Guest Blogger Sue Coletta Acknowledges the Experts Who Help with Research

Hey, gang, I’ve got crime writer, Sue Coletta as my guest today. She’s got a brand new release ready to roll out with Cleaved and it’s up for pre-order at only .99c. I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this book. Trust me, it’s one you’ll want to grab—then curl up and be thankful you’re safely inside, tucked away from the killers who populate Sue’s fictional worlds.

Banner image for Cleaved by Sue Coletta

Acknowledging the Experts Who Help with Research
by Sue Coletta

In the past I’ve been guilty of not acknowledging the numerous experts who’d helped my stories ring true. That’s a mistake. A short line in the acknowledgements of our books is the least we can do.

Since I have a new release, I’ll share the acknowledgment page from CLEAVED, Book 2 in the Grafton County Series (MARRED is Book 1).

Acknowledgement Page

A special thank you to all the men and women in law enforcement, especially those who helped with my research… first, to my detective friends who mean the world to me: my Partner in Crime Kimberly McGath aka “Scoobs”, Garry Rodgers, and Joe Broadmeadow. Thank you for always being there. Love you guys. A nod toward Adam, too, who also goes out of his way to help. Thanks, buddy.

Next, to Lt. Crystal McLain from NH State Police/NH Marine Patrol for taking time out of your busy schedule to help Sheriff Niko Quintano work with Marine Patrol so my story would ring true; Kristin Harmon from NH Fish & Game for all the information on waterways in the state; Cheryl Hutchinson, Communications Supervisor II for NH Marine Patrol/NH State Police for the information on interagency cooperation; the Grafton County Medical Examiner for taking the time to chat with me about the floating patterns of a corpse in fresh water vs. salt water; and Alexandria Taxidermy for the plethora of information about deer antlers. You all went out of your way, and I’m so grateful. I spoke with other members of NH Fish & Game, too. You know who you are…thank you for dealing with a crazy crime writer who forgot to mention the deceased was, in fact, fictional when calling in a report of a body in the marsh. That situation could’ve gone a total different way!

A quick shout-out to my faithful readers, blog followers, and the writing community. You’re so special to me. And to God, for blessing my life in unimaginable ways.

As you can see, I first acknowledged the friends who help me on regular basis with police procedures. CLEAVED required tons of research, as my stories often do. Perhaps even more than previous books. While writing, I spoke with several members of law enforcement, and each one went out of their way to help me. The local police weren’t as accommodating. Small towns, they can go either way. The state agencies, however, sent a plethora of emails and phone calls. I didn’t run into one person who wasn’t thrilled to chat with me. Oddly enough, they all thanked me for my accuracy. Law enforcement isn’t always portrayed in the best light. When a crime writer wants to show the truth about their incredibly difficult jobs, the blue wall crumbles and they go to great lengths to help with accuracy.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful everyone was to work with. Even the Medical Examiner spent a half-hour on the phone with me. I learned so much information about what happens to bodies in water, including a juicy tidbit that I’m reserving for a future book. Sorry, not telling! In the acknowledgements, I didn’t use her name because she asked me not to. Instead, I used her title. As you may or may not know, several members work in the morgue. I did speak with the Medical Examiner, but that’s our little secret. If you’re curious about the different job positions, I wrote a post entitled What Happens Inside an Autopsy Suite, which you can find HERE.

That brings up another important point. After you receive the answers you seek, ask the expert if they mind the mention in the acknowledgments. Most will love it, but sometimes you run into an expert who asks for discretion. Or, like my friend Adam, agrees to using his first name, not his last, so he doesn’t get in trouble with his department.

I like to end my acknowledgements on a personal note by thanking my readers and community, but it’s a personal preference. There’s no right or wrong here.

book cover for Cleaved by Sue Coletta shows rear shoe of woman tied to tree, superimposed with skeletal deer head with blood-tipped hornsWhat’s CLEAVED about?

Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bond their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. How he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.

Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

Here’s a video excerpt I created instead of a regular book trailer…

CLEAVED is available for pre-order.
Score your copy for 99c and save $5.00.
Releases May 3rd. If you haven’t read MARRED,
you’ll have plenty of time to catch up.

Purchase Links: 
CLEAVED universal | MARRED universal | Tirgearr Publishing 

Sue Coletta, author

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is a multi-published, award-winning author. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and collections, including a forensic article in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime” on Blog Talk Radio. She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter, where she helps other crime writers’ stories ring true.

She lives with her husband in a quaint country town in rural New Hampshire where she’s surrounded by moose, deer, black bears, and the sultry songs of nature. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with the wildlife, but her husband frowns on the idea.

Connect with Sue at the following haunts: 
Website Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook 

Mae Clair Presents: MARRED by Sue Coletta #thriller #suspense #crimefiction

I’ve got a wonderful new author to introduce to you today. Sue Coletta is here to share her debut release, MARRED, a psychological thriller now available through pre-order. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this suspenseful tale and it’s has me on the edge of my seat as I frantically swipe Kindle pages to see what happens next. As I type this post, I’m roughly 65% through the book, and the stakes are at fever pitch for the characters.

Hey, just check out this cover. As someone who has been reading thrillers, mysteries and suspense for years, I was immediately hooked. If I saw this in a bookstore, I’d snatch it off the shelf before someone else got their paws on it. In fact, Sue initially sent me a small jpg image of her cover and I said “Huh-uh. I want a BIG one to eat up lots of real estate.” That’s how much I love this cover:

book cover for Marred by Sue Coletta, a suspense thriller. Shows rural barn with body hanging in open doorway

As this is Sue’s first guest appearance on my blog, I had to hit her up with a few questions. Like . . .

What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

Sue: I get to kill people for a living and get away with it. What’s not to love?

Nothing like hammering out your aggression on a character, LOL. And I bet your Google searches would leave an interesting trail. Okay, tell us about MARRED.

Sue:  A psychological thriller, Marred, is set for release 11/11/15. Until then it’s on sale for only .99 cents! I’m absolutely thrilled to share this story with the world. It was a long road, but I’ve finally made my dream a reality. Here’s the blurb:

When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.

Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she can’t outrun the past.

When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister.

Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror with a matching set of corpses?

Goosebumps! Not only from the sinister moodiness of that blurb, but I’m super excited for you! And, of course, I’ve already ordered my copy of MARRED from Amazon. I’m curious about the title. I think one word titles, especially in the thriller genre, are highly memorable. How did you choose yours?

Sue: Marred has a double meaning, really. The serial killer “marred” his victims and Sage, the central main character, was “marred” emotionally by a brutal assault, three years earlier.

Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

For the record, I love all my characters. But the most fun to write was Deputy Frankie Campanelli. We’re a lot alike, only I keep snarky comments to myself and she…well, doesn’t.

I love Frankie! She definitely isn’t shy about speaking her mind. Tell me about the research you did for this novel. The crime scene investigation detail is fantastic. What was the most interesting item you discovered while doing research for the book?

Sue: That’s easy. There’s a chapter in Marred where Sheriff Niko Quintano, Sage’s husband, teaches his deputy about blood splatter analysis. Forensics fascinates me.

It shows in your writing. You really nailed it in such a way to make it understandable and riveting for your reader. Really fantastic job, Sue. And now changing things up a bit, I’ve got to ask about pets. I couldn’t help falling in love with Sage and Niko’s dogs in the book. You made them into characters with personalities. I know from your blog you’ve got a… *ahem* pet of your own. Can you tell us about him?

Sue: How much time do we have? I have a nine year old Rottweiler named Cascius aka Cashy Bear aka Squishy Panties <- his baby name that stuck. Cashy Bear is massive. He’s got to weigh a good buck fifty, if not sixty. Anyway, he gets jealous when I work. His solution? Roll his ball across my keyboard, bounce it off my arm, down my leg. And when that doesn’t work, he throws it at my face. That’s my boy!

LOL! I love when he shows up in one of the posts on your blog. It’s always highly entertaining. 

Okay, now for a few quick questions. Favorite TV show?
Hannibal. Love the murder scenes!

Why does that not surprise me? 🙂 Favorite season?
Autumn. I live in New England. It’s so beautiful when the leaves change color.

I’m a summer gal, but I do love October in the fall, and New England is positively breathtaking (though I’ve never made it as far north New Hampshire). What is your favorite social media platform?
Hmm…I’d have to say FB. Some of the pics people post are absolutely hilarious.

Facebook and I are mostly frenemies, LOL. Are you a night owl or morning lark?
Morning. I start very early, between 4-5 a.m., so by nightfall I’m exhausted.

Yikes! And I can barely crawl out of bed at 6AM! How about casual or dressy?
Casual all the way.

Mountains or beach?
Mountains.

Okay, so I’m a beach girl but I do love the beauty of the mountains and spent several (much younger) summers hiking with my husband through the woods. And nothing works as nicely as casual at the beach. Hmm… suddenly, I’m craving crab-claws and white wine at a bayside pub!

Sue, it was great having you here today. And I’m happy to share links where readers can connect with you:

Website and Blog
Twitter @SueColetta1
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page
Tirgearr Publishing

Sue also has two spectacular newsletters, one for writers and one for readers. Use the links below to sign up with your preference, or do like I did, and sign up for both!

Newsletter Sign-up and receive FREE 60 Ways to Murder Your Fictional Characters http://eepurl.com/bAwxK9

Crime Lover’s Lounge for Readers: http://eepurl.com/bABKN5

Author, Sue ColettaAbout the author:
Member of MWA and Sisters in Crime, Sue Coletta is the author of Marred and Wings of Mayhem, her next release, as well as three other titles. She’ll be in Murder, USA, an anthology, where a 4K-word excerpt of Marred scored the first placement. When she’s not reading or writing, she hangs out with furry four-legged pals, her husband, or her two beautiful granddaughters, not necessarily in that order. If you see her out and about, be sure to say hello. Just don’t ever call her Grandma.

And now that you know Sue and have read about her spectacular debut release, don’t forget to pre-order MARRED while it’s on sale for just $.99. You can pre-order from these retailers:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords

As more links become available they’ll be listed on Sue’s website and on her author page at Tirgearr Publishing.

You can also read a suspenseful excerpt from MARRED here.