Karen E. Olson, author of the Annie Seymour mysteries and the upcoming, Vegas-based Ink series, is here to talk about her new release, Shot Girl.
I was so excited about Karen's visit, that I decided to have my first bloggy giveaway.
Yes, you can win your very own copy of Shot Girl just by leaving a comment below and I will enter your name to my random drawing (I'll announce the winner a week from today).
To whet your appetite, here's a teaser about Shot Girl from Karen's website www.kareneolson.com:
New Haven police reporter Annie Seymour has a talent for running into trouble. So it should come as no shock when her co-worker's bachelorette party at a local club turns into a crime scene. What is surprising is that the dead bar manager on the sidewalk outside happens to be Annie's ex-husband — and the bullet shells around his body match the gun she has in her car.
Coming face-to-face with her past, Annie delves into a conspiracy involving everyone from a male stripper to a shot girl. If she wants to get the story, she'll have to escape a killer . . . before she becomes the next headline.
You can also read the first chapter on Karen's website, and for those of you who know Annie, you'll be amazed to find her wearing stilettos. And that fact led to my first question:
Jen: So are the heels going to be a new look for Annie? I'm having a hard time with the chase/run thing. LOVED the first scene, though.
Karen: Annie is fashion challenged, but she does slip on another pair of high heeled sandals a little later in the book for what she hopes is a little dinner foreplay with Vinny.
Jen: Will Tom and Vinny ever kiss and make up, or are we going to see lots of testosterone swimming around in Annie's future?
Karen: Let's just say that everyone's taken care of at the end of SHOT GIRL.
Jen: What's up with Annie's fucking language? Did she ever serve as a Marine?
Karen: Annie works in a newsroom. I learned all that language myself as a young reporter. And when I worked as a copy editor at the paper in New Haven and we got a new computer system, a friend aptly said that its patron saint was St. Expletive. So anyone who says they've never heard such language in a newsroom is lying.
Jen: Okay, so you've been stuck with, er given the present of, Election Day as your release date, so I gotta ask - is Annie an Obama or McCain woman?
Karen: Annie is an objective newspaper reporter and would never divulge her personal political leanings in public. How's that for an evasive answer?
Jen: Will Annie ever learn that guns seem to get her in more trouble than they're worth?
Karen: If you haven't noticed, Annie doesn't actually ever shoot her gun in the first three books. I realized that myself and figured that in SHOT GIRL perhaps the gun should play a little bigger role. I mean, "shot" is in the title after all.
Jen: As a print journalist yourself for most of your career, do you advocate guns for all journalists? What about the society page writers? Maybe especially the society page writers?
Karen: No journalists should never carry a gun. It would be frightening. I did work at one point with a sports editor who kept a handgun in the glovebox of his car and we were terrified he'd go off the handle one night and go postal on us. He had a bit of a temper.
Jen: What's the one thing you most want my readers to know about SHOT GIRL, since I keep asking such inane questions?
Karen: Annie is an unreliable narrator in SHOT GIRL. Which means you shouldn't believe anything she says. And that's all I'll say.
Jen: I think it's safe to say you know New Haven pretty well. How is it writing a new series set in Vegas? Was this really a ploy to write off time at the craps tables?
Karen: I went to Vegas and didn't even gamble once. But I do get to write off my trip. Actually, writing about Vegas was incredibly freeing. I didn't have to worry about actual restaurants or intersections. I concentrated on the atmosphere, the heat, the glitz. Although I did manage to squeeze in my favorite fast food joint: In N Out Burgers, which we don't have here in Connecticut.
Jen: Can you tell us what will be coming up in the new series?
Karen: THE MISSING INK will be out in July. It features Brett Kavanaugh, a tattoo shop owner in Las Vegas, and her staff of tattooists. The plot centers around a missing woman. I've got a dwarf, guillotines, and a karaoke Elvis bar in it. It's great fun, but it's got an edge. It's not as chick-litty as I think it might look. The second, PRETTY IN INK, will be out sometime after that. It depends how fast I can write it before a pub date is tossed around. But that book will center on drag queens. I'm having a blast with these books.
Jen: Is this Annie's swansong, or will there be more Annie stories to look forward to? I must say, I'd miss Annie terribly.
Karen: Right now, SHOT GIRL is the last Annie book. Honestly, I'm not sure I could write another Annie book at the moment. I've got too many friends losing their jobs at newspapers, which are imploding. I think I'd have to either lay off Annie or have her take a buyout and it certainly wouldn't be funny anymore. Although someone suggested sending her to Vegas for a tattoo. So she might make a cameo at some point in the new series.
Jen: What are the First Offenders planning for THIS April Fools Day? You all really had me the last time. (They had a "break-up" post, which was hysterical, heartbreaking and... um... believable for certain gullible, types). Okay, so I'm just plain stupid, sometimes.
Karen: Do you really think we plan that far ahead? :)
Now run and get your own copy of Shot Girl by clicking this link or win your own copy by entering the drawing by leaving a comment below.