Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Interview: Deception in the Shadows by T.L. Haddix


When all the lies that have been hidden come to light, nothing will be the same.

From the time she came to live with her uncle Ron after the tragic deaths of her parents when she was a young girl, Carrie Greer never had reason to doubt she was wanted. Now a dispatcher with the county, she’s a grown woman building a life of her own. But after a trip to Florida, her uncle’s attitude changes… and not for the better. While struggling to come to terms with this shift in their relationship and all the collateral damage it causes, another tragedy strikes. Ron Smith is murdered. And the only person with an obvious reason to want him dead… is Carrie.

Robbie Bailey is finally free to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. But instead of attending classes, he ends up having to return to Leroy and to Carrie, the girl he’s been in love with since he was a teenager. He finds himself in the position of having to convince her of the depth of his feelings while protecting her from a vengeful killer bent on keeping long-buried secrets hidden. And he isn’t sure he can succeed at either task. 

Deception in the Shadows is the sixth installment in the Shadows/Leroy’s Sins Collection, a series of Romantic Suspense novels by author T. L. Haddix. Other titles include Secrets in the Shadows, Under the Moon’s Shadow, Shadows from the Grave, Hidden in the Shadows, and In the Heart’s Shadow. 

Thank you, Mrs.T.L. Haddix
How the Leroy’s Sin Series was created and what is the significance of the series name and of the “shadows” from the title of its books? 
The Leroy’s Sins Series came about purely by accident. I wanted to write Beth Hudson’s book (she’s the heroine in the second book, “Under the Moon’s Shadow”) but in order to get her out of my head, I had to write Lauren’s story first (“Secrets in the Shadows”), even though I was itching to write Beth’s. So as I was plotting and planning, I realized that instead of one book, I had two, and then two turned into three. That was the plan initially, just three books. So since series’ titles are often linked, and since the first book was “Secrets in the Shadows,” the second and third had to be “Shadows” books, too. And the original plan was to have the stories all centered around sins that happened behind the scenes in the small (fictional) town of Leroy, hence “Leroy’s Sins.” But people started thinking they were religious books, so we changed it to the Shadows Collection/Shadows series. Now it’s kind of a running gag in my household that I have to come up with more “Shadows” titles. If I had only known the series would end up going this far… I might have picked another word (or none at all!) ;) 

What Romantic Suspense means (or should mean) and what are the ingredients that can make it great? 
For me, RS is a “best of both worlds” genre. I love mysteries, I love romance. And that’s what I think makes it great. You don’t get an overload of either genre, and a good author can offer a well-crafted blend of both. 

What are the first three things that can destroy a Romance Suspense? 
Too little romance, too much romance, too many loose ends. 

You write fantasy/paranormal stories too. What genre is most challenging for you to write and why? 
They’re both challenging in different ways, but I have to say RS is the most difficult. The “Firefly Hollow” series for me is just more natural, more organic in the way the ideas come. There aren’t as many loose ends to have to tie up and make it all seem logical or plausible. I can get away with more in the Firefly series because there is more of a suspension of disbelief with the nature of that specific genre. I love writing both, though. 

Is it enough for a book to entertain or it should send (at least) a message to the readers? 
Depends on the book, the author, and the message that’s trying to be sent. I think it also depends on the reader. When I read, my go-to genre is historical romance. Why? The escapism. As much as I love Romantic Suspense, with what little time I do have to read these days, I want to relax. And I firmly do not think it is the fiction author’s job to preach to readers in most scenarios. While it’s fine to send a message, it should feel native to the characters whose story is being told. Let the characters learn the lesson, and hopefully the readers will relate to that message if they want. But just to write a book under the guise of fiction when it’s actually a soapbox, I don’t like that idea. I know where to find discourse on social issues and politics, and I don’t particularly want them in my entertainment. With that having been said, I like books that tackle tough issues without preaching. Books that show sides of things that perhaps aren’t often seen in media. Those are the kinds of books that make you think while being subtle. As my character Carrie Greer says in “Deception in the Shadows,” you don’t need a backhoe to do a job when a shovel would work nicely. 

About the author:
T.L. Haddix was born in Hazard, Kentucky, a small town in the center of the Appalachian coal fields. Taught to read by her grandmother, T.L. has had a life-long love affair with books, devouring whatever she could get her hands on. From childhood favorites such as the Trixie Belden series and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books, to her current favorites from authors like Tami Hoag, Alex Kava, J.A. Jance and Lisa Kleypas (among many others), T.L. still finds refuge in the written word.

“Growing up, I wanted to be everything – astronaut, police officer, doctor, teacher, reporter, psychologist – there was no clear choice for me. I wanted to do it all. Becoming a writer has allowed me to do just that, because I can live vicariously through my characters.”

A resident of eastern Kentucky, T.L. is hard at work on her next book, when she isn’t chasing after her three cat-children with her husband.

1 comment:

T. L. Haddix said...

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you so much for letting my come hang out on the blog for a bit. I had a blast, and hope to "see" you again someday!

Thanks again. :)

T. L.