1. For my readers who may not know what Two Lethal Lies is about, can you give them an overview?
Sure. And thanks for featuring my book! So… Two Lethal Lies is about Mitch Turner, a man with a secret so deadly, its discovery could put his whole world, especially his 11-year-old daughter, Julia, and the woman he’s come to love, Neesy, in the crosshairs of a maniacal killer.
2. Do any of your characters ever "resemble" people in your own life?
Yes, and no. In some of my other books, yes. In this one…not really. For example, I have a secondary character in my last book, One Deadly Sin, whose physical appearance is based on someone I know. And the heroine of Blind Curve, one of my most popular books, was based on a friend who does the same job as the heroine (orientation and mobility to the blind). And just between you and me and the fly on the wall, my heroes owe a lot to the fact that my husband is a big tease and makes me laugh at myself all the time. But even those characters who may have some basis in reality, are amalgams of imagination, observation, and fantasy. This is especially true of everyone in Two Lethal Lies. Mitch (sigh) is the kind of guy I’d love to hang with; Julia the type of kid who’d be a kick to talk books with; and Neesy, well she’d give you the shirt off her back—while telling you what you need to hear. I love them all.
3. How much input do you have in the titles/covers of your books?
The titles of my first five books were mine, but sometimes I wonder if that was because no one was paying much attention--LOL. Dead Shot and One Deadly Sin came from the publisher. Two Lethal Lies was mine, but it was a natural as it followed ODS. I can say that if the publisher wants to change a title you don’t have much say unless you’ve reached James Patterson proportions. The publisher knows the business, though, so you have to trust in that. As for covers, I’ve not had much influence over them. I wanted a bridge on the cover of Lies! But what they ended up with was pretty cool, and, even though a pond plays no part in the book, it looks good and creepy.
Sometimes I think that the title would be the hardest part of the book to come up with!
4. What is your favorite book - Current and Classic?
Hmm—a hard one. There are so many! But if you tied my hands behind my back and hung me from my feet in order to force me to name just one I’d probably say Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and Middlemarch by George Elliot. With Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm a close second in the contemporary category and Jane Eyre in the classic.
Diana Gabaldon's series is on my TBR list as well as Middlemarch. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites!
5. Have you ever considered writing a novel in another genre?
Okay, woman--have you been reading my mind? I’ve not only considered it, I’m working on it. For years I’ve had an idea for a futuristic, and I finally bit the bullet and decided to see if I could write it. I’m about three-quarters through. It’s been a very different experience for me—fun, but different.
I always like it when I can hit the nail on the head with a question! Can't wait to see what this one will be about!
6. How does your writing evolve - Do you plot out or just let it flow?
I’m a bit of both. I’m not a heavy plotter with a forty-page outline or a hundred scene cards or stuff like that. But I like to have some idea of where I’m going. I can’t just jump off a cliff and take it from wherever I land. I often know the major turning points ahead of time—or at least the “big” scenes. I like to know who the villain is and why he’s so evil; what the characters want and why. But not so much that I can’t uncover the wants and whys. That discovery is part of the pleasure of writing. One of my biggest stumbling blocks is how the hero/heroine is going to win out in the end. I usually never have a clue until I get there. In Lies, I wrote a couple of different climaxes—one where the villain has Neesy and Julia in an enclosed room that he can turn into a gas chamber with the flick of a button. Getting them out of there was no easy task! I finally figured out a way, but it was pretty lame. Luckily that ending met the cutting room floor in revision.
7. How important is setting to you in the story and do you ever feel it takes on the importance of a character all on its own?
I love setting, and yes, it often does become that important. Or—let me back up—I try to make it important. I’m not sure I’ve totally succeeded yet. But I love to be able to use the physical environment to reinforce character and tone. In Lies, the description of the carriage house is a good example: it’s pristine, with sparse furniture, no knick knacks on the walls, and nothing on the shelves except for a couple of library books. Two knapsacks sit by the door. I hope it reinforces the idea that nothing is permanent in Mitch and Julia’s life. I also got a chance to play with an early 20th century era New York mansion, which I tried to make as gothic as I could—ghostly back hallways now empty of a once-abundant servant staff, spider-filled attics, a portrait gallery put to sinister use.
8. What is currently on your nightstand?
I’d say dust if I could get away with it. Truth is there’s so much stuff on it you couldn’t see the dust. So, here goes….I always have a copy of Soap Opera Digest on hand. I’m a huge soap fan and I like to keep up and support the genre; my portable radio and earphones so I can listen to NPR’s “Morning Edition” while I’m waking up; a small fan to keep the flashes at bay; a collection of Farscape espisodes that I never put away: a couple of books on CD (Agatha Christie and Robert B. Parker at the moment); and finally (I know this is what you’ve been waiting for) books I got over the last RWA National conference and should be reading but haven’t got around to yet because I’m too busy with my SOD, my videos, and my other paraphernalia.
I thought I was the only one who still read Soap Opera Digest! LOL 9. What is the most interesting thing that a reader has said to you, or that has happened to you on a book tour?
I don’t know how interesting it is—at least to anyone but me—but my favorite thing to hear is “I love your books!” Not sure I could ever hear that one enough. The next best thing is “I told my friend and she went right out and bought your book, too!” LOL.
Well, I am loving this book right now and will definitely be recommending it!
10. Are you currently working on anything or is there anything else you would like my readers to know?
I’d just like to mention the Behind-the-Scenes section on my website. I’ve got a ton of fascinating stuff there—videos, an audio file, background info, even recipes—all related to Two Lethal Lies. I had fun putting it together. Hope your readers enjoy looking through it.
Be sure and visit at http://anniesolomon.com
I read about the idea behind One Deadly Sin and the Black Angel - I have seen the Black Angel. I went to college at Cornell College (Mt. Vernon) in Iowa - about 12 miles from Iowa City and we used to go to that cemetery on the weekends after we went to the city to go dancing! Regardless of the story behind it - it was just scary being in a cemetery late at night! I just found it pretty cool that the idea came from some place I had been!
LOL—love hearing from people who’ve been in that cemetery. It was just an item in a tourist book to me, but it was a great story!
I have 3 copies of this book to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Books. There are a few ways to enter:
1. Sign up to be a follower of this blog - just let me know how you follow. (1 entry)
2. Follow me on twitter (@kherbrand) and tweet or use tweet button below. (1 entry)
3. Comment on any non-giveaway post and let me know. (1 entry)
All entries can be left in one comment, but must leave email address also! Giveaway open to US/Canada only - no PO boxes. Giveaway will end on Oct 25. Winners will have 48 hours to respond. Any unclaimed books will be given away on twitter at that time.