Thursday, March 3, 2011
Interview with Author Susan Whitfield
Susan Whitfield is a mystery author. Her newest work is available from L&L Dreamspell.
What is the name of your latest book and how did you come up with the title?
The latest book in the Logan Hunter Mystery series is entitled Sin Creek. The title began as Gator Creek because the book is set around Alligator Creek near Wilmington, North Carolina but I later changed the name to Sin Creek because it fits the book’s content much better.
What is about?
Here’s the blurb: The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina past the stunning port city of Wilmington, and sidling up next to it is Gator Creek. Some call it “Sin Creek”, a sliver of water where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency.
When SBI Agent Logan Hunter discovers a dead UNC-Wilmington co-ed used porn to pay tuition, she tracks down and questions other co-eds, learning that far too many of them have been coerced into the raunchy business and have scars to prove it. Hunter battles dens of iniquity, zeroing in on a brazen but somehow illusive ferry to find a deranged killer and bring down the porn operations while trying to keep her recent marriage to Agent Chase Railey from falling apart. Even though she succeeds in finding the killer, the investigation changes her life in ways she could never have imagined.
At the front of the book, I’ve written a letter to readers about what inspired the book. I’ll share it with you:
Inspiration for the book you’re holding in your hands is based
on a repulsive truth I fashioned into fiction to raise public awareness
about the seamy side of some young lives, and the monetary
lures that plunge far too many into Internet notoriety, terminal
disease, and sometimes, violent death.
Back when I was a high school administrator, I asked a student
of mine how her sister coped with college life. She told me
her sister found a lucrative way to raise tuition and live “the high
life.” What this student said next left me shaken, and I’ve never
been quite the same since.
I went home that night and searched for Internet information the student
had casually given me, hoping to find no truth in what she
said. I couldn’t have been more wrong! I still shiver that some
among us are so willing to be part of the filthy underbelly that
runs beneath many of our towns and cities.
Research for this book challenged me to search my soul, and
I stopped on many occasions not certain if I should continue. But
someone needs to tell this story—as ugly and offensive as it may be.
SIN CREEK is truly a work of fiction. However, the seed
that started it is alive and spreading like a lethal dose of poison
“Porn is a multi-billion dollar business in the USA.”
“Five million new cases of STDs surface every year around the world.”
What books have influenced your life most? I loved Little Women and other books about strong women when I was a child, but I really became a mystery fan when I picked up a James Patterson book. I love the Cross series and have read every one of them. I’m also a big fan of Scottoline, Gerritsen, Hoag, Cornwell, and Sandra Brown.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Patterson, I suppose.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing a non-series book about two menopausal women who’ve been friends since infancy. Their misadventures include shopping for sex toys, using a cheating husband’s belongings for target practice, and coping with cruelty to animals and a debilitating illness.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Focusing. I think I have adult ADD. Seriously.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Persevere! Believe in yourself! And for Pete’s sake, edit thoroughly before you publish it.
Excerpt from Sin Creek:
But Taryn saved the day in the sweetest way. She stood beside
us and presented Chase and me with the Mason jar filled
with rainwater, now wrapped in ribbon. Everyone looked on
with great curiosity.
“Logan and Chase, as you begin your life together, know
that we all love you and wish you many happy and healthy years
together. And when you have your first child, use this rainwater—
which I caught on the first day of your life as husband and
wife—to baptize him. The water has been boiled and the jar sealed
until that day. May you both be blessed.”
Taryn got a standing ovation and I cried. I’d never heard of
such a charming gesture, and Chase and I would cherish the gift
until we had the opportunity to use it some years down the road.