Thursday, 30 August 2018

Hidden Diamond: Lucy Farago, Search and Recover, and The Research Vortex

There are a lot of authors and books out there, so many that it can be hard for readers to find what they're looking to read.  So I want to share the gems hidden among the chaos.  Each month, I'll feature a new Hidden Diamond author.  If you want to know more, please join the mailing list and you won't miss the diamond you've been searching for.

This month, I'm proud to share a fellow ORWAn and a lady whose books have been on my Kindle since she first released: Lucy Farago, writer of thrilling romantic suspense with fast-paced action.  

I was there at the ORWA meeting where she brainstormed her most recent release: A Necessary Deception and I couldn't wait to read it.  A tech genius taking an analog vacation in an isolated Alaskan cabin, a wealthy socialite matchmaker on the run from the Russian mob and a keep-turning-to-the-last-page adventure.  And for those looking to start at the beginning, don't miss the first book in the Search and Recover series: A Necessary Lie with it's rodeo star secret investigator and a heroine determined to solve the mystery of her friend's death.

And now without further ado, I'll let Lucy tell you a little about her writing process.  Or rather, the other things she's doing on her computer while she's writing.

The Never-Ending Research Vortex

Research, it’s a wonderful thing…until you’re sucked into a vortex of never-ending information that has little, ifanything, to do with your book. Ah, those pesky traps, cleverly hidden within the matrix of google. I once lost two weeks of my life gathering information on how to allow my inexperienced heroine the ability to handle an explosive without killing herself. I succeeded, but in case you’re bored and want to amuse yourself, try “How to blow up a tree with Tannerite!!”? Yup, not one, but two exclamation marks. Or “Blowing up trees with Dynamite!!”. What is it with back-wood rednecks and their enthusiasm for tree carnage?

If you tire of watching harmless trees being reduced to matchsticks, there’s always the irresistible one-click to the sidebar video on “Glow Sticks in the Microwave”. It’s something a mature adult shouldn’t need to know, but what does happen when you stash those leftover concert goodies in a microwave and hit them with small doses of radiation? In case you were curious, they glow brighter…until they explode. Then there’s the “Legos, are they bullet proof?” Hmmm…no, no they are not. This same dude shot his truck with a tank. Dare I say someone has too much time on their hands? The truth could be said about me, because do I really want to know if my microwave can kill me? Apparently, I do, because I squandered even more time with my new best friend, ‘the internet’.

Why am I wasting time on you-tube and google instead of finishing the darn book you ask? Good question. First, I can say with the utmost certainty, I am not alone in the research time-suck dance. Many of us spend an afternoon learning facts we’ll never make use of, other than to exchange stories on how we wasted an entire afternoon learning facts we’ll never make use of. So why do it? I can’t speak for anyone else, although I believe some share my dilemma.

For me, it’s not having a clear understanding of where my story is heading.  I write romantic suspense. This means I’m plotting two intertwined stories. I can visualize the romance. But if I don’t, it tends to flow more naturally than my creating ways to hide clues or keeping my readers guessing as to whodunit. And I want to leave my readers guessing. It’s not until I’m three quarters of the way through the book that I get that ‘ah-ha’ moment. All this leaves me frustrated and I find ways to distract myself from the real task at hand. It can be very unproductive. On the flip side I can tell you exactly how much C-4 you need to blow up a tree. Find me on Facebook and I’ll give you the what-up.

- Lucy Farago

An Author Interview with Lucy Farago

What is the craziest thing you've done to research a book?

I wouldn’t say crazy as imprudent. I once asked a TSA guy if I’d be able to pack a severed head in my luggage without it being detected. I guess I should have started with “Hi, my name is Lucy and I’m a writer” but that didn’t sound like any fun. I also asked a couple of Boston cops on July 4, if a civilian could gain access to a murder scene. I didn’t miss how one officer’s hand went to his handcuffs. They were chatting once I explained who I was, but his hand never left the handcuffs.

What is your writing process?

I was a pantser. But to write romantic suspense you have to be a plotter, especially if you’re writing to a deadline. It's much easier and it's less likely I’ll get stuck on a plot point. Plus if you have someone who'll read your synopsis, you'll be able to fix anything that doesn’t work.

What is your favourite thing to do to relax?

I bake. I also bake when I’m stuck. My neighbours all know when I’m struggling. They are the recipients of my blocked muse. I enjoy television. It keeps me current and as a writer, you need to stay current. 

Who is your favourite fictional crush?

Mr. Darcy of course. I’m more in love with the character than Collin Firth. Although I’m team Firth all the way. It’s not that he’s the all-time best hero, it’s more the romantic character he represents. Rich man, poorer girl, wrong side of the tracks trope. Plus he’s pretty much the first romantic hero in history. And I love history.

And finally, in the spirit of the great Joss Whedon debate, who would win: cavemen or astronauts?

I always found this debate interesting. What environment are we sticking them in? I get the whole instinct vs evolved debate, but playing field I think is more important. Put them in the wilds with no unfair advantage, cavemen. I’m with Spike, man has evolved to the point that most people wouldn’t survive a day without assistance.

Thank you to Lucy for being my inaugural Hidden Diamond and for those who want their very own copies of her books, you can find them at the following stores:

Come back on September 27th to discover the next Hidden Diamond.  
Or join the mailing list and have the perfect gems for you sent right to your mailbox.

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