Romantic suspense author Chrys Fey sits down for an interview today. She's here to talk about her newly released novella 30 Seconds Before. She also talks about changing plans when life throws you lemons. Thanks for being my guest, Chrys!
Where did you get the idea for your new novella?
Well, it was pretty easy. I published 30 Seconds, a romantic-suspense novella, about a woman in the middle of a war between a police force and the Mob. Afterward, readers asked about what Blake went through before the story began. That got me thinking, and I just had to write that story. 30 Seconds Before takes place days before 30 Seconds, follows Blake while he’s undercover in the Mob, and ends right where 30 Seconds begins.
If you could change something about one of your books that’s already released, what would it be?
I would combine 30 Seconds Before and 30 Seconds into one book. But since 30 Seconds Before is in Blake’s perspective, his story would be Part 1. And since 30 Seconds is in Dani’s perspective, her story would be Part 2. The book for these combined stories would have the umbrella title of…30 Seconds.
What do you hope readers gain from your stories?
I want them to walk away feeling entertained and as though they’ve made a few friends. I think being part of a reader’s life, for as long as it takes them to read the story, is precious. Entertaining them and making them feel like a member of your book’s family is a gift.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I had wanted to be a cop, but when I had spine surgery at fifteen to correct severe scoliosis, that dream went away. I can’t move the same as I did before, and I certainly can’t do the things cops need to do while on duty. But I get to pretend I’m a cop through my writing.
If writing is your first passion, what is your second?
Photography. Wherever I go, I love to take pictures, or I see things that I would love to capture with a camera. I especially love to photograph nature. If I wasn’t writing, I’d be pursing photography.
If you could get rid of something in your life that would give you more writing time, what would it be?
Sleep. But then again, I love to sleep. I don’t think I could give it up, after all. Dreams give me most of my story ideas. However, all the time I waste sleeping in, because I can’t drag myself out of bed, would be better spent writing.
Name two authors we might find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
J.D. Robb and her infinite In Death Series, or Janet Evanovich and her hilarious Stephanie Plum Series.
What do you like best about your hero?
Blake is a hero through and through…He’s a cop for the Cleveland Police Force, and his last name is Herro. I couldn’t make a man more of a hero than Blake if I tried.
How do you choose the names and physical characteristics of your characters? Do you base them on real people?
As I said in my previous answer, Blake’s last name is Herro because he’s a hero. Although, it’s supposed to be pronounced as He-Are-Row. I got his first name from a street sign, which is where I’ve gotten a lot of character names. And I tend to craft my characters’ looks after actors. For Blake, I envisioned Paul Walker. (RIP)
What’s your tagline? Why did you choose it?
Thrilling and Romantic with Heroines of Steel.
I chose this as my tagline because all of my stories have suspense and romance. 30 Seconds Before is the exception as there’s no romance. There also isn’t a heroine, but usually my heroines are tough cookies.
Steel also is a nod toward the rod in my back from my spine surgery. I once wrote an essay about my surgery titled “Woman of Steel,” and all of my heroines are as strong as steel.
Title: 30 Seconds Before (Prequel to 30 Seconds)
Genre: Mainstream Thriller
Page Count: 60 (novella)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.
On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.
Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?
Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake
strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and
flashing lights obscured his vision.
Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.
Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.
“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”
The officer’s lips moved.
Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”
The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer's Support Group and heads their monthly newsletter.