Sunday, April 18, 2010

Welcome to author CARA PUTMAN


I’d like to introduce author,
Cara Putman.
An honors graduate of University of
Nebraska-Lincoln
(Go Huskers!) and George Mason Law School, Cara is an attorney licensed in Virginia and Indiana. She clerked for the Honorable Loren Smith
at the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. before following
her husband to Indiana.

In 2005 she attended a book signing at
her local Christian bookstore.
At the book signing her husband told
Colleen Coble that Cara wanted to be writer.
She's been running ever since to keep up.
Barbour's Heartsong Presents has released four
of her books, including Canteen Dreams, a WWII historical set in Nebraska that won the 2008 Book of the Year for Short Historical.
She also writes romantic suspense for Harlequin's Love Inspired Suspense and the Complete Idiots Guide to Business Law.

Cara is also an attorney, wife, mom to three, homeschool teacher,
occasional professor at Purdue, active at her church,
and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God,
her husband and her kids that is.

Cara, your writing is so diverse, I’m hesitant where to start. So let me go to one of my favorite (and my oldest daughter’s) time periods. WWII. You’ve written quite a few romance novels in this historical era. What drew you to WWII?

There is something magical about that time. I love the movies, the music, the history, the clothes. I call myself an old soul in a young body. But I also think there’s something compelling about the fight. The war pulled the nation together in a way that inspires me. And there was a clear right and wrong, good v. evil. It was a time of immense hardship, but everybody pulled together.

When did you start writing and why? You seem to have “had it all” with the American dream. Family, fast-paced career. What would make someone switch to writing?

Writing was a lifetime dream of mine. I started my first books as a young teenager. They were fun ways to explore my love for history, but then I started college and didn’t have time to keep writing, but the dream never died. God has given me amazing opportunities. And all of those diverse experiences help me with writing and speaking. It also gives me the ability to write a diversity of characters because I’ve seen so much.

Every few years, I would get the urge to write and would offer it back to God. Is this something You have for me? Or is this something I should kill while focusing on something else? When God said to start, it’s been a sprint since.

My interest peaked when I read DEADLY EXPOSURE. The novel your sister (great salesman by the way) convinced me to buy because it had a theatre theme. Wonderful book. What made you make the stretch from historical to suspense?

I have loved reading suspense since I first discovered Mary Higgins Clark. So actually when I started to write, Deadly Exposure was the first book I plotted. I love suspense. I love the race to figure out who did it. I love the ticking imperative to get the bad guy before he gets you. I love the pacing. That’s why I’m really excited about this July’s release of Stars in the Night. It marries my loves of World War Two and romantic suspense.

What are you currently working on?

Today I just turned in edits for a book I’m writing for a Guidepost mystery series. It will release in September and was a lot of fun and work to write. I’m starting work on my next Guidepost book and working on some proposal ideas I have for more World War Two based suspense.

Thanks so much for having me, Linda. I’m so glad you enjoyed Deadly Exposure.

Cara, if anyone wants to contact you, do you have a website?

They can find me through my website www.caraputman.com

Okay folks, don’t pass go, don’t collect the two hundred clams, just rush out and buy one of Cara’s books. You won’t be sorry. Cara, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

PROLOGUES GOOD OR BAD?

Just read a wonderful blog that emphasized getting to know your main character right away, creating empathy with him/her. I was told last year that I had to lose my prologue on a suspense novel because the reader didn't have enough feeling for the main character soon enough, and the critique was spot on. I dropped the prologue and the story came alive much sooner as we learned enough about the main character to care about her.
THAT SAID
How do we know when a prologue is necessary to set up a story or when it is simply taking up space because we, as writers, like what we're saying?
I think immediately of Mary Higgins Clark who often sets up the entire story through a heart-pounding prologue, which may or may not have anything to do with the main character. But she is successful in that the entire story hinges on what happens to someone in the prologue.
What kind of experiences have you, as writers, as readers, had with respects to prologues opening a story? Can you give an example of how a prologue intrigued you enough to have a read? Is it absolutely necessary to have the main character in the opening chapter of the book? On another note, does it make a difference in the genre you are reading? I can see romance needing the main characters right away, but what about suspense, thrillers, or a blend of suspense and romance--thriller and romance. What do you like to see?
Or give us an example of a book that hooked you right away without there being even a mention of the main character in the opening.