Today, I have another great interview for Mystery Thriller Week. Ronnie Allen, author of Aries: The Sign Behind The Sign, is joining me.
You are a psychologist writing psychological thrillers. Are your novels based on true events?Or perhaps just drawn from your training?
I am a New York State licensed School Psychologist and worked for the NYC Dept. Of Educ. for 33 years. In Gemini I had the career of the killer, the psychologist part, not the stripper. The content, in part, is from my experiences. I’m also a holistic health practitioner and what I teach my clients, my characters use. I call them Tools of Empowerment which are crystals, the Tarot, essential oils, among others. The main character of Gemini, forensic psychiatrist, Dr. John Trenton has been psychic and clairvoyant since he was a toddler and he communicates with his spirit guide, Max, as I do with mine. In Aries, Detective Samantha Wright is first coming to terms with her intuitive abilities.
The titles of your Sign Behind the Crime series are astrological signs. Is this just a plot device or is astrology an important aspect in your everyday life?
It’s a plot device. The symbolism of the sign is what gives clues to solving the crime. I’ll read my horoscope but I’d don’t do the charts and work with the astrological houses. I’m not an astrologist.
What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you while writing or researching the Sign Behind the Crime series?
The novels are classified as steamy romance so it’s quite funny when my husband’s friends go over to tell him how lucky he is.
Plotter or Pantser? Explain.
Definitely a plotter. I can work in my notebook 5 months or more before I start to type. Bc I did that, Aries flowed out of my brain onto paper in three months ten days for 122k words and was accepted by my publisher two weeks after submission. I do allow my characters to take me into plot twists and turns and develop their own roles. When I do that, the plot is better for it. It’s a way of getting into deep pov by allowing the mind of the character to take over.
What’s your favorite part about the writing process?
I love it when my mind opens and the words flow giving me a cohesive scene. Getting into deep pov is important to me bc I want to avoid head hopping. Writing is also a catharsis. I can work through angry situations and get revenge. For example, I found my books on a privacy site using YouTube. My publisher got the books down. But I used piracy as a subplot in Scorpio which is coming out in Sept.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
In all honesty, I hadn’t had any. I had a three rating for Aries bc the reader was not into the level of sex and she ‘the relationship between the main characters was very sexual.’ How did I react? I didn’t. The rest of the review was exemplary.
What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?
Perseverance and the motto of ‘never give up.’
Tell us about your next release. Can we expect more Sign Behind the Crime books? And when can we expect it?
Scorpio is coming out in September 2017 and I’m writing Libra now. Scorpio is book 3 and the characters from Gemini and Aries are in Scorpio with their own plots. Detective Samantha Wright and Dr. Frank Khaos of Aries own the story, though. Scorpio is a romantic suspense unless my publisher wants to continue the label romantic thriller. To me, it’s more suspense and the plot is pushed and is dominated by the romance. It’s very intense emotionally for the characters with my first male serial killer. I wrote a female killer in Gemini, a group of female killers in Aries, and I wanted to shake it up with a male killer.
Book title: Aries
Series: The Sign Behind The Sign
Author: Ronnie Allen
Genre: romantic thriller
Published: traditionally published by Black Opal Books Jan. 2016
Lying. Deception. Cover-ups. Anger. Revenge. Death. That’s what happens when an Aries-obsessed killer combines black magick rituals, knives…and murder. Samantha Wright, a rookie NYPD detective, gets her first case, a big one, by stumbling over the body while jogging in the park. Sam has a lot to prove, both to herself and to her new precinct, on this serial murder case involving fashion icons in NYC. Together with a rough around the edges BJJ fighter, forensic psychiatrist, Frank Khaos, Sam chases down leads through the five boroughs of NYC. As the bodies pile up, sparks fly and Sam and Frank, polar opposites, go from their dislike for each other to setting the sheets on fire. But their main suspect is hooked up to an IV in a hospital bed, so how has she pulled off five murders in seven days? And can Sam and Frank stop her before even more innocent lives are lost?
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About the author
Ronnie Allen is a New York City native, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, where she was a teacher in the New York City Department of Education for 33 years including the obtaining of a New York State license as School Psychologist. Her various roles included classroom teacher, staff developer, crisis intervention specialist, and mentor for teachers who were struggling. Always an advocate for the child, Allen carries this through as a theme in her novel Gemini, with the reader seeing the horrors of child abuse through the eyes of three characters.
In the early 1990s she began a journey into holistic healing and alternative therapies and completed her PhD in Parapsychic Sciences in 2001. Along the way, Allen has picked up many certifications. She is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner as well as a crystal therapist, Reiki practitioner, metaphysician, dream analyst, and Tarot Master Instructor. She has taught workshops in New York City and in Central Florida where she now lives.
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