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Archive for May 19th, 2007

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Interview with Beverley Bateman

I understand you were an avid reader of Nancy Drew as a child. Did you start writing stories at an early age, too?Yes. I think I’ve always been writing. In school I was always making up stories about people being killed in locked rooms and hunting down the killers. I kept writing down plots and ideas for books for years. I have a huge folder filled with ideas.

Please tell us a bit about your books—Fade to Black, Just Like You, and Death Comes in Red. What was your inspiration for these novels? In what way being an abuse investigator and public health nurse help you create these stories?
Well, let’s see, Fade to Black is a Romantic Suspense about Holly Devine, a wealthy socialite who wakes up with amnesia.

No one files a missing report on her and she has no idea who she is, no place to live and no money. An older woman with Alzheimer’s befriends her and hires her to be a companion on a Caribbean cruise.

Eric Petersen is an Interpol agent, on the trail of international jewel thieves. He’s posing as a cruise ship doctor and is beginning to suspect Holly and her companion are the jewel thieves.
Holly and Eric are attracted to each other but he’s struggling with the possibility of Holly being the jewel thief. When Holly finds out she’s a suspect she’s furious.
Holly struggles to regain her memory. It begins to return in glimpses and flashes. At the same time it appears that someone is out to kill her. There are several near miss attempts on her life.

Eric races against the clock to clear her name and prevent the killer from being successful.

Death Comes in Red is the second in the Holly Devine series. Holly has recovered her memory. She is an ex-socialite without any money. She has a house but no income so she finds work as an assistant to a private detective. He uses her when he needs someone to talk to the rich and famous. This time Holly finds herself involved in illegal arms dealing and murder. She’s working with the ATF to catch a man who murdered his wife and is bringing in a large shipment of illegal weapons. Eric is working on cracking an International group that steals expensive art works. When Holly is kidnapped by the arms dealer Eric rushes home to find her and prevent her death.

just_like_you1.jpgJust Like You is a Medical Thriller based on cloning. In this book they are doing cloning by design so people can order children to meet specifics in looks, athletics, brains, etc. To work closely with the sexy Dr. Adam Marsden, Evie Dalton accepts a contracted position in a hospital located in the middle of nowhere. The hospital supposedly provides privacy for the rich and famous who want to have plastic surgery or other procedures they don’t want the paparazzi to find out about. During surgery their cells and DNA is stolen and used to clone designer children. Body parts are also part of the dark side of the hospital. Employees are paid unbelievably high wages but cannot leave the hospital to spend any money, and when their contract is fulfilled the staff are killed for their DNA.
Now Evie and Adam are running for their lives.

I don’t know where the inspiration comes from. It must be my muse because I suddenly come up with a possible plot and then I work with the characters to see if it’s their story. For me the plotting is the most fun. And I guess that’s where my experience as an abuse investigator comes in. I learned to ask the right questions; listen and observe and hopefully, assess the situation accurately.

Some of your books have won awards. Do you think awards are necessary for building name recognition and boosting sales?
No. I doubt if most readers know whether a contest is a prestigious one or not. I think they may cause a reader to pick up the book to check it out. If they like the cover; the back cover blurb and maybe the first few pages – I think that’s why the reader will buy a book – which will build name recognition and sales. Word of mouth also helps.

Any upcoming books on the horizon?
Yes. I have one coming out in July of this year – Death Awaits. It’s another Romantic suspense.

In this one a single, mother witnesses a contract killing. Now she and her son are running for their lives. The police want her as a witness. The killer wants her dead.

Are there any famous romantic suspense authors who you think are overrated? If yes, in what way?

Oh, wow, that’s loaded question. I’m not sure it’s fair to answer because I may find that a certain style doesn’t appeal to me. You may read the same author or even the same book and think it’s fantastic. So I’m going to cheat here and say there are a couple of authors that may be under rated. Kay Hooper can spin a romantic suspense and wrap you up totally in her story. Karen Robards is another romantic suspense author who I love and always writes page turners. I’ve learned a lot from reading these two ladies.

I see you wrote a novel in 30 days during the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Would you like to share your experience with readers? In what way working under such stress unleashes your creativity?
NaN0WriMo was a great experience. I almost didn’t enter. I think I signed up the day before it started. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to write every day and finish a book. I thought I might be setting myself up for failure. So I started off with a bang so I could get as many pages done before I slowed down. It was a great way to start because I got into a routine and actually finished the book, about 54,000 words, in just over three weeks.
It unleashes your creativity because you’re writing quickly and just putting words down on the page. You’re not editing your thoughts or your work. You’re just letting your muse take over and write. It’s very freeing and fun.
However – after the writing and the month is over – then there are the revisions.

Do you have a website?

Yes I do. It’s http://www.beverleybateman.com. I offer Health Tips; Contests; Author Interviews and updates on how my work is progressing.

What advice would you give to those romantic suspense authors who are trying to break into print?
I think the advice is much the same as other authors usually suggest.
Never give up. It may take years but eventually you’ll get there.
Write every day. It doesn’t matter what – just plant the butt and write.
Write down your goals for your writing career. Don’t say I have them in my head – write them down. Make them doable and make yourself accountable.
Most importantly – have fun with your writing.

If there were five books you’d recommend as absolute reads for aspiring romantic suspense authors, what would those be?
Now that’s a great question but I think it has to be individual, depending on what they’re writing and where they are at in their career. Also are you looking at technical how to books or some great reads?

I have three books where the authors wove a story I couldn’t put down. I’ve underlined those books and analyzed them. They are: Envy by /Sandra Brown; Out of the Shadows by Kay Hooper and Bait by Karen Robards. Any of Lisa Gardner’s books are excellent reads and a great study in how to write great romantic suspense. Allison Brennan is another romantic suspense author that manages to pull you in and surprise you at the end.

Mayra, this has been fun. Thanks for asking me to do the interview.

Interview by Mayra Calvani, www.mayracalvani.com
Note: Though I have not had the time to review JUST LIKE YOU yet, I LOVED the book and simply couldn’t put it down. I read this medical thriller in 3 days. The protagonist is one of the most sympathetic I’ve encountered in a long time.

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