Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alice K. Arenz Visits

Author of Mirrored Image

The cover of Alice K. Arenz’s novel is compelling. When Lynn passed a copy on to me, I had to read it. It takes place in the 1980s which, of course, is a favorite decade because that’s when we started our company, Zuk-Lloyd Associates. Mirrored Image reminds us just how far we’ve come in a few decades with the technological revolution revolving around cell phones, the Internet and social networking. Imagine having to look for a pay phone in an emergency. What a drag.

Two things I look for in a novel: a compelling story and crisp, clean writing. Arenz has accomplished both. Mirrored Image is the story of a newspaper columnist who is assigned to investigate a murder where the victim shares an uncanny likeness to her. Did the killer get the wrong one? Stir in an attractive police detective, along with the usual suspects, and you have the makings of a romantic suspense story that will stay with you after you finished the last chapter.

I invited Alice K Arenz to stop by for a blog visit. She graciously answered the following questions for me…

1. What prompted you to write this story?
My answer would have to be God. If it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t be able to put two words together!

2. Why did you decide to set the story in the eighties?
This is an easy one to answer. I originally wrote the book in 1986, which is why it’s set in ’86. It was “almost” accepted by a now defunct small press. It broke my heart at the time, but as the years went by and I kept re-writing MI, I just got the overwhelming feeling that when I finally got it right, the way it was supposed to be all along, that it would finally achieve publication. So I followed the Holy Spirit’s leading, kept faith, and MI is now a REAL book!

3. Do you plan your novel in detail before you start writing or are you more inclined to just write the story as it occurs to you?
Never. I’m a total and complete seat-of-the-pants writer. I literally don’t know what is going to happen until it does. Any time I try to interject what I “think” should go into the manuscript, it’s a total flop. I’ve learned to keep the communication lines between God and my subconscious open – and then wait for the surprises.

4. Are you writing a new novel at the moment? Can you tell us anything about it?
I’m currently on hold with my latest novel, An American Gothic, which was originally scheduled for release in Oct. 2011. Gothic is a classic romantic suspense in the old style – like Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, or Victoria Holt might have written – just updated. It’s written in the first person through the eyes of Lyssie Daniels, who is attempting to fulfill her dream of writing an old-fashioned gothic novel. A paragraph or two of Lyssie’s novel “Craven” opens each chapter and foreshadows the action to come in Lyssie’s real life.

Right now, I’m working on a short cozy for a book that will be a compilation of several authors. I’ve always been rather long-winded, so this is something I’m a little nervous about.

Thanks for asking me to be here today, Paul!

You're welcome!