Your book “Secrets Under the Big Top” is a Crime Thriller focus on the crime solving women for Portman’s’ Creamery. Can you tell us more about the background of the book?
Portman’s Creamery is an ice cream shop owned by Irene and Chrissie Garcia-Galvan. The two of them graduated out of college and simply struggled to find jobs in their respected fields. Annoyed with how people treated them and sick of the growing crime rate, they used their two talents to come up with their business. By day, they make ice cream and run their shop. By night, they solve crimes. With the help a few graduate students and an elderly women, the group is complete.
Many people have a fear of Circus’ (and clowns for that matter) and then there are some who utterly adore the fun filled antics and amusement. Your book links Black Paradise Circus in the disappearance of children over the country. Is the circus portrayed as an evil entity, or that fun generating entertainment venue that families love?
In a way, this circus is considered as both. They are fun, playful, and daring. Underneath it all, they have some sinister secrets. The evil will truly be revealed in the final book of the series, Down to Ashes. We will find out what’s really going on and why children are truly disappearing.
Which scene did you enjoy writing the most in “Secrets Under the Top”?
I think I loved writing about Becca and Cameron sneaking around in the circus and pretending to be clowns when they weren’t. They got such a terrible names and ended up making friends with other people in there.
Having female protagonists is very popular, it certainly is a welcome addition to the literary market. Do you relate to any of your characters, or are any of them based on you or people you know?
I think they are all like me and people that I’ve been around. In fact, in general, they were based off a group of my friends. This group doesn’t solve mysteries though!
Out of all your female protagonists, do you have a favourite, and if so why?
I love them all but Winky is usually the most fun to write because how smart and odd she can be.
Where do you gain most of your inspiration to write about your characters and your books?
Honestly, inspiration for me is all around. The people who walk by, the people who talk to me, the people in the distance…it’s everywhere.
You have written a series of other books; can you tell us a bit about them?
Well, in the same vein of thrillers, Cirque Macabre also centres on a circus and a group trying to solve a murder. The Reaper’s Apprentices is more of a paranormal series with some ties to mythology. Operation: Genome is more sci-f and YA based. Ghosts of Burning Inn is a short rock romance. Patterns & Parallels follows a couple through their various adventures in different worlds. Flavours of Love is an erotica series with a paranormal twist to it.
Can you tell us any plans for any future Portman Creamery cases?
In either April or May 2016, I will release the first Mary Beth book, The Sugar Mountain Murders. For 2016, I will be slowing down a bit on their cases. I have a Winky book in the works as well as two others but they will most likely not come out till 2017.
Are there any “important” males in your stories, or love interests. With a focus on Female protagonists, crime solving and the thrilling mysteries that go on, is there room for a Mr Right? Or even, a Mr “You’ll Do” for your Lead characters?
The main male character in this is Chase Owen, the detective who usually comes to the girls for help on cases. He’s almost always a constant. There are also a few others that do show from time to time. Cameron Mercer, Becca’s first friend, is part of this story and usually shows up in Becca-centred mysteries. Mikey Fontana, Mary Beth’s boyfriend, usually shows up in her books. The girls are usually more focused on studies, work, and solving cases to really focus on love lives. While they do date around, it’s never been their main focus.
What words of guidance would you give to someone who was interested in writing Crime Thrillers, Mystery or books touching on the Macabre?
Be prepared to write and do things that no one expects out of you. If you need to take a risk with your writing, do it.
Where can or readers find out more about you, your work, and a way to contact you?
The various places to find me:
Blog (under construction): http://cspatraswork.blogspot.com/
You must have come across some funny YouTube videos, are you more of a funny-moment video person, or a serious-scene watcher? Do you have any favourites?
Oh, I watch both, serious and funny videos. I enjoy Honest Trailers a lot as well as anime abridged videos. I also watch some old TV shows if I can find them.
You say you love ghost stories? Tell us about a story that you’ve heard that gave you Goosebumps and made your hair stand on end?
I think any story that is real or has any real life accounts is far more frightening than fictional stories. Anyone talking about hearing sounds or seeing anything and having the evidence is what gives me the goosebumps.
What do you plan on working on next, do you have another thriller up your selves, or will the woman of Portman’s Creamery be working on another case?
At the moment, I’m trying to catch up with my Cirque and Ghosts series. I also have some standalones on the way. The Portman ladies will definitely have more mysteries on the way though including the conclusion of this mystery!
Buy a Copy of Secrets Under the Big Top on Amazon