Leeann Betts also writers as Donna Schlachter. Leeann is her contemporary suspense writer's nom de plume while Donna writes historical suspense. How about that for fun. And wait until you read her last answer!
Hi L.A., thank you for having me on your blog as Leeann this time. I actually wanted to make the next book an Alaskan cruise adventure, but I didn’t get to go on the cruise yet, so I had to find another setting. We recently visited eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska, and so I chose to set it there.
How do you use setting to further your story?
The setting should be as obvious as the nose on your face yet as unobtrusive as breathing. Setting, when used properly, doesn’t intrude on the story, but the characters make different choices based on what the setting is. If I had set this one in New York City, for example, it should be a different story because there are more resources available, easier to find people, more difficult to stay focused because of other distractions.
How do you construct your characters?
Carly is very autobiographical, and Mike is fashioned after my husband Patrick, so I tend to incorporate some of the things we say and do. However, Carly is much quicker on the comeback than I am, and Mike is much more likely to give Carly her head and let her run with an idea than my hubby would. Other than that, secondary characters are fashioned after people I know or have met.
How is your main character completely different than you?
Carly is much more bold than I am. She’ll go down in a basement whereas I won’t, and she’ll dig in a place where she’s likely to find a body, where I wouldn’t.
Tell us something about yourself we might not expect!
I once ice skated with an Olympic champion.
Give us a brief summary of Hidden Assets:
Carly Turnquist, forensic accountant, responds to a call from her friend, Anne, who is in the middle of a nasty divorce, and travels to Wyoming to help find assets Anne thinks her husband has stolen. But the mystery begins before Carly even arrives when she sees a man thrown off a train. Except there’s no body. Husband Mike uncovers an illegal scam in a computer program he has been asked to upgrade, and then Anne is arrested for her ex’s murder.
Can Carly figure out what’s going on, and why a strange couple is digging in Anne’s basement? Or will she disappear along with the artwork, coins, and money?
Leeann Betts writes contemporary suspense, while her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, pens historical suspense. She has released five titles in her cozy mystery series, By the Numbers, with Hidden Assets releasing the end of June.
In addition, Leeann has written a devotional for accountants, bookkeepers, and financial folk, Counting the Days, and with her real-life persona, Donna Schlachter, has published a book on writing, Nuggets of Writing Gold, a compilation of essays, articles, and exercises on the craft.
I publish a free quarterly newsletter that includes a book review and articles on writing and books of interest to readers and writers. You can subscribe at www.LeeannBetts.com or follow Leeann at www.AllBettsAreOff.wordpress.com