Sunday, January 20, 2013

Heroines With Heart Interview with Chris Stralyn

Heroines With Heart is a massive blog tour that runs throughout 2013, that features books with strong female protagonists. Several different genres are represented. My focus is on the Mystery/Thriller/Suspense genre. "Heroines With Heart" will also give away fun digital prizes and sharing new and noteworthy books throughout the year. Want updates?
Today, please welcome author Chris Stralyn for my first "Heroines With Heart" interview. Chris Stralyn never intended to be a writer. Short-order cook, security guard, safety officer, childcare provider, and teacher were all titles she'd worn - but never writer. Then she entered an essay contest for "The Worst Vacation Ever" and won.

Writing became her new hobby, and soon she had several articles in print with local publications. This was followed by a short story, The Khaki Pants, which was published by RDR Publishing in an anthology that went on to sell over a million copies.

A suspense thriller was her next undertaking, and in 2008 This Time You Lose was named a finalist in the TNBW Strongest Start Novel Competition. Four months later it earned the distinction of being a TNBW Readers Choice Top Ten Novel, and has remained on the Top Ten list ever since.

Chris Stralyn continues to put pen to paper in her endeavor to appease the Muse within. She lives in Michigan with her husband and family.

~ Rather than the 140 characters we’ve grown accustomed to on Twitter, can you share with us a more detailed account of the novel and your research for This Time You Lose? 

This Time You Lose is the terrifying story of one woman’s struggle to survive when she and the children she cares for become victims of a home invasion gone terribly wrong. 
Lisa Kaamp operates a small childcare business out of her home in Nogeksum, Michigan. Highly respected and known for going the extra mile for her daycare kids, she thinks she's handled every daycare emergency possible. But nothing prepares her for the horror she now faces.

Lisa finds herself bound and gagged, four strange men in her home, and the daycare children held hostage in the next room. Terrorized by her captors as the authorities work to meet the ransom deadline, she tries negotiating with the men for the release of the children, but soon realizes they have no intention of letting anyone go.

With the deadline approaching, Lisa must do the unimaginable to protect the children and get everyone out alive.

~ Is “the job” the most important part of your protagonist’s life?
Yes, but not in the ‘normal crime novel’ way. Lisa’s job is that of Childcare Provider. She’s not a cop, not an ex CIA operative. She doesn’t have any secret karate/ninja training. She’s just an everyday person, with an everyday job that she loves. The fact that she loves the children she cares for makes her a very formidable, if unlikely, heroine when faced with a group of thugs that break into her home.  

~ The Mystery/Suspense genre is the focus of Fast Five interviews, but what unique twist makes your novel stand out?
This Time You Lose is the ONLY novel out there that features a Childcare Provider as heroine. It is a fictional story that is set in reality. With everyday normal characters, reacting as everyday normal people do, it is frighteningly accurate and scary as readers realize that this could really happen. (I’ve actually received emails from readers who believed this story to be true, asking how the characters are now!) 

~ How does your main character’s profession draw her into suspenseful situations, (murder, for instance?)
The main character in This Time You Lose is Lisa Kaamp. While her profession as a Childcare Provider offers her a few suspenseful moments, they are nothing compared to the suspense that occurs when she and her childcare kids become hostages during a home invasion.  

~ Is this book part of a series, and are you working on a sequel?
I am currently working on a sequel to This Time You Lose, and hope to have it available late next spring. I can’t give too many details without spoiling the ending of This Time You Lose for readers, but I can say that many, but not all, of the characters will be returning in the sequel. If you like the intensity of the first book, you will love the second one.  

~ This isn’t a Fast Five question, more an “if/then” scenario: If Paris is not an option, then where would you most like to spend your time writing and why.
I live in Michigan - the land of cold and snow. If I could choose anywhere to relocate as a writer, it would be somewhere warm and tropical. Anywhere warm and tropical!  I’d love to be able to walk on the beach in the morning, sit under a palm tree to write in the afternoon, and relax in the pool at the end of the day. Ahhhh…. that would be the life! J 

~ Where readers can follow you: (list links for website, Fb, Twitter, blog, etc.)

~Book Links, etc.

Book Trailer:
Book Sample:
Twitter: @chrisstralyn
***On September 1, 2012 This Time You Lose was named a finalist for The Kindle           Book Review Best Indie Books 2012 Award.***

***In 2008 This Time You Lose was named a finalist in the TNBW Strongest Start Novel Competition. Four months later it earned the distinction of being a TNBW Readers Choice Top Ten Novel, and has remained on the Top Ten list ever since.***

~Author Bio/Avatar (Due to my “day job” I do not use personal photos on the internet.) 

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