Vickie McKeehan - Romantic Suspense with a lot of Heart

Vickie McKeehan - Romantic Suspense with a lot of Heart
author of the day

Vickie McKeehan is known for her heartwarming romance novels filled with mystery and suspense that keep readers at the edge of their seats. Her novels have consistently appeared on Amazon's Top 100 lists in Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense. Today we chat with McKeehan about The Bones of Others (first book in the excellent Skye Cree series), how she uses Native American legends in her books and why you might find her dancing in the line at Starbucks.

Please give us a short summary of The Bones of Others

Some monsters live in your head. Not this one.

Skye Cree is a survivor. Guided by the visions of her mystical spirit guide to the whereabouts of abducted girls, she uses her unique abilities to turn her horrifying past into a positive force for justice. Fighting the demons that have haunted her for years, she trusts only in herself—until she falls hard for a man for the first time in her life. Now, discovering her abductor is back with a vengeance, she becomes locked in a deadly race against time to stop the horrors of an evil human-trafficking ring that threatens to tear her world—and her newfound love apart.

Your main character, Skye, is someone with a horrifying past. Why did you pick this approach?

Because for many people life is tough. Sometimes it just plain sucks. That’s when a character has to evolve. It makes for a better story, a more interesting character, strong-willed and independent.

You have the ability to keep readers in suspense throughout the book.  How do you manage that?

I like to take my readers on a journey. Think of the old haunted house scenario. Around each corner is a surprise or a twist that draws you in and keeps you opening each door, wandering through each room, waiting to see what’s hiding in that next scary part of the house. Hopefully I make them want to climb the stairs to the top and see how it all ends up.  

You also wove some Native American legends and spirituality into the book. Why?

I deeply respect the Native American culture and find it fascinating. Their philosophy and outlook on life has always intrigued me, inspired me. Whenever possible I work that into my character’s background, or plot line. I did the same in my new trilogy and hopefully will continue to find a happy blend that incorporates a Native American way of life or mindset without having to go back to revisit a western or historical theme. Besides, my grandmother was part Cherokee, which means, diluted as it is, I have Native blood running through my veins. But then, doesn’t everyone? {laughs}

How hard is it for you to keep a balance between the genres when writing cross-genre books?

I wasn’t aware I’d crossed genres. At the end of the day The Bones of Others is still a romance with plenty of suspenseful mystery thrown into the story. I think a great storyline should have a certain amount of romance, danger, thrills, suspense, mystery or action going on. I like to think I blend all those things in certain proportions. I sometimes think people focus too much on rules. Don’t cross certain lines. Don’t do this or that. Since writing is an artistic undertaking, following rules sometimes bogs down the creative process. J.K. Rowling broke a few rules with Harry Potter. And look how that turned out. We should all be so lucky, right? {laughs}

Your book includes some heavy themes - things that many readers probably have never experienced, yet it is easy to identify with the emotions of your characters.  How did you make them so relatable?

I won’t read a book if the characters aren’t relatable to me personally. Major requirement for me is that I have to like my own characters. If they start getting on my nerves, then I’ve gone in the wrong direction.

You are a full-time author. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and what do you do to combat it?

I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. I write every day. Is it always easy? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try to write something creative or interesting. I jot down notes whenever I’m out and about, anything that strikes my fancy, or hits me that might make a scene more workable, I get it down, then and there. Which pretty much means that wherever I am and get a brilliant idea that pushes a scene into the keep column for real, you might find me dancing in the line at Starbucks. People are usually staring. I’m used to it though. {laughs}

Do you let your books stew – leave it for a month before you look at it again and edit?

Absolutely not. The only time I’ve ever let a book “stew” for any length of time is last October during the early days when I broke my ankle and the pain was almost unbearable. Otherwise, I’m at it until I get it right.

Have you found any interesting connections in which The Bones of Others fits in with your other books?

As I said earlier, at the end of the day the book fits right in with all my others. It’s about two people who find love, fall hard, and get to that moment of “what do I do about it now?” kind of thing. In between they’re trying to catch the bad guy. I’m not sure why people are so insistent that Skye’s any different than say, Eastlyn Parker, in Lavender Beach. Both women have been through a lot in life, different, yet similar challenges they’ve had to overcome. In my books, that’s a pretty commonplace theme.

In real life, do you believe that love conquers all?

I’m not sure love conquers all, but it certainly helps to be with the right person. There’s a harmony that exists when you love and respect your partner. Without respect the relationship is toast. If you’re arguing all the time it just takes too much energy to maintain. Life is too short for that. I believe love makes you stronger because knowing you’re loved and cared for allows you that extra zing of confidence, the kind that gives you the feeling you can pretty much accomplish extraordinary things.

What book can we expect to see from you next?

Right now, I’m finishing up Indigo Justice, the third book in the Indigo Brothers trilogy. It should be out in a couple of weeks.

Where can our readers interact with you or find more of your work?

They can go to my website, Everything’s there in one place, book lists, links, a fan wall if you want to add something to it, or join my mailing list. There’s always good ol’ Facebook where you can leave a post on my author page or send me a message. I look forward to hearing from you!

This deal has ended but you can read more about the book here.