International Best-Selling Mystery Author
Mac Faraday Mysteries, Lovers in Crime Mysteries, The Thorny Rose Mysteries, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Thorny Rose, Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries—over twenty titles across four fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
"The author's stories are entertaining with well-rounded, appealing characters readers will wish to revisit with each installment in the series. Carr weaves humor into her mysteries and gives her main characters plenty of tender moments as they continue to bond. And bond they do; so much so that fans seeking to immerse themselves into the next story will feel like they have returned home." Reviewer: Edie Dykeman, Mystery Editor, Belleonline
"Carr’s unerring description of character is spot on and you grow to understand and have feelings for them as though they are quite real. The ability to create such realism has you unable to put down the story until its final page. Yet you will find yourself looking for more, missing the action and camaraderie, and hating on those who are responsible for the death of such wonderful personalities. The realism makes it personal, and that is a difficult chore for some writers." Reviewer: Leslie Wright, TicToc Book Reviews and General Observations
"If you haven't read any of Lauren's work, I suggest you do. She is a great writer and this one didn't disappoint at all. I look forward to reading more Mac Faraday novels in the future as they always keep me entertained." Reviewer: Melina Mason, Melina's Book Reviews
"You will be amazed at how cleverly Ms. Carr put the story together and wove two murders into one. It is a murder mystery with a storyline that I have never seen before. This is her third book that I have read, and I enjoyed each one of them ... the town, the characters, the ambiance of the Spencer Inn, the creativity, and the surprise endings are worth the reads." Reviewer: Elizabeth, Elizabeth's Silvers
"Carr has such a way with words, and her ability to spin a story is amazing. If you’re looking for a great murder mystery, then look no further—Carr’s novels are the way to go." Reviewer: Shana Benedict, A Book Vacation
"Lauren Carr develops the characters and weaves the details of the murder investigation into a complex storyline that keeps the reader relentlessly turning pages. She is skilled at teasing you into reading more. I finished the last page still wanting to read more!" Reviewer: Kelly Carpenter, Kelly’s Lucky You
"All in all, I love Lauren’s mystery novels. The Mac Faraday mysteries are her most well known series but I love them all. They’re so much fun with its humor and twists." Reviewer: Ki Pha, Doing Some Reading
"I've come to expect great characters and intricate plotting from Lauren Carr." Reviewer: David Kinchen, Huntington News
Here’s what I’m looking for in street team members: You don’t have to be a crazy, rabid fan, but I hope you’re crazy enough about my books to tell other people about them. Here are some of the perks I’ve dreamed up for you:
Are you wondering just want it takes to become a phantom? As one of Carr’s Phantoms, your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to:
For example, I read of one literary agent who accepted a first book from a new author because the setting was Scotland and she mentioned in her query letter that her husband played the bagpipes. “Wouldn’t it be great to have him play the bagpipes at her book events?” she said. There was no mention about how good the book was.
But the Internet changed all that. Before, these gatekeepers could keep books from independent authors out of the hands of readers. They can’t anymore.
During this whole period, I was working as an editor and then layout designer for the federal government. It wasn’t until several years later, and the invention of the Internet, that I had an uh-huh moment where I realized I had all the tools and resources to publish my own books and get them into the hands of readers. Twenty years ago, I could not have done it.
You have introduced a new series. Tell us a little about it.
The Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery series is about the Geezer Squad. I have a particular fondness for cold cases. You may have noticed that I often have cold cases in my mysteries.
The spark that inspired the Geezer Squad was a documentary that I had seen on Netflix called The Keepers, about a group of former Catholic School students investigating the murder of their teacher, a nun, who had been murdered in the sixties. These students were now all in their sixties, each one with their own unique talent, pooling them all together to investigate this case.
Well, that got me to thinking about a group of retirees, each one with their own unique talents, investigating cold cases. As I started researching, I discovered that many larger police departments are bringing back retired detectives to exclusively work cold cases. I found one department who’s cold case squad calls themselves the Geezer Squad.
But I didn’t want them to be in a police department. The group in the documentary spent a lot of time in the library researching newspaper clippings. So I decided to place them in the library. Who meets in the library? Book clubs. So they meet under the guise of being a book club.
Of course, I needed an anchor for this group. So I decided on an anchor who was sort of an outsider. Chris Matheson is a retired FBI agent. But he is a younger retiree because he started working for the government right out of high school. That makes him almost ten years younger then most of the Geezers. His mother is the library director who has no idea what this book club really does—even though her late husband, a retired state police captain, founded the group. She thinks they read crime fiction.
Chris Matheson moves back home to the family farm after his wife dies, leaving him with three young daughters to raise. His mother pushes him to join the book club to get him out of the house and making friends. That is when he finds out that his late father’s book club is really a group of retired law enforcement officers who investigate cold cases on the sly.
The number one rule of the Geezer Squad is to not talk about the Geezer Squad. Why? You ask, because their families would kill them if they found out they were delving into investigating murder mysteries.
Within the next ten years, what goals would you like to have fulfilled?
Keep on writing. I’m happiest when I’m in my own literary world of murder and mayhem.
The best way to find out about new books – or anything – is to hear about it from your friends. You can admit it. That’s true! It’s fun to recommend books to your friends and discuss them. Chances are you found out about my mysteries from a friend or someone you know online. That’s why I’m forming a group of fans to share their enthusiasm for all of my series – the Mac Faraday Mysteries, The Lovers in Crime Mysteries, The Thorny Rose Mysteries and Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries.
Want to add some excitement to your next book club meeting? Are you curious about this mystery author’s theme regarding the dark side of perfection? Do you wonder where she picks up her inspiration for such interesting characters? What does she have planned next for J.J. and Poppy? Well, now is your chance to ask this international best-selling mystery writer, in person, you and your book club.
That’s right. Lauren Carr is available to personally meet with your book club to discuss Murder by Perfection or any of her best-selling mystery novels. Discussion questions can be found and downloaded directly from the book pages on her website.
Don’t worry if your club is meeting on the other side of the continent. Lauren can pop in to answer your questions via webcam. But, if your club is close enough, Lauren would love to personally meet with your group. Who know! She may even bring her muse Sterling along!
To invite Lauren Carr to your next book club meeting, complete the contact form below to include when you would like Lauren to attend your book club meeting. Also, fill out the details about your book club (don't forget to tell Lauren where they meet!) in the comment section.
Would you like to send a note or have a question for Lauren? Then, feel free to contact her using the form below. Please note that by using this form, you will be placed on her contact list for newsletters. If you do not want to receive news about Lauren's best-selling mysteries or upcoming appearances, then please note this in your message.
This interview was recently featured at LuAnn Worley's Rockin' Book Reviews Blog-aversary
What was your most formative years where you loved just being a “kid”?
I would have to say between the ages of six and twelve. I was a farm girl, which is why I include so many animals in my books. I was the youngest of four children and the one nearest my age was my sister, who was four years old. So I spent a lot of time alone as a child. My best friend was our boxer, Jinx. I used to put capes on him and we’d “fly” around the farm pretending to be superheroes. Notice that Emma, Chris Matheson’s youngest daughter dresses their pet rabbit Thor up. That’s where that comes from.
When did you decide to become a writer? What was the motivation to do so?
I believe writers are born writers. It’s who you are. I remember as a very young child, from the time I started reading books, I would “rewrite” the book in my head when I had finished. Writers are story-tellers and they are always telling stories, even if they aren’t working in front of a laptop and selling books.
My primary motivation was my mother, who saw that I was a writer and believed in me even when I doubted myself. She got me started by taking me to the library every week. She loved books and reading—exclusively murder mysteries. That was the love we shared. She had a string of libraries that she would go to—which is why I support libraries. She devoured murder mysteries to the point that the libraries had to import books in for her because she had literally read they all. Once, when I was visiting her, we went to the library and she took me to the mystery section and she went along the shelf tapping each book. “Read that one … and that one. Loved that one … This was too gory. … This one was slow. Figured out the killer in this one by page fifteen. …”
After she passed away, my brothers, sister, and I were cleaning out her house and I found a stack of library books that needed to be returned and they were overdue. Wouldn’t you know it. The library they belonged to were closed that day. So I put them in the drop box. When I got home, I called to ask how much was the late fee was and the director said they had read the obituary. She gushed saying that everyone in the libraries all knew and loved her. She was such a supporter of the libraries. Behind her back, they called her “That Beautiful Lady.” Of course, that made me cry.
It wasn’t until I was proofing ICE that I realized Doris Matheson, Chris’s mother, was very much based on my mother—strong-willed and beautiful at the same time.
What was the most difficult in becoming a published author?
Any writer with tell you that it is getting published. Without dating myself, I’ll tell you that book publishing was not where it is today back when I started trying to get published. Traditional was the only way to go. If you did make the decision to self-publish, brick and mortar bookstores would not carry your books and there was no way to get them into hands of readers.
For over a decade, I was sending stuff to literary agents and publishers—by mail because this was before email—and getting canned responses. Once, I got a two page rejection from a literary agent whose authors often appeared on Oprah telling me how wonderful my book was. He loved the story, characters, pacing, etc. You could tell he had read every word. Then, in the last paragraph, he said he didn’t know how to market me.
My thought, “How about marketing me as an exceptional author with brilliant plots and intriguing characters?”
This rejection was A Small Case of Murder, my first book, which was a finalist for the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the mystery category.
What was really hard was the rejection from gatekeepers who were total strangers? They were deciding for the reading public what we could read. New writers, like myself, were taking they rejection as a comment on our talent. In reality, I’ve learned since then, these business people were making decisions based on what books they could sell—not the quality of the authors’ writing or the books.
The main requirement to become one of Carr’s Phantoms is to get involved (as much as you’re comfortable with) and HAVE FUN! As we get into things, I’ll be dreaming up new things for us to do and more perks to thank you for being part of my street team.
If you feel you are up to the task of being a phantom, please fill out this Google form to get on the list. I’ll send you an invitation to join our exclusive Facebook Group and send you the Welcome Packet with the free books.
P.S.: As always, should you or any of your fellow phantoms be caught or killed, Lauren Carr will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This invitation will self-destruct in five/ten seconds. Good luck and have fun!
Content Copyright © 2016 Lauren Carr. All rights reserved.