Today we're welcoming author Renee Pawlish to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the mystery novel, "This Doesn't Happen in the Movies". Remember, Renee is giving away a print or eBook copy of her book Nephilim and a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND earn a GC to buy more books. It's win-win.
And now, without further ado, please welcome Renee:
Tell us a bit about your book and its origins.
Many authors will outline their books before they start writing. I wish I could say that I know where my story is going when I start, but I don’t. When I wrote This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, I didn’t have a sense of the story, I just had the first line (I want you to find my dead husband). That sentence stuck with me for quite some time and I finally dreamed up the detective, Reed Ferguson, after I had the villain (Amanda Ghering). I’m a huge fan of mystery and detective fiction, and when I set about to create another detective, I stepped back and studied all those books I had read. One thing I noticed was that we never had an example of the detective solving his first case (this was in 2001), and I thought this would be an entertaining way for the reader to get acquainted with my hero.
What led you to write a book based on film noir?
The film noir piece of the novel came as a natural extension of who Reed Ferguson (my hero) is. Reed is a kind of a rich kid, aimless and trying to figure out his career. He decides he wants to be a private eye because he’s got a romantic notion of what the profession is like. He loves film noir and detective fiction. Initially this was just a slice of Reed’s character. But as I wrote the story, it seemed natural for Reed to want to emulate his hero, Humphrey Bogart. With this in mind, as the plot developed, I incorporated one of the best-known film noir movies, The Big Sleep, into the storyline. The film noir references are now a part of all the Reed Ferguson stories. And it’s been wonderful to see how many readers love that aspect of the series.
What genre(s) do you tend to read in? Why?
I have always read mysteries first and foremost, ever since I was a little kid. I love the fact that you have an endpoint to the story, meaning there is a murder or crime, and most of the characters are either trying to solve the crime, or cover it up. I don’t enjoy mainstream fiction as much because I frequently find that when I get to the end, I’m saying, “So what?” There isn’t a resolution to the story; the characters just are. Since I wrote Nephilim Genesis of Evil, which is a mystery with supernatural/horror elements in it, I’ve read a lot more horror. I find that some of the stories are fantastic, but many are a little too weird for me. And I don’t like gore, just good suspense.
What authors have inspired you? Why?
I read a lot of classic fiction early on, and I loved Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolf. I love the way those detectives figured things out, and in the Nero Wolf books, his sidekick Archie Goodwin is a smart-ass, and I relate to that. Rex Stout was great with the wit and sarcasm. I also love early Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane. They really knew how to shape a story and bring all the pieces together, and they kept you guessing.
Why did you opt to self-publish? What's the experience been like?
The first book I self-published was Nephilim Genesis of Evil. I found that many agents said they liked the story and my writing, but since the novel didn’t fit neatly into a genre (it’s kind of mystery, kind of horror, with a supernatural bad guy based on Biblical lore), they didn’t know how they could market it. So I decided to self-publish it. This was before the ebook revolution and I formatted the book and used a press in Ohio. It sold well, going into a second printing. I kick myself that I didn’t ebook publish it when I first read about Amazon and ebooks, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until last summer when I decided to publish the Reed Ferguson books that I’d written, and some other stories. It’s been very rewarding, and having control over your books is great, but it’s also a lot of work.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I appreciate all the readers who take chances on indie authors. I hope you’ll pick up one of my books, and when you do, let me know what you think of them. I love interacting with readers and finding out what you think, good or bad. And for those of you who have book clubs, I would be delighted and honored to visit your group to discuss my novels.
Would you share an excerpt of This Doesn't Happen in the Movies?
“I want you to find my dead husband.”
“Excuse me?” That was my first reaction.
“I want you to find my husband. He’s dead, and I need to know where he is.” She spoke in a voice one sexy note below middle C.
“Uh-huh.” That was my second reaction. Really slick.
Moments before, when I saw her standing in the outer room, waiting to come into my office, I had the feeling she’d be trouble. And now, with that intro, I knew it.
“He’s dead, and I need you to find him.” If she wasn’t tired of the repetition, I was, but I couldn’t seem to get my mouth working. She sat in the cushy black leather chair on the other side of my desk, exhaling money with every sultry breath. She had beautiful blond hair with just a hint of darker color at the roots, blue eyes like a cold mountain lake, and a smile that would slay Adonis. I’d like to say that a beautiful woman couldn’t influence me by her beauty alone. I’d like to say it, but I can’t.
About Renee: Renée Pawlish was born in California, but has lived most of her life in Colorado. When she's not hiking, cycling, or chasing ballplayers for autographs, she is writing mysteries and thrillers that include the Reed Ferguson mysteries, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the first in the Nephilim trilogy, Take Five, a short story collection, and The Sallie House: Exposing the Beast Within, a non-fiction account of a haunted house investigation.
Renée loves to travel and has visited numerous countries around the world. She has also spent many summer days at her parents' cabin in the hills outside of Boulder, which was the inspiration for the setting of Taylor Crossing in her novel Nephilim: Genesis of Evil.
on Twitter: http://twitter.com/reneepawlish
on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/reneepawlish.author
on her blog: http://tobecomeawriter.wordpress.com/
or Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/reneepawlish