Give Us Your "Best" Elevator Pitch—SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS
CHARLIE: Some Choose Darkness, others are chosen by it...“In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. Forty years later, a brilliant forensic reconstructionist is determined to find out what happened to them. But... The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us..."
1. BIRTH STATE?
2. CURRENT STATE?
3. WISH STATE?
The Gulf Coast of Florida
4. ZODIAC SIGN?
5. FAVORITE FOOD/DRINK?
Steak and Cabernet – Every time a book comes out, this is the dinner I celebrate with. I still have the empty bottles and corks from the celebratory bottles of wine my wife and drank when:
I found an agent
I signed each of my book deals
From each of my pub days
6. MORNING/NIGHT PERSON?
There’s something special about being up before anyone else, and before the sun.
My most productive writing days have come when the rest of the world is asleep. I especially love waking up early on vacation.
Walking through a resort when it’s quiet and calm, and onto the beach when the coming sun is just starting to paint the horizon are some of the best vacation memories I have.
7. DOG/CAT LOVER? (or neither):
8. FAVORITE HOBBY?
Fishing – this year marks the 20th straight year my dad and I have trekked to Canada for a week of fishing.
“Where the roads end and the lakes are accessible only by float plane” is part of my website bio. Those trips have provided a lifetime of memories.
And soon, my son will be old enough to join us.
9. FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC?
10. FAVORITE HOLIDAY OR SEASON?
11. FAVORITE READING FORMAT?
#2 Paperback (on the beach). Nothing beats holding a mass-market paperback in your hands and reading on vacation.
Those poor paperbacks take a beating when I rip through them on vacation. Sand finds its way into the spine. The pages get tattered from resting on my wet swimsuit.
And there’s always an accident involving rum. By the time the vaca is over, the book has been on just as much of a journey as the story in its pages took me.
12. FAVORITE TV SERIES?
(or Movie/Video) binge-watch, true-crime, etc?
Current: Catastrophe (Rob Delaney might be a genius); Of All Time: Breaking Bad
13. MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?
Flying from event to event while on book tour in Brazil. But specifically, Rio de Janeiro; and Christ the Redeemer, in particular.
I can close my eyes and still vividly see the statue of Christ as I looked up at Him, the clouds slowly moving in the sky above and giving me the sensation of floating.
14. IF YOU WERE GRANTED 3 MONTHS OF UNINTERRUPTED WRITING TIME—WHERE WOULD IT BE?
#4 An Exotic Island
1. A Busy Urban City
2. A Quiet Scenic Mountain Cabin surrounded by nature
3. A Coastal Seaside Cottage
4. An Exotic Tropical Island
5. A Countryside Farmhouse surrounded by animals and organic gardens.
6. A charming, quaint historic Bed and Breakfast Inn
7. A Scenic Hunting Lodge
8. A Nostalgic Lake House
9. A Writer's Retreat
15. WHEN YOU RECEIVE A SPARK OF INSPIRATION FOR A BOOK?
I do anything I can to jot it down because if I don’t immediately record the idea, I know I’ll lose it. If I have my phone, I make a digital note. If not then I use anything I can find.
I used fifteen cocktail napkins when inspiration hit me at an Oceanside tavern in St. Lucia. Those notes turned into my third novel, DON’T BELIEVE IT.
16. YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?
My den is my bread and butter. But I wrote most of THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN at a Starbucks.
My favorite place to write is when I’m lucky enough to be by the ocean. There’s something about writing in the early morning while staring at the ocean that always inspires me.
The final sentence of DON’T BELIEVE IT was written in St. Lucia. And much of the ending of SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS was written at a beach house in Hawaii.
17. WHAT BOOK IS CURRENTLY ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
18. A COMPARABLE AUTHOR (s)?
I’m honored to have been compared to Harlan Coben and Mary Kubica.
19. YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
(or would you prefer none of them)?
Facebook, mostly because it helps keep me in touch with old friends.
20. A FAVORITE CHARACTER FROM ONE OF YOUR BOOK (s)?
Livia Cutty, a badass medical examiner who kick boxes for a hobby.
And of course, Rory Moore, my latest protagonist in SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS who I hope everyone else loves as much as I do. Rory solves cold case homicides and restores China dolls for a hobby. Hmmm, maybe these two will meet someday...
21. IF YOU WERE GRANTED A MOVIE OR TV SERIES ADAPTED FROM ONE OF YOUR BOOKS, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
The Girl Who Was Taken or Some Choose Darkness
22. NAME TWO THINGS YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE VERY GOOD AT?
Procrastinating and stressing about my writing deadlines.
Huh, I’ve just learned a lot about myself, and why I keep finding those annoying gray hairs in my temples.
23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE (OR LOVE STORY)?
I never watch horror movies—I get way too scared. People find this strange since some of my books are creepy.
But I can control what happens in my books, and I know what’s going to happen before it happens. Not so in horror movies, and I don’t have the stomach for them. My kids make fun of me for this.
Love stories? Sort of. I’ve watched every season of The Bachelor with my wife and her friends.
24. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I love reading success stories. The writing world is filled with stories of failure, and with examples of how hard it is to succeed at writing books. I’m not blind to those stories, but I don’t think they’re useful to writers, especially aspiring writers.
I’m inspired by writers who chased their dream and never gave up. Most of those stories have a touch of failure, but they end with overwhelming success.
John Grisham’s first novel was a bomb before he wrote The Firm and blew up the publishing world.
25. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT? (excluding computer, tablet, phone)
26. AN AUTHOR (S) THAT INSPIRES YOU?
27. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM?
28. A PET PEEVE?
I’ve always been a “cream guy” when it comes to coffee. Just a splash of half-and-half and I’m good. But Starbucks has created a whole new breed of coffee drinkers.
My pet peeve is people who take an exorbitant amount of time at the Starbucks “cream and sugar” station, adding more and more cream, and then sugar, then cinnamon, and then nutmeg, and tasting their coffee after each addition when all I want is to get my hands of the half-and-half.
I’ve started drinking my coffee black. (Man, I sound like an old man just writing this!)
29. NAME FIVE SERIES YOU LOVE?
1. The Duck Darley series by Casey Barrett
2. The Jericho Quinn series by Marc Cameron
3. The Orphan X series by Gregg Hurwitz
4. The John Corey series by Nelson DeMille
5. The Gabriel Allon series by Daniel Silva
30. IF YOU WERE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR ALONE WITH ONE CELEBRITY OR AUTHOR (or both)— WHO WOULD IT BE? (Male or Female)
Celebrity: Someone who I would ask to play Livia Cutty in the movie version of The Girl Who Was Taken. Leading candidates are Alicia Vikander and Malin Akerman.
Author: John Grisham (See a trend here?)
Charlie Donlea is the USA Today and International bestselling author of Summit Lake, The Girl Who Was Taken and Don't Believe It. His fourth novel, Some Choose Darkness to be released May 28, 2019. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages across fifteen countries. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children. Visit Charlie's Website. Buy the Book
Originally published June 1, 2019 Q&A View Entire Interview 30 floors with Author Charlie Donlea
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