Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BOOK GIVEAWAY - The Cutting Edge by Darcia Helle

I am very pleased to announce my first Book Giveaway and extend my thanks to mystery/suspense author Darcia Helle for offering her book, “The Cutting Edge.”  She is offering a trade paperback copy as the prize.  If you are interested in throwing your name into the hat for a chance to win the book, please leave a comment by Saturday, August 14, 2010 at midnight.  [This contest is open to US and Canadian entries only.]  The winner will be announced on the blog next week so check back to see if that's you!

Darcia has graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions.  Welcome Darcia!

1. Where did the idea for The Cutting Edge come from?
I was a hairstylist in a small town salon for about 15 years. A lot of crazy things happened there. The women I worked with and I were often equal parts psychologist and stylist. The things clients would tell us still amaze me! Working so closely with people - and their egos - could be difficult. And the small town atmosphere gave our clients the impression that they were allowed to pick apart our personal lives. I used to say that the craziness of our salon would make a great background for a novel. One day, Skye's character popped into my head and that salon was the perfect place for her.

2. Are the characters in The Cutting Edge modeled after real people?
The answer to that is both yes and no. Skye, the main character, and her family are, for the most part, products of my imagination.  Skye's clients, however, are based on real clients of the salon I worked in. The conversations and incidents that take place there are almost all true. I don't think I could make that stuff up! I did change the names and minor details, both to protect the innocent and hide the guilty.

3. Is there any truth to the plot?
Absolutely not. As far as I know, none of the stylists I worked with fantasized about murder. And we had no serial killer running loose in our small town. However, a few of us might have contemplated smacking someone with our blow dryers now and then!

4. Which comes first for you - characters or plot?
Definitely characters. I’m very character-driven in my writing. I like to explore the why of human behavior. If the characters in a story feel wooden, the plot, to me, is meaningless.

5. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I honestly don't know. I've always loved to write. For me, writing isn't actually a choice. I have all these characters floating around my head that demand their story be written. If I didn't write, I'll probably be locked up in a padded cell!

6. How can readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
I love to connect with readers and can be found in the following places:

My website: or (Both links go to the same site.)