Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Agent in Old Lace by Tristi Pinkston
I can't remember how I first met Tristi Pinkston, but I liked her immediately. Even though she's much (as in, very much) younger than me, we have many of the same interests and hobbies.
We both like to write—although she actually finishes her books. We both like to dress up in costumes (she as an Easter Bunny, and I love letting my inner witch run loose). We both love to read, do book reviews on our blogs, go to the same writers conferences, and belong to the same group of Babbling Babes.
Oh, and I've turned her into a perfume addict.
I just finished reading Tristi's new book, Agent in Old Lace. (I put a link here to Amazon, but don't go buy it there. Come to my store on Saturday. Unless you live too far away. Then, of course, you can use the link.)
This book is a departure from Tristi's previous historical fiction. It's a romantic suspense (why do all my friends write romantic suspense?), with Shannon Tanner as the damsel in distress. She discovers that her soon-to-be fiance, Mark, has been stealing money from her father, and in that moment of truth, he drops his perfect boyfriend facade and tries to kill her. The FBI (who've been tracking him for years but unable to catch him) send their best agent, Rick Holden, to protect her—disguised as Shannon's Aunt Anita.
Yes, with that set-up, you know how it's going to end—but it's the way they get there that makes the story.
I interviewed Tristi at her lavish, million dollar mansion about her book and her success as a writer.
Me: So Tristi. Your first three novels were historical fiction. What made you drop that genre and move to romantic suspense?
Tristi: I still love historical fiction, but I thought I'd try something new and contemporary, just for a change.
Me: Yes, I can imagine history would get pretty boring after awhile. (Yawn!)
Tristi: No, it's not that at all. I love history. I just wanted to expand my writing—
Me: Sure, whatever. You know, when I was in college, I developed an allergy to the mildew spores found in old dusty research books. I was spending a ton on Benadryl, sneezing and wheezing until my throat hurt. It was embarrassing. Plus there was that one time when I took a little too much Benadryl and got thrown out of the library for dancing on the tables. They revoked my research privileges for six months.
Tristi: (Shifting uncomfortably in her chair.) Oh, really. I didn't know that about you. . .uhm, about my book. My main character is Shannon, a financial advisor who learns that her stockbroker boyfriend has been defrauding his clients, her own father included—
Me: Yes, I told them that already. But why did you pick romantic suspense, with all that (gag!) kissing and stuff?
Tristi: I think of it more as a contemporary mystery, and there really is very little kissing. There's the suspense of what Shannon's ex-boyfriend might do next, the kidnapping of her best friend, and then there's her father's illness.
Me: Okay, I have to admit there was some mystery and suspense there. In fact, the book starts off pretty good with Mark chasing Shannon in the mountains, her having to sleep hiding under a bush, and the extra villians you threw in. That was cool.
And I also really liked the part at the end, when you think it's all over and there's nothing but kissing left, and then, wham!—
Tristi: Yes. I'm glad you liked that but let's not give away too much of the story here.
Me: I also thought it was pretty funny imagining Rick having to deal with skirts and heels and a wig. And then when Shannon about gives him hives...
Tristi: Really, Karlene. Don't give it all away! I want readers to read the book, to experience it for themselves.
Me: Okay, okay. I also thought it was pretty clever the way you sneaked po—
Tristi: Karlene! I must insist that you don't give away any more of the plot here. Seriously!
Me: Fine. Geez. Just trying to do a friend a favor.
Tristi: (under her breath) Julie warned me about you...
Tristi: Oh, nothing! This interview is over. Just tell your friends to come to my Launch Party on Saturday.
Me: I think we just did.