Explain your “Crime Fictionista” philosophy. Sounds fabulous!
Something many in Christian publishing might not realize is that I was once part of the fashion industry. I graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in the garment district in NYC and worked in the bridal industry. I’ve attended bridal fairs in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Las Vegas, and of course in my hometown NYC. When I was working in fashion, I’d always here bandied about, “Oh, she’s such a fashionista.” So, it occurred to me, what about crime fictionista? I googled and found nobody was using the term, so natch, I grabbed it. It’s been a fun moniker to have.
What can readers expect from your books?
My readers have come to expect a good story. There’s suspense, action, a love story all in equal measure. Each of these elements is intrinsic to the plot. And there will also be some humor thrown in. Readers have commented that I also write about food. I always have characters who are cooking and baking and those aromas seem to be wafting off the page. In GOODBYE NOEL heroine Katrina Lenart isn’t very good in the kitchen, so sometimes the smells are more like a fireplace that needs cleaning. Those scenes would fall into the humor category.
How does your Christian faith show in your work?
Katrina and Det. Ian Daltry, who is a widower with some pain in his life, are both committed Christians and sharing the intimacies of their souls is part of their love story. They communicate deep, deep feelings to each other and even a few things that are quite difficult to talk about. And they share their faith with each other and help each other to a stronger faith.
Some crime/mystery novels nearly ignore characterization in favor of plot – where do you draw the line between action and the individual?
I’m heavily into characterization. In fact, my stories are character driven. The next step in the plot has to occur because it’s natural for it to happen to the characters. I like characters who are fairly intense. They don’t always have to be likeable, though I want the reader to be rooting for them. I try to depict ordinary people who rise to great heights in standing for what is right and against evil. I hope my readers can see the “natural nobility” unpretentious people can display when against all odds they do the right thing. I hope my main characters Katrina Lenart and Detective Ian Daltry come off in this way. I want to show that LOVE is the greatest power on the earth, that the depth of human love is something that will always persevere. Of course, Christians understand this powerful love is God’s love in us.
What connects GOODBYE NOEL with BURNING HEARTS? Do any of the same character’s appear?
In book one, BURNING HEARTS, main characters Eric Brogna and Lorne Kincade were innocents when it came to the opposite sex. They were very inexperienced and taking baby steps in their romance. Katrina, my heroine in GOODBYE NOEL, was Erica’s best friend in the first story who pushed Erica into Lorne’s space every chance she got. Ian Daltry, the Sanctuary Point detective, considered Lorne to be a suspect at the outset in the first novel. In GOODBYE NOEL, of course Katrina and Ian develop as characters. They both have very strong convictions about finding justice for the murder victims as the bodies pile up. They’re also committed Christians who act accordingly, yet are very aware of their feelings toward each other. I’d call this story a warm love story.
What are your favorite scenes to write? The romance? The crime? The suspense?
I hope you don’t find this a cop-out, but I enjoy writing them all. That’s why my novels are known for having an equal portion of suspense, romance, action, and pretty vivid crime scenes. I like the page turning aspects of suspense coupled with action. Then, for me there has to be accurate police procedure to the time-period. And finally, I want a deeply moving love story.
Who’s been your favorite character to write? Has there been one you’ve particularly connected with as you brought him/her to life?
I think Katrina has been the one I’ve enjoyed writing the most. She’s got a snarky side to her that was a hoot to write. She’s no perfect Christian, though she’s a rock solid believer. I’ve also enjoyed writing about her fashion flair, and also her mother’s. Katrina got her sense of style from her mom. I try to make that evident in the story. It’s a wonderful sense of femininity the females in her family pass down generation to generation and they bring Ian’s motherless four year old daughter into their feminine fold and begin helping her to feel like a princess.
What’s next for Sanctuary Point?
Well, of course, the crime wave continues to sweep the tiny village of Sanctuary Point. The next novel in the series is PERILOUS SHADOWS. Radio news broadcaster Argus Nye, who was a character in the first two novels, is the hero. Kiera Devane is a young woman who abandons her family’s high society lifestyle to become a newspaper reporter. Together she and Argus hunt the killer in Perilous Shadows.
GOODBYE NOEL was released December 15th and will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader Store, and Christianbooks soon!
Grab now at:
Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Stay tuned tomorrow for an excerpt from Nike’s new novel, Goodbye Noel!