It gives me great pleasure to tell you that I’ll be having thriller author Peg Brantley as my next guest on the Crime Cafe podcast. Toward that end, Peg’s doing a guest post this week and giving away three Kindle copies of her third novel, THE SACRIFICE.
I highly recommend you get in on this giveaway. I’ve been a Peg Brantley fan since her first book, RED TIDE! Heck, I reviewed that book on my old blog and gave it high marks on GoodReads!
And be sure to check out Peg’s website. I’m thrilled to see that the awesome indie bookstore Tattered Cover carries her books. Whenever I’m in Colorado (which is occasionally), the Tattered Cover is one of my favorite haunts.
But enough introduction. Let’s bring on Peg Brantley!
WHEN RESEARCH HURTS
by Peg Brantley
While for me character comes first, I select concepts that attract my interest either because I’m curious or because I’m afraid or repelled. Then I build plots to force those characters to walk through those concepts. Red Tide deals with biological weapons and working dogs, The Missings tackles organ donation and undocumented immigrants and The Sacrifice puts the spotlight on depression and cults.
Each one involved fascinating research.
I learn a lot more about each topic than makes it into the book. If I get the details right, and sprinkle them in as if they were potent spices in a savory stew, the story moves from either flat or unbelievable fiction to that uncomfortable place where readers believe what they’re reading could actually happen.
I recently turned my latest manuscript over to my very talented editor, Peggy Hageman. The research for this story had me in tears and often left me with a heavy sadness. The topic? Human trafficking. Sadly there was no shortage of material for my research.
The separation between fiction and non-fiction was never more apparent to me than writing this story. That’s one of the reasons that every chapter begins with a quote from something or someone real, related to human trafficking, primarily sex trafficking, in Real Life.
While I write crime fiction and can create satisfying endings, the men and women who are involved in fighting the battle day in and day out aren’t always so fortunate. My world is invented. Theirs is real. While I love the three girls in my story and they haunt me, I don’t really have to face any ongoing devastation or destruction because of the horror of reality. When I finished the last line of the last scene of the last chapter, I was free to move on. They aren’t. They are my heroes.
If you’re interested in being an early reader for my next book, and are willing to write an honest review for Amazon when it’s released, email me at email@example.com. Please put EARLY READER in the subject line. By being an early reader, you will also be signed up for my monthly-ish newsletter where I introduce other crime fiction authors and often include special offers.
I will be giving away three Kindle copies of The Sacrifice to Debbi’s readers. While all my books can be read as stand-alones, the characters in The Sacrifice continue in the new book. You can enter the giveaway by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and putting GIVEAWAY in the subject line. By entering, you will also be signed up for my monthly-ish newsletter. I use an online program to select the winners.
A Colorado native, Peg Brantley and her husband make their home southeast of Denver, sharing it over time with the occasional pair of mallard ducks and their babies, snapping turtles, peacocks, assorted other birds, foxes, a deer named Cedric, and a bichon named McKenzie.
With the intent to lend her stories credibility, Peg is a graduate of the Aurora Citizens’ Police Academy, participated in the Writers’ Police Academy, has interviewed crime scene investigators, FBI agents, human trafficking experts, obtained her Concealed Carry Permit, studied diverse topics from arson dogs to Santeria, and hunted down real life locations that show up in her stories.
At this very minute (well, not this very minute) she’s busy turning her standalone books into two separate series because that’s what her readers want.
Peg’s third book, The Sacrifice, was a finalist for two 2014 Colorado literary awards.
You can learn more about Peg’s books at http://www.pegbrantley.com or meet up with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pegbrantleyauthorpage or follow her blog at http://www.suspensenovleist.blogspot.com
It’s all better with friends.