Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tallulah Grace, The Littles, An SSCD Crime Thriller





AUTHOR: Tallulah Grace
BOOK TITLE: The Littles, An SSCD Crime Thriller
GENRE:  Thriller
PUBLISHER:  Tallulah Grace


Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? Thanks to loyal readers who appreciate my stories, I’m a full-time novelist. In order to keep up with the demand as well as with the constant scenarios running through my head, I maintain a pretty strict writing schedule. I work six days a week, writing at least 2000 words a day, on average. As an indie author, I also do my own marketing, which is my least favorite part of the process.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?  I love reading, of course, along with antiquing, bead weaving, and watching reality television. For the past year, my daughter and I have been redoing our home, so that is also a constant project. When I can manage it, I love to travel. I recently spent time in the mountains of North Georgia, truly beautiful country. Earlier this year, I visited Yosemite, Napa, and a few other small towns in Northern California as research for my Starsdale series. The vistas were absolutely stunning, and I hope to visit Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming next year.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?  My toughest criticism to date came from my daughter. She told me that some of the romantic bits were too sappy, so I revisited and rewrote several passages in my first series, Timeless Trilogy.

The compliments that blow me away are when readers compare me to Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown and Patricia Cornwell. These talented writers have been long-time favorites of mine, and I can hardly believe that some readers place me in the same category.       

Does criticism or positive feedback change how or what you do in your writing? I always read my reviews, but I never, ever comment on any of them. Constructive criticism is always helpful, but the one bit of feedback that actually impacted my writing the most involved a question regarding the paranormal aspects of my SSCD/Timeless Trilogy books. First, you have to know that my books are not fantasy; the characters are contemporary men and women, some of whom have extraordinary abilities. The reader wondered about the reality of having so many people with paranormal tendencies coming together in the same story line. I thought it was a reasonable question, so I explained it in Anson, the SSCD thriller where characters from Timeless Trilogy join the FBI team in the search for a madman.

What are your current projects? My current WIP is the latest in my SSCD series. These crime thrillers follow a team of agents in the FBI’s Special Serial Crime Division charged with capturing serial killers. Jeri Forbes, the agent in charge of the unit, is a tough, intuitive woman whose vulnerabilities keep her grounded. A common thread throughout all of the SSCD novels is the love interest between Jeri and Ethan Barnes, an agent with Interpol assigned to work with Jeri’s team in the first book in the series, Casanova Killer (currently free at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008R2O1FI). The latest book, as yet untitled, will be available in November 2013.

What do you plan for the future? My future works include additions to my Starsdale and SSCD series. Book Four of The Stories of Starsdale novels, a romantic suspense series that takes place in a small town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is next in line. These sweeter, but still suspenseful story lines offer me a writing break between the fast-paced, sometimes gruesome tales of the SSCD Crime Thrillers.

How can we find you? Readers can connect with me on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/grace.tallulah, or Twitter, https://twitter.com/TallulahSpeaks. For information on all of my works or to read bits of flash fiction and short stories not published elsewhere, visit my website; http://www.tallulahgrace.com. I also blog a little about my characters, inspiration and the like at http://www.tallulahspeaks.com.

Do you believe in ghosts?  Why or why not? Yes, I definitely believe that life goes on after death; that our spirits transition to a different plane of existence. One of the reasons I know this is true is because of experiences I had while sitting with my mom during her last days of life. She carried on conversations with “that man in the corner”; someone I could not see. He was as real to her as I was, but she’d never met him before. They talked about not being afraid of death and other things which were very personal to her.

Does your main character believe in ghosts?  Why or why not? In The Littles, one of the main characters, Kelly, knows that she is speaking to the ghost of her dead husband, but it’s not something that she ever believed was possible. Kyle visits to try and help her avoid being a victim of a deranged serial killer. The other main characters in the book, members of an FBI team, take her visitations with a huge grain of salt, until the information he offers proves to be valid. Readers can find a short story on the Flashy Shorts page of my website: http://www.tallulahgrace.com/flashy-shorts entitled Kelly’s Christmas, which relates the first time Kyle visits Kelly.

Have you ever encountered a ghost or paranormal event? Please describe it. Yes, but I didn’t know it at the time. Once, many years ago, I took a picture in a cemetery in St. Augustine, Florida. This was before I owned a digital camera, so I didn’t actually see the photo until after the 35mm film was developed. As St. Augustine has a reputation as one of the most haunted places in the country, I searched each picture for orbs and other ghostly evidence, but I totally missed the most interesting part of one picture. Standing next to and slightly above a gravestone was the translucent outline of a soldier sitting on a horse. My daughter noticed the image as we placed the photos in an album, and, once you know where to look, it is obvious. I’ve since scanned the picture into the computer, but the soldier and his horse do not show up.

Are your ghosts friendly, angry, hurtful, helpful, known or unknown to your
main character? Why did you choose this type of ghost? My ghosts are always helpful, but not always known to the main characters during the course of the story. In my novella, Trapped in Spaulding Manor, the main characters know of the ghostly legend attached to the home, but they are unaware of the truth until the end of the tale.

What kind of research did you do for this type of book? All of my stories are fiction. My research includes particular statistics and characteristics of serial killers or investigative techniques, but I’ve never researched the ghostly aspects of the stories. For those, I rely on my imagination, personal experiences and experiences related to me by those I trust.

Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life? (Has anyone ever realized it?) I have written stories with paranormal events based on personal and related experiences, but The Littles is not one of them. There’s a short story on my website entitled "The Visitor" which includes events experienced by two close friends. Also, in the prologue of my novel, Cliffs of Starsdale, the events described were based on my personal experiences with my mother, prior to her passing. As to whether or not anyone ever realized it, I told my friends about the story on the website. We have future plans to create a book based on their combined experiences, which are extensive.

Which characters were the hardest to develop: living or dead?  Why? In The Littles, I found the ghost of Kyle to be the most challenging character to develop. I wanted the reader to like him, to identify with him and, most importantly, to believe in the viability of his existence.

FUN FACTS:

What is your favorite:

Season? As a Southern girl, I enjoy reasonably mild Winters, tolerate sticky, humid Summers and look forward to charmingly colorful Springs. However, my favorite season is Fall when the nights turn cool enough to sleep with the windows open and sitting on the porch during midday is actually pleasant. I love watching my cat chase falling leaves and breathing in the crisp, fresh mountain air. Decorating with pots of colorful mums, buying just-picked apples from the local orchard and sipping hot cider on cool evenings are a few of the ways I like to celebrate the season.

TV show? Aside from being a reality TV junkie, with favs like Survivor, Amazing Race and many of the Housewives shows, I also love scripted drama. Currently, my favorite is a toss-up between Scandal and The Newsroom. 





Synopsis of The Littles:

The mountains of rural Georgia will never be the same after a series of vicious murders rock the area to its core. Not only does the killer target children, his gruesome murders are designed to inflict the ultimate agony upon their parents and to instill extreme terror within the small communities.

An SSCD team, part of the FBI's Special Serial Crimes Division, accepts the case and the conditional Governor's liaison, a prosecutor with more baggage than anyone realizes. Travel with them over the hills of the mystical Blue Ridge Mountains as they hunt the psychopath stalking the innocent. Can they capture him before he strikes again? Will he turn the tables and ensnare one of their own in his devious trap?

This psychological thriller delves into the mind of a deranged serial killer as it follows the twists and turns of an SSCD manhunt. Action packed and filled with suspense, The Littles takes readers on a thrill ride they will not soon forget.



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