I absolutely love to share new authors with my readers and when those authors are “virtual friends” from the blogosphere it makes it even better. I have shared a bit from Miranda Gargasz before as she has already published several books but today I am thrilled to present her latest book and the start of a series. I love series and this one had me pulled in from the first page.
Our lives can change suddenly because of those around us—both living and dead. Valerie Calhoun wanted three things: the perfect house, a baby, and a flourishing career as a true crime writer. She gets more than she bargained for when she and her husband, Cooper, purchase their dream home in rural Ohio. To start, they find out the previous owner was murdered in the upstairs bedroom. To complicate things further, it’s haunted by two ghosts. Caught between chasing her feeling that an innocent woman was wrongly convicted of murder, avoiding danger to keep from having another miscarriage, and trying to figure out what the ghosts want, Valerie is forced to face her inner demons and re-evaluate what’s most important in life. Can Valerie prove an innocent woman went to jail and the murderer is still at large? How high is the cost if she succeeds? What do two ghosts who died 150 years apart have to do with it all? Don’t miss Haunting Suspicion the first in the Valerie Calhoun Mystery series by Miranda Gargasz. It’ll keep you turning the pages!
I asked Miranda to answer a few questions for my readers and I absolutely love all of her answers. Following is my interview with her. 1.What made you decide to be an author? Was it always part of your dream or did it happen later in life? I have always written, even as a kid. I started out re-telling fairy tales or writing stories based on something I saw on television. One specific one that comes to mind was based on Rear View by Alfred Hitchcock. I remember being blown away at what happened to the wife that it stuck with me for days. As a teen, I always kept a journal. Writing became my way of processing life. I don’t think it’s something you can shut off.
2. If you could have dinner with any one author dead or alive who would it be and why? This is like picking your favorite child! How do I pick??? I have a list: J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Karen White, Kristin Hannah, Sarah Addison Allen, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, George R.R. Martin (though, I would probably only be begging him to write faster). I’ve loved everything they’ve written.
3. What is your favorite spot to write? Are you a creature of habit and always write in the same spot or do you need variety? My favorite place is my deck. Our house has a walk-out basement so my deck is raised. It’s like writing in the treetops. I love it there. However, I live in Ohio so that’s not a year-round spot. The rest of the time I write at a desk in my living room surrounded by things to motivate me to keep going forward. I have a huge piece of artwork next to my desk of Snape and his patronus from Harry Potter. It helps remind me that your dreams are possible if you just stick to it. J.K. Rowling didn’t quit when it got hard, so I have no excuse.
4.When you write do you have a particular process that you use or do you change it up? Do you do an outline and stick to that ? What is your writing process like? First, I use a giant piece of drawing paper and map out the elements of what I want to write. Chapter number, setting, characters, what the bad guy knows, what clues need to be placed where, etc. From there I write by hand in a journal, but only one side. The opposing side is for notes to add later because I think of things after I am paragraphs away. The blank side helps me just draw an arrow to where that idea needs fleshed out more. Then, I type everything into the computer. I edit as I go. Then I edit some more. And some more. And some more. I then beg and plead for a few select folks to read what I have. They each get specific things they need to look at. One person just reads and tells me where she would stop reading. Another looks at continuity. Did I change someone’s eye color by accident? Does my timeline make sense? Another tells me what she thinks about the story as it progresses. That helps tell me if I gave too much away too fast. Then, I edit some more. All that until I’m sick of the story and never want to see it again.
5. If you could give one piece of advice to the younger you —say maybe the teenage you—what would it be? Go to college for writing instead of education. It may seem like a pipe dream, but it isn’t.
Haunting Suspicion, my first novel in the Valerie Calhoun Mysteries Series, comes out May 7th. It is available here: Haunting Suspicion Ebook for pre-order, or you can purchase the paperback here. Please follow Miranda on social media on the following platforms:
Facebook: Miranda Gargasz, Writer
Thanks, Miranda, for another amazing book and for a great interview. I love how you included your writing method and know that my readers will love this series as much as I did.
I am taking a little blog break next week with the exception of May 1st when I will share Comments for a Cause for May. Don’t worry- I will be back! In the meantime leave me a comment and let me know if you think you would like Haunting Suspicion.