Friday, September 5, 2014

Interview with Carly M. Duncan, author of 'Behind You'

Carly M. Duncan is a television producer by day and a writer whenever there is time. Her first short story was published when she was in high school after a writing group prompted her to begin blogging before it was cool. Carly’s debut novel, Marcie, was released in 2013. Though she’ll forever be a California girl at heart, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two children and beloved Westie.

Her latest book is Behind You.
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About the Book:

When a mysterious attack lands Heather in the hospital on the brink of death, her family rushes to her side. Through an inconvenient maze of shadowed memory and family secrets, Heather can trust only herself to discover if her husband, parents, sister or aunt tried to kill her. During the course of their own narratives, each character confesses to their various crimes of passion, envy and ignorance, weaving Heather's mystery into an untraditional tale about seizing the opportunity to start over.

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Can you tell us what your book is about?

Behind You is about Heather’s journey to try to find who attacked her. Her only suspects are her family members.

Why did you write your book?

I love the mystery genre. I knew I wanted to try to write something that would keep people turning pages, trying to get to the bottom of a problem.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Heather is the main character who is attached. The supporting characters are those closest to her: her husband, Steven, her mother, Susan, her father, Richard, her sister Elizabeth and her aunt, Katherine. Each of them have their own secrets that eventually help lead to the answer at the end.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

They’re mostly from my imagination, but obviously traits from those I know sneak into the individuals. I can’t help but draw from what I have seen or experienced.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

I usually start with an ending I think would be interesting and then I work backwards. I have always known the ending of the projects I’ve started before I even begin an outline. I like knowing the final goal, where I’m going.

Your book is set in New York. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

New York is where I live, so I’m most familiar with life here. It also happens to be one of the best cities in the world. It’s a place where anything can happen.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

The setting doesn’t play a major part, but it’s an excellent background!

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Page 69 is the beginning of Katherine’s story. The reader gets some perspective on her relationship with Heather’s immediate family and it’s revealed that Katherine has motives of her own.

Is it hard to get a mystery book published?

It’s harder to finish a novel than to worry about who will see it and when. I always cherish the completion of a project more than the work involved with getting it out into the world!

Is it hard to promote a mystery book and where do you start?

I haven’t had to promote many genres of books, so I can’t say if it’s particularly harder. It’s work, definitely, but dreams take work. I start by asking my friends and family to read the story and share it. Start at home base and then take baby steps to the rest of the world – that’s my mode of operation.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Of course I’ve suffered from writer’s block! I never refer to it as that. It seems so dramatic. I go through phases of time where I get a ton of writing done and then other times I don’t get a sentence on the page. Writing is an act of patience sometimes.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Oh my gosh. What a magical question. With an extra hour I’d call more friends, stay better connected with people I never want to lose touch with.

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

My birthday is my favorite holiday because it’s (mostly) just mine.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Somewhere where we could eat outside (weather pending) that has an excellent wine collection.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to see new places, engage in new experiences and adventures. That sounds generic, but, really, just soaking up life. Oh, and I love to read. A lot. Like a machine.

Can you tell us about your family?

Sure, my family is amazing. They give me the greatest peace.

What do you like the most about being an author?

I like sharing stories and hearing what readers felt along the way.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

I suppose the most pivotal point of a writer’s life is creating that first spark of an idea. It’s an exciting feeling, when you know something is about to pour out of you.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

My advice Is to keep telling stories, nurturing your ideas and never giving up until you come to the end of your story and are satisfied with where you’ve landed.

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