Hi Lindsay, welcome to THoR
Sherry, thank you for inviting me.
Please, will you tell us a little bit about yourself?
There isn’t really that much to me. I live in Connecticut with my cat. I’m waiting until the right collie comes along before I get a new one since my Kebi died not long ago.
Why writing and not something else?
I’ve always liked to write. To create stories and the worlds the characters live and work in. With the stories I write I can give my readers a glimpse into a world they might not be able to enter themselves. For me that is a reward in itself. Growing up I thought about being a police person, to be politically correct, and now with my Emily Dahill Series I can through her.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve held different jobs over the years but this one, being a writer, seems to fit me like a glove.
When did you first meet Emily Dahill?
I’m not sure who found who. I’d been working on a book, which for a little while I self-published but have since taken it off the market for a rewrite, when the concept of doing a series of short stories and full books featuring an Army CID agent hit me. For those, and there are many I’m sure, not familiar with the CID they are the Armies equivalent to the NCIS and I’m not talking about the TV show. Unlike the previously mentioned unit, who are civilian, the CID are all soldiers. No officers are special agents, but are sergeants or Warrant Officers. United States Army Criminal Investigation Command
Before I started to write the first story I made a list of the attributes I wanted her to have and not have. My goal was to create a character that was believable and someone you, my readers, could relate to.
I also created of team of coworkers that respected each other and knew they could rely on her to get her hands dirty if need be. In other words, not what we see on TV.
And for those readers who do not know, please will you share the story of how Kebi became Dakota?
In actuality Kebi is Dakota’s mom. I created Kebi, based on the real collie Kebi, in the book Target Identified, which is currently pulled and going back into rewrites. The ‘Emily Dahill Series’ is an offshoot from that book. In the sequence of writing order, Final Mission was the fourth story written. I had the other three stories with Dakota and felt my readers needed to know how they met, thus that story serves as the prequel to the entire series. Most of all I didn’t want him, Dakota, to just be another dog in the story but a main character, mind you in more ways than one, as you’ll see in the stories. In upcoming stories I’ll be introducing you all to his brothers and sisters, one at a time until the Christmas story, currently being written, where all but two get together.
Please tell us about your writing day?
I’m lucky in that my paying job allows me the freedom to write at work. There I aim for 1000 words a day but, as we all know that’s not always possible so I don’t add the lost word count to the next days. When I get home I’ll spend another hour or so writing, but a different story then I did at work. Yes, I have two different stories going at the same time. And before you ask, no it doesn’t get confusing because I’m in two different writing environments writing the two different stories.
How much plotting do you do and how much do your characters interfere with your plans?
Hope you’re sitting down when you read this answer. I’m not a plotter but a panster. In the past I’ve tried plotting out the story but that’s never worked. I’d always gone off plot so I stick to what works for me. Being a series, the main characters stay the same. All I do is figure out what the crime is going to be, and that’s it. Heck, I might even throw in another crime or red herring along the way, just to keep things interesting. So, when Emily, Dakota and the other four members of her team start the investigation, so do I.
Do you work on more than one project at a time?
As I mentioned above, I do write two stories at the same time. That, however, is just the writing part of creating a story, as anyone who’s gone through the process knows. The planning of each story takes time. What will Emily et al be investigating? Where will the story take place? Their home base, Fort Del Gue or someplace else? What other people will be in the story? These are just a few of the items I list on my white board. I also have to figure out where it will fit into the entire project. Right now, I have fourteen stories ranging in length from about 1000 words up to the first full book, which I’m starting in a few days, and each story references an event or two in one of the previous stories.
So yes, I work in more than one project at a time.
When you research for your books do you do it all/most of it before you start writing, or while it is a WIP?
Most of the research is done before hand. Since I don’t plot I might have to research an event or something while I’m writing the story. With A Body in the Attic, currently out to my publisher, I was told by my muse, Dakota, the house had to be in the Victorian style. Not only that but the house had to have secret passageways and rooms, reminiscent of the period of the Underground Railroad.
When it comes to military weaponry and equipment I do my best to make sure its correct use falls within current guidelines as best I can.
How do you deal/cope with promoting your books?
Over the years I’ve gotten a little better with promotion of my books. It’s taken me a while to figure out Facebook and Twitter but now I’m on them both. Maybe not as heavily as I should be at times. I’ve also started my own blog, where I sometimes will post a part of the current Emily Dahill story I’m working on. Several times a month I invite guests to talk about a topic of their choice. I do ask they keep the discussion limited to a maximum PG rating so any YA or MG readers can visit. Frequently, I can be found on Six Sentence Sunday and the newly created Sweet Saturday Samples where I promote my release or a soon to be released book. I have been invited to guest on blogs and like here do interviews, promoting not only myself but my current release. I also have done character interviews, usually with Dakota as the individual being interviewed as Emily tends to be a little shy. One of the biggest helps for me is my iPhone. With it I’m constantly in touch with Twitter, FB certain blogs and emails.
I believe you started writing romance and have transferred to mystery and crime writing, what prompted your change in direction?
The short answer-it’s more fun killing people them having them kiss. The long answer. I found that focusing on the heroine and hero, to almost the exclusion of everything else wasn’t what I wanted to write. There’s so much more to a story then just them. The villain, why did they commit the crime, their motivation. The supporting characters, who are they, what drives them to either assist the criminal or help solve the case or problem. When I was trying, repeat trying, to write romance I kept drifting away from the, for lack of a better term, formula required in romance writing. That, plus when I’m watching a TV show or movie I like to try to figure out the ‘who done it’ before the stars. Another advantage with a series is I can develop the main characters as I go along. I don’t have to tell the reader everything about them in one book.
What do you like most about the heroine in your new book, and what annoys you most about her?
Emily is gutsy, feisty and except for helicopters isn’t afraid of much of anything. She uses her training, women’s intuition and smarts to resolve the problem at hand. She knows she has a weakness but that doesn’t let it get in her way. The only thing that I find annoying at least right now, she can’t fish to save her life.
Same questions for your hero, please. :-)
You have to remember my hero is a tri-colored collie Emily adopted from two friend at the end of Final Mission. What do I like about him, darn near everything. He has instincts that could rival most investigators, brains to know what to do and when. But most of all, he’s his own dog. Independent but still relies on Emily at times. If someone threatens her he’s right there to protect her and if necessary pee on a rifle.
What annoys me-I wish he’d chew up those darn pink fuzzy floppy eared slippers she has. Only thing is, he’s afraid of them.
Please will you tell us a bit about your new book?
Back cover blurbs for Emily Dahill, CID Part 1
Final Mission-After being seriously wounded in a copter crash in Iraq Sgt. Emily Dahill meets her new partner as she embarks on her new Army career as a CID agent. Who could this new partner be?
A Body in the Snow-Emily and her partner, Dakota, cross bullets with their most determined foe. Who will survive?
Right Place, Wrong Day-On leave to hang with friends Emily gets the surprise of her life.
Dog on Fishing-When it comes to knowing how to fish, and catch the big ones, never underestimate your partner. He might surprise you.
Final Mission- Her mission for today, to complete a special prisoner’s transfer. Tomorrow, back to the States and Fort Leonard Wood for school to follow her dream-CID Special Agent. She bit back a smile not wanting to make her new trainees jealous. Even though they knew, she was leaving the boiler plate of the world.
She and two other MP’s had been ordered to transfer a high profile and dangerous Al-Qaida leader from Tuz back to Baghdad. She’d chuckled, she thought to herself, when her commanding officer had said ‘dangerous’. Oops. His iron stare stopped her laughter almost before it started.
A Body in the Snow- For him to be late wasn’t the norm. Especially when it came to food. And tonight was special-roast beef, roast potatoes, pan drip gravy; everything he liked and deserved after the last case. If not for him, she’d be dead or worse; so severely injured that she’d never recover.
With confirmed reports that the brown haired man was back in the area, she had new cause to worry. Had the terrorist gotten her partner before he reached home and safety?
She prayed not.
She’d chased the brown haired man over half the country. At one point even thinking that he’d disappeared to Europe. But that turned out to be an unsubstantiated rumor. A trail of dead soldiers marked his wake. Once, she thought she’d had him cornered but a traitor helped the man escape. That man now is basking in the Caribbean sun at Gitmo.
Right Place, Wrong Day- At first she couldn’t understand the bugged-eyed look the soldier was giving her. Her gut told her it wasn’t the sudden, unexpected sight of her ID. Then she realized she hadn’t put any clothes on. She was still in her panties and t-shirt.
She started to backpedal deeper into the tent when the man started to reach in. Before he knew it, he found his wrist in a collie’s jaw grip.
Frozen in terror, the soldier was about to call for help when Emily said, “If you know what’s good for you, first set your weapon on the ground, then smile at my dog.”
As she wiggled into a pair of jeans, which wasn’t easy one-handed, the other still in possession of her pistol, she tried not to laugh as the poor soldier did as he was told.
Dog on Fishing- Early afternoon found the four streamside. Each at what they hoped and prayed would be the lucky spot. Actually, Emily was standing knee deep in the water, needing the extra space for back casting.
Meanwhile, Dakota had found himself the perfect spot overlooking the water. A maple tree provided the perfect amount of shade, while the sun warmed, weather flattened and smoothed, rock afforded him the perfect sleeping platform. From this vantage point he could keep an eye on the humans. And from past experience with them, they needed all the looking after he could muster.
Where can readers find you?
LinkedIn- Lindsay Downs
Where can readers buy your books.
LINKS FOR EMILY DAHILL, CID PART 1
To request an autograph on your kindle (my author page)
Buy links for Emily Dahill, CID Part 1-
Astraea Press- http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=5192868
Barnes & Noble- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/emily-dahill-cid-part-one-lindsay-downs/1104547210
Is there anything else you’d like to mention, I haven’t touched on> If so, please add it here :-)
Yes there is- Until January 29, 2012, 100% from the proceeds of this book is donated to the Japanese tsunami victims.
Lindsay, thank you for joining us at THoR today.
I’ve had fun and thank you for having me.