Interview with Romantic Thriller Author Rachel Grant
What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?
I was eleven when I read my first Agatha Christie, and twelve when I ready my first Mary Higgins Clark. I loved Agatha Christie for the puzzle, and Mary Higgins Clark for the hint of romance. Later, in high school, I read The Camelot Caper by Elizabeth Peters and I became a fangirl. I blame MPM for my decision to go into archaeology.
Now when I read mysteries I want a healthy dose of romance and tend to read more romantic suspense than other genres, but when I want a mystery in which I won’t miss the romance, my go to author is Carol O’Connell.
When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?
I usually know the villain and the major turning points, but much of the suspense I figure out as I write, and what I thought I knew at the beginning can end up being very wrong.
What are you working on now?
CATALYST (Flashpoint #2) – the sequel to TINDERBOX, which released on Valentine’s Day. CATALYST features one of the Green Berets from TINDERBOX and an American USAID employee who gets into trouble in South Sudan. All Flashpoint books are high-action military romantic thrillers with the mystery woven into the political/military stakes.
Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?
I love writing series books. I have sequels planned for my two stand-alone novels, I just need the time to write them! But my series have new heroes and heroines in each novel, instead of following the same couple/sleuth. I have a trilogy planned that would feature the same couple with the romance arc crossing all three books, but I don’t know when I’ll have time to write that.
Who were your literary heroes growing up?
Mary Higgins Clark and Dean Koontz – I started reading both in the early 80s (in middle school) and spent all my allowance on them when their books would come out in hard cover.
Where do you get your ideas for the mysteries in your books?
I write romantic thrillers where archaeology, politics and war collide and am extremely lucky to be married to a Department of Defense archaeologist. His work inspires a lot of my stories—things like an old filing cabinet containing top-secret documents at Navy History and Heritage Command in Washington, DC, or his recent work recording archaeological sites in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, which inspired me to write TINDERBOX.
How long does it typically take you to write a mystery book?
The first draft usually takes me three months. When characters are being difficult it can take up to six months. When books take that long for me to figure out, I’m no fun to be around.
TINDERBOX (Flashpoint #1)
“This first novel in Grant’s Flashpoint series offers a multilayered, suspenseful plot that’s strengthened by its appealing characters, strong attention to detail, and a healthy dose of romance.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
In the volatile tinderbox of the Horn of Africa, Morgan Adler has made the paleoanthropological find of a lifetime. The discovery brings her to the attention of a warlord eager to claim both Morgan and the fossils, forcing her to make a desperate dash to the nearby US military base to beg for protection.
Master Sergeant Pax Blanchard has orders to intercept Dr. Adler before she reaches the base, and in so doing saves her life. After a harrowing afternoon he safely delivers her to his commanders, only to find his responsibilities toward protecting the obstinate archaeologist have only just begun.
Morgan and Pax are forced to work together in the Djiboutian desert heat, but it is the fire that ignites between them that threatens to combust them both. For the Green Beret, involvement with the woman he must protect is a threat to his career, while for the archaeologist, the soldier is everything she never wanted but somehow can’t resist. When Morgan uncovers a mystery surrounding Djibouti’s most scarce and vital resource, the danger to her reaches the flashpoint. For Pax, protecting her is no longer a matter of following orders, and he’ll risk everything to bring her back alive.
Available or sale at:
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Rachel_Grant_Tinderbox?id=fG6IDQAAQBAJ
Connect with Rachel Online
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About the Author
Four-time Golden Heart® finalist Rachel Grant worked for over a decade as a professional archaeologist and mines her experiences for storylines and settings, which are as diverse as excavating a cemetery underneath an historic art museum in San Francisco, survey and excavation of many prehistoric Native American sites in the Pacific Northwest, researching an historic concrete house in Virginia, and mapping a seventeenth century Spanish and Dutch fort on the island of Sint Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children and can be found on the web at http://www.Rachel-Grant.net .