until a killer made the danger very real…
A serial killer’s imitating crime scenes from Addison Keller’s bestselling novel, determined to make her the final victim. But with former police officer Jace Montana and his dog at her side, Addison might just be able to unmask the murderer. With time running out as the killer closes in, she must confront her past and unravel long-buried secrets…and hope they can all escape with their lives.
LKBR: Thank you for joining us today, Deena. Please tell us a bit about your book Crime Scene Connection.
DA: Crime Scene Connection is about an author, Addison Keller, whose first novel, The Final Victim, shoots straight to the top of every bestseller list when it releases, and she’s on top of the world. At least, she is until a killer starts recreating the murder scenes from her book and emailing her pictures of the crime scenes. Now she’s forced to go on the run with a stranger who despises her, and whom she doesn’t trust, or face a showdown with a killer.
LKBR: Will this story become part of a series?
DA: I haven’t yet decided if I will write a sequel to this story, though I do have a few in mind, one of them involving a theater theme.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
DA: I am currently working on another romantic suspense, tentatively titled Mischief, about a precocious three-year-old who can’t stay out of trouble, even when her mother takes her on the run to escape a killer.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
DA: I always loved reading, and I enjoyed writing when I was a kid, but then I went on to work, get married, have children, and I didn’t have much time any more. When my youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night, I decided to give writing a try. Now I work full-time as a writer and a freelance editor.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
DA: I had no clue what to expect when I started writing. I didn’t own a computer, nor did I know how to work Microsoft Word. I didn’t even know how to send an email. I started writing my first book by hand in a loose-leaf notebook. When I was about halfway through, and my husband realized I was serious about writing, he bought me a computer and a desk and set up an office for me. My best friend taught me how to work Word. After that, I wrote my book and had to learn everything about finding an agent and the publishing process.
I’ll never forget my first sale to a major publisher. I’d had a few stories published with smaller presses, but the call came from my agent while I was on vacation with my husband and kids. I was standing in the middle of the Magic Kingdom when she called with an offer!
The first thing they wanted were rewrites, which I happily did. Then, once they accepted the story, I worked with a developmental editor, a copy editor and a proofreader. I had more say in the cover than I expected, and I really enjoyed that process. And I can honestly say, aside from getting married and having my children, walking into a book store and seeing my book on the shelf was one of the most amazing, thrilling moments of my life.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
DA: Actually, my lack of knowledge worked out well for me in that respect. Since I knew so little about writing when I started, I eagerly soaked up everything my editor wanted me to change. I viewed it as a learning process and was determined to make my story as strong as possible, while learning everything I possibly could about writing so my next story would be even better.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
DA: I love interacting with readers. I enjoy chatting on Facebook with people who have the same interests and hobbies as I do, and who enjoy reading as much as I do. And my favorite parts of the writing process are seeing my covers for the first time and doing my first round of self-edits. For me, the story comes alive during the first round of edits more than when I write the first rough draft.
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
DA: I’ve read many books that have stayed with me, even from when I was a child. My favorites were Nancy Drew books, and I read every single one the day it released in one sitting. That’s really where my love of reading started, so those memories stay with me even now.
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
DA: There are technical reasons, to do with Amazon algorithms, that make reviews important—though I can’t say I understand them all. But, aside from that, reviews are an important way to get your stories out there. No matter how much you advertise, the best way for people to find out about a book is still word of mouth. Every time someone writes a review, more people hear about your story and may be willing to give it a try. Even negative reviews can be helpful; sometimes what one person doesn’t enjoy about a story is appealing to another.
I am so appreciative when someone takes the time to review my story. Also, on a personal note regarding positive reviews, it’s always enjoyable to read how much someone connected with your characters, or how they enjoyed reading something you’ve written. Writing is a more difficult process than people realize, (It takes months to write a book that may never get picked up for publication, when you do get picked up and are writing to a deadline, it can mean giving up time with family and neglecting other things that need to be done) and reviews like that can help motivate you to continue writing when you might otherwise give up.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
DA: of them! Lol. Since reviews are so important to writers, it’s great when readers leave them wherever they can. Amazon is a very important one, but any major bookseller is helpful, as is Goodreads, BookBub, and blogs about reading.
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
DA: I love spending time with readers. I often host facebook parties and enjoy chatting with people about everything from recipes to where they grew up. There’s been more than one time I’ve come across someone who grew up in the same area I did, or attended the same schools or functions. It’s always fun to talk about things we have in common. But mostly I enjoy getting to know people, so if I could spend an hour with a reader I’d love to hear all about them, their families, what kind of work they do, and what they enjoy doing for pleasure.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Deena, for letting us get to know you better!
DA: Thank you so much for having me! I’ve enjoyed visiting.
About Deena Alexander
Deena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, where she met and married her high school sweetheart. She recently relocated to Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Now she enjoys long walks in nature all year long, despite the occasional alligator or snake she sometimes encounters. Deena's love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn't sleep through the night, and she now works full time as a writer and a freelance editor.