Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell
on Tour May 18 – June 30, 2015
“Chris Patchell’s debut novel, DEADLY LIES, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.” ~ Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY
Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…
As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse. Now as an adult, Jill’s made it – she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.
The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant – until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview – and suddenly all of it comes rushing back. Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.
Meanwhile, Alex is pulled into a case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe the murderer could be someone close to him.
My husband always says that doing hard things builds character. I laughingly tell him I don’t need anymore character I’m all already full up. But the truth is taking a risk is hard and humbling.
Publishing my debut novel, Deadly Lies, I felt like I was a baby bird perched on the edge of the nest about to jump off into the great unknown. For the first time ever, I was going to share my work with people outside my safe little circle. Would they like it? Would they hate it? I didn’t know what to expect. I only knew that if I didn’t risk it, if I didn’t publish, I would never find out. If I ever wanted to be a real writer, I had to publish.
Sound familiar? You want to do something big, but you’re terrified of what will happen when you take the next step? Good. Then you’re on the right track.
Maybe you want to look for a new job that will pivot your career in a radically different direction and you’re worried that you don’t have the skills, or maybe you’re writing a first story and the idea of someone else reading it scares the bejeezus out of you. The unknown can be daunting.
If the fear of failure is holding you back from taking the next step, there are ways to mitigate failure.
Find a mentor
No matter what your path, whether its writing a book, or changing careers, or learning a new skill, finding a mentor can accelerate your growth. I have a team of mentors. In my writing life, I have a writing group who I share my work with and an editor. In my hi-tech world, I have a group of amazing professionals who I learn from every day.
I’ll be honest. The best mentors aren’t always cheerleaders. Sometimes they give you tough love designed to help you become the best version of yourself.
Mentors don’t usually appear on demand like your Fairy Godmother with a killer dress and a pair of glass shoes. You have to look for them. Once you start looking though, you’ll realize that mentors are all around you. Do you know someone who is good at something you want to learn? Do your friends know someone? Find an expert and ask for their help. Chances are, they will be willing to teach you.
Okay, this is a hard one. When I hired an editor to review my upcoming novel, In the Dark, I didn’t expect to get it perfect. I knew he’d have feedback—a list of things that I would have to change to make the story better. I didn’t expect the volume of feedback I got.
I left our meeting feeling like the worst writer in the world, like maybe I should set fire to the manuscript and bury it in a deep, dark hole. Drama much? Yeah.
If you love what you do, you’re emotionally connected to your work. That’s a good thing. It’s not surprising that getting feedback can elicit strong emotions—fear, anger, and shame. It’s natural to feel those emotions, but don’t let them stop you. Figure out how to address the feedback and then get down to work.
Getting feedback early and often is part of my writing routine. Before I finish anything, I read it to my writing group, to my husband and spin it by my editor. I welcome feedback. I won’t lie. It’s not always glowing—in fact my editor’s job is to tell me what’s wrong. I hate it when he tells me I’m using passive voice or that the emotion in a scene fell flat. I mostly hate it because he’s right.
One last word on feedback—some people will love your work. Some people won’t. Consider the feedback objectively and move on. Don’t let negative feedback erode your confidence. Use it to get better
Each time you take a risk, the next one becomes less scary. Like toning your muscles, you get stronger every day until you reach a point where you realize you’re doing something you were never able to do before. You’re confident. You’re taking the next step.
A high-functioning introvert, every time I have to do something public facing, I battle against my natural shyness to get the job done—whether it’s publishing a blog post, updating Facebook, running a big meeting, or giving a talk about writing. Just a few weeks ago a friend of mine laughed and said, “You can’t call yourself an introvert anymore, look how much you’ve changed”. And she’s right. I have changed. I’ve taken risks. I’ve grown. And growth is hard, but it’s also very rewarding.
So is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve been afraid to try? Take a risk. Even a small one. Then take the next. Soon, you’ll be on your own journey and learning to fly.
Read an excerpt:
When Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books.
Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.
Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I see every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior.”
Many of the Reviewers of Deadly Lies by Chris Patchell are hosting giveaways. Don’t forget to stop by & enter to win your own copy!
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