This week I’m interviewing author C.T. Collier about her exciting new release, Planted.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started writing as soon as I knew words on paper had meaning. About four years ago, I promised myself, even though I was working several jobs, I’d find one hour every day to write for myself. Within a year, I had a contract for my first novel.
Q: Tell us about your road to publication.
A: I pitched to Debby Gilbert of Soul Mate Publishing at a writer’s conference in Rochester, NY. She liked the concept of my book and thought it carried a message of hope. That led to publication of my romance series (as Katie O’Boyle) and the branding for my romance website “Healing Hope and Love.” This year I published a spin-off mystery, Planted, first in a new mystery series, The Penningtons Investigate, under my own name, C. T. Collier, and a new imprint, Asdee Press.
Q: What advice would you give an aspiring author?
A: Write every day, believe in your unique message, and work at developing your voice as a writer. Membership in a writer’s group, local or professional, will broaden your vision and connect you to valuable resources.
Q: Tell us about your latest release.
A: Planted is the first in a traditional mystery series, The Penningtons Investigate, set in a fictional college town (Tompkins College in Tompkins Falls) in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York. Lyssa and Kyle Pennington are both PhD’s, and when their clever minds start asking questions, clever killers can’t hide.
It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?
The Penningtons’ canvass of their quiet neighborhood turns up disturbing secrets about the family who lived in their house for decades and another ill-fated family a few doors away. No one seems to know how to contact the only sons of either family. Lyssa follows the young men’s money stories and finds twenty million dollars, a neighbor who’s not what he seems, and a long-buried rivalry. Kyle goes after homicide data in six states and finds a body. Their next surprise is a murderer who will go to any length to conceal the crime.
Lyssa yanked a pillowcase off the clothesline, tore into it with her teeth, and ripped it into wide strips. “The ambulance is on its way, Mrs. Winkel. I’m going to stop the bleeding the best I can.” When she lifted Mrs. Winkel’s right hand away from her left arm, blood pulsed from the wound.
God, help us. With shaking fingers, she wrapped strip of cloth tight around the wound. Hands slippery with blood, she wiped them on her shirt, then twisted another strip of pillowcase to make a tourniquet and tightened it with a clothespin.
What am I forgetting? “Bree,” she yelled, “I’ve got a tourniquet on the wound, and I can’t let go of it. What else do I need to do?”
“Right beside you.” Bree squatted next to her. “She’ll need her insurance card and doctor’s name, and they want me out front to meet the ambulance.”
“In my purse,” Mrs. Winkel gasped. “Hallway table.”
“I’ll get it.”
“I want to go with her to the hospital,” Lyssa said.
“Then take my car and follow them, but don’t let the police see you, or they’ll make you stay here to answer questions.”
“Evade the police?” Keep it together. “Mrs. Winkel, once the ambulance arrives—”
“Stay with me.” Her neighbor’s voice quavered.
“I will. I promise.”
Mrs. Winkel’s bloodied right hand grabbed at Lyssa’s T-shirt. “Call Mary. My sister.” She groaned, her grip loosened, and her arm dropped heavily.
Mrs. Winkel’s eyelids fluttered and her head rolled to the side.
Buy It Now: http://tinyurl.com/h2f2xeh
T. Collier grew up in Seneca Falls, NY, left the area for college and jobs, and always wanted to return to the Finger Lakes. Today she lives in a beautiful small city on one of the prettiest of the Finger Lakes, not unlike fictional Tompkins Falls. Most days you’ll find her writing in her tiny office looking out on a woods populated with fox, deer, wild turkeys, and songbirds. In her career as a tech-savvy college professor she has been endlessly fascinated with campus intrigue. Entirely fictional, Tompkins College is no college and every college.
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