Christine Presents ~ Stay of Execution by Kellie Larson Murphy
Please welcome Kellie Larson Murphy author of Stay of Execution.
Kellie Larsen Murphy will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Stay of Execution
by Kellie Larsen Murphy
- How did you come up with ideas for your books? I actually get this question a lot—particularly from book clubs. The short answer is that I don’t know. The long answer is I have so many ideas running through my head and while I may not ever act on a good number of them, it’s not a shortage of ideas that’s a problem. While I’ve heard stories of authors waking in the middle of the night and scrambling to write their ideas down, that is not me. I’m more likely to mull and plot in my head while I’m walking the dog. Those private times when I let my mind wander, those are when the ideas come to me.
What expertise did you bring to your writing? Before I wrote my first book, I spent several years as a freelance writer working for local and regional magazines. On the fiction front, I submitted work to short story contests and took home a few awards along the way. I’ve given both up for now to focus on my books, but I wouldn’t trade that experience.
- If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
In STAY OF EXECUTION, I would want to be Julia. While I wouldn’t necessarily want to be at the crossroads where she finds herself (or be married to her husband), I love her tenacity, her courage, and her vulnerability. Julia is compassionate, but not a sap. She wants to do the right thing. Finally, her confidence in herself may be shaken, but she doesn’t give up. I also really love her relationship with Nikki (my second choice).
- If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles? I have to admit, this is a hard question. After A GUILTY MIND was published, a reader suggested Andy Garcia as Detective Cancini. While I had never thought of it, I can see him playing the part. STAY OF EXECUTION features two additional male leads, Teddy Baldwin and Leo Spradlin. Russell Crowe might be a convincing Teddy and Leonardo DiCaprio might fit for Leo (yes, I know that looks like a cop-out but really, he would). As for Julia, I like Emma Stone or Amy Adams.
- Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing? I don’t belong to a critique group. My experience with them is limited, but I admit, it wasn’t positive. I found myself in a group dominated by one man and the rest of the group deferring to him more often than not. It didn’t feel like everyone was getting to play. With that being said, I’m open to trying one again—if I can find the time!
- When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step? When I first wrote A GUILTY MIND, I began sending query letters. I had some positive response and received some honest and smart advice from an agent who encouraged me to continue writing. His input shaped the final version of that manuscript. While he ultimately passed on the book, primarily because he felt some characters were unlikable (oddly, this seems to be a trend in popular books now!), I recognized and understood his feeling. Around this same time, I had supportive friends, beta readers, and my daughter advising me to look into self-publishing. Since I already believed A GUILTY MIND was more of a niche suspense, the idea made sense. So, working with an editor and a cover artist, I published in 2012.
- Do you outline your books or just start writing? I don’t outline—at first. The first draft, I write straight through for the most part. There are multiple sites which give advice on plotting and outlining and plenty of blog posts debating the benefits of “plotting vs. pantsing.” However, I just do what come naturally to me. When I start a book, I know how it begins and I already know how it ends. Of course, how I get to the end can be a mystery even to me. After the first draft, I create a timeline (my own version of an outline), adding, subtracting, and moving chapters. This is where I can tighten the plot and further develop the more important characters.
- Do you have an all time favorite book? Oh, yes. I’ve read REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier so many times my original copy pretty much fell apart. I can’t say exactly why I love this book, but the mood and suspense grab me every time.
- Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book? Yes, my next project is the third in the series, titled THE LAST SIN. This book brings Cancini back to Washington. Working with his partner, Smitty, he’s called to investigate the shooting of a young and handsome priest determined to clean up his neighborhood and rebuild his church (hint: not everyone is happy about it). The case gets increasingly complicated when his old friend, Father Joe (who appears in both the first two books) turns out to be the young priest’s mentor.
- Who is your favorite actor and actress? I can watch Christian Bale in almost anything just because he’s so good in everything. Not as sure on actresses but Anne Hathaway is up there. She’s come a long way from The Princess Diaries.
- What is your favorite reality show? This may sound dorky, but I love the cooking competition show on Food Network like Chopped and Next Food Network Star. Those are fun for me and I’m so impressed by the amazing creativity of the chefs.
11. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to write a series. I love writing a series. When I first wrote A GUILTY MIND, I wasn’t really planning a series, but the further I got into the process, the more I loved my detective. I decided before it was fully edited to write three books featuring Detective Cancini. STAY OF EXECUTION (the latest) will be followed by THE LAST SIN. Writing a series allows me to spend more time with some of my favorite characters. I’m open to writing more Cancini books in the future, but for now, I already have another series planned featuring a young female Private Investigator.
Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent–until a series of rapes and murders at the college. After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.
Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh wave of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…
A tension-filled psychological mystery, STAY OF EXECUTION is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.
Spradlin stood in front of the very people who’d accused him, hated him, and turned their backs on him, as though he were standing at a pulpit, a holy reverend forgiving his people their multitude of sins. A benevolent smile on his face, he spoke again, his tone soft and inviting. “I have a confession to make.”
Cancini squinted in the sun, shading his eyes with his hand, the muscles in his neck and shoulders tightening. He scanned the stunned faces in the crowd, one hand on the pistol hidden under his suit jacket. No one moved. No one spoke. They waited for Spradlin to explain, their anger turning to disbelief and curiosity.
“All those years in prison, all that time on death row, I was waiting for this moment.” He surveyed the crowd as his voice grew louder, more insistent. “I am not a stupid man. I wasn’t stupid back then, and I’m not stupid now. I made some mistakes, and those mistakes cost me the support of my friends and people who had known me my whole life. I didn’t understood back then, but I understand now.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Stay-Execution-Detective-Cancini-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00UCIKU3M/
Amazon / Print: http://www.amazon.com/Stay-Execution-Detective-Cancini-Mystery/dp/1508433054/
Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stay-of-execution-kellie-larsen-murphy/1121346604
Barnes and Noble Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stay-of-execution-kellie-larsen-murphy/1121346604
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Kellie Larsen Murphy will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.