Carsen Taite works by day (and sometimes night) as a criminal defense attorney in Dallas, Texas. Her goal as an author is to spin plot lines as interesting as the cases she encounters in her practice.
Her Battle Axe is a Goldie finalist in the Mystery/Thriller category and Rush in the Romantic Suspense/Intrigue/Adventure category. I asked her to respond to the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
I read a lot of books and can’t even begin to select a favorite. My favorite genres are mystery and romantic intrigue and my favorite authors/books include J.M. Redmann and her Micky Knight series, Kim Baldwin and Xenia Alexiou and their Elite Operative Series, Sue Grafton and the Kinsey Millhone series…I could go on for a while here. Looks like I have a thing for series, which is true. When I find characters I like, I dig getting to know them over the course of several books.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
Late one Saturday night, when I was practicing law, I received a call from a woman who said that her niece had killed a man and wanted to confess. What started out to be a straightforward case of balancing the young woman’s desire to clear her conscience with protecting her right not to incriminate herself turned into a crazy roller coaster ride ending with me sitting on the witness stand during a murder trial. Because truth is most definitely stranger than fiction, I had to change many of the facts to make a believable story, but the incident formed the basis of my fourth novel, Nothing but the Truth.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
Unlike many, I do not find writing to be isolating. Between the research, brainstorming, and editing, most of the work of turning a story idea into a book is a group effort. Getting the first draft done is all me, but I couldn’t do it without the support I have on either end from my wonderful wife, fabulous writer friends, and incredibly supportive publishing house.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
Each time I hold a new release in my hands, it feels amazing. Awards are great, but I get the greatest sense of satisfaction when I hear directly from readers who liked the book and took the time to let me know. Fan mail is one of my biggest inspirations.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
As simple as it sounds, my literary goal is to keep writing as long as I have fresh, interesting story ideas. I don’t see it as a mountain climb, but a journey with lots of twists and turns. I think it would be fun to write something in the young adult genre and I’ve kicked around the idea of writing a modern day Nancy Drew style series.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
I just sent a manuscript to my publisher titled Courtship. It’s slated for release in November of this year and it’s a romantic thriller featuring a U.S. Supreme Court nominee and the woman assigned to get her through the nomination process. There’s love and law and danger and politics.
I’ve just started writing the first book in the Lone Star Law Series. There will be federal agents, ranchers, oil barons, drug lords, and love. Here’s a sneak peek at the first title, Lay Down the Law:
Peyton Davis is part rancher, part federal prosecutor and all Texan. Strong and steady, she’s known for keeping her cool in every situation, but when she meets the beautiful and accomplished heiress to the Gantry oil fortune she falls fast and hard. When she learns her new assignment is to investigate the Gantry family’s business, her entire belief system will be tested.
Lily Gantry leads a privileged and protected life and she has no idea it’s all about to blow up in her face. What she does know is that the striking rancher she met at the Cattle Baron’s Ball has the potential to steal her heart. Will she feel the same way when she finds out Peyton Davis’s investigation threatens not only her family’s fortune, but the very foundation of her identity?
Huge thanks to Carsen for taking part. You can read a full biography and see all her books on her Carsen Taite author page.