Exit Strategy is a suspense/thriller. Katerina Carter is a flat broke forensic accountant and fraud investigator. She’s down to her last few pennies when she’s hired to recover missing billions from Liberty Diamond Mines. Then two insiders are murdered, and she could be next – unless she can solve a crime involving blood diamonds, organized crime, and murder,
Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
Kat is definitely my favorite. She’s smart, not always street legal, but she follows her heart and does what’s ethically and morally right. She’s always been a bit of an underdog. A surprising other favorite to me was Susan, even if she isn’t a nice person. At the beginning I saw her only as a spoiled cartel boss’s daughter, but in a way she’s similar to Kat. She isn’t taken seriously. She does some really bad things, but I can see how she got that way due to her upbringing. I can’t tell you any more because it would be a spoiler, but there is a plot twist!
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?
I have lots of stories and ideas from my work (I am an accountant). Fraud has always fascinated me. We hear about stories like Enron and Madoff in the news, but often not the details. I love to research and find out exactly how they did it, what motivated them, and discover more about the people behind the crimes. Most frauds boil down to greed, opportunity, and some need to either fill their ego or their pockets. Simple motives but what these criminals do to get there can be very interesting!
Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
I think my stories have strong moral undertones – really that we all have to think for ourselves about what is right and wrong.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the story and stay on track?
I do a detailed outline and then abandon it somewhere after the first hundred pages. That’s when my characters take on a life of their own and I am no longer entirely responsible for their actions. Don’t know how it happens, but it does. Really.
Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy when you write?
Popcorn and Coke Zero. And chocolate, when things get out of control.
What, in your opinion are the essential qualities of a good story?
Interesting characters in imminent danger, good conflict, pace and overall, an intriguing and fresh story. For me, a good story is one where I am entertained, and also learn something new at the same time.
Have you written any other books?
I am currently writing book two in the Katerina Carter series, called Game Theory.
On my website:
I blog about fraud, books and other things. You can also find out more about my upcoming books. Exit Strategy, is available at Amazon.com:
Thank you Pat, for giving me the opportunity to talk about Exit Strategy, and writing in general.
Thank you, Colleen! I appreciate your answering my questions.