What motivated you to start writing?
I started as a teenager as a way of dealing with my emotions, and from there I wrote novella-length romances. However, it wasn’t until I was thirty that I wrote my first full-length novel. In fact, I’d been away from writing for thirteen years. Since 2006, though, my life changed and writing’s been a part of my daily life since then.
What keeps you going throughout the writing process?
Writing is something I love to do, but refining a story to publication it is a lot of hard work. What keeps me going is focusing on all the readers who love my books. They are why I keep writing. I want to entertain and inspire people and writing lets me do this.
What is the hardest part of writing?
I love the writing part and even the editing process, but I’d have to say that the later takes a lot more focus, dedication, and hard work. You definitely have to be committed to a project to pay good money for editors and to read and rewrite a manuscript so many times that you lose count.
Please describe your work ethic as an author.
I have always viewed writing as something very important. Even before I made a dime with my writing, it was never a hobby. Once I decided to self-publish, I’ve always approached the industry with the respect and professionalism it deserves, and I have emulated the traditionally published market. Some authors will drink while they write or edit, but you would never catch me doing that!
How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?
I have goals and deadlines, but on a daily basis, I go with the flow of life. If I’m stressed or get feeling overwhelmed, I’ll step back and see what needs to be adjusted in my schedule. Walking my beagle Max or taking him to the dog park, or visiting a beach (during the summer) helps me to step away and clear my mind as well. And, of course, I always make time to catch up with friends.
Have you ever been on a manhunt or at the scene where a dead body was found?
I took part in my local police department’s Citizen’s Academy. As part of this, I received an inside look at seventeen divisions over a ten-week period. As an added benefit, each student was afforded a ride-along. And mine… Well, I went on the perfect one for a crime writer.
My ride-along actually started out with a manhunt. I experienced the excitement of wanting to find the guy and found myself scrutinizing every male I spotted in the area just to make sure he wasn’t the one we were after. Unfortunately, the search moved to the downtown area from the eastern end of the city where the hunt had begun, and the sergeant signed off the investigation. By the end of my ride-along, about five hours later, the man still hadn’t been found.
After the sergeant left the investigation, he turned to me as he was driving and asked if I had ever seen a dead body. I told him I had at memorials and funerals and then asked why. I soon found out that our next stop involved one.
I figured I’d catch a glimpse of the deceased under a tarp or being wheeled away, but I got far more than that. I received a front-row seat to a death investigation. For hours, the sergeant and I were mere feet away from the body. I witnessed firsthand how it changed color over time, but I also found that I went into detective-mode. The forensic identification unit—essentially CSIs—was called in and arrived with collection kits. The team members gloved up, snapped photographs, took fingerprints from the deceased, and more.
The entire time that I was on scene, I noticed myself going into a detached state—the result of adrenaline. Later that evening, it began to sink in that I had spent hours with a dead body, and I was nauseated. As more time passed, I became weepy as it sank in that the deceased had been a husband, a father, a lover, a friend…a person. That night I dreamed about the man. It wasn’t a nightmare, but I was an officer trying to figure out what had happened to him.
I couldn’t imagine returning to the field the next day and having a similar experience or witnessing something even worse, like a violent murder scene or that of a fatal car accident.
How do you know so much about what criminals think?
I can’t answer that without incriminating myself… Just kidding.
Everyone has what we call a “dark side.” In writing these books, I suppose you could say I tap into this side of my psyche. Whatever I can scheme up is possible, and I write that which scares and excites me.
When did you know that you had hit the big time with your books?
When I got to say good-bye to my day job! Even before I fully resigned, I had cut back a five-day a week job to four days, then to three. It got to the point, though, that I loathed going in for that many days, and I knew it was time to make the move and become a full-time author. That was in the summer of 2014. Since then, I incorporated my own publishing company in the summer of 2015, and, at the start of 2016, my husband joined me there full time.
Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on.
Do serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations? Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Criminal Minds, NCIS, Silence of the Lambs, Seven, Dexter, Luther, and True Crime.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Eleven, Silent Graves, The Defenseless, Blue Baby, Violated, Remnants.
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CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
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