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becke_davis
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IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

I'm very excited to introduce TWO visiting authors today, KELLI STANLEY and REBECCA CANTRELL. We decided to feature both of these authors together since they are friends in real life.

 

I'll start with KELLI STANLEY. Kelli's book NOX DORMIENDA, described by one reviewer as "Roman Noir," was nominated for a Macavity Award. She has a new book coming out early next year -- CITY OF DRAGONS. 

 

Nox Dormienda  

 

 

Here's a link to Kelli's website, which is being updated:

 

http://www.kellistanley.com/ 

 

 Cover to CITY OF DRAGONS (February 2, 2010/Minotaur)

Library Journal: The Great Escape Mystery Preview

Noir Bar Column for Pop Syndicate



Interview with Kelli on
Pop Syndicate


Eureka Times-Standard
front page article


Kelli's radio interview
with KCAA (MP3 audio)


January Magazine (Author
Snapshot)


Interview on Jungle Red
Writers


Big Thrill Interview

Interview on Gumshoe
Review


Writer's Digest Notable
Debut


Interview with Pittsburgh
Journalist Bethany Hensel

 

Here are more reviews of  NOX DORMIENDA (which translates to A Long Night for Sleeping):

 

 http://www.redroom.com/publishedreviews/nox-dormienda-kelli-stanley

 

In this blog, Kelli discusses her vision of her book as a movie:

 

 http://mybookthemovie.blogspot.com/2008/08/kelli-stanleys-nox-dormienda.html

 

 Kelli blogs here: http://kellistanley.blogspot.com/

 

 

 
You can visit Kelli on Facebook and MySpace:
 
 
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becke_davis
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Our second guest is author REBECCA CANTRELL, author of A TRACE OF SMOKE:

 Trace of Smoke  

 

 


 

Here is a link to her website: 

 

 http://rebeccacantrell.com/

 

You can friend Rebecca on MySpace and Facebook:

 

 http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=676308906&ref=ts

 

  http://www.myspace.com/406527279

 

 

I'm quoting Rebecca's biography from her website:

 

 A few years ago Rebecca Cantrell quit her job, sold her house, and moved to Hawaii to write a novel because, at seven, she decided that she would be a writer. Now she writes the Hannah Vogel mystery series set in Berlin in the 1930s. “A Trace of Smoke” is due out in the May 2009, and “A Night of Long Knives” is due out May 2010. “A Trace of Smoke” was considered by major cable networks as a television series.

A faded pink triangle pasted on the wall of Dachau Concentration Camp and time in Berlin, Germany in the 1980s inspired “A Trace of Smoke.” Fluent in German, she received her high school diploma from the John F. Kennedy Schule in Berlin and studied at the Freie Universität in Berlin and the Georg August Universität in Göttingen.

When she visited Berlin in the summer of 2006, she was astounded to discover that many locations in her novel have been rebuilt and reopened in the last few years, including the gay bar El Dorado and the Mosse House publishing house.

Her short story “Coffee” will appear in the “Missing” anthology in February 2009. 

Her screenplay “The Humanitarian” was a finalist at Shriekfest 2008: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival. Her screenplay “A Taste For Blood” was a finalist at the Shriekfest 2007: The Los Angeles Horror/Sci-fi Film Festival.

As of this writing, she lives in Hawaii with her Ironman husband and son.

 

Here is an article by Rebecca: 

 

 http://research-writing-techniques.suite101.com/article.cfm/writers_rituals_rebecca_cantrell

 

This site has links to reviews of A TRACE OF SMOKE, and dates/locations for Rebecca's book tour:   http://torforge.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/publicity-news-a-trace-of-smokerebecca-cantrell/

 

 http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/author-events/Rebecca-Cantrell/2095540

 

Here are links to more interviews and book reviews:

 

http://www.popsyndicate.com/books/story/virtual_sitdown_with_rebacca_cantrell

 

 http://www.thrillerwriters.org/2009/04/a-trace-of-smoke-by-rebecca-cantrell.html

 

 http://freshfiction.com/page.php?id=1760

 

 http://en.wordpress.com/tag/rebecca-cantrell/

 

You can read an excerpt of Rebecca's book here:   http://americareads.blogspot.com/2009/05/pg-69-rebecca-cantrells-trace-of-smoke.html

 

 http://www.leelofland.com/wordpress/?p=3311

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becke_davis
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Kelli - Since I quoted Becky's bio from her website, I'll quote yours, too -- and add this:

 

http://www.redroom.com/author/kelli-stanley/bio

 

 

Kelli Stanley wrote her first noir (a play) at the tender age of

seven. She played the starring role in the crime melodrama for

her third-grade class, precociously breaking gender boundaries

as a Jimmy Cagney-like gangster. “No grapefruits were used in

the production!” she laughs. “From what I remember, it involved

a French love interest named Madeline and ended with the antihero’s

death in a dark alley.”

 

It took Kelli a few more years to combine another passion—the

ancient world—with her apparently genetic predisposition to

noir. In between, she helped her parents with another business

venture—a riding stable—wrote poetry, opened and ran a

successful retail business (a comic book/pop culture store),

wrote a few screenplays, lived in Italy and traveled through

Europe, learned Latin and Greek, got a B.A. in Art History and

Classics and a Master’s Degree in Classics. She also grew up.

Where she grew up might have something to do with her eclectic

nature and Renaissance woman erudition. An only child, she moved

from Washington State, where she was born—“the corner pocket”—

to Florida to Colorado and finally to California. After a

sojourn in San Jose, her parents settled on forty acres in the

rugged, rural north.

 

“Not Marin County. Humboldt County, which is a little further

away on every level. It’s one of the last bastions of wilderness

in California—there’s actually a stretch of coast line called

‘The Lost Coast’—when we operated a riding stable with the State

Park system, my father took people on horseback tours through

the country, and he had to blaze his own trails.”

During Kelli’s adolescence, animals outnumbered people in her

everyday environment. She grew up with redwood trees, which she

credits with giving her a sense of perspective. And she grew up

without a telephone or the PG&E grid.

 

“There was none of the technology we take for granted—light

switches, heater controls. Even the water had to be pumped from

a spring, about a quarter mile down a steep hillside. I know it

sounds like some sort of fable, but I really did study by a

kerosene lamp. Our heat was a wood stove. It’s not that we

abandoned the modern world—we had a gas generator and a color

television. We just didn’t rely on the technology. We were

independent of it, which is a great feeling.” Kelli claims the

experience gave her a sense of focus, creativity and a

sympathetic ear to the rhythm of nature, which she’s never lost.

But she’s also never lost the rhythm of the city, which she’s

heard since her first play.

 

Kelli’s appetite for a good book was insatiable. By the time she

graduated from high school, she’d read “everything from Proust

to Henry Miller.” She’d done a lot of acting, and chose to major

in Drama at the University of Dallas. “I had no desire to go to

Texas, until they seduced me with a big scholarship I won in

competition. My other choice was U.C. San Diego and a Chemistry

major.” UD offered a semester in Italy program, though, and that

decided Kelli. She spent a semester in Italy before concluding

that the small, private school was “too small and too private.”

 

She moved to San Francisco, where she attended San Francisco

State, discovered Classics—which had always been a consuming

interest—“since reading D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths when I

was in second grade”—and is where she now lives, happily

ensconced in writing and a long-time relationship. She spent

another year in Italy while a SFSU student, and someday wants a

house in the southwest of England. “Dorset and Devon are like a

spiritual home,” she says. “Like my own special tree on our

property—which I’m glad to say my parents still own.”

She spent several years in the retail business of comic books,

writing for trade magazines, appearing in Entrepreneur magazine,

and earning a coveted spot on the DC National Retailer’s Board.

 

“And I still love comic books!” she adds. “Batman was always my

particular totem. Those were happy years. I’m always really

touched when someone I knew when they were twelve recognizes me

from the store. I have to do instant age progression! It’s a

great thing to be a good part of someone’s childhood … or any

happy memory.”

 

In addition to writing, Kelli never lost her love of acting, and

will declaim Shakespeare if given any encouragement—“and

sometimes when actively discouraged!” She laughs easily, is a

triple Gemini, a Dragon in the Chinese calendar “with a temper

to match”, and her favorite colors are blue and green.

 

As a scholar, she writes and lectures nationally and

internationally. As a person, her passions are environmental and

historical preservation and animal rights. As a writer, she

hopes that Nox Dormienda will become a highly successful

standard for her new Roman Noir subgenre. She is planning an

extensive reading/signing tour for the U.S. and England, and can

give talks on a multiplicity of topics from the definition of

Roman Noir to ancient medicine to the challenge of researching

historical mysteries.

 

MALEDICTUS(Cursed) is the next book in her Arcturus series.

Kelli is researching the third, as well as a second series set

in San Francisco in 1939. You can write her and discuss anything

from film noir to Batman to the dative case in Latin by emailing

kelli@kellistanley.com. She adds with a laugh: “Especially if

you’re interested in the film rights for that third grade play

…”

 

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Welcome, Kelli and Rebecca! (Or should I say Becky?)

 

It's fun to have you both visiting together. How long have the two of you been friends? How did you come to know each other?

 

I have to say, after posting links to interviews, book reviews and bios of the two of you, I'm amazed by your fascinating backgrounds! Tell us more about yourselves, and your career paths. 

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Hello Bekke,

 

Thanks for having us! I'll answer first as I suspect that Kelli, living as she does on the Mainland, is already in bed. Then she can take over for me in the wee hours of the Hawaiian morning, when everyone in New York and California are halfway through their days. 

 

Kelli and I met through our work at International Thriller Writers. We're both in the debut group (a wonderful place for authors whose first book is coming out to meet and socialize). Then we discovered that we had far too much in common not to be friends: a childhood spent oftentimes without electricity, a love of dark moments in history, and an affinity for a certain San Francisco speakeasy. :smileyhappy:

 

I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 7 years old. I figured I'd get published by the time I was 19, like S.E. Hinton.  I wrote on anything as a kid, then saved up my babysitting money to buy an electric typewriter when I was 13 and since then I've been typing away.

 

I worked as a tech writer in Silicon Valley during the 1990s, then moved out here for the ocean breezes a few years ago, where I cleverly decided to write about a time 70 years in the past and thousands of miles away. Some people can make even paradise hard work...

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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dhaupt
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Hi Kelli, Rebecca and fellow mystery lovers and of course our lovely moderator Becke, and I'm always excited to be introduced to new authors and I'm a fan of International Thriller Writers on facebook  here's the link for those of you wanting to become a

 fan 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Thriller-Writers-Organization/59208702261?ref=ts

 which was recommended to me by one of my very favorite authors MJ Rose. So I can't wait to pick up both books and be taken away by some very good stories.

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Good morning, everybody! And Becke, thanks for having both of us over today! I wish we could make it more than a virtual tea party (my mom just came back from England, and I'm sipping my favorite English Breakfast tea from Whittard). :smileyhappy:

 

One of the best things about being a writer are the people you meet. I could segue into a joke about thieves, murderers, etc., but I'll resist. :smileywink: Seriously, the mystery community is incredibly supportive and generous--from writers who offer blurbs to readers we connect with on forums! Since writing itself is such a solitary act, it's wonderful to be able to get out from behind the desk and participate in such a wonderful community of people.

 

Our friendship is an example of this ... Becks and I met through ITW, and it was just kind of uncanny, how much we have in common. We're also with the same literary agency--the fabulous Reece Halsey. At one of Becky's launches in the Bay Area, one of the agents asked me, "You guys have known each other forever, right?" It feels like that, despite the fact that it's only been about a year and a half!

 

If anyone has any questions--history, writing, whatever we can answer--please post--we're always happy to chat!!

 

Kelli 


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Thank you so much, Debbie!! :smileyhappy: We love ITW, and Becky and I both volunteer--I'm the News Editor and Thrillerfest Publicity Chair and Becky is a Big Thrill Editor and Website Manager. It's the only professional writers organization that has actually eliminated dues ... something authors on a budget (that would include everybody except James Patterson, Stephen King and JK Rowling) really appreciate!! :smileyhappy:

 

ITW is also very lucky to have MJ as an integral part of its marketing arm. She's not only a fabulous writer, she's a marketing and PR genius!

 

Thanks for your support of ITW and ITW authors ... and I hope to meet you at Thrillerfest one of these days! :smileyhappy:

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
Author
Cantrell
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

It's true. Kelli and I have a "twins separated at birth" vibe. Like, I knew she'd find an avatar with a fedora.  And I knew she'd be up bright and early commenting . I actually set my alarm to get up at 5:15 to check out the action here. The sun is rising in Hawaii, the birds are chirping, and the cat is overjoyed to have a keyboard to jump over.

 

What's going on in YOUR world? Any questions out there?

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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dhaupt
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Well Rebecca that description of your morning pretty much ruined by day here in St. Louis with a 2-3" rain fall predicted today. I've always wanted to visit Hawaii especially for the weather, my daughter however would probably want to visit because of Dog the bounty hunter. Don't ask how an intelligent College professor would be drawn to a character like Dog, because I don't have the answer.
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Debbie, I think you're a mind reader! We're kind of talking about what makes characters like Dog attractive to people over at a group blog we just launched, called Criminal Minds. Becky posted today; I post on Thursday. When you get a chance, check it out ... I can't promise answers, but I think you'll be interested in the opinions! :smileyhappy:

 

Meanwhile, anybody else out there fascinated by bad boy bounty hunters? :smileywink: If you've got any questions or comments--about pretty much anything, ranging from Roman sexual habits to the rise of the Nazis to a good recipe for split pea soup, just give us a shout out! 

 

In my own case, I've gone from a small publisher for my debut novel to one of the majors with my next ... a big adventure in itself, especially in economic times as trying as these.

 

All the best,

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
Author
Cantrell
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Dog just doesn't do it for me. I think because he's TOO real. I mean, I'm never going to run into Dexter, so he can be nice and fictionally evil. But Dog might come knocking on my door one of these days.

 

Not that I've jumped bail or anything. Yet.

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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Kelli_Stanley
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Give it time, Becks ... I'll figure out some bounty-hunter type bailbondsman trouble to get you into in New York for Thrillerfest. It's research!! :smileywink:

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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becke_davis
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

We are certainly covering a lot of regions of the U.S. today! I'm jealous of that English Breakfast tea -- think I may have to go myself some. My favorite is Yorkshire tea -- a little stronger than English Breakfast. A few years ago when my daughter went to visit her father's homeland (England), my best friend over there took her to tea at the Ritz. She still talks about it!  It's not cheap and you have to book ahead, but if you ever visit England, I highly recommend it.

 

Debbie, it's drizzling here but nothing bad. I'm wondering how much of my son's illness last night was related to his fear of flying. He's been watching the weather and worrying about thunderstorms moving in around the time he was due to fly to Portland. So many of his friends had (or were exposed to) swine flu, we were convinced that's what he had. Thank goodness, he woke up this a.m. with no fever and no symptoms -- as if he'd never been sick. He must have good disease resistance!

 

I think it's going to be fun having two guests today -- four in total, since Wendy and Marshall are still with us. Maybe we can get some cross-thread conversations going!

 

I see that both Becky and Kelli have new books coming out in 2010. Now that you are both experienced authors, how does this round of publication compare to when your first books came out? 

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

I'm so glad your son's OK, Becke!! Writing deadlines have made me a hypochondriac, because my schedule is so tight. I still work at a day job to support myself--my ultimate goal is to be able to write full time. :smileyhappy:

 

As far as experience, well, I'm seeing it from two different perspectives because I started with a small press. One of the great things about this business is that you learn constantly ... and I still feel like I have much to absorb and learn. I'm also very hands-on--which I had to be with a small publisher.

 

I was very, very honored and suprised when NOX won the Bruce Alexander award and was nominated for a Macavity, because small press books face many challenges--distribution chief among them. 

 

My second novel, CITY OF DRAGONS, sold to Thomas Dunne/Minotaur in January, in the middle of the worst publishing downfall in years--and believe you me, I was terrified it wouldn't. But colleagues and friends who have read it call it a "breakout" book, and of course we're hoping it will be. So the experiences have been vastly different, and in many ways, I feel like a debut author all over again!!

 

We're also optimistic about Minotaur picking up my original series--I just finished revisions on the sequel to NOX last week. :smileyhappy:

 

 It's always a scary and exhilarating experience, and it's very easy to get addicted to the adrenalin. But the biggest thing to learn is also the hardest to follow: don't give up. For any aspiring writers out there, you've got to keep at it, keep working, write books, join good critique groups, and do what it takes to get your book to an agent and publisher. It's hard work and I don't think anyone could do it without the support of their families--I know I couldn't! :smileyhappy:

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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Cantrell
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Glad to hear that your son is better! And you can tell him that pilots flying into Portland must be VERY comfortable flying in the rain. :smileywink:

 

For me, the second time around was easier and harder. For one thing, I KNEW the book would be published (I had a 2 book contract). This made writing the sex scenes a lot harder. (Kelli, wipe that look right off your face. I can see it from here).

 

I had a loooong time to wait from the time A TRACE OF SMOKE was accepted until it came out, so I wrote all of A NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES while I was waiting. This turned out to be a Very Good Thing as life has become much more frantic since SMOKE was released. Touring, promotions, and edits, oh my! I'm not complaining, because I worked twenty years to HAVE these problems. But writing the third book (A GAME OF CHANCE, set during the Berlin Olympics in 1936) is going to be a lot tougher because there are more demands on my time than ever before.

 

I don't know how Kelli manages it all. She is a maniac.

Rebecca Cantrell
"A City of Broken Glass"
July 2012, Forge Books
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becke_davis
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

Have you already started the third book, Becky? Kelli, I noticed that there is going to be a sequel to Nox Dormienda. Is that book complete, or are you still working on it? I wonder how many people think that getting a book published means you can retire from the day job. I know very few authors who've been able to do that.

 

Kelli, I met Katie Gilligan from Thomas Dunne about a month ago. Is she your editor, by chance? Katie grew up in Cincinnati, not far from where I live. 

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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

One way I handle it is by having great friends like Becky to laugh, cry and pull hair out with. :smileywink:

 

I basically gave up all other forms of entertainment ... I work at the day job, come home, and work for me. I'll watch a movie when I need to unwind, read books before sleep. 

 

It's very rare for working writers to have the luxury of true vacations. You have to think of yourself as your own small business, and that means reinvesting time, money and energy back into your career. At a certain point, if you're really lucky--and you keep your budget requirements reasonable (no Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!)--you can become self-supporting.

 

I certainly don't think books are an endangered species ... not everyone wants to read on a computer screen, no matter how portable. As a writer, though, I'd like my books available in multiple formats, so that no matter how readers prefer to access the story--through audio, through an ebook, hardcover or softcover--they'd have a choice. Choice is good! :smileywink:

 

And of course, everyone wants to see their brainchild immortalized by the film media. Becky's written screenplays and won at Shriekfest. I wrote screenplays before turning to novels. So, Becks, why don't you tell us who you want to play Hannah and why, in the production of A TRACE OF SMOKE? (and yes, I was smirking about the sex scenes). :smileywink:

 

Kelli 

 


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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becke_davis
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Re: IT'S TUESDAY: Visiting Authors Today are Kelli Stanley and Rebecca Cantrell

I saw the interview where you talked about a film version of your book, Kelli. This topic always fascinates me, because when books I like are made into films, I always wonder if the author had any input in the casting decisions. And, if not, what they thought of the cast.