Our guest today is Carly Duncan, author of the mystery, The Last Dinner Party. Carly is a television producer and writer. Working in television, she has prolifically created visual narratives for more than a decade for networks including TLC, Discovery Health, MTV, NatGeo, Travel Channel, FYI and more. Her writing career officially began when one of her short stories, First Place, was published when she was a high school student in California. Her first two novels, Marcie and Behind You, are mysteries that touch on family bonds and the events that can strengthen or destroy them.
Her third novel, The Last Dinner Party, introduces a pair of female detectives who will return in future stories. In addition, she is a mentor and editor to other writers as well as an avid reader. Her favorite authors include Agatha Christie and Stephen King.
Carly lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.
The Last Dinner Party centers around Jeanie D’Alisa who is found murdered in her bedroom after hosting a dinner party in her home. Detectives Anna Cole and Kristy Hicks are called to investigate the crime. Known within her community for her generous, yet unpredictable nature, Jeanie’s secrets unfold as family, friends and neighbors become suspects. Anna and Kristy discover stamped passport pages revealing travels unknown and a curious relationship between Jeanie and the charming salesman who frequents the apartment building. Meryl, Jeanie’s devoted and needy friend, further complicates the investigation when she phones Jeanie’s sister who is studying abroad and lies to her about the cause of death. Through a muddied pool of misdirection and betrayal, will Anna and Kristy be able to assemble the clues in order to bring Jeanie’s killer to justice? The path to solving the mystery becomes tangled with faces of loved ones who are revealed to be foes in this story about the lengths people will go to in order to save themselves.
Dorothy Thompson: Can you tell us about your publishing experience?
Carly M. Duncan: This is the third novel I’ve published with Create Space and the experience has been quick and easy! It’s very user friendly, you can stick to your own timeline, and there’s no pressure at any point in the process. The hardest part about publishing to me is the marketing and exposure after the book is out. It’s a lot of work! I love getting to share my work, though, and there’s nothing better than hearing people react and discuss my stories. I still get so thrilled when someone can’t figure out the mystery I’ve set up before them!
D.T.: What can you tell aspiring authors on their quest to be published? Any advice?
C.M.D.: My advice for aspiring authors is to worry less about being published and worry more about having an arsenal of content that they feel is complete and ready to go. I didn’t publish my first book until I was nearly done with my second, and that was pure strategy. I didn’t want to run the risk of being a one trick pony, so I made sure I had number two ready to go even before I released my first book. So, writers, write! Make the stuff. Create the people. Mold the stories. Get it out and on the page, and worry about the rest after that.
D.T.: Where can we find you on the web?
C.M.D.: My three novels – Marcie, Behind You, and The Last Dinner Party are all available on Amazon.com and you can visit me on my website.