Sunday, April 27, 2014

Get Lost in a Story welcomes Liz Sinclair

Get Lost in a Story readers, Liz Sinclair may seem like a new name to some, but I did my research and found out she’s simply changing genre hats for her new mystery series.  I am thrilled to present Liz Sinclair.  Some may recognize her as the indomitable Elizabeth Sinclair.  In the meantime, s-h-h-h, we’ll keep her secret.  Please welcome Liz Sinclair. 


Called the Chessman for the game pieces left behind in the wake of deadly fires, the arsonist is intent on making The Last Move. 

Arson Investigator Katie Sullivan is determined to find the serial arsonist who murdered her father, but the arsonist is playing a deadly game with her, and only the winner will live. 

Sheriff Drew Winters is just as determined to keep Katie, the woman he loves, alive and, if need be, save her from herself and her blind, reckless quest to succeed. They were a couple before and could be one again. 

Flames and death await them at every turn. Can they survive? Who will die and who will ultimately declare checkmate depends on Katie's skill as an arson investigator and Drew's abilities as a detective to outsmart the Chessman. 

Please welcome Liz Sinclair!  

DONNELL:  Okay, as soon as I read the blurb, I bought the book.  If you love mysteries as much as I do, this is right up my alley.  Liz, is that what you want us to call you? Way back in the day you wrote Romantic Suspense for Intimate Moments.  So… why the new name? And what drew you to write about an arson investigator?

LIZ: First of all, thank you so much for having me. Second, since my new personae is “Liz,” for today you can call me Liz. J  I grew up in a family of firefighters, but never had much interest in fires beyond the annual firemen’s parade and the big, red, noisy trucks. Then my writer’s mind came up with the plot for BAPTISM IN FIRE, the intimate Moments you referred to. When I began researching for the book, I got hooked on the arson investigation aspects of firefighting. As for the new name, my esteemed editors do not want “Elizabeth’s” readers to confuse this book with the sweet Hawks Mountain books written as Elizabeth Sinclair. There’s nothing sweet about this one beyond the sugar my characters use in their coffee.

DONNELL:  Where I’m from we’ve had two deadly fires, and arson is suspected.  How do you get into the head of someone so evil and twisted as an arsonist?

LIZ: Profiling. There’s a widely accepted view that most arsonists start as children—torturing small animals and cats, setting small fires, a fascination with fire, etc. This doesn’t always hold true. Sometimes they just want revenge. Sometimes they just love to watch things burn. They’re supposed to be one of the hardest criminals to catch because most of the evidence burns in the fire.

DONNELL:  Where does your story take place, and what kind of research did you have to do to write this book?

LIZ: The story takes place in a fictional Florida city. In the acknowledgments at the front of the book, you’ll see a few names connected with firefighting and arson investigation. These people were indispensable to me for brain-picking. I also got books, books, and more books and read Point of Origin, by Joseph Wambaugh from cover to cover (twice). It was a very lengthy process for someone whose prior knowledge of fire was to strike a match and hold it to something that burned and the men in the red trucks showed up to put it out. Oh, and I also had to learn how to assemble an incendiary device. Thank heavens for Amazon!

DONNELL:  What is the most interesting piece of research you’ve ever taken away from writing a book?

LIZ: I believe it would be finding out that an arson investigator can sometimes tell if the fire was set by a man or a woman simply by looking at the point of origin. Men tend to sprinkle accelerants around then light it. Women tend to build piles of inflammables, such as clothing or newspapers, pour on the accelerant, and then light the pile.

DONNELL:  When you’re not writing, where will we find you?

LIZ: Usually reading or playing with my beautiful two-year-old grandson. Both of which bring me the utmost pleasure.

DONNELL:  Finish this sentence.  I’m most comfortable when . . .

LIZ: In my recliner, holding a hot cup of fresh coffee, and watching NCIS. Yes, I’m a Mark Harmon junkie. J

DONNELL:  Are you organized?

LIZ: I like to think I am, and I guess I am to a certain degree, but not as organized as I’d like to be. The area around my computer is very organized and neat, but don’t open a filing cabinet. I have this awful habit of cramming things in there and telling myself “I’ll take care of that later,” but later never seems to materialize.

DONNELL:  What’s the most unusual thing you have in your closet?

LIZ: My brother’s bowling shirt. He passed away a few years ago, and I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

DONNELL:  Who inspired you to write, and if you could sit down with anyone, past or present, who would it be – this doesn’t necessarily have to be an author.

LIZ: I’ve always been a voracious reader, but one day I picked up a book called THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER. When I finished it, I had this incredible feeling of having just read something that would stay with me forever. I wanted to inspire that feeling in someone else, so I dove in and wrote the worst historical ever to see a typewritten page (yes, I wrote it on a typewriter). I quickly decided that I should write contemporary books because…they took less research. LOL Little did I know….

As to who I would like to sit down with….that would be Barbara Bush. I read one of her books not long ago and found her fascinating as a wife and mother.

Liz, thank you for being our guest today.  I've been reading the The Last Move, and you're right on two counts -- it's different than Hawks Mountain and I think we can safely say research isn't necessarily easier when writing contemporary.  Now it’s your turn to ask the readers a question.  

LIZ'S QUESTION FOR READERS: Do you like not knowing who the villain is in a mystery or would you rather know up front and why?

Liz Sinclair will be doing a book book giveaway, winner's preference, digital or trade paperback (US/Canadian only for trade paperback) of THE LAST MOVE.


Tammy Yenalavitch said...

I like the villain to be a surprise at the end, When I guess correctly, I do not like the ending as much. Knowing who the villain is removes all the mystery.

yenastone at aol dot com

Maureen said...

Congratulations to Liz on her new book. I prefer not to know who the villain is until the end. My favorite stories have multiple characters who might be the villain.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

Angi Morgan said...

Good morning, Liz ! Hope you're well. Surprise for me, but I have a friend who wants to know every detail of a movie before she'll see it.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Liz! As I mentioned I'm reading The Last Move. I bow to your suspense-writing expertise. When I finish, I'll write a review. Welcome to Get Lost in a Story!

Lindi said...

Liz, congrats on the new book. It sounds great. I loved The Flame and the Flower as well. Loved it!!! Oh and my closet has about 20 bowling shirts in it. I'm a bowler. ;) nice interview. .

Skyewriter said...

Knowing the villain can up the suspense when you see into their head and know what's coming for the hero or heroine, but finding a way to keep that identity a mystery in spite of watching what they are up to is even better. I like to be surprised, although I also glean a little satisfaction if I can figure it out from the clues, too.

I can so relate to the file drawers, too. Although I don't stick stuff in the drawers because I know once I shut the drawer, I'll never sort it out. I just toss everything I'm going to deal with later into a bin. At the moment, I have two of them - both overflowing.

Loralee said...

Hooray! THE LAST MOVE is on my Kindle and next in line on my "bedtime reading" list. Suspense or mystery? Gosh. I love a good suspense and watching the good guys catch the villain, but a mystery that keeps me guessing is always exciting. Guess I just plain like a good book! Can't wait to get to yours.

Eve Gaddy said...

I like both. Sometimes I like the surprise and sometimes I like to know. It depends on the author and the book. The Last Move sounds so intriguing! Can't wait to read it! Love the interview.

Vickie said...

I have my copy, and I just started it. I'm loving it. I also loved the blog.
About the villain, sometimes I don't mind knowing who the villain is, like how it was in Columbo, but most of the time, I don't want to know who it is. I think it's more "edge of the seat" that way.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Me, too, Tammy, which is why I kept the villian in THE LAST MOVE a secret. I hope when people find out who it, it's an ah ha moment.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Thanks, Maureen. Ah, yes, red herrings, the main asset in a mystery writer's tool box.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Well, Angi, to each his own. LOL

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Thanks for having me, Donnell, and thnaks for the review, I hope everyone who reads it will review it.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Thanks, Lindi.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

LOL I'll have to try the bin system. Maybe then they at least have a chance of being filed corrctly.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Thanks for the buy, Loralee. I was told by another reader, that THE LAST MOVE was too creepy to read at night. LOL Hope you enjoy it.

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

Hope you enjoy it, Eve. That way I can pay you back for some of the enjoyable reads you've given me with your books. :)

Elizabeth Sinclair said...

There's no question that keeping the villian a secret adds to the suspense. I also lvoe guessing who it could be and then finding out at the end that I was either totally wrong or right on about the culprit. So glad you're enjoying THE LAST MOVE, Vickie.

bn100 said...

want to know to see if it makes sense

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Sparkle Abbey said...

Great post, Liz. :-) I have my copy! As far as the villain goes, in most cases I'd rather not know. It's part of the fun - trying to figure out who it is. It really depends on the story.

Judith Arnold said...

Great interview, Liz and Donnell! Liz, when the reader finds out who the villain is depends on the kind of book. In a thriller, we usually know who the villain is early on, and the narrative is driven by the question: Will he get caught? In a mystery, we don't know who the villain is, and the narrative is driven by the question: Whodunit? Two different reading experiences, both a lot of fun for the reader.

May said...

I like both if the story is good. But I like surprise so I lean towards the surprise vill as in a bit more.