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Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Lindsay and I have loved all Charlie Donlea's books and we are beyond excited to have Charlie join us for a Q & A on Aug 19. We will have all the questions ready for him to answer before Aug 19 and he will be popping in and answering them then. If you have a question or comment for Charlie, please add it before Aug 19. Pop in after the Q & A and see what Charlie has to say about his books and writing process!


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Welcome, Charlie! Thank you so much for joining us!

What does your writing day look like to you?


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MarilynW (huecotx) | 20 comments Fantastic! I'll be there 😁


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Let's start off and talk about your Rory Moore/Lane Phillips #1 series Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea and The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

How did you come up with the idea of the characters for Rory and Lane?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
How did you come up with the idea for The Suicide House?


HollyLovesBooks (neuromd94) | 5 comments I adored this book and couldn't stop reading it but now I am disappointed that it is over! This was my first book of your's but surely will not be my last.
How did you develop the two characters, Rory and Lane? I especially enjoyed the quirks of Rory, who has such a unique perspective. I loved their mutual respect and interaction. Was there an influence in people you know or something you read to develop these two?
Thank you!


message 7: by DeAnn (new)

DeAnn | 19 comments Rory has such a unique hobby. How did you develop this? Is someone in your family a fan of antique dolls?


message 8: by MarilynW (new)

MarilynW (huecotx) | 20 comments Is Lane featured in any of your earlier books? I've been wondering if there was more to learn about his character.


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
I loved the setting in The Suicide House and it really added some creepiness to the story. How important is the setting for you and how do you go about creating the feel to the setting?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
You have a few characters here and intertwining storylines. How did you go about plotting that? Did you focus on one part of the story or characters or did you create the story as it appears?


message 11: by Scarlett (new)

Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance | 1 comments Nice! His books are on my tbr :)


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (lindsaylivi) | 79 comments Mod
Welcome and thank you for being here with us! I’m a big fan! I’ve read and loved every book you’ve written. I’m curious to know about your writing process — how long does it take you to write your books from start to finish? Do you plan out your storylines first? Or start writing and see where the characters take you?


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (lindsaylivi) | 79 comments Mod
What are you working on now/next?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Besides the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series your other books are not series but have recurring characters. Can you tell us a bit about which ones we see recurring characters?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Are there any characters you found more fun to write or any that you struggled more creating?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Are any of your characters inspired by real-life people or people you know? Are there any characters you can relate to more than others?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Without giving any spoilers here you throw us with a few shocking and bold twists in your stories that created some excitement and shock in our group discussion. Do you find yourself writing more on what/how you want or what you think readers will like?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
What do you hope readers will get from your stories?


message 19: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Welcome, Charlie! Thank you so much for joining us!

What does your writing day look like to you?"


Thanks for the invite!

I'm an early writer--like 4:30 - 5:00AM early. There's a special sense of accomplishment that I get from waking up early and getting my word done while the world is asleep. I even make this a habit on vacation, sneaking off to find a quiet corner of the resort to get a couple of hours of writing in. That's simply the best.

A perfect day of writing is being at my computer by 5:00AM and getting a thousand words done by 9:00AM. Mix in some editing and outline work, and I'm a happy camper.


message 20: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments All set Brenda!


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Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "How did you come up with the idea for The Suicide House?"

I had the idea of a closed-door setting running through my mind for a while, I just wasn't sure what that setting was -- a small town, a cruise ship, an island... Somewhere a murder could take place that was isolated and could be made creepy. Then I went to see my niece compete in a swim meet at Lake Forest High School in Lake Forest, Illinois. The high school was a beautiful ivy-covered building, and it made me think that a private boarding school was the perfect closed-door setting. Westmont Prep was born, and the story flowed from there.


message 22: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Let's start off and talk about your Rory Moore/Lane Phillips #1 series Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea and The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea

How did you come up with the idea of the..."


Rory Moore is an antisocial, OCD cold case expert who is on the autism spectrum. The "disabilities" that come with her many afflictions have the power to derail most people's lives, but Rory has managed to harness those "defects" (Obsession and compulsion) and use them to her advantage to solve cold case homicides.

She becomes closer to the victims of the crimes she solves than she is to anyone in her life. Except Lane Phillips, her partner for the past decade. Lane is an ex-FBI profiler whose thesis (Some Choose Darkness) about how a killer's mind works has become a multi-million copy bestselling true crime book. He and Rory make a perfect crime fighting, cold case solving couple.

Rory was hard to write at first because she was hard to get to know. It's the same for me as the author as it is for anyone else who meets her--she only let's a select few into her inner circle of trust. I've written two Rory Moore Books (both standalones) and have a third in the works. Hopefully by then Rory allows me into her inner circle.


message 23: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments HollyLovesBooks wrote: "I adored this book and couldn't stop reading it but now I am disappointed that it is over! This was my first book of your's but surely will not be my last.
How did you develop the two characters, ..."


Thanks for reading! I hope you check out my other novels, but since you read THE SUICIDE HOUSE first I think you should check out SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS next since Rory and Lane are also featured there.

Rory and Lane make a unique crime fighting couple. See my previous comments to Brenda about the genesis of Rory and Lane.

Also, all of my books have some common thread between them so be on the lookout when you read the others. They are all standalone thrillers, but characters and towns and more pop up in each books and readers have had a blast finding those Easter eggs.


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HollyLovesBooks (neuromd94) | 5 comments Charlie wrote: "HollyLovesBooks wrote: "I adored this book and couldn't stop reading it but now I am disappointed that it is over! This was my first book of your's but surely will not be my last.
How did you deve..."


Thank you for the response! I already have the book, Some Choose Darkness ready to go! I'm so glad I found you as an author. I will definitely watch for further work. Stay safe!


message 25: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments DeAnn wrote: "Rory has such a unique hobby. How did you develop this? Is someone in your family a fan of antique dolls?"

No one in my fam likes antique dolls. They actually creep me out, especially if I run across one stored away in the basement!

Rory restores antique porcelain dolls as a hobby b/c it is a way to dispel the obsessive compulsive demands of her mind that, if allowed to run free, would derail her life. She stores all of those daily urges to repeat and obsess over every detail of life in a corner of her mind and then unloads them in her workshop when she restores the dolls. The craft of doll restoration demands all of the quirks and obsessions and redundancies that constantly run through Rory's mind. In her workshop she can utilize those "defects" and it allows the rest of her life to be more normal. Antique doll restoration is more than a hobby for Rory, it's her mode of survival.

The idea came from the podcast S-Town, which is about a genius antique clock restorer in Alabama. Instead of clocks, Rory restores porcelain dolls.


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Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments marilyn wrote: "Is Lane featured in any of your earlier books? I've been wondering if there was more to learn about his character."

Lane Phillips is featured in Some Choose Darkness and The Suicide House.


message 27: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "I loved the setting in The Suicide House and it really added some creepiness to the story. How important is the setting for you and how do you go about creating the feel to the setting?"

Setting is important to all stories. After I wrote Summit Lake I realized that setting could almost become its own character. I've tried hard to create a great setting in each of my books.


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Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "What are you working on now/next?"

My 2021 thriller is about a 9/11 victim who is identified by the New York Medical Examiner's office twenty years after the towers fell. But it is this victim's murderous history that draws the attention of a popular television newsmagazine host who is determined to uncover her true story.


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Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "What do you hope readers will get from your stories?"

A few hours of escape and entertainment. Preferably enjoyed on a beach.


message 30: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Without giving any spoilers here you throw us with a few shocking and bold twists in your stories that created some excitement and shock in our group discussion. Do you find yourself writing more o..."

The best advice I have ever received was when I was trying to write and sell my first manuscript. An agent told me to write from the reader's perspective and read from the writer's perspective. I've done that ever since and I think it's helped my not only understand thrillers better but to create some great twists in my own books.


message 31: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "You have a few characters here and intertwining storylines. How did you go about plotting that? Did you focus on one part of the story or characters or did you create the story as it appears?"

Bringing storylines together is always a work in progress for me that requires many drafts and lots of rewriting. I have never written a book from the first chapter to the last. My mind just doesn't allow it.


message 32: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Scarlett wrote: "Nice! His books are on my tbr :)"

Thanks! I hope you love them!


message 33: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Are any of your characters inspired by real-life people or people you know? Are there any characters you can relate to more than others?"

I try hard not to base characters off anyone I know personally. Unless I got their permission first.


message 34: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Are there any characters you found more fun to write or any that you struggled more creating?"

I really struggled when creating Rory Moore. She is complex and hard to get to know--for me as the author and for anyone she encounters.


message 35: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Besides the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series your other books are not series but have recurring characters. Can you tell us a bit about which ones we see recurring characters?"

I wrote an "author's note at the end of THE SUICIDE HOUSE that covers some of this. I have copied and pasted it below:

Author’s Note:

All of my novels are standalone thrillers. However, astute readers will find little nuggets of the previous book sprinkled within the pages of each subsequent one. Although this is the second book in the Rory Moore/Lane Phillips series, I was careful to write each story so fans could read the books in any order.

If The Suicide House was your first adventure with the incomparable Rory Moore and you would like to read more about her, check out Some Choose Darkness. It fills in some background on where her quirkiness comes from. It’s also a hell of a thrill ride.

If The Suicide House offered your first dose of Gus Morelli, the crafty and wise detective, check out Don’t Believe It to discover more about his history, his fight with life, his contempt for people his own age, and how he came to walk on a titanium prosthesis.

Then, if you read Don’t Believe It and find yourself intrigued by the forensic pathologist named Livia Cutty, check out her original story in The Girl Who Was Taken.

Readers will also notice that the town of Summit Lake appears in Don’t Believe It. If you’re curious about the history (and secrets) of that town, you can read the novel named after it. Summit Lake is my first novel, and many readers’ favorite.

Thanks for reading my books. I’m forever grateful.

Charlie Donlea


message 36: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Welcome and thank you for being here with us! I’m a big fan! I’ve read and loved every book you’ve written. I’m curious to know about your writing process — how long does it take you to write your ..."

Thanks!

It takes me about a year to write a book. It starts with brainstorming for an idea, and then researching it a bit. Then putting together an outline to see if there is enough to the story to carry it for 300-400 pages. Then, when I think I have enough ammunition (enough bows in my quiver), I set out into the forest to hunt (write the book). Sometimes I have to return to the outline (to refill my quiver with bows) when I get stuck, but so far I've managed a book a year and plan to stay on that pace.


message 37: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments Thanks so much for the questions! I hope you love The Suicide House and my other books.

All the best,

Charlie Donlea


message 38: by Charlie (new)

Charlie Donlea (charledonlea) | 19 comments I almost forgot...my publisher is sponsoring a Goodreads giveaway for THE SUICIDE HOUSE. 100 copies are up for grabs so look up the book and enter to win. Good luck. Only a day or so left until the giveaway ends.

Good Luck!
The Suicide House by Charlie Donlea
Charlie Donlea


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Thank you so much for joining us and answering our questions, Charlie! It’s such a treat to get some insight into your writing process and stories!

I look forward to your next one!


message 40: by MarilynW (new)

MarilynW (huecotx) | 20 comments Charlie wrote: "marilyn wrote: "Is Lane featured in any of your earlier books? I've been wondering if there was more to learn about his character."

Lane Phillips is featured in Some Choose Darkness and The Suicid..."


Thank you, I've read both of those, in order 😊


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (lindsaylivi) | 79 comments Mod
Thanks so much for being here with us Charlie!


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