Here on Diane Capri Reveals, we’ve featured some of the biggest names in our genre, including my friends and colleagues Lee Child, the father of Rambo, David Morrell, my colleague at the Bar, Steve Berry, the dynamite writing duos Maxine Paetro (and James Patterson), Grant Blackwood (and James Rollins), and more. You can check out those posts by clicking HERE.
For the next few weeks, by popular demand, we’re introducing Licensed to Thrill readers to new authors and new voices in this continuing series focused on Indie Authors.
Today, it’s my pleasure to feature a fellow Floridian, indie author Shannon Esposito. Shannon says she lives in a magical gulf coast town with fluorescent sunsets and purple dragonflies. But she admits that like all of us in Florida, she keeps a sharp lookout for the occasional backyard alligator. Every Florida writer knows that beneath the sunshine we must beware of a world of deadly creatures, not all of whom travel on four legs. Paradise, Shannon says, can be murder.
Diane Capri: Your mysteries transport readers to Florida without the hefty price of airfare, Shannon. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Shannon Esposito: I knew from the age of five I wanted to be a writer. But I briefly entertained the idea of being a scientist, until I found out it involved math, which gives me hives! *laughs*
Diane Capri: You’re pretty open about sharing your corner of paradise with your husband, twin boys and your dogs. That sounds pretty normal. But Licensed to Thrill readers wand to know why you’re so obsessed with human psychology?
Shannon Esposito: I’ve had two close encounters with serial killers. (Well, as close as I’d ever want to be.) The first incident happened when I was eight years old. I grew up on a quiet country road in Eighty-Four, Pa. One horrible night my best friend’s older sister was coming home from work when she was abducted by a serial killer on our road. It changed all of our lives.
The second encounter happened when I was a junior in high school and we lived in Palm Bay, Florida. A man named John Crutchley lived in our neighborhood. They dubbed him the vampire rapist after he was convicted of kidnapping, raping and draining a young girl’s blood. He is suspected of killing over thirty women.
I think this is why I have an obsession with figuring out what makes people tick. Also, why I write serial killer mysteries like The Monarch. In fiction, I can control the outcome. The bad guy gets caught.
Diane Capri: In addition to serial killers, you also write a bit on the lighter side. Pet psychics, even. Why do you think you’re drawn to both types of stories?
Shannon Esposito: *grins* When my parents were first dating, they were followed home one night by a large, cigar shaped UFO. Their neighbor took a picture of it. They like to tease me that I’m an alien…at least I think they’re joking. Hmmm….
Diane Capri: *laughs* Okay, entice us, what future project are you considering?
Shannon Esposito: Here’s the thing about ideas, sometimes they are not your own. My idea was to finish up book 3 in the pet psychic series then start to work on a sequel for The Monarch. But, no. I am being harassed by a character named Alice Lois, who showed up in one of my flash fiction pieces a few years back. (You can read it here: Mario’s Goddess) She was locked up in an insane asylum for ten years before an orderly fell under her spell and broke her out. She’s not actually insane…she’s Enyo, the goddess of war. She tells me she’s married now and struggling to be normal. She wants her story told. What’s a writer to do?
Diane Capri: Like most writers, you read widely. Who is your favorite author?
Shannon Esposito: I’m constantly discovering new writers that I fall in love with, especially Indie writers. The amount of fresh talent out there is staggering. But Margaret Atwood had me at “Snowman wakes before dawn.” This is the first line in Oryx and Crake, the first book I read by her and the first book I read over and over for the pure joy of admiring the craft of writing. I actually got to meet her at the Miami Book fair. I went total fangirl, it wasn’t pretty!
Diane Capri: The first book in your Pet Psychic series is Karma’s a Bitch. You have a second in the series coming out this month titled Lady Luck Runs Out. What’s the new book about?
Shannon Esposito: In Luck Runs Out, Darwin Winters is a reluctant pet psychic who gets images from traumatized pets. This time her run-in is with a black cat who’s been traumatized by an encounter with a rattlesnake. The same one that has killed the cat’s owner. It’s up to Darwin to prove the snake was used as a murder weapon. Death by snakebite, just in time for Halloween!
Diane Capri: And speaking of Halloween —
Shannon Esposito: It is my absolute favorite holiday! As you can see by our house, we take it very seriously. Yes, my husband built that spider web strand for strand. He makes a good spider, don’t you think?
Diane Capri: Thanks for visiting with us today, Shannon. And if you’d like to visit Shannon Esposito, you can find her blog at http://murderinparadise.com/ Or visit her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/S.O.EspositoBooks
What a fun interview!!! I would have gone all fangirl for Margaret Atwood too. Adore the cover or Monarch and Oh my heck … Alice Lois, Enyo, Goddess of War … I’m in! 😉
Thanks, Ginger! My little brother actually did the cover for The Monarch for me. He’s a mucho talented graphic artist. Yeah, Enyo will be fun to explore. 🙂
I agree, Ginger! That cover is awesome. And Shannon, you’re lucky to have that kind of talent in the family, too!
And I’m still shocked at all your close encounters with serial killers! That’s crazy.
Me, too, Elena. Makes me think there’s more of them out there than we can even imagine. Thanks for commenting!
I totally agree, Elena! I mean, I lived in the area when Ted Bundy was, er, operating — but as far as I know, I never met the guy. *shivers*
p.s. I should say, though, that I know a woman who married a convicted serial killer a few years back. Of course, she says he’s “wrongfully accused,” and maybe he is…..
“Married now and struggling to be normal”… aren’t we all! Shannon, can’t wait to see what you do with Enyo. Thanks for another interesting interview, DIane.
*snort* Yeah, I guess you’re right, S.J. Aren’t we all? Or maybe it’s just us writers? 😉
Glad you enjoyed it, Sally. Writers are interesting people, aren’t they? 😉
Great interview! “Monarch” sounds like my kind of read, just bought the book. Kudos on the dog lovers mysteries, too–you’ve garnered some great reviews there!
Thanks for commenting, Amy, & grabbing a copy of The Monarch! You’ll have to let me know how you liked it. I actually just finished your book Lost & Found last night (at 2 in the morning!) and loved it. I’ll post a review soon.
Gotta love anything with dogs in it, right Amy? 😀
Love this series Diane!! 🙂
Me too! She does a great job putting them together.
Thanks, Coleen and Shannon! Who knew it would be so much work!!!
Yikes, Shannon, two close encounters with serial killers. That’s awful. I don’t know that I could handle writing about them! Your pet psychic series sounds like my kind of book! Congratulations on Lady Luck Runs Out.
Love this interview, Diane and Shannon!
Thanks, Lynn! Writing is a form of control, I suppose.
Thanks, Lynn. Good to have you here and thanks for the comment. 🙂
Your brushes with serial killers caught my interest. I understand that making you want to explore the minds of villains. Great interview.
Thanks for stopping by Catie, I know we have a lot in common as far as our topics of interest. 🙂
Villains are endlessly fascinating to many of us, Catie. Wonder what that means….:-)
Wow, Diane! Great interview. Shannon is my in-real-life friend and business partner, and I learned a few things I didn’t know before. So Alice Lois, aka Enyo, is demanding attention, huh? That should be very interesting. But I was really looking forward to the sequel to The Monarch. And I can’rt wait to find out what happens next with Darwin in the Pet Psychic series. You’re just gonna have to write faster, girl!! 🙂
I know! LOL! If I found a genie in a bottle, that would be my first wish, to write faster. Okay, well…maybe my second 🙂
Well, Kassandra, nice to know the series is living up to it’s goals. Our aim here at Diane Capri Reveals is to share things you wouldn’t otherwise know. Seems like we’re hitting the bullseye! 😀
I’m loving these interviews, Diane. Shannon, I had no idea about these 2 sides of you. Fascinating.
I think its interesting that you said “2 sides” Louise. Most of the time I feel like a jumbled up mess of contradictions. Thanks for stopping by!
Gotta worry when a psychologist says we’re “fascinating,” right Shannon? 😀
Wow. No wonder you write about serial killers. That’s some scary stuff. One of my crit group members is writing a story involving a serial killer, and she’s told me about some of her research into the subject. Needless to say, it would give me nightmares.
Shannon, it’s good to see someone who loves Halloween as much as I do!
Yah, Denise…fellow Halloween lover! *high five*
Now that’s funny, Denise! You’re afraid of serial killers but love Halloween? Hmmmmm…. Louise Behiel, did you hear that? 😀
Great interview, Diane. You make it seem like you’re letting us in on a conversation. Shannon, I love the cover of Monarch and was very impressed by your husband’s spider web.
Creepy, isn’t it? Both the cover and the spider web…lol. Thanks for reading, Karla!
Thanks, Karla. As I mentioned to Kassandra, good to know we’re hitting the target here with our Reveals series!
Loved the interview, Diane. Shannon, your covers are gorgeous. I find the diversity of the types of stories you tell so interesting. And you’re right … fiction is better because those bad guys always get their due. 🙂
I think that’s my favorite thing about indie writing, Sheila…you don’t have to stick with one genre, you can write whatever story you need to tell and not try to squeeze it into a box.
Thanks, Sheila. Appreciate the comment!
Great interview! Scary stuff in your past, but I can see how that would affect you and drive your writing. I read some of the flash fiction on your blog and love your style. I just know I’ll love reading your books, Shannon. Thanks for this great series, Diane.
Awe, Debra…thanks for reading. And gawd, I just love your pink streak…go you!