As we press ahead with the wonderful INSPYs author shortlist interviews, today we have the pleasure of chatting with author, Carrie Stuart Parks. Her novel, The Bones Will Speak (Thomas Nelson) is a finalist in the 2016 shortlist in the Mystery/Thriller category.
Today we talk with Carrie about the struggles she dealt with while writing The Bones Will Speak, her perspective on the mystery genre, plus more.
Forensic artist Gwen Marcey has become the target of a serial killer who believes he’s been appointed God’s executioner.
In Copper Creek, Montana, Gwen Marcey is struggling to put together her life after cancer and divorce. When her dog retrieves a skull of a murder victim and leads her to the victim’s grave, Gwen uses her forensic art ability to identify a serial killer. She is horrified to discover all the victims look like her fourteen-year-old daughter.
The murderer is a “lone wolf,” a member of the terrorist group Phineas Priesthood-and he has a score to settle with Gwen. Unraveling the tangled Christian Identity movement, where race-not grace-provides salvation, Gwen is in a frantic rush against time. She must use all her skills to uncover the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her and everyone she loves. – Goodreads
INTERVIEW WITH CARRIE STUART PARKS
INSPYs: What inspired The Bones Will Speak?
Although this book came out as the second in the series about forensic artist Gwen Marcey, it’s the book I labored on for almost nine years learning how to write. By the time I was done, I HATED this book! My mentor, Frank Peretti, was very patient!
As a forensic artist myself, I wanted to use parts of my old cases and weave them into a story. In the 1980-90s, the Aryan Nations compound was located in nearby Hayden, Idaho. My dad had a crime lab and was the Director of Law Enforcement for North Idaho College. Feelings ran high between the law enforcement community and the Aryans/skinheads parked nearby, ended up with my dad being shot and wounded by one of them. I worked with the FBI on the Phineas Priesthood cases-a violent offshoot of the Christian Identity Movement- during that time. Also about then was the Robert Yates serial killing cases, which I worked on. This book was a blend of those experiences.
INSPYs: What are the challenges/benefits of writing in the mystery genre?
Being discovered by readers!! Suspense/thriller/mystery readers are very picky about authors and view new authors with suspicion. I’m hoping readers of Iris Johansen, early Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson will find my books and enjoy Gwen Marcey. 🙂
JUST FOR FUN QUESTIONS
+ What are you listening to? When I write? Just the sounds on the ranch, located in the mountains of North Idaho. Usually in the mornings it would be birds, occasionally wild turkeys or
coyotes. And my dogs barking outside (I have a total of five Great Pyrenees and a bull terrier. I show my dogs when I have time.)
+ What are you watching? Deer, elk, or sometimes a stray moose wandering past the windows. Inside, two of my Great Pyrenees and Bull Terrier tussling around the house.
+ What are you reading or what’s on your nightstand? I do a lot of research, so right now I’m reading about the history of the Nez Perce Indians, Nez Perce war, and American Indian Movement. Also stacked up about a foot high on my nightstand are the books from my fellow writers that I need to finish and write reviews for. Just finished Colleen Coble’s excellent “Twilight at Blueberry Barrens.”
Thanks for joining us today, Carrie! It was great to learn more about the in-depth process of creating The Bones Will Speak.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR