Thank you for allowing me to spend time with the My Book Addiction & More readers today. My name is Petie McCarty and I write action/adventure love stories, the same kind I like to read.
The biggest challenge for new and experienced romance authors isn’t writing the book, it’s marketing the book. Making your story stand out among the other 509,000 romance novels made available on Amazon to the reading public. With my first two novels, I thought a unique venue was sure to set my love story apart. So, in Everglades, I stranded my hero and heroine aboard an airboat overnight deep in the River of Grass, and in Catch of the Day, I made my heroine the first woman to ever enter the all-male Loon Lake Tournament.
By the time I started the third book, I decided my novels needed a shtick — a gimmick or brand to make them stand out among the rest. I’d always loved the television series, Touched by an Angel, and thought it would be fun to hide the angel’s identity in the story and not reveal it until the finale. Thus, my Mystery Angel Romances were born. My April release, The SEAL’s Angel is the third Mystery Angel Romance.
MBA&M: What was your inspiration to choose this setting?
Odd as it sounds, my stories unfold as a movie running in my head. I can see the backdrop along with the story, and all of the scenes fly past in full color. When I see the entire movie and not just a scene or two, then that’s the story I write next. For The SEAL’s Angel, my movie placed my heroine at a rustic resort on the shore of a large snowmelt lake out west. It was up to me to pick the exact state and location. We had vacationed twice to the Seattle and Mt. St. Helens area, so it became an easy choice.
While I was in the midst of writing the rough draft, I sat down one night to catch a rerun of the movie Mobsters, with Christian Slater starring as Lucky Luciano. I was so entranced by his story, I decided to add Luciano’s buried treasure to the plot of The SEAL’s Angel, by having Luciano as the childhood friend of the heroine’s great-great-grandfather, and Luciano bankrolls his friend for the original building of the resort in the late twenties. Sometimes, subplots can sneak up on you like that. *grin*
MBA&M: What was your inspiration for writing a Military Romance?
Special Forces soldiers are to present-day romance and action/adventure movies what cowboys were to the big screen back when I was a kid. Fearless, larger-than-life characters who will always, always protect the damsel in distress — whether she wants to be rescued or not.
When I saw the original movie for The SEAL’s Angel in my imagination, the heroine’s brother had deserted her and the family resort to join the military. Later, he is murdered for stealing a nerve-gas formula from terrorists, so the soldier had to serve with some branch of Special Forces to be involved in espionage at that level. Having a co-worker at my day job be an ex-Navy SEAL Lieutenant willing to answer my myriad of questions about The Teams merely “sealed” the fate of my TSA hero.
MBA&M: What was some of the challenges in writing this story?
The first and most comprehensive challenge in this story was choice of locale. Once south-central Washington state was selected as the general location, I needed a more specific environment for my heroine’s home, eventually settling my fictitious lake in the vicinity of Mt. St. Helens and the western Cascade Mountain range. Hours upon hours were spent researching that area — everything from monthly climatic conditions, types of fish caught in snowmelt lakes, and local counties and highways to rainfall amounts and indigenous trees and vegetation. Choices had to be exactly right for authenticity.
The next challenges came with the sabotaging of the heroine’s resort. While sabotages are easy to think up, getting the execution right is critical. I learned more than I wanted to know about kayaks, septic tanks and ancient water towers made of wood.
MBA&M: This is Book 3, does the reader need to read this series in order, or are they each stand alones?
The Mystery Angel Romances are not so much a series as they are a similarly themed or plotted group of stories. The cast of characters are different in each story, but each novel is similar in that an angel has been hidden within the plot, waiting for the reader to discover their identity. The angel is not officially revealed until the finale unless the reader determines it first. So all the stories are stand-alone books.
MBA&M: Who was your greatest influencer in your writing career? Why?
There was no single great influencer as much as a collection of influences. When I first began writing, I subscribed to three different writer’s magazines and read every copy — cover to cover. I read a couple dozen texts on writing, too, and discovered one thing: everyone has their own idea about writing a novel and what works. So, who should I listen to?
Stephen King, in his book On Writing, said if you want to be a better writer, read more books. Read a lot. So, I did. And I learned more about writing from reading a collection of the master storytellers — Grisham, James Patterson, Michael Connelly, Suzanne Brockmann, Jayne Ann Krentz, Julie Garwood, Jennifer Crusie — than I did from all the novel-writing texts I read combined. The great ones are bestsellers for a very good reason. They know what works.
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Incorporated (April 12, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612525873
- ISBN-13: 978-1612525877
THE SEAL’S ANGEL (From the author’s website)
Navy SEAL Sean MacKay’s teammate is murdered after stealing a deadly nerve-gas formula from Syrian terrorists. Naval Intelligence believes MacKay’s teammate was a traitor and shipped the stolen formula to his sister in the states for safekeeping. MacKay is given orders to find the sister before the terrorists do and to retrieve the stolen formula at all costs.
Foreclosure looms for Cory Rigatero as she fights to keep her rustic resort near Mt. St. Helens afloat after her brother deserted her to join the SEAL teams. Cory’s whole world dives into a tailspin when Sean MacKay shows up at her resort with the news of her brother’s death and the wild suspicion her brother may have sent her traitorous classified documents. No way will Cory trust MacKay — the man who once seduced her and then vanished into the night without a trace.