It gives me great pleasure to welcome my very talented friend and fellow mystery author Iris Chacon . Iris last appeared on my blog way back in 2017, since then she has been busy, busy, busy!
Welcome back Iris. For those that don’t know you please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Florida girl, so even though I love to travel, I’ve only lived in the hot climate of the American Southeast. I feel secretly inferior to people who cope with actual winters. I’m married, have two grown (beautiful) offspring, and love animals. I’ve had several interesting jobs, but my most recent and favorite one was teaching.
What can you tell us about your latest release?
My newest book is The Mammoth Murders, Book 2 of the Minokee Mysteries.
A valuable fossil mammoth turns up in a Florida sinkhole, and people start disappearing. Shepard Krausse (a blind radio host) and Miranda Ogilvy (an “invisible” librarian) risk their lives and their relationship as they look for answers along a wilderness river. Sequel to the award-winning novel, Finding Miranda.The Mammoth Murders marks the debut of a popular new crime-solving character in the town of Minokee: Zeus (pictured below).
To purchase The Mammoth Murders click the link below…
I’m loving the sound of The Mammouth Murders Iris, I have added it to my TBR pile. Do you always know where your stories will end up when you begin writing them?
I do a lot of planning before I start a book, especially with a mystery. I need to know the end before I start, and I need to know what some of the twists and turns and misdirection’s might be along the way. I need to know the major turning points in the main plot and the subplot(s). I may diagram or chart all these points and rearrange them several times before writing the narrative.
This may make you think that I know everything that will happen before I write the book, but I don’t. The charts and graphs go out the window when characters start acting and interacting. In the same way no battle plan survives the actual onset of shooting, no book outline survives the actual writing process.
That is true enough, my outlines never survive! Would you say you are a disciplined writer, by that I mean do you have a writing routine?
I try to sit down at the computer at 9 a.m. every day and work steadily until 12 or 1 p.m. I make adjustments to accommodate family needs or appointments, but I try to set aside the mornings for work. I sound disciplined, but I fudge a lot.
Let me confess: I don’t work every day on my current book. I lack the discipline to stay on task, like anyone. I get distracted by something I saw when I checked my email (usually between 7 and 9 a.m.), or some marketing task I’ve put off too long. And some days I have to give in and clean something or launder something. The spouse appreciates that.
Wow that’s commitment – I mean the cleaning 🙂
Do you have a favourite character within your books, if so who & why?
Oh, please! That’s like asking a mother to pick a favorite child, or a child to pick a favorite puppy out of a litter. The main characters are always the ones I get to know best and often love, but it’s the oddball minor characters who are the most fun to write. It’s freeing to write about someone like the gun-toting 75-year-old Martha in Finding Miranda or Shadow, the computer-hacker unisex conspiracy theorist in The Mammoth Murders. Minor and supporting characters, who say and do the unexpected, make any story richer.
My favourite characters are always the ones I’m currently writing.
What was the last book you read?
I usually read several books simultaneously. I just finished The Alien Diaries, by Glenn Devlin, and The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square, by Stephen Black. I highly recommend both. They are fantastical stories with time travel, multiple dimensions and the like, with very entertaining characters and occurrences.
More for my TBR pile….
If you could recommend one book, which book would it be and why?
First of all, I highly recommend Forbidden Colours by Nicole Fitton. It is such beautiful prose in such a pleasing style. I’m really glad I had the chance to read it.
Woah! I did not see that coming, thank you so much Iris, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Please choose another you think readers may enjoy…
If I could choose one other, I would recommend Synthetic, by Cat Thomas. It is an entertaining and thought-provoking blend of science fiction, suspense, and romance. The underlying question is how similar are human and synthetic people. Do synthetic people have souls? Fall in love? Go to heaven? Bad guys are caught, battles are fought, mysteries are solved. The book has appeal for readers of any age or gender.
How would you describe your main writing style?
I try to keep the style positive, humorous, and casual.
My novels are character-driven and rely on dialogue more than narrative or description. My writing is overwhelmingly cinematic. That is, I write what is seen or could be photographed, rather than what happens inside a character’s mind. An unnamed, fictional narrator’s voice shares the story, but the characters show us themselves with their actions and speech. If you find me telling you what someone is thinking, it’s a mistake! And you should email me immediately, so I can fix it!
What are you currently working on?
I am working on Emerald’s Secret, a humorous story of four undercover cops who couldn’t be more different than their alter-egos are supposed to be. The gay man is assigned the role of husband and strait-laced father. The promiscuous diva is to portray a doting wife and mother. The womanizing bachelor is told he must be the gay son of the phony family, and the woman he wants to pursue romantically is supposed to act like his sister. These four are always one breath away from blowing their covers — which would be bad. The last undercover cops who were sent to infiltrate the same criminal operation never returned. If I can make good use of my quarantine time, maybe I’ll get this one edited and published in summer or fall 2020.
Early chapters are free to read on Wattpad.com.
If you could offer one piece of advice what would it be?
Do not quit. I am no stranger to discouragement and depression, so I can say this with conviction: things do get better with time. Spend that time writing, writing, and rewriting, because that is how you become a better writer and create more finished works for readers to discover.
That is an excellent piece of advice Iris,, just what a lot of us need to hear so thank you 🙂 It really has been so lovely catching up with you – next time let’s not leave it so long.
Now for a bit of fun which I like to call QF5 (Quick Fire Five):
Alice in Wonderland or The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe?
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Sweet or savoury?
Countryside or beach?
Pink or yellow?
Quizzes’ or puzzles?
About Iris Chacon:
Iris Chacon has been a scriptwriter, radio writer/producer, legal assistant, executive assistant, teacher and librarian. No matter what day job was paying the bills, Iris was also writing (or reading) in every free minute. She graduated with honors from Trinity International University, Miami campus, with a degree in Mass Communications.
Connect with Iris: