Today, author Leeann Betts has stopped by to chat about her upcoming novel, Hidden Assets. Check out the information about the book below. Be sure to leave a comment for Leeann!
About the Book
Blame that on my propensity to ask “what if?” questions. A friend told me of the lovely trip they’d had on the train from Denver to San Francisco, and I jokingly asked if she’d seen anybody thrown off the train. The look of horror on her face was priceless, and it got me thinking. What would I do if I saw that? What would Carly do? And since Carly had already taken a couple of plane trips, one where she saw a man murdered, I thought maybe the time was ripe for a peaceful (cough cough) train ride.
Lol, love that! I do the “what if” question, but not so drastic. 🙂 Since this is the sixth book, can new readers start with this one, or should they start with book one?
Sure, new readers can start with this book. I allude to things from other books, but since each book is a separate mystery, and Carly and hubby Mike are pretty much the only characters who star in every book, then not a lot of backstory is needed. Of course, I hope readers will love this one enough to go back and read all of them.
I’m sure they will! Are there any recurring characters in Hidden Assets?
Like I said, only Carly and Mike. However, there is mention of the police chief from Bear Cove, but that’s only an aside.
Cool! What message do you hope readers will leave with after finishing the novel?
The message of all my books really is that God is bigger than our past. Carly and Mike both have a past separate from each other that sets the tone for their relationship and their responses to situations. And the secondary characters in this story have a past that brought them to the point of divorce and murder. God is a god of second. . . and third. . . and fourth chances.
Amen! What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do a lot of reading books and watching movies set in the locations I’m writing about. I also like to visit the location so I get a feel for the countryside, the smell of the air, the sounds. My research usually starts a year or so before I actually write, while I’m working on something else.
Wow! Going to the location must be wonderful. What authors have influenced your writing journey?
Agatha Christie is the Grand Dame of cozy mysteries, and my heroine. Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes) is also a favorite. And I read lots of suspense and cozy mystery series.
I’m a big Sherlock Holmes fan. 🙂 What three elements are always present in your writing?
My goal is to include: my God of second chances, even if I never mention His name directly; the subliminal suggestion to not take myself too seriously; and the idea that I haven’t arrived. I like to show all three elements through my characters, their situations, and their response to their circumstances.
Those are great! It’s hard to remember at times that we haven’t arrived. Thanks for sharing those. Do you have any parting advice for aspiring writers?
Be a voracious reader first. Study good writing and bad writing. Join a writers group and a good critique group. And never give up on your dream—surround yourself with people who believe in you and build you up, who challenge you to be better and do more, and who love on you when you fall short.
Amen! Thank you so much for joining me today. Praying for you on your writing journey!