Randee Green, another Authors18 member, is on the blog today to talk about her book, Criminal Misdeeds, which is out now through Coffeetown Press.
Name: Randee Green
Book Title: Criminal Misdeeds
Book Genre: Mystery
Release Date: July 1, 2018
What’s your book about?
Detective Carrie Shatner is related to a whole bunch of criminals. And it’s up to her to determine if one of them is now a murderer.
How did you come up with the idea for CRIMINAL MISDEEDS?
I first came up with Carrie Shatner when I was a senior in high school. This was way back in late 2005/early 2006. At that time, I was reading a lot of mystery novels starring strong, female sleuths, and I decided I was going to attempt creating one of my own. I later gave Carrie an extended family full of criminals, and based the novel around their crimes and her misplaced family loyalty.
How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you have to do any research?
As I always say, it took “too long” to write CRIMINAL MISDEEDS. Even though I came up with Carrie Shatner’s character in late 2005/early 2006, it wasn’t until January 2011 that I finally began to write the book that would someday become CRIMINAL MISDEEDS. I wrapped up the novel and started querying agents during the summer of 2014.
The majority of the research I did for CRIMINAL MISDEEDS involved crime scene investigation and police investigation. I also did some research into the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety because one of my main characters, Jerrod Hardy, is a sergeant with the Texas Rangers.
How did you celebrate when you learned that CRIMINAL MISDEEDS was going to be published?
Since my agent and I primarily communicate through email, I knew something was up when she called me back in late January 2017. I assumed she was either calling to tell me that we’d finally gotten a deal or that we had run out of options. Luckily she was calling to tell me that Coffeetown Press wanted to offer me a three book deal. I was at work at the time, so I had to refrain from screaming in excitement. Instead, I collapsed in my chair and just about passed out. It wasn’t until a few hours later – once the shock had worn off – that it finally hit me that all my hard work was finally going to pay off. That’s when I sat down and cried.
What’s one piece of advice that you would offer your younger writer self?
I would tell myself to just write the damn thing. Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way, and to just write. It will all work out in the end.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“A fun, Texas-style whodunit told with wry humor, quirky characters, and a sleuth you’ll want for a best friend. Never a dull moment!”
– Dianne Freeman, author of A LADY’S GUIDE TO ETIQUETTE AND MURDER
Thank you, Randee! Criminal Misdeeds is available now.
As far back as the Shatners can be traced, they have been breaking the law and running from it. It’s a family tradition. Now Carrie Shatner is a detective and crime-scene technician with the Wyatt County Sheriff’s Department in Eastern Texas. Over the years, she has tried to distance herself from her family’s criminal activities. But that is easier said than done.
The Shatner family is celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Wyatt County Fairgrounds in their usual style: illegal fireworks, homemade moonshine, and a near brawl. After shutting down the party, Carrie does a final sweep of the fairgrounds and finds a dead body in a dumpster.
Good news: the dead man is not a Shatner. Bad news: the Shatners are now suspects in a homicide investigation. Soon the fairgrounds are overrun with law enforcement, including Sergeant Jerrod Hardy, a Texas Ranger. The victim is Kyle Vance, Carrie’s ex-boyfriend and a member of the Palmer family, who have been feuding with the Shatners since the Civil War.
Despite serious misgivings, Hardy allows Carrie to help him investigate. He knows she physically couldn’t have beaten Vance to death, but he wonders if she is covering for a family member.
Randee Green’s passion for reading began in grade school with LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, as well as a master’s and an MFA in Creative Writing. When not writing, she’s usually reading, indulging in her passion for Texas country music, traveling, or hanging out with her favorite feline friend, Mr. Snookums G. Cat.
EXCERPT FROM CRIMINAL MISDEEDS – THESE ARE THE OPENING LINES
I come from a long line of criminals.
Moonshiners, rumrunners, and drug dealers. Horse thieves and carjackers. Bank robbers, burglars, pickpockets, and con artists. And then there has been the occasional killer. You name it, whether it’s a felony or a misdemeanor, somewhere along the line a member of my family has committed it.
As far back as the Shatner family could be traced – from southern England to the mountains of western North Carolina, and now to the Piney Woods of East Texas – we had been breaking the law. And running from it, too.
It was a family tradition.
You see, the Shatners have never swum in the baby pool of life. We’ve always been out in the deep end, and we jumped in headfirst.