Saturday, May 11, 2013

Author: Deborah Coonts Interview and Giveaway!

I'd like to welcome Deborah Coonts to the blog today to celebrate and promote the most recent release in her Lucky O'Toole series! Welcome to Books à la Mode, Deborah! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief bio with us?

My mother tells me I was born a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food, and beer. I currently reside in Las Vegas, where my friends assure me I cannot get into too much trouble. Silly people. I am the author of Wanna Get Lucky? (A NY Times Notable Crime Novel for 2010 and double RITA™ Finalist), Lucky Stiff, So Damn Lucky, and two digital novellas, Lucky In Love and Lucky Bang. I can usually be found at the bar, but also at

What is the fourth book in your series about?

Death by Jimmy Choo? Who knew?

Lucky O’Toole, the newly promoted Vice President of Customer Relations for the Babylon, Las Vegas’ primo Strip property, has never met a problem she couldn’t handle. But, when a young woman is found dead, sprawled across the hood of a new, bright red Ferrari California in the Babylon’s dealership, a Jimmy Choo stiletto stuck in her carotid, Lucky’s skills are maxed out. Of course her life is already on overload. Her mother, Mona, is pregnant, hormonal, and bored—a triple threat. A song that Teddie, Lucky’s former lover, wrote for her is getting national airplay as he hits the talk shows, pleading for her forgiveness. Lucky is less than amused with the national spotlight on her personal life. She’s having enough trouble fending off Chef Jean-Charles Bouclet, the Babylon’s tasty new dish.

All of this and The Smack-Down Poker tournament, the second-largest poker tournament in the world, is holding it’s final table at the Babylon. Hookers, thieves, players, cheaters, media, and hangers-on all descend looking to win or to score. When one of the players turns up dead, Lucky starts to make connections, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer.

After a revelation by someone close to her sends her world reeling even further, Lucky struggles to keep her life in balance, and a murderer from killing again as bodies pile up.

Then, just when she’s losing control... life deals another major complication to her personal life... but can she handle it?

Describe Lucky Bastard in six words.

Love, laughter, murder, mayhem—Vegas style.

How did you arrive at writing mystery? Are there any other genres you’d like to tackle in the future, or any you want to stay away from?

Writing mystery? It’s a safe and legal way to exorcise my homicidal tendencies. I’d love to write romantic suspense or thrillers—something darker. But to go dark while I’m also writing Lucky—I’m afraid I develop a serious personality disorder.

How did you first get published and how has your publishing experience been like so far? Tell us your call story, as well as some things you picked up along the way.

I sent my manuscript for Wanna Get Lucky? to an agent I had met 14 years before—I’d never sent her anything in the intervening years, but I had bought her a few lunch a few times when in NYC. One night before bed, she started reading and laughing. Intrigued, her husband joined in. He called me the next morning at 7 a.m... New York time. I live in Vegas. I almost had a heart attack when the phone rang—good news is usually not the reason for a call at 4 a.m. Oh, my agent’s husband is now my editor :) So, when I say my agent and my editor are in bed together, I really mean it.

I am blessed to be one of the chosen at Forge Books, probably the only publisher on the planet that still believes in building their writers. They have been fabulous.

What a fun call story! And LOL to the agent and editor thing. What do you consider your biggest strengths and weaknesses as an author?

Strength: sarcasm.

Weakness: sarcasm.

What’s the greatest thing you ever learned?

Being a mom is life’s best and most perfect adventure.

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Some randomness...

Favorite kind of chocolate? Dark, milk, white, coffee-flavored, the kind with nuts or berries inside??
White chocolate almond bark from Patsy’s candies in Colorado Springs, CO. The stuff should come with a warning label—or a free gym membership.

What kind of kid were you in high school? Incorrigible, but I made good grades. Loved boys, horses, and fast cars... that much hasn’t changed although the order varies from time to time.

All-time favorite quote? "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." — Dorothy Parker

Most romantic thing a guy has ever said or done to you? Read my stories.

How do you get over heartbreak? Friends, family and copious amounts of Pinot Noir.

Favorite vegetable? (yes, you have to pick one). Brussels Sprouts, roasted with sea salt, pepper and olive oil—I could eat my weight in these things. No one would want to be around me if I did, but I could do it...

Biggest celebrity crush? Steve Martin…no explanation necessary.

Guiltiest pleasure? Bad boys with wicked smiles and a lust for life... and an airplane wouldn’t hurt.

What did you want to grow up to be when you were little? An adventurer... I didn’t know if that was really possible, but I thought, if it wasn’t, I’d be the first to do it.

Currently wearing? Underwear... my mother will be proud... surprised, but proud. Hey, this IS Vegas after all.

Store you’d most likely max your credit card out in? Jimmy Choo.

Go-to comfort food? Potatoes prepared any way at all.

Charity or cause of choice? Battered women over the world, literacy, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

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Give aspiring writers a piece of advice you wish you had known before getting published. 

Trust your gut—you are the uniqueness you bring to your stories.

Now give us your best personal advice—something you wish you had known when you were younger and would offer to your own kids.

Take your time, enjoy the adventure, surround yourself with people who make you better, make you smile, and fill your heart.

What would you say are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

Thick skin, a never-give-up attitude, great friends, a sense of humor, and alcohol.

Are there any occupational hazards to being a writer?

None, it’s the best job in the world. Oh well, perhaps not getting much sleep or being able to take long luxurious showers because your imaginary friends are talking in your head... that can be a problem.

Worth the challenge though, eh? What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

Every now and again I can kill people and not go to jail.

What’s next for you?

The fifth in the Lucky series, Lucky Sizzle. A young food purveyor to the gourmet establishments along the Strip is killed with a smoking gun... I know, I couldn’t resist. The murder, and a couple of ensuing ones, lead Lucky through the labyrinth of the high-end foodie world. As if Lucky needs more problems—her mother, pregnant and unhappy, is mounting a campaign for a local political appointment, and Lucky’s former lover, Teddie, reappears... just when things between Lucky and Chef Bouclet are heating up.

Where can you be found on the web?

It was a real treat having you over at the blog today, Deborah! Thank you so much for joining us, and good luck with your future endeavors.


Here's a quick message from Deborah about a fantastic giveaway she is generously hosting at Books à la Mode:
If Lucky, the VP of Customer Relations at a larger Strip property, had a pet besides Newton—her foul-mouthed macaw—what would it be?

Five random commenters will win a signed copy of their choice of one of my novels.
Hmmmm for some reason Lucky's ferocity tells me she'd be able to tame a tiger. So I'll go with that ;) What about you?
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends 25 May 2013 at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only. Sorry, rest of the world! Check out my sidebar for giveaways that ARE open internationally!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Please follow Deborah in some way, as she has been kind enough to provide the wonderful prize!
Good luck!