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Laura Caldwell | A New Trilogy

This summer, my publisher, MIRA, put out my new trilogy—Red Hot Lies, Red Blooded Murder, and Red, White & Dead—back to back to back. Meaning, the first one came out in June, the second in July and the third on August 1.

It’s tricky enough to promote one book (in a market where book reviews and articles are declining), so we assumed it would be even trickier to try and promote three. Actually the opposite has been true. My publicist, Tom, is a former newspaper man with a southern drawl that drips over his always-kind words. When a magazine tells him, “Oh, sorry, we won’t be able to cover Red Hot Lies in our July magazine. We already put the issue to bed,” he says in that sweet voice, “Ah, don’t worry about it. We’ve got two more books in the series. I’ll send ‘em out to you.”

Another amazing thing about a quick release trilogy is reader feedback. I get to hear what readers think about the love interests in the book. I get to find out whether they’re satisfied with the ending, what they’d like to see in the next book and the next. And I get to hear if they enjoyed Izzy, my main character, a sassy, redheaded Chicago lawyer. It’s those comments I always cross my fingers for when I read them. I know writers aren’t supposed to do this, but Izzy is rather like me. Don’t get me wrong –her story isn’t. My fiancé’ didn’t disappear weeks before my wedding. I haven’t moonlighted as a private detective. I haven’t sat in the anchor desk of a network news program or been chased by Mafioso. But characteristically, Izzy is a taller, cooler, smarter, younger, prettier me. She’s sort of a superhero version of me, I guess, because she doesn’t get as cranky as I do, she’s much more patient, and although she always talks about sleep she seems to need rather little.

I had never wanted to write a character like me before because it seemed, vaguely, like cheating. Like it would be too easy. The other reason I wanted to avoid character similarities was because in the past, I’ve had very uncomfortable experiences with people who thought they were in one of my books (they weren’t) and were then very upset about it. I figured I’d avoid all that by never writing a character that remotely resembled anyone I knew, including myselsf. But then the Red books. I started writing Izzy, and I couldn’t help it— some of my likes (dive bars), dislikes (guys who treat my friends poorly), habits (drinking green tea in the morning) and even musical tastes (I love The Killers) started to emerge in the story. I tried to fight those things, but it was so fun to write. I tried to make myself embarrassed about it (How lazy are you that you have to write yourself into a novel?, I asked). But ultimately, I decided I just didn’t care. I liked myself enough to face reader wrath if they didn’t enjoy Izzy, and the fact was, those books had to be written fast in order for them to be released in one summer. So Izzy is out there now. Please read her, then love or leave her. But just let me know what you think, will you?

(Leave your comments here or reach me at lauracaldwell.com, Facebook, or Twitter (LauraACaldwell).

Laura Caldwell




13 comments posted.

Re: Laura Caldwell | A New Trilogy

Going to check them out next trip to Walden's - I mean Borders :>)
(Karin Tillotson 1:20pm July 30, 2009)

Wow. I wanna read these!! I love the fact you wrote yourself into your character, I can't wait to read 'you'!!!
(Anne Harris 2:42pm July 30, 2009)

I do like the fact that the 3 books are being released in quick sucession. It's nice to read the next book while I still remember the prior story. These books sound great and Izzy should be an interesting character. Good luck!
(Rosemary Krejsa 2:59pm July 30, 2009)

I love reading series...and back to back to back. These sound interesting and will have to check them out! Best Wishes!
(JoAnn White 3:50pm July 30, 2009)

What a great series!
(LuAnn Morgan 5:02pm July 30, 2009)

I hadn't realized that a.) there was more than one book, and b.) that the one I have is the last one in the trilogy. But somehow, that figures! I guess that means Ill have to go buy the first two before reading the one I was given. Bother!


(Lynn Rettig 7:37pm July 30, 2009)

Mm I've seen your books at the stores but so far haven't tried any; I'll look again
(Diane Sadler 7:59pm July 30, 2009)

I like the head games with what you chose to include about yourself in your trilogy. Wow! A triple threat in a trilogy.
(Alyson Widen 8:11pm July 30, 2009)

You really had to work to get those books
out together. Why not write yourself into
a character. Who else do you know better
plus don't have to worry about
(Patricia Barraclough 10:18pm July 30, 2009)

The series sounds great. I love that the three books are being released in such a short time span. It is so much easier to remember and follow the characters.
(Robin McKay 10:23am July 31, 2009)

Once I got into the groove of it, I thought it was easier to write about someone similar to me but who was much more fearless. I think Izzy is a blast and I liked hanging out with her. (Which is why I want to write more books with her!) Would love to know what you guys think after you finish all three. There is definitely some twists and turns at the end there and want to see what your thoughts are. Thanks!!
(Laura Caldwell 10:53am July 31, 2009)

Laura, I have started chapter 15 of Red Blooded Murder and am loving it. Will let you know after I read all three. Great so far.
(Donna Greenlee 7:07pm July 31, 2009)

I love trilogys! But, I have to read them in order. Can't wait to read yours.
(Patsy Hagen 6:07pm August 2, 2009)

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