About Shandra Miller
Shandra is a mid-western gal who left home at 16 and never looked back. Eventually she made her way to Florida, worked for three years as a carnie and another three with a circus--yes, a real, live, honest-to god-circus. Traveled all through the south and the Mid-Atlantic, town to town, on the road eight months at a time.
Now she's a small-town office girl, filling papers, making coffee, and dreaming of being free. She doesn't own a cell phone or a TV, she takes long walks at night, lies in the grass in the day time and watches the clouds go by, and she writes erotica and mystery. dripping with lust,sex and suspense.
LETHAL OBSESSION is her debut novel. Her short stories PRIVATE DINNING and ROOM SERVICE, both part of the TIDES INN EROTIC TALES series; and JENNIFER LOST and JENNIFER BOUND (part of the Ville D'Esclavage TALES) are all available on Amazon.com.
You can follow Shandra at:-
Twitter at @shandramillerwr
Ever wanted something so bad you'd risk everything for it? LETHAL OBSESSION, a novel of passion & mystery. http://amzn.to/148DO67
It was late Friday afternoon when Angela walked into the chief’s office. Two days had passed since the second victim was found, since Angela had blacked out and fallen onto the body. For those two days Angela had been off the case, on madatory sick leave until Chief Suggs was satisfied she was fit for duty. He had arranged for a full physical the day after her blackout, and called her in this afternoon to discuss the findings.
Or so she thought.
“Chief,” she said as she stepped through the open doorway.
“Close the door Angela.”
Fear welled in the pit of her stomach. This can’t be good. She did as he asked, then took a seat when he motioned towards the chair. The chief leaned over his desk, pulled a paper from a file folder and looked at it. From the back Angela could tell it was a picture of some sort. .
“Buddy of mine at the state lab called me a little while ago,” he said.
“He find something important?” Angela fought to keep her voice steady.
“You tell me.” He put the photograph on the desktop and pushed it toward Angela. She didn’t pick it up – even viewing the photograph upside down, she knew at first glance - a still shot taken from a surveillance camera. A picture of Andegla, slipping from a hotel room, the time stamp showing she exited the second-floor room on the back side of Moose Creek Motor Inn at the same time her colleagues were surveying the latest murder scene - on the first floor of at at the same time her colleagues were surveying the latest murder scene – on the first floor of the front side of the same hotel. Angela's body turned cold, her skin clammy. Her mind was blank.
“Can you explain this?”
Angela opened her mouth. Nothing came out. Her heart hammered inside her chest, and she focused on that, on slowing her pulse. Her mind refused to address the photo. They sat in silence for several minutes.
“Detective, I’m going to need an explanation.”
Angela slumped in her chair. “I…I don’t know what to say.”
“Start with telling me why you were caught on this footage, what you were doing there when that woman was killed, and most importantly why didn't I learn about this from you?"
“Chief, I…” Her mind went blank .... Angela stood and paced the office. “Chief, I screwed up. I didn’t compromise the case. What I did there …” her voice faltered. She knew what happened to her very well could relate to the investigation. “…had nothing to do with the case.”
“Everyone in that hotel has to be questioned, checked, and double-checked. Angela's, I don't want to pry, but we need to interview the guy you were with."
Angela’s stomach tightened. She felt as if she would throw up.
“He’s not a suspect,” she said, voice little more than a whisper.
“He was with me when the call came, you don’t need to talk with him.”
“Coroner puts the time of death between ten that morning and noon. The call came in at twelve-eighteen; the first officers were on the scene at twelve twenty-four. I know you were here until eleven forty-five. That leaves a couple of hours where your…friend…is unaccounted for.”
I was with a killer.
The thought rammed through Angela so hard she almost gasped. She felt dizzy.
She shook her head.
“Detective, that’s not a request. I am ordering you to divulge his identity.”
Angela bowed her head, gaze on the floor. The room was beginning to spin, and Angela thought for a moment that was appropriate, given that her life was about to spin out of control.
“Detective, I don’t really want to get into any details here, nothing more than the case requires. And I’ll keep as much out of the public arena as possible, but you have to explain what’s going on. You didn’t know the guy?”
She closed her eyes, leaned back until her head rested on the wall behind the chair. “She opened her eyes, stared directly at the chief. “I met him online."
“I need to know who this guy is.”
“I don’t know.”
“Describe him for me. We’ll use that to find him.”
Angela leaned over, propped her elbows on her thighs and buried her face in her hands.“I don’t know what he looks like.”
She heard a heavy sigh.
“Chief, I…we…I had an itch to experiment…I was blindfolded the whole time.”
“Jesus Christ,” the chief said, his voice cracking as he did. “Next thing you’re going to tell me is he had you trussed up like a damn turkey.”
Angela looked up from her hands.
“God damn,” the chief whispered….
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
That's a tough one. When I was a little kid I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, and she would read to me all the time. At night, in bed, I'd think about the stories she read and start to rework them in my mind. Later, after she passed away and I was more on my own, I'd spend a lot of time inside my head, making up my own stories. Somewhere along the line – I don't know, maybe when I was 11 or 12 – I began writing those down. I think when I was 17, after I'd left home and was working in Virginia, that I started to think about one day really being a writer, putting down words and stories that other people might want to read.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I really haven't written that many novel-length works yet. LETHAL OBSESSION, which is really on the shortish side of a novel, I did in about four weeks. That was the first draft. I sat it aside for a while, then went back and spent a week editing and revising, then later did a little more work on it after a couple of beta readers gave me some feedback.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to carve out about an hour-and-a-half each night to write. I gotta tell you, after I published LETHAL OBSESSION and started trying to organize a blog tour, my writing time was shot. I had no idea it would take so much time to do that – marketing is so much harder than writing is for me.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don't know how quirky this is, but before I can start on something I have to play around with it in my head, either figure out where I want to end the story or how I want to get into it. I do a lot of walking, lying in the dark under the stars, listening to night sounds until that happens. Once I get one – either the the end or the beginning of the story, I sit down every night for that hour or hour-and-a-half and write until it's done.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I ask myself a lot of what-ifs. I read voraciously – novels, short stories, magazines, websites, cereal boxes – anything. For LETHAL OBSESSION I was reading about people using online dating services and reading about people using a couple of websites devoted to the BDSM lifestyle. Then I started asking myself “what if.” In this case, what if a woman was willing to meet a guy, two strangers getting together alone, in a hotel, to experiment with a bondage session. While some individuals might consider that exciting, it's not exactly a basis for a novel. So I started asking more what-ifs. What if the guy had a fantasy that she blindfold herself before he entered the room, so she'd never see his face? What if she were a police detective, and women started turning up dead, bound in the same way her stranger had bound her for their session? The story just grew from there. That's the way a lot of my ideas originate, just asking what if, then adding more what ifs.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Well, my first attempt at writing a book, at least what I thought was a book, I guess I was 13. I'd written some short stories, a lot of partial stories, but I was bouncing between living with my parents and my aunt at the time, and I wrote a story about a girl who had a nice, normal life with friends and a big house and...well, really not much of a story. But it was my way of living in a world I couldn't have. I think I wrote something like a hundred pages, longhand, and it probably wouldn't amount to more than 30 or 40 pages typed, but I considered it a book then and I suppose I still do.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to walk and bike ride. I spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the early morning when the air is cool, or at night after it's good and dark. I read – probably too much. I play with my cat, Lilly.
What does your family think of your writing?
Sorry, I don't really have any contact with my family.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I am learning that there is a whole world of wonderful, supportive people out there. That might be an odd thing to say when you ask about creating my books, but I consider part of the creative process talking with others, finding beta readers, learning how to market and sell the work. There are some geniunely good people willing to help out for no other reason than they want to help. That's been surprising, but really nice.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've published four short stories and a short novel. I've written loads more short stories and two others that are novel-length.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have gotten more contact than I expected. Well, let me take that back, I don't really know what I expected, but it's been nice. I've gotten some wonderfully encouraging comments about LETHAL OBSESSION, and two light-hearted threats about what a couple of readers might do to me if I don't hurry up and publish a sequel!
What do you think makes a good story?
Believable characters that we care about, realistic settings and conflict. We don't even necessarily have to like the characters, or at least everything about them, but we have to care about them, what happens to them. And the setting has to be realistic. That doesn't mean you can't have some guy running around dressed like a bat or people zooming around in space, but the settings and actions have to remain realistic within the world you set up. Then the conflict – there has to be something at stake, some reason to keep reading, something to find out or learn.
A little hot sex doesn't hurt, either.