Daily Archives: September 27, 2012
Today we have romantic suspense author K.J. Dahlen with us. I decided to start things off by asking a few questions to get things rolling. Please make K.J. feel welcome by asking her your own questions or by asking follow ups to mine. K.J. will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky person during her blog tour. Check out other stops on her tour here.
About K.J. Dahlen
Kim lives in a small town (population495) in Wisconsin. From her deck she can see the Mississippi River on one side and the bluffs, where eagles live and nest on the other side. She lives with her husband Dave and dog Sammy. Her two children are grown and she has two grandchildren. She loves to watch people and that has helped her with her writing. She loves to create characters and put them in a troubling situation then sit back and let them do all the work. Her characters surprise even her at times. At some point in the book they take on a life of their own and the twists and turns become the story. Of all the stories she could write she found she liked mystery/thrillers the best. She likes to keep her readers guessing until the very end of the book.
Mini Interview With K.J. Dahlen
Q: I always envision suspense authors being inspired by shows like Criminal Minds, Law and Order, CSI, 48 Hours, and other crime fiction and true crime shows. What are your favorite TV shows and do they provide inspiration for your books?
A: I have always loved forensic and the law so I watch Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds and NCIS.
I take what I have learned from the shows and use some of that in my stories. Most of the stories I write deal more with stopping the bad guy and how they do that rather than the blood and the gore of the actual murder. I don’t care for the gore of the kill.
Q: Please talk to us about the research you did for Blood Memories. What topics did you need to research? What were some of the interesting things you learned while researching that didn’t make it into the book? What are some of your favorite research sources?
A: Most of what I write is pure imagination. I have a library of understanding the criminal mind and other books dealing with the law. Most of Blood Memories deals with common sense things so I did very little research for this book.
Q: Please talk to us about writing villains. Do you find the villain a fun character to write? Or are they more challenging? What elements do you think go together to comprise a strong villain?
A: My idea of the perfect villain is someone who challenges the good guy. He’s good but better under pressure. Some of the bad guys in my books want to quit they just don’t know how. They are bad but they have a reason for being that way.
I try to develop my characters using elements of everyday people. Because that’s what they are. Every person starts out with the same bits and pieces. It’s how we are treated and how we react to the things that happen in our life whether we become good or bad. Most people want to be good, some just don’t know how.
Most of my bad guys use their intelligence to get by but my good guys are just a tad better. I love the intrigue of putting them together and letting them find a way out of the situations they are in.
When an accident turns out to be not an accident but murder Savannah must solve a double murder that happened over twenty years ago to find the truth. She was the only witness to her parent’s murder and now their killer is after her. She puts her trust into a man her aunt has known and all these years but evidence soon points to him being involved with the man she thinks killed her parents. Will she prove him innocent or fall prey to his intent? Her life and over two million dollars in diamonds is at stake.
An Excerpt From Blood Memories
As the dirt hit the casket, the sound it made echoed through the cemetery and caused Savannah to flinch. The sound was so final but then so was death. Savannah’s heart was breaking as she listened to the thud of the earth hitting the wood of her aunt’s final resting place. She glanced at the temporary headstone marker. Tears rolled down her cheeks when she read the name on the marker, Donna Marie Kelley.
A voice inside her head screamed at her that the name on the headstone was wrong. It should have read Donna Marie Weston, not Kelley. Donna had been the one person in her young life who protected her after her parents died. She was the one who held Savannah when she was sick or the nightmares got the best of her. Donna had been there to make her laugh and kept her safe all these years.
Donna had died four days ago in a car accident. Her car plunged off the road and down into a ravine. The paramedics said she might have lived if help had arrived right after the accident, but Donna wasn’t found until the next day. She had been all alone and in pain when death came to call.
Tears slid down her cheeks as she thought of how long Donna had suffered. The medical examiner’s report told her that Donna suffered two broken legs and a fractured rib. The rib punctured her lung and eventually her abdomen filled with blood. The coroner had determined she bled to death internally. The police were looking into the accident, but she knew there was nothing they could do. There wasn’t anything anyone could do. Donna was gone and now she was alone in the world.
Savannah glanced at the temporary marker again. She knew Donna wouldn’t want her real name on her final resting place but she was tempted to put it there. Savannah George wasn’t her real name either. She had been born Georgia Michelle Corbin, but she hadn’t been called Georgia for a long, long time, almost a life time, her lifetime.
Glancing toward the sky, Savannah could see the dark gray clouds. It looked as dreary outside as she felt inside. Donna’s death had been the result of a car accident, and Savannah hadn’t had time to think about her future yet.
Savannah had turned her head to watch the sound when she felt someone walk up behind her. Spinning around she saw a man she didn’t know standing there. He was tall and blonde with a full beard. His dark grey eyes were somber as he glanced at the grave in front of him. He turned to look at Savannah before he spoke. “Hello, my name is Jack Russell. I’m sorry to disturb you at a time like this, but I was your aunt’s attorney.”
Savannah grimaced. She stared at the older, well -dressed man standing in front of her and couldn’t help but wonder why Donna felt the need for an attorney. “I wasn’t aware she had an attorney,” she finally said.
Jack tilted his head. “I haven’t had contact with her for a number of years but she first came to see me nine years ago. She told me she had just moved to Seattle, and she wanted me to keep something for her. She gave me this package to give to you upon her death.”
Savannah accepted the package from him and glanced at it. She raised her gaze back to Jack’s face. “Did she tell you what was in this package?”
Jack stared at her for a moment. “She told me to say you would find the answers to all the questions you wanted to know growing up in there. She said you would find out why she had to keep you safe and a mystery only you could solve.” He hesitated, “I didn’t know your aunt very well, but I’m sorry she died.”
Savannah watched as he turned and walked away. The package she held was heavy, and her curiosity was getting the better of her. She caught her breath as she glanced at the package and saw Donna’s handwriting on the outside. She had written her name on the package.
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