1. What is Beneath Blackwater River about?
When the body of a teenage girl is found under the water curtains of the Blackwater River Falls, Detective Kay Sharp is called to the scene. Surrounded by snowy peaks and a forest alive with the colors of fall, the victim floats in the water, a hand-carved locket around her neck.
The locket seems strangely familiar. Digging into cold cases, Kay discovers that three-year-old Rose Harrelson was wearing it when she vanished fourteen years ago. In the middle of the night, the little girl’s bedroom—with Mickey Mouse on the wall and a hanging baby mobile—was suddenly empty. The unsolved case still haunts the town.
Beneath Blackwater River shines a light on the staggering implications of parental abuse and its life-long consequences in the lives of the abused. Sometimes, the abused turns into the abuser and such the cycle of abuse continues. In many known cases of serial homicide in the United States, the killer’s early life was one of appalling abuse endured at the hands of a parent or immediate family member.
2. What would readers remember after they finish reading the book?
They will remember that many times, appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes, refusing to dig deeper under the ornate masks worn by predators in our midst could lead to lives being threatened and lost. I also hope readers will regard parental abuse with a renewed interest, given its long-term, potentially deadly consequences. As my readers have grown accustomed to, the parental abuse in my book isn’t physical. It’s entirely psychological, but even if the scars aren’t visible to the naked eye it doesn’t mean they’re not there.
3. Your writing style is fast, filled with dialogue, almost at the expense of descriptives and narratives. Why is that?
This is how human beings interact, especially when under pressure or stress. We stop paying attention to our surroundings, and focus on the task at hand. People interact with one another, talk to one another, and have feelings for one another and for everything we do. That’s what I’m focused on, rather than specifying each article of clothing someone wears, or the color of the flower vase in an office somewhere. This technique isn’t necessarily good or bad; just somewhat different from mainstream.
4. What’s the biggest compliment you received from a fan?
It’s when readers tell me they stay up all night to finish the book, because they couldn’t put it down. That’s music to my ears J Like any other artist and entertainer, I thrive knowing that I deliver that escape into the fictional world in a grasping, gritty, and memorable way.
5. You mentioned science, technology, psychology. How do you keep it real?
I do extensive amounts of research for my work, and I’m fascinated by what I have the opportunity to learn. Additionally, sections of my books go through a process of validation at the hands of several fantastic partners who are law enforcement officers, attorneys, scientists, doctors in medicine. In Dawn Girl, for example, there are sections that speak about using certain plant extracts and animal venoms to achieve certain goals. Despite the extensive research, my hands were shaking a little as I wrote them, metaphorically speaking, and I was relieved when my research “passed scientific review.”
Apart from social media and email interactions, I’m a veritable recluse. Email is the best and quickest way to reach me, and I was fortunate to build true friendships with readers over email. The majority of my readers ask me when’s the next book coming out, not when I’m getting out of the house, so I get the hint and keep on writing.
7. Is this book a first in a series and going to be continued?
This book is the second in the Kay Sharp Series, a story centered on a certain family and its layered dysfunction. There are two other books published in the series. So far, this series has been very well received by the readers, and my fans have been adamant: they want more. Therefore, in the future there will be more books to enjoy in the Kay Sharp Series.