Title: Prey of Desire
Author: JC Gatlin
Genre: Mystery-Suspense, New Adult
Published: February 2014
They said the disappearance of two high school students over 25 years ago was mystery that couldn't be solved.
No one ever said it shouldn't be.
Following the abrupt end of a relationship, college student Kimberly Bradford finds comfort in the friendship with her over-the-top neighbor, Mallory. And, Mallory encourages her to get back out there. She would of course if it weren't for the thrilling little love notes and gifts she's been receiving.
Kim thinks they're from her ex-fiancee, not realizing he's been murdered. Worse, whoever is sending her all the extra attention is not only in her inner-circle, but has a connection to that unsolved murder some 25 years ago. That connection puts her life in danger, and exposes secrets better left buried around her closest friends and family.
JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. In addition to regular fishing trips, he wrote a monthly column for New Tampa Style Magazine, then began penning several mystery/suspense stories. He also maintains a blog about the art of spinning a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mystery yarn.
Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC grew up in Grapevine -- a small Texas town just outside of Dallas. He moved to Tampa in 1999, and most of his stories feature the rich landscapes of Texas and Florida as backdrop.
Don't forget to scroll further and check out my interview with J.C. Gatlin!
1. First off, let's get to know a little about you. What is one odd thing that not a lot of people know about you?
I like writing in the food court at the mall. I guess that's odd, isn't it? I'd say 85% of Prey of Desire was written during lunch hours. I spread out my laptop on a table and pounded the keys while eating a Chick Fil A sandwich.
2. What drew you to the Mystery-Suspense genre?
I've been reading mystery novels ever since I picked up my first Encyclopedia Brown book in the third grade. And I never looked back. It's my favorite genre -- always has been. I think it's the puzzle of a whodunit that sucks me in. I love unraveling the plot and looking for clues. I'm intrigued by motivation, especially motives for murder.
3. How were you able to come up with the plot for Prey of Desire?
I was in college at the time I wrote my first draft. The girl who lived in the apartment across the hall had a doberman, and talked non-stop about her ex-boyfriend. She was clearly still madly in love with him. She really inspired the main character, Kimberly. Mallory was inspired by a red headed girl who was in several of my classes. She made a good living by getting rear-ended by expensive cars and had no internal filter. She always said what everyone else was thinking. In fact, I scaled the character of Mallory back a few degrees because the girl in real life was so unbelievable.
4. Did you find it difficult to write Prey of Desire?
It wasn't difficult to write, but I did struggle with the murderer's identity. The original short story I wrote in college was very different. Most of the characters are the same, but someone else committed the murder. Then I rewrote the novel with another murderer in mind. Once I connected the mystery to the disappearance of two teenagers 25 years earlier, everything fell inline. The true murderer presented himself.
5. Do you listen to music when you write? If so did you have a specific playlist you listened to while writing this novel?
Absolutely. Prey of Desire is set during New Year's Eve 1999, so I listened to a lot songs from that time period. I mention several in the book. There was a lot of fun music around that time.
6. What can we expect from you in the future?
I just got the edit red lines on my new murder mystery, "Hangman." It's about a woman who returns to her hometown to attend a childhood friend's funeral. It will be released in February 2015.