I'm thrilled to have my friend Jennifer Becton here today to talk about her wonderful ebook, Absolute Liability, which is the first of the Southern Fraud thriller series. The story has done fabulously well online. Selling for just $0.99, it's garnered an enthusiastic audience of comedic thriller readers that's kept it in the Kindle Top 100 for months! She's sold over 35,000 copies of that book alone since its release this summer, as well as several thousand more of her other novels. Recently, she just released her lastest Austen-esque novel, too, Caroline Bingley.
Thank you, Marilyn, for the chance to visit your blog. You asked great questions, and I had fun answering them!
Can you tell us the premise of your latest book, Absolute Liability, and a bit more about the series and the novels that follow it?
At the beginning of Absolute Liability, Julia Jackson, a fraud investigator for the state of Georgia, is on a coffee run when she hears on the radio that she has been abducted. She soon realizes that an innocent woman was mistakenly kidnapped in her place, and with the help of former-flame Tripp Carver, who is now a detective with violent crimes unit, and Mark Vincent, her new partner, she must find justice for the woman taken in her place.
Absolute Liability is the first in the Southern Fraud series, and it introduces Julia’s sister Tricia whose teenage rape destroyed their family and set the course of Julia’s law enforcement career. The official rape case has gone cold, but Julia has managed through less-than-legal means to procure a copy of the police report and bits of physical evidence, and she has been conducting her own personal investigation over the intervening years. Throughout the rest of series, Julia must identify her sister’s attacker and bring him to justice.
Death Benefits, book 2, will be out in January 2012.
Do you have a Writer Fantasy--i.e., to see your book make into a feature film, to be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 consecutive weeks, etc.?
Even though I later read a great deal of mystery novels, I originally became interested in them by watching TV with my father. I loved them all: The Rockford Files, Remington Steele, Murder She Wrote, Father Dowling, Columbo, you name it. So I’ve always wanted to write a TV episode. I don’t think that’s going to happen, especially because I don’t live in Hollywood. But I fantasize about writing one episode or even seeing one of my books become the basis for a series. It would be amazing to see Mark Vincent and Julia Jackson come to life.
Did you go on any special research trips?
Writing the Southern Fraud series involved a great deal of research into the law enforcement and military world. Not only did I consult with experts—police officers, scientists, and a Marine—but I was also fortunate enough to visit my state’s crime lab, which, by the way, looks nothing like a CSI set. It’s more like your average high school chemistry lab with some expensive machines mixed in. I met and spoke with experts in fingerprint analysis, ballistics, DNA, chemical testing, questioned documents, and crime scene investigation. In September, I got to attend a Writer’s Police Academy, where I took classes in arson, self-defense, handcuffing and arrest techniques, and even snipercraft.
Do you pay attention to reviews? If so, has there been any particular review that made your heart do a little dance? I do pay attention to reviews. I want to know that my books are resonating with those who read them, and I want to read all valid criticism so that I can improve as a writer. My favorite review ever was on my first novel Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which was released in September 2010. A bit of backstory: I own a horse, which I board at a working cattle farm. I’m talking real-deal cowboys here: hats, boots, jeans, roping, cattle driving, everything. I had mentioned my P&P sequel to one of the cowboys, and he actually bought a copy of it. I thought he was just being nice to a newbie writer, but he read it! What could a cowboy possibly say positive about a historical romance? He said, “It was better than I expected.” And that made my day.
Can you tell us a little about your Austen-related novels?
I have published two Austen related novels—Charlotte Collins and Caroline Bingley—and one short story—“Maria Lucas.” I’m a bit of an oddball in the Austen world. I love her minor characters, and my sequels focus on them, not Elizabeth and Darcy. I always wanted to know if Charlotte stayed married to the odious Mr. Collins and wondered why Caroline Bingley, whose brother was so open and sweet, was so sour. Did these women ever have a chance at true love? I knew Elizabeth and Darcy lived happily ever after, but I wondered about those other characters. What happened to them? So I wrote their continuing stories in the Personages of Pride & Prejudice Collection, which is available in one ebook or as individual novels.
Connect with Jennifer Online:
Southern Fraud website: http://www.jwbecton.com
Jennifer’s Books are available at:
And wherever ebooks are sold.
Thanks so much for visiting, Jennifer! One random commenter on today's post will win an ebook copy (in his/her choice of format) for Absolute Liability. Winner to be selected next Wednesday, October 19th. Good luck!