I'm pleased to feature awesome author and my friend, Camy Tang today.
Camy Tang writes romance with a kick of wasabi. She used to be a biologist, but now she is a staff worker for her church youth group and leads a worship team for Sunday service. She also runs the Story Sensei fiction critique service. On her blog, she gives away Christian novels every week, and she ponders frivolous things like dumb dogs (namely, hers), coffee-geek husbands (no resemblance to her own...), the writing journey, Asiana, and anything else that comes to mind. Visit her website at http://www.camytang.com/ for a huge website contest going on right now, giving away fourteen boxes of books and 30 copies of her latest release, DEADLY INTENT.
Hello, Camy, and welcome to Robin's Writing World. So glad you stopped by. I really enjoyed Deadly Intent, and you know what a discerning reader I am. I'd like to ask you a few questions and let my blog visitors get a little insight into you and your writing.
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog today, Robin!
Today we're going to focus on Camy's latest Steeple Hill release, DEADLY INTENT
The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake...and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn...and whom can she trust?
Camy, I have to admit, I LOVED Aunt Becca. I wanted to be her niece. Very cool character. Can you tell us how you created her?
Aunt Becca isn’t really based off of anyone I know. I simply imagined what it would be like to have a somewhat motherly figure who had gone to live with her sister’s children after her sister died. Becca is about the same age as the Grant sisters’ mother, but Becca never married—she has devoted part of her life to raising her nieces and working at her brother-in-law’s spa. Now, however, she might have a chance at love ... :)
Okay, truth be told, I wanted to smack Rachel a couple of times in the book. I realize scientific-minded people often come across a bit lacking in the social graces department. Can you share a little about Rachel that maybe will shed some light on her real feelings and personality, or am I dipping into a future book, perhaps?
Rachel is actually a lot like me and other scientist friends I know. I have never been good socially—unlike a certain Southern belle who writes romantic suspense novels (we can’t all have Southern charm bred in our bones, unfortunately).
Because I was (and still am) so socially awkward, I would often say things I didn’t realize was tactless, or I’d say whatever was on my mind and then regret it as soon as it came out. I’m sure many people can relate to my struggles.
Rachel, being so close to my heart, is the heroine of the next book in the series, which I hope Steeple Hill will contract. Readers can join my newsletter YahooGroup to keep informed about my upcoming books!
I'm a freak for opening lines, and I gotta admit, the opening line in this book made me laugh out loud. Writers often agonize over that first line and try out several before selecting the perfect one. Can you share with us some of the alternate first lines you had for this book? If the one in the book was your original (and I may have to smack you if it was-lol), tell us what image you hoped the reader would immediately get.
Actually, the original Deadly Intent was more fun and humorous than a romantic suspense should be. I ended up rewriting the entire first chapter.
As a treat for your blog readers, here’s the original opening paragraphs of Deadly Intent!
If the diamond on that engagement ring were any bigger, it would look like a crystal paperweight glued to her knuckles.
Naomi Grant smiled and ooohed with the rest of the spa staff as her receptionist flashed her brand-new ring, but the green monster inside her roared. She forced it down with a good bop in the nose.
It wasn’t that Naomi wasn’t happy for Sarah—the spa’s receptionist was a hard worker, friendly and engaging with all the clients, even the snottier ones. The ring just reminded Naomi that she kept striking out in the dating scene.
Plus now she’d have to find a new receptionist.
Sarah giggled as she called to her boss, “I’m sorry, Ms. Grant, but I’ll need to give my two-week notice. My fiancé doesn’t want me working while we plan the wedding.”
Naomi forced a brighter smile. “I’ve never been happier to hear someone quit. Congratulations, Sarah.”
“Of course she wouldn’t need to work anymore with a fiancé like hers!” Naomi’s aunt, Becca Itoh, jabbed a bony elbow into her niece’s ribcage.
Naomi sighed. What would it be like to have a man love her so much he’d sink a fortune into a symbol of that love? Not that a flashy engagement ring would be so important to her. She tried to imagine how it would feel to be so adored, but her creativity came up short.
However, the sight of Sarah’s multi-carat diamond did make her admit that since her father’s Sonoma spa had become the hotbed of San Francisco’s wealthy elite, Naomi and her sisters had to be on the lookout for fortune hunters, and a man closer to her own economic level would be easier than a prenup agreement.
Her wistfulness must have shown on her face, because Aunt Becca leaned close to her middle niece and gave her a brief hug. “Don’t worry, your time will come. God will lead the perfect man to you, and to your two sisters, too.”
Naomi hooted. “They’d have to be crazy to marry into a family like ours.”
“What do you mean? We’re your average, normal—”
“We are not normal.” Although a part of her rather enjoyed being not normal.
“We don’t exactly have eight heads each,” Aunt Becca said. “We are just as God made us and how He wants us to be.”
Naomi shifted from foot to foot. Aunt Becca always spoke in religious platitudes—easy enough to ignore or brush away—but lately, her aunt’s occasional church-speak had been bothering Naomi, like it did now.
Time to reroute the subject. “Any boyfriend we bring home would only have Dad to talk to, and he never uses up his quota of eight words a day.”
“You might meet a man who actually likes spending his time with your sisters and maiden aunt.” Aunt Becca gave her a sidelong glance. “Stranger things have happened.”
Naomi pinched her playfully. “Don’t you have some hostessing duties somewhere else?”
“I am hostessing.” Becca grandly gestured to the crowd of employees surrounding a beaming Sarah. “I’m also preventing this from turning into a riot.”
“When all our single female staff workers realize that rich fiancée’s like Sarah’s aren’t quite as abundant as the wine grapes.”
Naomi smiled, but she had to admit a large percentage of the spa staff were young, single females—receptionists, aestheticians, and massage therapists like Naomi.
The front doors suddenly opened and a tall figure strode in.
Aunt Becca stood up straighter. “I was only joking about the riot, but …” Her eyebrows waggled at the new arrival.
He was certainly striking enough to start a female riot.
LOL...that one is amusing. Okay, at least to me. And to be fair to my blog readers, everyone needs to understand that Camy and I are good friends.
Now, you mention in your letter to the reader that you give a pretty good massage....um, why haven't you ever given me one? LOL Seriously, have you ever studied massage therapy or something?
No, but I did a lot of research when writing this book. I had also been toying with another book idea that starred a massage therapist in a resort spa in Hawaii.
I also really love massage—I think it’s not just a luxury but something that can do a lot of good for people physically, mentally, and emotionally as an occasional indulgence. Sometimes it’s just good to take an hour for a massage that relaxes and realigns the muscles and skeleton and enables a person to recharge their spirits and mind.
Camy, I've enjoyed having you stop by for a visit. Thanks for being so candid and sharing part of yourself, as well as your book, with us. Now, tell us what's next for you and where readers can sign up for your newsletter.
Thanks for having me here, Robin!
My next novel out is BAD DOG: A NOVEL being released by Zondervan in May 2010. I’m very excited about it since I love my own dog, Snickers, so much!
Oh, I can't wait because you know how much I love my dog, Moodoo. Will definitely be on my MUST READ list!
I will also be releasing the fourth book in my Sushi series this fall as a free ebook to my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers (and it will be available as a Print-On-Demand paperback via Amazon). People can join my YahooGroup here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Camys_Loft/join