Guest Author Interview – Carole Price

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Title: Vineyard Prey: A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery (Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mysteries Book 3)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?

Carole Price, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Carole Price. Carole is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Welcome to my blog, Carole.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

CP: Cait Pepper and Royal Tanner help friends from drug dealers at the same time that Cait’s Shakespeare Festival is running.

CH: Your book deals with the realities of life, such as vineyards, Navy Seals, Amish, DEA, and Drug Dealers—usually not all mixed together. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

CP: I’m from Ohio, and although vaguely familiar with the Amish, I researched their lifestyles, homes, and habits. Cait is also from Ohio. I like to draw from my background, as well and bring that into my writing and my characters, but I started from scratch with the SEALs and the DEA, when I began this series. Learning something new is part of the fun of writing.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

CP: As a police volunteer for almost fifteen years in Livermore, California, where I live, I have access to officers to ask about police procedures, drugs, ride-alongs, and role play in various situations.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

CP: Working without an outline is a challenge, but I keep a binder that covers the background on every character. I know their likes and dislikes, their schooling, religion, and love interests. This is critical when writing a series. I have tried using an extended synopsis to keep me in line, but that too didn’t work because ideas would come to me while writing and before I knew it, I’d wandered off and occasionally written myself into a corner.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

CP: My series takes place in Livermore where I live. After I settled on the design and floor plan for the estate, I added a vineyard, and created two Shakespeare theaters. In creating the indoor and outdoor theaters, I referred to my experience at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where I’d visited many times, toured their theaters, and spoke with theater personnel about costumes.

CH: I, too, enjoy the Shakespeare Festivals. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

CP: It’s been fun and exciting for my readers who live in Livermore. They’ve even driven around looking for the estate. I had to get permission from the police chief and city attorney to use an interview room in the station to make scenes appear authentic.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?                            

CP: Probably, Cait Pepper, my protagonist. She inherited the Benning Estate from an aunt she’d never heard of, gave up her job as a cop in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to California to manage the estate and her Shakespeare Festival.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CP: Fumié Ondo, by far, who is a recent college graduate, and she works part-time at the Bening Estate helping Cait. She sings like an angel for visitors, while they wait for the plays to begin. Soon she’ll head off to Park Ranger school, leaving behind her recent romantic interest.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

CP: Marcus Singer, an ex-con, who doted on Cait’s aunt, while she was alive, but was reluctant to approve of Cait.

CH: When you wrote the first book in this series, did you know then that it would be a series?

CP: Not until I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t let them go.

CH: Are there any additional books in this series?

CP: Twisted Vines is Book 1, Sour Grapes is Book 2, and Vineyard Prey is Book 3. I’m hoping Cait and RT will resolve their problems in Book 4.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

CP: Mostly very good and readers are eager for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I’m not a prolific writer. I tell myself that it’s because I didn’t start writing seriously until after I retired.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

CP: My husband and I attended an author book signing event where I met an author who inspired me to start my own book. That was twenty years ago. Today, we are still in the same critique group.

CH: How wonderful. Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

CP: The author I previously mentioned is Penny Warner, who has over sixty books published. Without Penny or my critique group, I wouldn’t be published, today.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CP: Many. I still want to publish the first book I’d written. Still unnamed, it’s a mystery and takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, a place I love and have visited several times. I’ve also started a cozy series about a girl and her stained-glass shop, something I know about. I’ve written one short story and am eager to write more.

CH: How to Find Carole Price:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

CP: It is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and Kobo

CH: Any closing remarks?

CP: My thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway, for this opportunity to discuss my Shakespeare in the Vineyard series. Exposure like this is a real blessing for authors and one I appreciate. I also hope readers enjoy my books, as much as I love writing them.

CH: Thank you so much, Carole Price, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Carole Price and Cheryl Holloway.

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