The New Year is a time of rebirth, isn’t it? My first published novel, Carly’s Conspiracy, has recently been revised and reborn after years of wasting in the no-man’s-land left behind when traditional publishers go bankrupt. Indeed, all four of the Judge Wilhelmia Carson novels have been revised and reborn. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have these friends alive again. But even better is the response we’ve received from you.
This has been an exciting opportunity for us. Readers and fans have responded so positively, it’s heartwarming.
Thank you all for making Carly’s Conspiracy a bestseller again. Here’s the new cover. Isn’t it stunning?
Recent reader comments and questions about the Willa Carson books have been fun for everyone along the book trail, so I thought I might share a few of those questions and responses in the blog here today. As regular readers know, Carly’s Conspiracy is the first of four books (so far) in the Judge Wilhelmina Carson Series. The books are mystery and suspense set in Tampa, Florida. So the first questions are often about settings.
- Why Tampa? Why not Miami or Orlando?
This one is actually pretty easy. Tampa has rich history, and friendly people. Stories about a normal town filled with normal people who live interesting lives are my subject. Tampa fits on all those levels and more.
Tampa is a city where people live and work in the same ways Americans across the country do (and quite a few Canadians as well). But we live in perpetual summer here in the Sunshine State, and we’re the 4th largest population state in the country. We have three major sports teams here and we’re the major league baseball spring training home for the New York Yankees. We have a significant Cuban population (Tampa is closer to Havana than Miami is) and a lengthy latin heritage.
While I describe Tampa in my novels as “the Midwest with palm trees,” because so many of our residents moved here from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan (as I did), Tampa is still a small Southern town in many ways. Tampa and I are much alike that way. I’m a small town Southern woman at heart, too.
- Why is Willa Carson a federal judge and not a state court judge?
Wilhelmina Carson is named after a mentor of mine, the only woman partner in the law firm where I started out as a puppy lawyer years ago. Wilhelmina was a trailblazer, just like the fictional Judge Willa. And like all trailblazers, both women are unconventional, to say the least. Judge Willa is a federal judge because federal judges are appointed for life while state judges must stand for reelection.
With Judge Willa following her heart instead of all the stodgy rules real judges must adhere to, she wouldn’t have lasted long on a state court bench. As it is, she’s investigating crimes and solving murders, which is not something her Chief Judge appreciates. If Judge Willa isn’t careful, she’s likely to find herself the subject of an impeachment investigation, too!
- What about the silicone solution? Is it real?
Yes. And no. Carly’s Conspiracy revolves around the silicone breast implant scandal of the 1990s and the book is set in 1999. At that time, silicone breast implants had been removed from the market because there was concern at the FDA that they might be making women sick. Fourteen years later, long after the story ends, the FDA was forced to admit no such health risks existed.
But from 1992 – 2006, women with implants were terrified, manufacturers were bankrupted, and lawyers made a killing.
During the controversy, “the answer” to why some women with implants became sick was hotly debated and theories abounded. It’s believable that the man with the answer might end up dead.
Any Behind the Book questions you’d like to ask? I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to read Carly’s Conspiracy, you can buy or download a sample here.
I remember those days, Diane. I was working my way though grad school as a night paralegal. The firm specialized in insurance law and one of the companies was our client. Can’t wait to read Carly’s Conspiracy!
Thanks, Debra. I’ll be interested in your comments since you were “in the trenches,” too!
Diane, I really want to read this book. Especially since I know it’s set in Florida. I recently went to Miami for the first time and fell in love with the place! I also love legal thrillers. My only issue is that I don’t have an ereader and don’t like to read things on my computer. I may be old fashioned, but I am a paperback book reader all the way. Is this book available in paper? If not, so you have plans to make it available? I’m sure I’ll get a kindle someday-when they make them waterproof for reading pool side and in the bathtub.
Hi, Emma, I feel your pain! I love to read paper books, too. Alas, there are no current plans like that for Carly’s Conspiracy or any of the 4 Willa Carson books. But who knows? It’s a new year, right?
Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look at Carly’s Conspiracy. Can’t wait to read about Judge Willa.
Thanks, Pat. Hope you enjoy the read!
Love the cover Diane! And really how timely your re-release of this book. There’s been more controversy about breast implants in the news lately over in France. Hmmm. That’s a surgery I think I’ll miss, thank you.
And now I have my new Kindle and can start reading your book!! I’m so excited. It will be my very first e-book I’ll read. Love that! 🙂
Karen, I am so honored to be your first e-book on your new Kindle. WOW! Thanks so much. And you’re right about the news from France being timely. I feel so sad for those women.
I am on chapter 5 of Carly’s conspiracy and it’s awesome, Diane. Well done. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to finishing it over the next few days. Who did the cover? It’s gorgeous.
thanks for putting it free on Amazon. Now I will buy the next 3 books, since I know your writing is stellar and the plot is well thought out and gripping.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Louise. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the story. Willa is doubtless thrilled to have a new fan!
I sped through the book on New Year’s Day (a review on Goodreads and Amazon is forthcoming!), and I absolutely loved it. It’s great to see a bit of ‘behind-the-scenes’ discussion here as well. I’ve never been to Florida, and I was fascinated with both the discussion of the city’s history, as well as the society people who populate the tale. I’m looking forward to reading the other books in the series!
This is wonderful, Lena! I’m so glad you liked it!! And thanks so much for posting your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I hope other readers will discover the book and love it, too! Thank you!!!
This sounds really good! I love stories set in Florida, and the more “ordinary people” aspect of Tampa appeals to me (as a writer whose books are set in Dayton Ohio LOL). Going to download this to my smartphone now!
That’s terrific, Jennette! Please do let me know what you think. I love to hear from readers!
Ooh… I love books and authors that take up serious, controversial issues. Can’t wait to download and read it! Best of luck for continual, growing success, Diane. Congrats on your best-seller-dom!
Thanks so much, August. I do tend to write and be drawn to fact-based conundrums. Glad it appeals to you!
Look forward to reading it!
Thanks Alicia. Hope you love it!
I downloaded it the other day as well as passed it along to my mom who loves these kinds of stories! Now I need to carve more time out in my schedule to finish the book I’m on so I can get to yours and Mike’s books. 😀 I can’t wait!
This is great, Debra. My mother loves the book, so I hope yours will, too. To my knowledge, Carly’s Conspiracy’s oldest reader is 85 — and the youngest, 9!!
It’s exciting that we’re now in a time when authors can bring their backlist back to life. I still remember my disappointment in the past when I’d discover an author I really enjoyed and wasn’t able to get all their books because some were out of print.
I have my copy of Carly’s Conspiracy on my Kindle, and am looking forward to reading it 🙂
You are so right, Marcy. I’ve had to buy used books in the past to get some of my favorite authors because their books were out of print. It’s great to live in an age where OOP is never a problem!
Great read! A friend (and Tampa resident) recommended it to me. I read it almost straight through. I live in Jacksonville. I love that it is set anywhere in Florida besides Miami. People think Miami and Orlando are the only cities Florida. I am going to Amazon now to purchase the next in the series. Always fun to add a new author to my list of favorites.
I go to Tampa for one thing….to shop at Nordstrom’s. Willa seems like a Nordstrom kind of of gal. Will I find her shopping there somewhere down the road? 🙂
Thanks, Judi, for letting me know you enjoyed the book. I’m so glad you liked it! I do think Willa would be a Nordstrom shopper. Thanks for the suggestion! Meanwhile, Amazon has allowed me to offer another book free for two days, “Annabelle’s Attack.” This one is the first in the Jenny Lane series and also set in Tampa. It’s available free for two days only, starting today. Please be sure to get yours while Amazon s feeling generous!