Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Kim Cox. Tell us, what inspired you to write your book Haunted Hearts?
Haunted Hearts is the first book in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series. I’ve always loved mysteries and since I started writing in the mid 1990’s, I’ve always wanted to write a private investigator series with a woman sleuth as the main character. I’ve been fascinated by the spirit world and those who are able to see ghosts and communicate with them. So my main character Lana Malloy was born and the stories took off from there. The second book in the series, Get Out or Die, will be released July 1, 2015.
How do you use setting to further your story?
The setting gives the story feeling by showing what the characters are experiencing and how they are experiencing it in the way of smell, sight, touch, taste, etc. Without these things, the story would be kind of bland or without feeling. The first two books in the series are set on the beach in Charleston, South Carolina. In the third book the setting moves to the Tennessee Mountains, and the fourth book will take place on a cruise ship. Each of these will be completely different.
How do you construct your characters?
After a general idea of the story and its characters, I start writing and things just sort of come to life for me as I write. I’m not saying I write without any preparation, but I always start with a general idea, write two to three chapters and then sit down and start characterization and planning. But I have to get started with the writing of a story first in order to get a start.
I begin with the main characters. If it’s going to have romance, I begin with the hero and heroine and then with any other main characters. I picture what they look like in my head and then I try to find images of people who could be them. I’m a visual person and it helps to have an image to go by and refer to during the process. I do character profiles of what they look like (hair, eyes, etc.), their habits, what they want to accomplish, etc. Some of the minor characters are just developed as I write the story. I will add a sentence or two to the character profile about their general description and maybe about what part they play in the book.
How is your main character completely different than you?
Well, the fact that she can see and communicate with ghosts is a huge difference. She looks pretty different too, with long slim legs. Hair color and length and eye color may be the only similarities that we do have. Her eyes are shaped better and are much larger than mine though.
Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!
Hmmm, not sure. Okay, I do have something. Just about every author you read an interview about, when asked about writing, they will say they started writing or telling stories from an early age, such as from the womb or kindergarten. I didn’t. I didn’t even like to read growing up. Well, with one exception, and that was my mother’s True Story magazines. I only found one book in the school library I liked around about junior high. Maybe it was because I was stubborn and didn’t like being told what to do. I don’t know because I love to read now and have since I was in my late teens and early twenties.
In high school, we were to read a story from our book every week or every night (can’t remember now) and we always had a pop quiz on the story the next day first thing. I would ask my classmates what the story was about the next morning just before class started. They would actually tell me and I would always pass the quiz. Not with a great grade, but a passing grade. I starting loving books when I found Historical Romances. My favorites were those with pirates. I still love a good Historical Romance to this day, and then when I found mysteries, I was definitely in love with reading forever. Now I have a well-rounded interest in just about every genre, including paranormal, futuristic, fantasy and science fiction.
Give us a brief summary of Haunted Hearts:
Lana is starting a private investigation business and she needs cash to keep the business going. Her Aunt Lucy is her resident ghost and offers to be Lana’s first client, but she is a cold case being dead for nearly twenty years. Her aunt believes her fiancé, Davide Calabria, killed her since his home is the last place she remembers being before they found her in her own home dead. But Lana’s not so sure since she seems to remember her parents saying that he died the same night, either before or after her aunt.
They later find out that the fiancé had died the same night, only an hour or two before the aunt, and that everyone including Davide and his family thought Lucy had killed him, gone home and due to her guilt, killed herself. Lana finds herself forced to work with Tony Calabria, Davide’s grandson who also believes her aunt is the murderer. Lana has to prove them all wrong in the course of her investigation. Throw in a terrified nosy neighbor and some crazy Calabria family members to give you a strange mix of some pretty lively and quirky characters.
Will Lana Malloy solve the twenty-year-old double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé by Memorial Day? If she can, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts for another year.
Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband Lee and their three dogs, Scooter, Harley and Candi. She has two sons and two grandsons. Besides writing Kim works a full-time job as an MIS Specialist for a local workforce development agency and has a Web design business. She also designs her own book covers. Learn more about Kim at her Web site www.kimcoxauthor.com and her blog. Kim’s Musings at kimcox.blogspot.com.
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