Meet today’s guest, Carolyn Arnold. She is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.
Today, she answers a few questions for us and gives us insight into her life as a mystery author.
When you first begin writing a new book, is your main focus on the characters or the plot?
I’d have to say it’s really a blend of both. I approach writing a book without an outline and with merely an idea of the storyline. Oftentimes, I don’t even know the identity of the killer until my characters work through the investigation. Both the characters and the plot are strengthened through the editing process.
Why do you write within your chosen genre?
I love the logical progression and intrigue that goes with the mystery genre. The fact that I love to read mysteries and watch crime dramas has also made writing in the genre only a matter of time.
How much research goes into your fiction writing? What is your approach?
As an author of police and FBI procedurals, a lot of research goes into each of my books. I need to know how real life police or FBI would handle situations, have an understanding of forensics and weapons, as well as a grasp of the human aspect—the interaction between departments of law enforcement and within a department.
I’m grateful to have contacts from law enforcement who are generous in sharing their wisdom and experience with me.
Is there a time of day or night when you’re most creative?