I’m thrilled to welcome back Marian Lanouette, author of Burn In Hell, the much anticpated sequel to If I Fail, A Jake Carrington Mystery to Scribblers!
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marian is the seventh child of ten. At the age of sixteen her family moved from New York to New England. As a typical teenager, she felt her life was ruined and took to journalizing her feeling and this new life. The journal helped her realize how easily she had adapted to the change. Although, she did miss her cherished friends terribly; she’s thankful, they are still friends today. The four of them refer to each other as the cradle to the grave friends.
At the age of eight she wrote every day, whether it be a poem, a short story or in her journal. An eighth grade assignment got her published. Though she failed the assignment, the nun was impressed with her poem. It was supposed to be a four line poem, but she couldn’t still her pen. The Beach her first official published work is still her favorite though much longer than four lines. It was the nun who submitted the poem for her to the local paper. Thus, the writer was born.
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Marian!
Tell us about the newest in the Jake Carrington series.
Burn in Hell, A Jake Carrington Mystery is the second book in the series. In this one Jake starts dating a woman with a secret. A secret that can cost him his career even his life.
When you set out to write this second in the series what did you want to do differently?
I want each story to be fresh and to keep the reader guessing. I want Jake and his crew to be people the readers want to keep inviting back because they find them exciting. I know the mystery is important , but I also want you to get to know them as people.
Do you think you achieved your goal?
From the various reviews the book has received I have to say yes. And thank you everyone for all those great reviews. I love my readers.
Were you concerned about you reader’s reaction when you brought in Kyra as a new love interest?
Most definitely. I got such strong reactions to Mia and Jake’s break-up, I didn’t know how Kyra (Key-ra) would be received. I liked her very much though she was flawed.
Can we have an excerpt from Burn in Hell?
Sure: This is from the beginning of the book:
With her head down, she sat at her machine, waiting on the supervisor to come back—to unlock the machine so she could play again. More than anything, she needed to win. A hand landed on her shoulder, startling her. Jerking away, Kyra turned to see who belonged to the hand. Crap, not the supervisor. Joe Dillon, not exactly the person I want to see right now.
“How’s it going?” Her host sat down next to her.
“Not good,” she whined.
“I’m sorry to hear it. You know you have a payment due soon?”
Double crapola. “Yes, I know.”
“Why don’t you leave the machine for a while? Come have something to eat with me?”
What could he be up to, she wondered?
“Why? Kyra, let’s discuss your loan payment over dinner, explore your options.”
What options? There weren’t any. All week she racked her brain trying to find a solution to the mess. Though a quiet guy, Joe scared her. Deep inside, she understood he could destroy her. Not a person she’d want to cross.
“Kyra? Please, no one’s going to touch your machine. Maybe a break will change your luck?”
“What the hell. I could eat,” Kyra hissed. Something had to change.
“How about a steak?”
They got up at the same time, bumping into each other. Joe sat back down, let Kyra get up first. He followed her as she headed to the Trenton Steak House. Joe grabbed her arm and pointed to the private elevator that went directly to the entrance to the Whale Room. She looked at him. He smiled.
“What’s up, Joe?”
“I think you need a real break Kyra, so we’ll head up.”
Curiosity got the better of her, but she figured she’d find out what he was up to in good time. Then the fear hit her. Maybe she shouldn’t leave the floor with him. She owed the casino seventy-five thousand dollars. Behind on her payments, she spent three grand tonight trying to win her next payment. Stupid—how could I be so stupid? I should’ve made a partial payment with the three grand instead of gambling tonight. They wouldn’t beat up her up, would they? Tasting the bile as it violently pushed up from her stomach, scorching a path to her throat. Kyra couldn’t control the tears that flooded into her eyes when she started to choke.
“Are you all right, Kyra?”
“I don’t want to leave the public floor, Joe.” Kyra’s hands shook along with her entire body. Unable to control her voice as it cracked, her mind searching for an escape.
“I have a deal for you, but I can’t discuss it in an open area. We’ll discuss it upstairs, over dinner.” He smiled.
Oh yeah, she thought, the farmer leading the cow to the slaughter. “What kind of deal?”
“We’ll discuss it upstairs,” he repeated firmly.
“You’re not going to break my legs or anything like that. Are you?” she half-heartily joked.
“No such thing, Kyra. Relax.” Now’s the time too really worry, she thought. Just like the “trust me” phrase, it gave her the willies.
* * * *
Joe Dillon studied Kyra as they rode up in the elevator. To look at her, you’d never guess she’d lost control of her life. He liked her curves, her full lips, and the wild, curly red hair. Shorter than he, she stood about five feet four inches—he didn’t like looking up at a woman. Too many women today were taller than him. He looked into her green, green eyes, his mind taking off in all directions. Not now, Joe. Kyra’s not worth the trouble. He knew she had a son—her divorce a by-product of gambling. The boss told him this morning she was losing custody of her son. What woman gambles to the point of losing her child? Joe thought about the deal he’d be offering her, dragging her down even further. He pushed the guilt from his mind. Not my fucking problem. Kyra did this to herself. If I ever caught Camile gambling, I’d break her legs. Joe saw what gambling did to families. Too much heartache for too little reward, he mused.
Joe thought of the deal he’d lay on the table for her—two choices—wondering which one she’d choose. Neither was pleasant. I’m only the messenger. That’s how he justified his work. Blinded by greed, these people put themselves in this position with their gambling addictions.
The occupation of Kyra in Burn in Hell was an interesting choice, what made you come up with it?
LOl. I worked in a cemetery/crematory for ten years. I would create these stories in my head and thought one day I’d put them down on paper. You have to admit your imagination just takes off when you think of doing this for a living. Doesn’t it?
Is it difficult to come up with the title?
I’ve been very lucky. The minute this story took form in my head the title was there.
Do you have conversations with your character’s to figure out why they are doing what they are doing?
Not really, but I will have conversations with them let’s say when their story isn’t zinging around. Just last week I sat at the computer, looking at the work I create the day before. And Jake wasn’t anywhere to be found. So went into the kitchen brewed a cup of coffee, figuring he needed to get started and still nothing. So I walked around the house talking aloud to Jake and running different scenario. Well, finally, Jake chirped in and said, “No, no, you got it all wrong. This is the way I see it.” And voila! He was right.
Is the writing process with a book under contract different than when you wrote the first one and were hoping it would be bought?
My publisher only contracts books that are already completed. So I haven’t had to work under contract constraints.
What interview has most influenced your writing style?
I don’t any have. I do like reading interviews by other authors both famous and unknown. To be able to peak at their process I always find it encouraging.
When you do an interview like this what is the one writing process question you hope not to be asked?
If I’m a plotter. The answer is no. When a story comes to me, it’s like a movie. So I just sit down and type my heart out and edit later. This could be only one or two chapters or the whole book.
What is your go to snack to have on hand while you are writing?
I love cookies and chocolate.
Can we have a hint on the upcoming Jake Carrington?
In Mated for Life, the third book in the series, Jake an Louie are hunting a serial killer. Jake and Mia’s relationship seems to be on track; but Louie and Sophia are struggling with a tough issue.
Thank you Marian for sharing with us today at Scribbler’s.
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Keep up with Marian at:
Burn in Hell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP2r5W7zeTo