Romantic suspense author Candice Speare Prentice answers a few questions about her Mayhem in Maryland cozy mystery series, newly released to the eBook format by Spyglass Lane Mysteries:
Q: The Spyglass Lane Mysteries all have elements of romance, faith, and suspense—which of those facets was hardest for you to write? Which was the easiest?
A: That’s an interesting question, and the answer probably depends on when during the process you ask me. The suspense is difficult during the plotting because I like to make sure all my details are worked out. I want to make sure my antagonist has a good reason for being antagonistic, and that my heroine has a good reason for flinging herself into danger. In other words, everyone has to have good motives to do what they’re doing. Writing the romance wasn’t that hard to write, but my series is about husband and wife, so it wasn’t as typical as guy meets girl. That meant I had to add romance a different way. Regarding faith, I wanted to make sure that element was too preachy or too understated.
Q: As a whodunit writer who is a Christian, in what ways did your faith impact how you write a murder mystery?
A: My main character is a Christian, so I made sure her relationship with the Lord was a part of her decision-making processes. And I also try to bring a spiritual life lesson into the plot.
Q. Tell us about your sleuth, Trish Cunningham.
A: Trish struggles with many insecurities common to women I know. She wants to be a great mom and stepmom, but worries she’s doing things wrong. Being a wife is utmost in her mind, and she worries she’s not always pleasing her husband. She’s a redneck tomboy with some rough edges that age, experience, and the Lord are working on. She has issues with her own mother, as well, which add humor to the story.
Q: Do you base your characters on people you know or are they totally made up?
A: I suspect most authors base their characters, or at least pieces of them, on people they know or have met. That’s where we learn about people—from observing them. That said, I never build a character with a specific acquaintance, relative, or friend in mind. To me that’s sort of like plagiarism of personality or something. And it could get me in big trouble.
Q: Who are the authors that inspire you as an author?
A: As writers, there are so many, I can’t name them. Each book I read has at least one thing in it that inspires me. But as mentors and real people, as a whole, great number of my fellow inspirational writers have been very generous over the years with their time and advice. I would love to name names, and I started to, but I realized I’d probably leave someone out, and I don’t want to do that.