Ritu Sethi - Murder Mystery with a Parent-Child Theme
A beach; a mystery; a bubbly drink: Ritu's favorite vacation day. She has spent years living in both Montreal and Vancouver--which inspired the settings of Book 1 and Book 2 of the Gray James Mystery Series respectively. Ritu won the Colorado Gold Award for the first in the Chief Inspector Gray James Murder Mystery Series, His Hand In the Storm. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about the second book, Kill Me Why?, which is currently an Amazon bestseller.
Please give us a short introduction to what Kill Me Why? is about
Chief Inspector Gray James has returned to Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia, where he accidentally killed his only son. But the Stitcher is back after a fifteen-year absence. And the victim – lips sutured shut with medical nylon – disappears within minutes of being found at a nearby Body Farm.
With a black hole forming inside him and his family threatened, Gray must catch the Stitcher – before a flood drowns the town, before his wife takes what matters most, before his guarded secret is unleashed.
I currentely have a Goodreads Giveaway for 100 free digital copies at: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/289410?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget
What inspired you to write a book about a man who caused the death of his only son?
A parent-child theme runs throughout book 1, His Hand In the Storm. I wondered: life is hard enough as it is; how does someone who faces the ultimate tragedy cope? Some people would lose themselves in grief. But I wanted to create a hero who finds a meditative peace that lies beyond pain -- a calm which coexists with his inner darkness and obsessions. As many of us know, life exists in grays. That’s why I named my inspector Gray James.
Tell us more about Gray James. What makes him tick?
I'm fascinated by CI Gray James. He's had a tough life and made some harsh choices, which he's going to pay for. I would say he’s a mashup of Adam Dalgliesh, James Bond, and Hercule Poirot!
All in all, I trust him, and the reader does too. He’s also gorgeous, rich, and has a dimple in an interesting place. Why not?
I’m a little in love with him, and I suspect more than one reader will be, too. Although the poor guy has such bad luck, any sensible woman would be afraid to be his girlfriend. They might end up as a murder victim.
The character I speak through in the book is wry and somewhat inappropriate Forensic Pathologist John Seymour. Every cheeky thing that comes to my mind, I say through him. And I get to solve murder cases alongside Gray. Of course, there’s a lot of me in Gray as well. For better or worse, I seem to be one of those women who can easily access her masculine side :-)
This is book 2 in the series. The first book, His Hand in The Storm was a great hit and a Daphne du Maurier Suspense finalist. Did you fear suffering from second novel syndrome when writing Kill Me Why? What has the response been like, so far?
I once read that it’s best to write book 2 before releasing book 1. That’s what I did. Kill Me Why was complete before I published His Hand In the Storm, and so readers don’t have to wait to see what happens to the protagonist. Better for everyone. Book 3 will be out near the end of 2019.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
I’m an optimist. I want to show people not only survive life’s hardships but transcend them. I know we all receive scars over time, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t more beautiful.
Was there a single defining moment or event where you suddenly thought, 'Now I'm an Author,' as in—this is now my career?
I only published my debut novel last December, and my second book this January. In six weeks, His Hand In the Storm has been downloaded (Free download at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MNDFJG9/) over 60,000 times, and Kill Me Why has already sold thousands of copies in three weeks.
In answer to your question, I feel that way now that I know I can connect with readers, and they enjoy the work.
Are there any books or writers that have influenced your work?
I would say PD James, Christie, and Colin Dexter. Recently, I took a ten-day master writing class (in Tuscany!) with Elizabeth George. Talk about a dream come true.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on Book 3 in the Gray James series, as well as a standalone suspense. I also have a children’s book under development.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can subscribe on my website (https://www.rituwrites.com) to receive deleted scenes. Book 1 was twice as long originally, so I have many scenes I couldn’t fit in.
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/ritusethi
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18704337.Ritu_Sethi
Goodreads Kill Me Why Book 2 Giveaway (100 free ebooks): https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/289410?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget