If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alan Cupp Interview

“You’re the one,” he repeated, still holding her close to him.

The comment left Dana rather confused, but also slightly amused by

such an obscure statement. “The one what?”

“The one I’ve chosen to kill.”

Alan Cupp

Scheduled To Die (Loc 299)

From page one, I was morbidly fascinated by Alan Cupp’s Scheduled To Die. I’m not one to stop and gawk at auto accidents, but the situation Alan presented glued me to the page and harnessed my sympathy for victim, Dana Carrington, a nice, but too trusting woman. While on a business trip to Asheville, NC, she happens on a handsome stranger, who is a psychopath.

Scheduled To Die is the second book in the Carter Mays mystery series. But I think there is a story behind the creation of the series that Alan needs to tell so we’ll jump into the interview. Please welcome Alan Cupp to WWK.                            E. B. Davis

I’m confused Alan. On Amazon the first book in your Carter Mays mystery series is titled, Malicious Masquerade, but from the book description on Henery Press’s website, the same book is titled, When Lies Crumble. Is there a reason the same book has two titles?

Cupp: When I wrote the first one, I wrote it as a stand-alone novel. However, my publisher really encouraged me to consider making Carter Mays a series. So when I came up with a story line I really liked and felt would work with Carter, I wrote the second one, Scheduled To Die. At that point, my publisher decided to design covers for both books that better captured the feel of urban crime mysteries. In the process, we decided to re-brand the first one changing the title to When Lies Crumble. I personally feel like the changes coordinate the two books together and serve as a better reflection of the stories.

Scheduled To Die begins when Dana Carrington trusts the wrong man, who has misrepresented himself by lying to her. Later in the book, we discover Betty, Dana’s mother, is too trusting and gives out more information to Mike Sweeney, the psychopath. Do you think most people are too trusting? Is it a learned behavior?

Cupp: To some extent, I think so. I think the environment we grow up in has a big influence. If someone lives in fairly peaceful surroundings and has managed to live a life without much adversity, it can make that person less guarded and more trusting. I also recently heard on the radio about a study that reveled older people (senior citizens) are often more trusting and willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, making them more susceptible to being victimized. I tend to believe it depends heavily on an individual’s life experience.

Mike Sweeney is very smart. Are all psychopaths smart? Although he is your creation, how much did you research psychopaths?

Cupp: I doubt all psychopaths are smart. However, the ones that are smart are the most dangerous. I didn’t really do much in the way of researching psychopaths. I relied more on my personal perspective of what would make an individual extremely frightening.

The terrifying aspect of this book is how real the situation could be. When Mike drugs Dana in her hotel room, he copies her keys, gets her address, phone numbers, goes through her computer, and finds out her life details making her vulnerable. Because Mike knows so much, he has power over Dana—Is power and control the motivation behind psychopathic behavior?

Cupp: I believe power and control can be the motivation behind it. But I also believe it can be the result of someone’s own miserable, tortured existence. Perhaps they’ve been on the receiving end and are desperate to switch their role and not be the one in pain.

Erin Naylor, Dana’s best friend, urges her to be proactive and go to the police. But after Dana sees Mike following her in a car and freaks her out and she crashes, Dana decides to hire Carter Mays, who Erin knows from her gym. What is Carter’s first reaction and strategy after hearing Dana’s situation?

Cupp: Carter immediately feels compassion for Dana and is compelled to help her. His initial strategy is to keep her safe from immediate danger while he gains as much information as possible so he can eliminate the threat all together.

Many of our readers like cozies. Your book is not cozy. Mike kills Dana’s dog. For that reason alone, many of our readers would kill Mike. Was that the intended effect?

Cupp: My book is definitely not a cozy. It’s much more of a hard-boiled. Throughout the book, I want the readers to feel the intensely horrifying nature of this man and what Dana is experiencing. Whether it’s the subtle calm manner in which Mike speaks of Dana’s death to his more dramatic destructive behaviors, both Dana and the readers should understand the nature of this man. When Dana is able to grasp the potential for evil this man has, it better equips her to fight for her own survival.

All villains have a fault. Mike’s is his ego. In his need for power and superiority over others, he reveals enough of himself for Carter to mount an offense. Is it strategic warfare?

Cupp: I believe Mike is so confident in his ability to elude anyone pursuing him, he’s willing to make a game out of it.

When I looked at your books on Amazon, it appears that you started your writing career in mystery, then changed your focus audience to YA, and then came back to mystery. What’s the story? Were you published by small press?

Cupp: I typically don’t really have a particular genre in mind when entertaining a story idea. When that initial scenario comes to my mind I go with it. It’s usually sometime later when I start realizing, “Hey, this would be a great YA book or a great suspense novel.” I enjoy writing a variety of stories. I like writing humor as well, although I’ve not published in that genre…yet. I am published by smaller independent publishers. With my Carter Mays mysteries, it’s Henery Press, who specialize in mysteries, particularly cozies and humorous.

Who is Alan Cupp when he’s not writing?

Cupp: Aside from writing, it’s my faith and family that best define me. I’m married to my beautiful wife of nearly 23 years. And I am the extremely proud father of two exceptional young men, one in college and one in high school. Finally, I’m pretty much a big kid who enjoys staying active. You can often find me trying my best to keep up with people much younger than me on a volleyball court, softball field, or playing ultimate Frisbee.

What attracted you to submit to Henery Press?

Cupp: As a fairly new publisher, they were very approachable from the beginning and committed to putting out quality books. With the tremendous growth and success they’ve experienced in the last few years, I feel blessed to be associated with them. They’ve been great to work with.

Chose a vacation, Alan. Beach or mountains?

Cupp: Both! Vacation has always been a priority to our family. We do tend to end up at the beach most often.

Scheduled To Die will be released by Henery Press in June. Be sure to put this mystery thriller on your TBR pile. Connect with Alan on Facebook.


Jim Jackson said...

Welcome to WWK, Alan. I have a friend whose American and British titles are different and he has big warnings on his Amazon pages trying to prevent fans from buying both and becoming ticked off at him. Have you considered doing the same with your first novel now that Henery Press has retitled it?

~ Jim

Sandy Cody said...

This sounds like an interesting series. Normally, I don't like books about psychopaths, but the idea of him thinking he is doing his victim a favor by making her live the last year of her life to the fullest intrigues me.

Warren Bull said...

Alan, You have an interesting premise for a plot. Good luck with your series.

KM Rockwood said...

Fascinating stuff! And it brings up the very basic quality vs.. quantity question. In this case, of life.

Unknown said...

Jim, that was a concern of mine when we decided to re-title When Lies Crumble. When folks read the synopsis, they'll see it was previously published as Malicious Masquerade.

Unknown said...

Sandy, Warren, & KM - Thanks. I appreciate the opportunity to be on WWK today.

Polly Iyer said...

Interesting premise, Alan. I'm surprised your publisher didn't pull back on killing the dog. That has always been a no-no. Best of luck with the series. Carter May sounds like an interesting protagonist.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Polly.

Gloria Alden said...

Welcome to WWK, Alan. Your series sounds like an interesting one. Best of luck with it.

Kait said...

WOW, the opening blew me away. This is definitely on my TBR pile. I'll skip the pages about the dog though. Thanks for visiting, Alan.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Kait and Gloria.

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks so much for being my guest here, Alan. I enjoyed reading your book. It was a page-turner because it was a plausible plot and your protagonist, Carter, a terrific guy to have on your side when in trouble. Good luck on the series.

Unknown said...

Thank you, E.B. I'm glad you enjoyed it and appreciate being here today.