Monday, August 24, 2015

Courage Resurrected by R. Scott Mackey - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. R. Scott Mackey will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I’ve always been drawn to mysteries as a reader, so it came naturally to me to write them. The best mysteries are so much more than about “whodunit,” and that’s what I strive to do in my work. I purposely created a mystery series so that I could fully develop my characters, especially that of Ray Courage and Rubia. I want to grow and evolve them over the books as the events they encounter affect and change them. It’s my intent to develop living, breathing characters that readers can relate to even as these characters face extraordinary circumstances.

What research is required?

My Courage Mystery Series of books take place in Sacramento and other Northern California locations, places that I know very well. That has been a very fun part of writing these books—sharing this part of the world with readers. Many of the locations are represented as they actually are, others are composites. Quite often I will visit the location of a scene in the book so I can capture it accurately, finding the details that paint the right picture without over-describing the scene. In Courage Resurrected, for example, there are a lot of scenes that take place along the Sacramento River and some of the small towns next to it. I spent several days driving the twisting country roads that follow the river, stopping in the towns, eating in the restaurants, and talking to the locals so that I could get an accurate feel for those places and the people who inhabit them.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Ray Courage is just an ordinary guy. That was the premise from the very beginning. I had grown tired of reading (and seeing in movies) about characters that are “super-human” figures, whether that’s in winning cartoonish fistfights, engaging in car chases and gun battles, or performing some other daredevil act without being physically or emotionally affected by it. Ray is in his fifties and encounters things he’s never-before experienced, including murders, threats from thugs with guns, and so on. In his case these things weigh on him heavily and affect his character and decision-making. When I write about him I try to envision how I might be affected if faced with the same set of circumstances. So I guess you could say I’m always learning about myself as I explore the character of Ray Courage.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

Some people think it is strange that I write standing up or sitting on an exercise ball. I do that to ease the stress on my back ... and it works. I also practice tai chi in my writing office to stay in shape and take a mental break.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

I create a detailed plot for all of my books. And then I almost always deviate from it once I start writing. Having an outline helps me feel confident that I won’t write myself into a corner or a dead end. Once I start writing the story, however, the characters and events evolve from my initial conception in new and more exciting ways. For example, the biggest plot twists in both Courage Matters and Courage Resurrected were not in the original plot. As it turned out these twists were some of the favorite parts of these books for readers.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My dog, panting heavily after our long walk this morning. She’ll stay here with me until we break for lunch. Just beyond her is a bookshelf filled with a thesaurus, two dictionaries, a Chicago Manual of Style, as well as softcover copies of Courage Begins, Courage Matters, and Courage Resurrected.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

The fourth book in the Ray Courage Mystery Series, Courage Lies Beneath, is now in editing and cover design mode. I plan to release that book the first week of October. I will be offering readers a free download of it if they join my book launch team (early readers who want to offer a review the day of launch). If your readers would like to be notified about when the free download will be offered, they can go to www.RScottMackey and sign up for my monthly newsletter. They can also download a free copy of Courage Begins when they’re there.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Thank you for giving me the chance to ask a question. I would like to ask your readers what is it about their favorite novels that they like the most? The characters? The story/plot? Humor? Writing style and quality? Or is it a combination of all of these that make a story compelling?

Ray Courage’s wife Pam died thirteen years before in a car accident. Or did she? Ray’s world is turned upside down when he receives a series of e-mails from someone claiming to be his dead wife, accusing him of attempting to kill her and vowing revenge. Ray sets out to find the identity of the e-mailer only to discover the circumstances of his wife’s apparent death appear to be all but accidental.

Soon Police Detective Carla Thurber comes to suspect Ray of killing his wife, and of a subsequent murder of Pam’s confidant. Meanwhile, a murderous predator who does not want the facts of Pam’s death to surface aims to stop Ray. In the greatest challenge of his life, Ray must outrun the police and elude those who are out to kill him as he seeks the truth about his wife’s death.

Enjoy an excerpt:

After she left I took out my phone and opened the email from Pam1111, fully intending to delete it after a quick glance. Instead of some offer for an erection booster or the chance to aid a Nigerian princess, the message gave me an immediate chill:

How could you have done that to me 13 years ago? Me, the person you said you loved? Well, it didn’t work. I’m not dead and I am going to make you pay after all these years. Better look over your shoulder.

About the Author:
Scott Mackey lives in Northern California, where he writes both fiction and non-fiction. His first book, Barbary Baseball, achieved critical acclaim from baseball historians for its quality research and writing. He followed that with two young adult novels. His popular Ray Courage Mystery Series includes Courage Begins, Courage Matters, and Courage Resurrected. The fourth book in the series, Courage Lies Beneath, is scheduled for release later in 2015.

Scott's career arc has included stints as a corporate communications manager, college professor, copywriter, bartender, and youth sports coach. In addition to obsessing over punctuation and grammar, he cares about his family (including his dog and cat), the San Francisco Giants, and his rather sad golf game.

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Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The first book of the series, Courage Begins is FREE from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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  1. Thanks for sharing the interview, I really enjoyed reading the post. And thanks for the giveaway :)

  2. I would have to say the characters. When I like the characters I hate to see the book end. I also love humor in the books I read.

  3. I enjoyed the interview. Thank you.

  4. All of those items draw me to books but I guess the biggest draw for me is quirky characters and humor! Ray Courage is a great character! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Loving the fact that your character is just a regular guy.

  6. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?