A Dry Creek Bed | The Dry Creek Series, #2 | Evernight Publishing | 1/1/2012
Dry Creek County Sheriff Hank Layton is the stuff of dreams. Nasty, steamy, delicious fantasies that leave Beth Martinez weak-kneed and desperately wanting the man she can never have. Hank can't stop thinking about Beth to the point where he's afraid of becoming permanently bowlegged. And even though the sexual tension between them is thick enough to trip over, she runs every time he chases. But when a mysterious developer forces her neighbors off their land, Beth becomes the one person standing between the scoundrel and millions of dollars. Only Hank can help her uncover the truth. Together they risk their lives exposing decades-old secrets and learn that everything is not as it seems in their rural Nebraska town.
Bio: Romantic suspense novelist Avery Flynn, author of A DRY CREEK BED and UP A DRY CREEK, has no misconceptions about the glamorous lives of writers, but that doesn't mean she misses any of the fun associated with being published and sharing her work with readers. When she's not toiling away at her desk behind the "bookshelf dividing my office from the rest of the kitchen," she's chatting with readers via her blog, Facebook and Twitter, keeping abreast of what they're reading and what they like.
Avery, your first novel, UP A DRY CREEK, was published just last summer. What sort of reactions did you get from readers?
Well after they got done sending me little blue boxes from Tiffany's...(hey, even an author has dreams...) Readers have been great! They've had lots of questions about the series and even wanted to know which brother Beth would marry in A Dry Creek Bed. Everyone seems to have their favorite Layton brother, which, of course, I think is terrific. Sam and Chris are still out there, ladies!
A DRY CREEK BED has just been published by Evernight, only six months after UP A DRY CREEK. You have a husband, children, two dogs and another job. How do you manage to write quickly?
And here I thought I was going slow! If I had my way, I'd be pulling a Nora Roberts and writing eight hours a day. However, that's not in the cards for me right now so I sneak in a few hours in the afternoon and as many hours as I can at night- unless Project Runway's on and then I'm glued to the TV.
What are your most common distractions when you're working?
Oh man, Twitter is always calling me, as are Facebook and e-mail and anything else that can pull me away. The best cure is to take the laptop to a coffee shop that charges for Internet or kicks me off after 30 minutes.
Where do you do your writing? Do you have an office?
Yes, I have a very messy office. Really, it's a pit right now. I'd take a picture to show you but I'm too ashamed. Just picture IKEA bookshelves filled to the brim with books and a desk with even more books piled on top of it. Then there are the dirty coffee cups and way too many Post-it notes to myself.
At heart, A DRY CREEK BED is Beth and Hank's love story, but can you tell us a bit about the mystery that's going on around them?
have to go back to one of my favorite books, Gone With the Wind. In it Scarlett's father tells her it's all about land. In Nebraska, where I grew up and where I've set the Dry Creek stories, that's true too. My stepfather recently sold his farm and it was heartbreaking for him. He thought he'd be farming it until he dropped in the hayfield. That got me thinking about the importance of land and how it can tie families together. The question that popped into my head was what if the land is the only tie you have left to your family? What would you do if someone tried to take it away?
From there I developed the villain of A Dry Creek Bed, a mysterious, untraceable developer pushing people off their land. Beth Martinez is the only person keeping the deal-worth millions in profit-from going forward. Verbal threats morph into vandalism, which morphs into physical violence. It's up to Hank and Beth to uncover decades-old secrets, revealing that all is not what it seems in their rural Nebraska home.
You take Beth and Hank to Las Vegas. Your descriptions of the casinos and some of the hotels make it sound as if you've been there. Have you?
I've been to Vegas several times but only for work. Isn't that sad? One of these days I'll sneak away for a Vegas vacation.
There are two more Layton brothers. Are you going to leave them high and dry in Dry Creek or will they have their own stories?
Sam and Chris each have their own stories to share. I'm hard at work writing Sam Layton's story. And let me tell you, he's really met his match in Josie Winarsky, a tall, platinum blonde, tattooed painter who is hell bent on finding a long-buried treasure.
Dry Creek is based loosely upon the area where you grew up in western Nebraska. Do you get back there often? How does your family react to your new career?
I get to go back home about once a year and will be heading back this summer for my high school reunion-which reminds me I need to get on the treadmill. My family is very supportive of my writing. My mom tells nearly everyone she meets about the Dry Creek series.
You belong to the Washington Romance Writers chapter and the Kiss of Death chapter of Romance Writers of America. Has that been helpful to you in your writing? Have you been part of critique group?
WRW and KOD are phenomenal groups. These are the folks who I turn to for advice or a good laugh, and to help me tone down the crazy. Really, when you spend a good part of your day focused on imaginary people it helps to have real people around you who understand. I belong to the KOD Lethal Ladies critique group and they are an amazing bunch of writers. Also, I have two critique partners, Kerri and Kim, who keep me in line, productive and laughing every time we meet for dinner at Mike's All American.
Once you begin a novel do your stories unfold according to plan? Do your characters always do what you want them to?
Oh it goes according to plan, not always my plan, but I'm too much of a control freak to fly by the seat of my pants.
Do you have earlier manuscripts "tucked away in a drawer" as so many writers say they do? If so, will yours ever see the light of day?
Nope. Up a Dry Creek was my first finished manuscript and I was lucky enough to have it published. Dry Creek Bed is number two. Are there ideas that I have tucked away in a drawer? Oh yes. And someday I'll get them out of my head and on paper.
New Year's Day is just behind us. Who are some of the authors and books you're planning to read in 2012?
I joined The Book Vixen's 2012 reading challenge and I set my goal at 100 books so I'll be reading a ton this year. Yay!!! Who's up for me? Donnell Bell's The Past Came Hunting is on the list as is Emma Shortt's Ripley's Reaping, Tara Janzen's Loose Ends, Dakota Cassidy's Accidentally Catty, Lori Foster's Buckhorn Beginnings, and much more.