A Few Quick Questions With…Lauren Carr

So, for the second post on The Murders at Astaire Castle (Audiobook) book tour, we got a few questions with the author, Lauren Carr. This has the distinction of featuring the most poorly-worded question I’ve asked here — I’m pretty embarassed by that. But, “Always Forward,” right? As usual, I kept it short and sweet, because I’d rather she work on her next book than take too much time with me.

So, I realize The Murders at Astaire Castle is written to be accessible to new readers, but what would be useful to new readers to know before picking it up?
The Murders at Astaire Castle is a murder mystery with a touch of paranormal. It is not a paranormal book with a murder mystery. The mystery is at the forefront of plot.
There’s a hint of the supernatural running through this book — is this typical for your work/this series? If not, what led you to the choice?
For The Murders at Astaire Castle, I wanted to do a Halloween mystery. What better than a haunted house—or better yet a castle? Of course, you needed a murder mystery. Then, I asked, who would be the victim? Who else but a paranormal author.

Halloween has always been a fun time. It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural.

But I wasn’t looking to do a paranormal book. I am a murder mystery writer and I love murder mysteries. So, it had to be a murder mystery with a supernatural touch.

The Murders at Astaire Castle has a touch of everything. We have the dark and spooky castle with rumors of a curse. We have hidden passage ways. Things happening that defy a logical explanation. We even have a wolf man! And it’s not Gnarly.

What’s the one (or two) book/movie/show in the last 5 years that made you say, “I wish I’d written that.”?
Now You See Me. The twists and turns in this movie left me breathless. I saw none of it coming.
Is there a genre that you particularly enjoy reading, but could never write? Or are you primarily a mystery/suspense/thriller reader?
I am primarily a murder mystery writer and reader. I always have been and I love murder mysteries. When I was a child reading the Bobbsey Twins, I would turn the mystery of the missing sea shell into a kidnapping story.
This many books into a series, is it easier or more difficult to keep going? What challenges are you finding doing this that you didn’t expect?
So far, the difficulty is in keeping up with the directions that the characters themselves want to go. I am always one book ahead in my mind. So, while writing a book, I have a very good idea what direction that I will be taking my characters further down the road.

For example, right now I am writing A Fine Year for Murder, the next Thorny Rose Mystery. Mac Faraday and the Spencer gang make an appearance in this mystery. Keeping in mind my plot for the next Mac Faraday Mystery, I am able to plant seeds for Bonding with Murder and even the Mac Faraday mystery that will be following that. These dropping aren’t necessary clues—rather, they are Easter eggs that will make faithful readers go, “Ahh, I remember Mac saying something about that back in A Fine Year for Murder.”

The biggest challenge, I have found is characters. I fight to keep my characters interesting and even diverse. There are characters in my books who everyone loves. But then, sometimes I will introduce a new character who I find unique and different who some readers object to. This happened with Cameron Gates in the Lovers in Crime mysteries. Some readers loved her. Others didn’t. The same thing is happening now with Dallas Walker in the Mac Faraday mysteries. She appears to be a love her or hate her character with nothing in between.

Which goes to prove the fact of life—you can’t make everyone love you.

Thanks for your time and the opportunity to read (well, listen to) this book.

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