1. Lisa Steinke: What is your favorite thing about your book?
Toby Neal: Blood Orchids is the kind of book I love to read but have never found set in Hawaii—fast paced suspense with a touch of romance, full of authentic local color, filled with vivid characters that show the diversity of Hawaii—but that can carry its weight on story alone, not just on location.
2. LS: What was your highest point while writing your book? Your lowest?
TN: Highest point was when I knew Lei was going to fall in love. Lowest was… Hey, this is a spoiler! I’m not telling. I will say there were several very emotionally gripping scenes that made me cry.
3.LS: How did you come up with the title of your book?
TN: Lei raises orchids in her spare time, and I wanted something that conveyed the lushness and danger of the book. Three orchids on the cover is also meaningful, as there are three victims in the story.
4. LS: If you could see one famous person (alive or dead) reading your book- who would it be?
TN: Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author. If she read my book and liked it, I think I’d faint.
5. LS: What is the last book you read? The next book you plan to read?
TN: I just finished a dark and twisty crime thriller called The Devil of Light by Texas writer Gae-Lynn Woods. Next to read is In In Memory of Greed , a suspense novel by Al Boudreau.
6. LS: What’s the best compliment you’ve received about your book?
TN: That it kept people up at night reading! I’ve been hearing it a lot, and I love it!
7. LS: What is the #1 thing you want people to feel after reading your book?
TN: A sense of hope, expectation and satisfaction… and to know a little more about Hawaii, what it’s people are like, and what we struggle with.
8. LS: Describe your book in three words
TN: Layered. Suspenseful. Satisfying.
9. LS: Nook or book?
TN: I wrote a whole post on my blog on this!
I thought I was converted to ebooks until I held a hard copy of my book in hand, and saw how beautiful, and silky and well designed it was. It won me over to “real” books again!
10. LS: Are you working on another book? If so, any hints?
TN: Oh yeah. I’m actually four books in on the Lei Crime Series. The sequel, Torch Ginger, comes out in May, and I’m polishing that with my detective consultant now. I always have at least one “fresh” work in progress, and a couple of revisions in the queue! Torch Ginger is a fun one—in addition to a great new location (Kaua`i) Lei finds herself in tracking missing people while embroiled in a personal love triangle. Because she is Lei Texeira, she leaps before she looks!
To find out more about Toby Neal, visit her website.
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