Monday, February 29, 2016

Alice K. Arenz's "An American Gothic"

It's nice to have Alice K. Arenz with us today talking about her novel, An American  Gothic

BIO:  2010 ACFW Carol Award winning author, Alice K. Arenz, has been writing since she was a child. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her first three novels were honored by two finals and one win in ACFW’s Carol Award: cozy mysteries The Case of the Bouncing Grandma (a 2009 finalist), The Case of the Mystified M.D., (2010 winner), and mystery/suspense Mirrored Image (a 2011 finalist)—all re-released by Forget Me Not Romances, a division of Winged Publications.  Her newest book, a mystery/romantic suspense, An American Gothic was released in August 2015. Visit her at her website
An American Gothic—mystery/romantic suspense      

She came to Foxxemoor to write a mystery, not to become part of one...

Devastated by the death of a child in her care, Lyssie's heart strings are tugged when she finds another child in danger. Amid past secrets, lies, and betrayals of an old college friend's family, she must choose a twin brother to trust. If she makes the wrong decision, she could not only lose her own life, but also the life of the child she's come to love. Link:

 1) Why did you choose to write this book?
I grew up reading—devouring—the romantic suspense/gothic novels of writers like Phyllis A. Whitney, Mary Stewart, Daphne Du Maurier, Victoria Holt and so very many others. Those were the books that allowed my imagination to soar, took me to other lands, other times. I wanted to try to capture a bit of that classic romantic suspense with a slightly modern twist.

2) What did you learn while writing this book?
That the classic romantic suspense novel is still alive and well—and ready to surprise and intrigue those willing to give it a chance.

3) What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?
That would have to be the queries that remained unanswered or, worse, the ones answered that were enough to wallpaper my old 1008 sq. ft. house. And as hard as those were, getting published and wondering if anyone would even like my writing—my “babies” that was almost harder.

4) What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of, writing-related or not?
My daughters. They’re AWESOME!  Thank you, God!!

5) Why do you write?
I write because that’s who I am, a part of the very core of me. It’s never been a conscious thing, that desire, that need. It’s kinda like air—just something I need to exist. Can I live without it. Yes. I’ve “quit” writing several times. It’s worked for a while, but even when my health has deteriorated, and I find it difficult to concentrate and sit at my computer, the stories lure me back—the characters crying to be let out. Sounds a little creepy in a way, but it’s the way it is. I know when I finally answer their call, when I sit at the desk with my eyes closed in prayer, my fingers hovering over the keyboard . . . when the words come without conscious thought, well, then I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

6) Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I’m definitely a seat-of-the-pants-writer, as I explained above. Not only don’t I know what I’m going to write as I’m going along, but it absolutely has to be in chronological order. Until I had to add 10,000 words to my first book, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, I hadn’t realized how important it was for everything to be chronological—probably because I’d never actually realized there was a difference, it was just the way I wrote. It took a lot of prayer and encouragement from my daughter and husband, and a lot more prayer before those 10,000+ word found their way naturally into the already completed manuscript. Is that a little OCD?  I don’t know.

7) What are you working on right now?
 With the help of my brilliant, computer-savvy son-in-law Greg, my novel Portrait of Jenny has been taken out of an old DOS word processing program and put into Word—intact! I’ve just finished the first run-through to make sure all the formatting is correct and now that’s down, I’ll begin the task of editing. While I always say it’s “bringing it up-to-date” that’s kind of a misnomer because I’ll keep the year intact—the middle 90s—but will, hopefully, update the language style to something a little less formal, I guess would be the correct terminology.
              Though Jenny has Christian overtones, it will probably be on Winged Publications more secular side.

 8) How can readers get in contact with you?
You can email me at  or visit my website
Check out all my books on Amazon—I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!