Marian Lanouette – Thriller Writer and my first Guest Author of 2018
Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to my blog.
My first Guest Author for 2018 is thriller writer, Marian Lanouette.
Let’s find out more about her and her writing.
Welcome to my blog Marian, it is really good to have you here.
Tell us something about yourself – your past/present career and where you are based:
Hi Jane, and thanks for hosting me today. In my past career I was an accountant/office manager for several industries. My favorite job outside of writing was working at a cemetery/crematorium. In fact, in the second book of the Jake Carrington Thriller Series, All the Hidden Sins, I took liberties with the industries to create a cat and mouse game with Jake and the victim/villain.
Were you an avid reader as a child?
My parents were avid readers and encouraged us all to read. As one of ten children reading was my escape to new places and exotic adventures. My most treasured item was my library card.
Who were your favourite authors and who do you think was the most influential author upon you as a child?
As all young girls I loved the Nancy Drew Series, but I also read the NY Daily News and devoured the facts on real murders. My favorite authors growing up were Joanne Greenberg, Jacqueline Susann (though I wasn’t supposed to read her.) I liked and read all the Agatha Christie novels and Tom Clancy novels and Nora Roberts Mysteries. I was really big on series, and still am. And I love biographies.
Who are your favourite authors now and why? Do you have one favourite crime writer?
I love Karin Slaughter (great name for thriller writer, isn’t it?), Leo J. Maloney, J.D. Robb, J.T. Ellison, and Angela Marsons’s Kim Stone series and Kathryn Graham’s MidSommer Murders. The reason they’re my favorites—take Leo J. Maloney. He’s a former black op, undercover, CIA operative and writes fictionally about his career. It’s intriguing. And the Kim Stone series is gripping. I love English mysteries and always have since I was a child. If an author grabs me from the first chapter and the characters strike me, I read the book through and I search out other books in the series.
How did you get published?
In 2009 I had a quadruple bypass. During my recovery I went back to my first love—writing. In that year I wrote the first two books in the Jake Carrington Thriller Series. After letting them rest I’d edit, then edit some more. In 2011 I was offered a two book deal with a small publisher and took it. Jake was published in September 2012 . Though my path to publication is not unique, it has been a roundabout way of getting to where I am today. The Jake Carrington Series started with a small press out of Canada. After a couple of years I took back my rights and self-published him with much success.
Who is your publisher, and how long did it take you to find your publisher?
Kensington Publishing Corp out of New York City is my publisher. They are wonderful to work with.
After meeting an editor from Kensington at a Gala, she read my books and offered me a four book deal, including the first two books that had been published in the series. I’m very excited to be working with Kensington, and I know Jake is finally home.
How long did it take from meeting to deal?
Within a year and a half of meeting Michaela my editor, I was offered a contract.
Have you always wanted to write?
I’ve written most of my life. In eighth grade, I wrote a poem about the ocean. It was supposed to be a four line stanza, but it was quite long. I lived by the ocean then, and loved it. The nun failed me because I didn’t follow the homework instructions, but she sent it on to the newspaper and they published it.
When did you think it could become more than a hobby – if it is?
I write full-time now. Since having the bypasses and six months later three stents, my husband and I agreed I would pursue my writing career and not continue on with accounting.
Did you ever reach a point where you felt you were a successful writer, not necessarily in financial terms of course?
Yes, when I completed my first novel, I felt I had arrived. But here’s a funny story. When I decided to write full-time, my husband and I attended a party and someone asked what I did for a living. I immediately told them I was a writer. My husband whispered to me, “Don’t you think you should wait to be published first before you tell people that?” I replied, “No, if I don’t believe in me, no one else will.”
You write detective crime and have a main character, Jake Carrington – is he based on a real detective or person you know?
No, Jake is a figment of my imagination. I do know a lot of police officers and have met some in my writing groups. I love their stories and ask their advice all the time to check my facts. As with any subject, research is the key.
What do you think his main appeal to readers is?
He’s not a super hero. Jake’s a regular guy who gets his heart-broken, makes mistakes, but his heart and morals are in the right place. I think that resonates with people.
How do you research for your novels?
I do, by interviewing cops, reading, and going to my local libraries and online.
Do you have a ‘go to’ police person who can assist you and give advice or explain procedures to you?
Yes, I do. I love his stories. He’s been on the force for over twenty-five years.
Have you ever shadowed a real detective to learn about detection methods? Who and when, where etc?
I’ve done a ride along at the Police Academy for Writers, but haven’t shadowed a detective YET. That’s on my goal list.
Where do you get your inspiration?
It comes from everywhere. One Sunday I was reading the engagement announcements in the paper and thought—what if the guy was dumped at the altar, and every year he collected a woman who looked like his runaway bride—well, that became book three All the Pretty Brides in Jake’s series due out in December 2018.
Have you ever based your criminals on real criminals (from Press information etc) or are your characters right from your imagination?
They’re from my imagination, but I think everything that an author reads, or encounters in life or experiences adds to the characters they create.
Are you a note-taker and plotter?
I’m a pantsy-plotter. A story comes to me as a movie. I write out immediately what I see in my head. This becomes the basic outline for the book and the mood. When I’m halfway through it I outline what I have, which leads me to the ending. Or sometimes, I have the ending, and need to outlay the beginning.
Do you ever fall in love with your characters or take a massive dislike to some of them?
I have. In book two, I had a love/hate relationship with Kyra Russell. The ending as I wrote it had me crying my eyes out. I can’t say more or I’ll give it away.
Would you say loving a character or hating one, makes for better characterisation?
Yes, because if they are real to you, they become three-dimensional, or as authors we hope they do to readers.
Do you believe in evil?
Yes, just look around.
Do you think the actions of people who kill, torture, imprison (slave trafficking) and sexually abuse people etc are evil, misguided, or mentally ill?
I believe they are evil, even if mentally unstable. Most, are just selfish, self-serving people from what I’ve read, with some instability.
Do you support the death penalty – which we do not have in Great Britain? There are many miscarriages of justice which are often undiscovered until years after conviction of an innocent person – would the chance of a miscarriage change your opinion about the death penalty?
I did, until recently when so many inmates were awaiting death were proved innocent with DNA testing.
Have you ever attended a court case? What did you make of the way the process works?
Yes. I think the criminal has more rights than the victims, and don’t feel that’s right but understand how it came about.
TV crime drama often exaggerates or misrepresents methods of detection/forensic science – for the sake of the story and of course the running time of the show – have you ever mistakenly taken what you have seen as fact and written about it in your books?
No, I take a lot of courses offered by adult education offered by police officers or experts or at colleges on forensics. One misrepresentation is that they take the body temperature at the scene of the crime. It looks good and efficient on television.
What do you think about poetic license in such cases or are you someone who likes to be deadly accurate in what you write re the detection/forensic science and police procedures?
I research and try to get everything accurate, but being human there will be mistakes. I hope the readers will be kind.
If your books were to be made into a TV series, how do you think you’d cope with the characters and plot being messed around with? Would you find it hard to stand by and do nothing?
I’d be able to step back. When the publisher offered me my contract, she wanted some changes. I accommodated her. If she was willing to take a chance on the books, I had to put my faith in her. The same would apply with a television show. I don’t write plays, and would have to trust the writer for the show to have the knowledge of what plays well.
If you weren’t a writer and hadn’t had your former career, what do you think you might like to have been?
Why? LOL, I always wanted to be an actress.
Do you have writing/reading related hobbies – what are you hobbies?
I love knitting, snowboarding and rollerblading (not so much since the open heart surgery.)
Does your location influence your writing? Do you think you could create the same characters and plots living somewhere else or is location key to your writing?
I can and have written anywhere. When I was young, I grew up in a five-room apartment with my five brothers, four sisters and parents. We had the girls’ room, the boys’ room and the parents’ room. To get privacy I’d take a flashlight and go into the closet to read and write my stories. It all happens inside my head and I create any location that suits me at the moment.
Please tell us about all your books to date.
On February 27, 2018 the first book, All the Deadly Lies, A Jake Carrington Thriller will be released and is now up for preorder.
Please tell us about your most recent book – you may share a paragraph or two with us if you wish.
Excerpt from All the Deadly Lies
“Sergeant, in my office, please.” Captain Shamus McGuire stood at attention in his doorway, all six-feet-four inches of him. His steel-gray hair cut to military precision focused one’s attention on his matching gray eyes.
Homicide Sergeant Jake Carrington of the Wilkesbury Police Department looked across his joined desk to his partner, and lifelong friend Louie Romanelli and shrugged. Louie threw him a questioning look as he adjusted his tie and started to rise from his chair.
“Just Jake, Louie,” the captain said as he turned into his office.
Jake picked up their latest case file to update the captain and walked in to join McGuire.
“Take a seat, Jake.” The captain pointed to one of the two institutional-gray ones in front of his desk. He took off his glasses and massaged his forehead.
Though Jake preferred to stand, he took the less beat-up seat on the right. The room was a monument to the man, all spit and polish. Sparse furnishing with a few awards and medals hung on the walls. Paperwork in precise piles, a picture of his family, the standard computer and phone were all he had on his desk. McGuire’s appearance and stance warned his cops he took no crap from them. It wasn’t like him to stall but that’s exactly what he was doing at the moment. McGuire turned his smoky eyes on him. Jake went on alert. Something was up, something big.
“Captain?” Instincts had Jake bracing for what came next.
“Spaulding’s coming up for parole again. And this time he’s requesting a DNA test before he comes before the board.” Jake’s stomach curdled. McGuire continued, “He’s also requesting the DNA samples from your sister’s crime scene be tested against his.”
“What bullshit, Shamus.”
Jake jumped up, roamed the office. His mouth went dry. Deep down he was afraid the old samples somehow wouldn’t match and would set Eva’s killer free. This new development would split his attention. What could Spaulding gain from this maneuver? To catch a killer, you had to get inside his head. Did Spaulding assume the system would release him if he got a new trial?
He looked out the window and studied the downtown area as he ran every scenario through his mind. This was his town, though imperfect as it was. He and Eva had been born here of immigrant parents. Its one-hundred-thousand residents depended on him and those who had come before him to protect it.
Thanks so much for being my guest author, it has been fab having you tell us all about your work.
Good luck with your writing and the future Marian.
Thank you so much for the opportunity, Jane. Marian.
You are most welcome.
For those interested here are the links to Marian’s Social Media and books:
All the Hidden Sins, A Jake Carrington Thriller (formerly published as Burn in Hell,) the book contains new content and plot twists. Release date: 7/31/18
All the Pretty Brides, A Jake Carrington Thriller
Release date: 12/18/18
All the Dirty Secrets, A Jake Carrington Thriller
Release Date: 5/14/19