I was sure it was going to be a boy, I told him he got to pick the girl name. So now we have a daughter named Sadie, and I published a four-book series with a main character named Claire. Looking back, I’m kind of glad he won.

Thanks for stopping by, April!

Link to buy Face of Betrayal:  amazon.com

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Blog Tour with Kelly Parra

Invisible Touch

Invisible Touch

Today I’m taking part in a blog tour for author, Kelly Parra.  Kelly is the author of Graffiti Girl, a double RITA nominee and Latinidad Top Pick, and the contemporary paranormal, Invisible Touch. When not pulling her hair while writing her current novel, she likes to play with her abundance of websites (see below!) and feed a serious television addiction.

INVISIBLE TOUCH

by Kelly Parra

MTV Books | October 14, 2008

ISBN: 1416563377

(For ages 13 and up)

 

Do you believe in fate?

 

Kara Martinez has been trying to be “normal” ever since the accident that took her father’s life when she was eleven years old. She’s buried the caliente side of her Mexican heritage with her father and tried to be the girl her rigid mother wants her to be — compliant and dressed in pink, and certainly not acting out like her older brother Jason. Not even Danielle, her best friend at Valdez High, has seen the real Kara; only those who read her anonymous blog know the deepest secrets of the Sign Seer.

 

Because Kara has a gift — one that often feels like a curse. She sees signs, visions that are clues to a person’s fate, if she can put together the pieces of the puzzle in time. So far, she’s been able to solve the clues and avert disaster for those she’s been warned about — until she sees the flash of a gun on a fellow classmate, and the stakes are raised higher than ever before. Kara does her best to follow the signs, but it’s her heart that wanders into new territory when she falls for a mysterious guy from the wrong side of town, taking her closer to answers she may not be able to handle. Will her forbidden romance help her solve the deadly puzzle before it’s too late…or lead her even further into danger?

 

 

Praise for Invisible Touch

 

“A magical blending of mystery, romance, and deep and dangerous secrets. Kelly Parra’s Invisible Touch is an action-packed coming-of-age novel, sure to keep readers turning pages and begging for a sequel.” 
– Laurie Faria Stolarz, Bestselling author of Blue is for Nightmares and Deadly Little Secret

 

Readers are going to delight in this fast-paced, gripping story, and be kept spellbound until its surprising finish.” 
  — Tina Ferraro, author of How To Hook A Hottie

 

The Gold Award of Excellence! An amazing, touching novel that deals with big issues in an original context.”  — TeensReadToo

 

Five out of five gold pens for Invisible Touch.”The Salinas Californian

 

  

Judi: Wow, Kelly – you’ve piqued my interest! What a great premise! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Kelly: I’ve always believed in intuitive vibes and repetitive signs and thought wouldn’t it be cool to have a girl who really saw visions and have to piece the signs together to help others? But not only that, but this gift had to also be a curse and would a logical mother believe her?  And from there Kara was born in my mind with secrets and pain and grief and romance. My inspiration was to write a book to make readers “feel” and I hope I succeeded. 🙂
Judi: This sounds like it could maybe continue into a series. Do you think about writing them or do you prefer stand alone titles?
Kelly: I LOVE to read series and it’s always been a dream to write one. My first books are stand alones, but I currently writing a sci-fi young adult novel and I’m hoping it could be a series.
Judi: You may have seen the contest I just had on my blog to come up with a new name for my second Mer story, Wild Blue Under. The winner gets a character named after her in the story. Do you put your friends in your books? Names, incidents, characteristics? Have any of them recognized themselves in a not-so-good way?
Kelly: I try to steer away from that, but family and friends have stated they see characteristics from other people in my characters. I don’t notice until after publication. It’s not intentional!
Judi: I’ve got a deadline looming and wondered, what happens in your house when deadlines hit?
Kelly: Oh boy, the laundry piles up and the rooms become a mess.  I sort of stare at everything with guilt, but my husband is very supportive in having me meet deadlines and will pick up the slack on the weekends.
Judi: (*relates very well to the guilt and piles of laundry thing, especially THIS week!) If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing instead?
Kelly: I can’t imagine doing anything else right now, but I started off as an artist in graphic design. So it could have stuck with illustration or become a web designer.
Judi: Which do you most like writing–dialogue, action, or description?
Kelly: Action and description. I’m not a great conversationalist and its the same for my characters. LOL.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Judi!

 My pleasure, Kelly. I LOVED hearing about this and wish you all the best!