Posted by Krista Hall
My infatuation with all things Australia started in the early eighties with The Thorn Birds, Mad Max, and A Town Like Alice. Then came the Shark Greg Norman, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, and Wolverine Hugh Jackman. Now I have a new name to add to my Aussie fan girl list: Australian writer Chris Taylor and her Australia-based romantic suspense series: The Munro Family.
I first met Chris last year when we were both finalists for the 2013 Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense. Today she joins us (from a time zone 14 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Daylight Time aka UTC/GMT+10) to talk about her debut suspense series–4 books published and more on the way. And be sure to read to the end for details about the giveaway.
G’day and welcome to K&T, Chris!
With settings in Sydney, Canberra, and northern New South Wales, reading the Munro Family series is like taking an armchair vacation to Australia. (I recognize the Parliament House in the background of one of your covers.) Where did your inspiration for the series come from?
Chris: I’ve always loved reading series. When I discover an author I absolutely can’t get enough of, it’s a dream come true if I also find out they have written a series. I get to revisit all of those characters I’ve fallen in love with along the way and I get to the point where I almost feel part of their family! (A little weird, but true LOL!)
So, I wanted to give my readers that same kind of experience. That said, I also wanted my books to be stand alone stories, so that it didn’t matter if you came into the series halfway or read them out of order. I think you get more out of The Munro Family Series if you read them in order because you know all of the past history etc, but you can pick up any of my books and enjoy the story. That was very important to me.
The name “Munro” was also an important choice. In my hometown, there are two very prominent families and they both share the surname “Munro”. One family is Aboriginal and the other family is white. They are not related.
In The Munro Family Series, the patriarch of the family is Aboriginal and his wife (the mother of the Munro children who feature in the series), is white. The children are mixed heritage and each one deals with this in their own way (along with solving crimes and finding love – I do write romantic suspense after all!).
Tell us how your background prepared you to write the series?
Chris: My background as a lawyer has helped enormously with the legal /crime aspects of the series. All of the Munro men (including their Aboriginal father) are in law enforcement. During my years as a criminal lawyer, I worked for both the prosecution and for the defence at various times over the course of my career and I have been inside many police stations, jails and courtrooms. I am also very fortunate to have the opportunity to regularly consult on all aspects of policing with a currently serving Australian Federal Police officer (AFP) which is a bit like the FBI in the US. It has helped enormously with my credibility and the accuracy of my “fictional facts”.
Chris: There are so many!! I LOVE going to the movies! Eight Seconds with Luke Perry is certainly up there, along with Pretty Woman and On Golden Pond (Wow, I’m showing my age here!) More recently, I’ve added The Book Thief, The Railway Man and of course, ANYTHING starring Hugh Jackman (anyone who has read any of my books will realize I have a bit of an obsession with him. And who could blame me??)
Certainly not me 🙂 A dream trip for you would be to…?
Chris: Nashville, Tennessee. I am so hoping to be able to get there after the RWA Nationals in San Antonio this month. I am totally in love with the “Nashville” TV series and I have always LOVED country music!
What writing or publishing projects are in your future?
Chris: Book Five in The Munro Family Series (The Deception) will be released this month. Book Six (The Negotiator) and Book Seven (The Ransom) are currently being edited and Book Eight (The Defendant) is in a rough draft. I’m hoping to release all eight by the end of the year. (Yes, I function on very little sleep!!)
Wow! That’s quite a list! Congratulations, Chris! Let’s end on an excerpt from THE PROFILER—Book 1 in the Munro Family series.
A psychopathic killer is stalking the women of Sydney…
Federal Agent Clayton Munro, a criminal profiler with the Australian Federal Police (AFP), has been called upon to assist in hunting down a vicious murderer who is intent upon carving up his victims while they’re still alive. Guilt-stricken over his wife’s suicide, Clayton’s forced to set aside his personal issues in order to focus on the case.
Detective Ellie Cooper is also no stranger to heartache. Pregnant and abandoned at the altar by a fiancé intent on pursuing a career with the AFP, her opinion of the elite body of officers is anything but favorable. Angered when her boss orders her to partner with the Fed, she’s determined not to cut him any slack.
But women are dying on the streets of western Sydney and the pressure is mounting to find the person responsible.
Will Clayton and Ellie be able to put aside their animosity and work together to catch a killer before it’s too late? And what about the special fascination the killer seems to have with Ellie…
Chris Taylor is giving away The Profiler (ebook) to one lucky commenter. For a chance to win, tell us what you love or hate about reading series.
And Chris wants K&T readers to know that THE PROFILER will be available for free through Bookbub on July 18-28th!