Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Keeping Secrets and Telling Lies

As a fellow author of romantic suspense, I do my share of spinning tales. I also aid and abet my characters as they keep certain secrets from others in the story and, sometimes, even from readers. But to keep secrets often means to cover one’s tracks. And in my recent Carina Press release, Lying Eyes, my characters did that by telling lies.

That’s probably a no-brainer, right? Any of us, when pressed to reveal a secret that would put us in danger would be tempted to tell a lie instead. In books, it heightens the stakes because as readers we know that character is lying. We see the danger. We may already know the secret that’s being hidden. And our pulse quickens as we turn pages, worrying about when the lie will falter and the secret revealed.

In Lying Eyes, everyone in Las Vegas is keeping secrets. It leads to danger but also, due to my off-center sense of humor, some madcap mayhem. My heroine is a jewelry designer whose father, a rather wily magician and sometime con artist, has disappeared with ten million dollars in stolen gems. My hero is a determined cop deep undercover with the thieves. He wants to recover the gems, but he can’t trust the heroine because she’s a suspect. She won’t trust him because she thinks he’s a thief.

And yet, they have to work together if either wants to save the magician. An ideal romantic conflict.

The added twist to the secrets and lies in this story is that my heroine starts off the book lying to herself about a lot of givens in her life. She claims she’s happy. She claims she loves the man she’s agreed to marry. She claims her father drives her crazy and she wishes he’d leave her alone. She craves structure, routine and wants to lead a hum drum existence.

Needless to say, spending a couple days with the hero ducking killers forces her to trust her wits and instincts—and him!—more than her carefully laid plans. As secret after secret is revealed, she begins to recognize the lies she’s been telling herself for what they are. And that leads to a new level of emotional danger. Can she peel away her facade and reveal the woman inside?

In a key turning point for her character, she reacts to someone reminding her that she always wanted her crazy father out of her life. Her response? “I said it. I even believed it. But I never meant it.”

Oh, the lies we tell ourselves to hide secrets we’d rather not confront.

So, here’s today’s question: Have you ever told a lie about yourself? A simple yes or no will do (after all, it is the internet!), but feel free to expound if you like!

Thanks so much to Katie for inviting me, and huge congrats on her release!

For more info on Amy, visit her website or her blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


Sarah said...

Sounds like a fun book :-) I've added it to my wishlist. And as for your question, yes, I have told a lie about myself!

smaccall @ comcast.net

Amy Atwell said...

First off, thanks to Katie for inviting me to be here today. The whole danger and secrets theme is a great topic--for books and life.

Sarah, thanks for stopping by. I have also told a lie about myself. Hmmm, more than once, I suspect. Never with any malicious intent! I always felt like the circumstances warranted it.

Edie Ramer said...

Amy, almost every day I tell myself I'm going to eat less, and almost every day I don't. I guess I have a habit of lying to myself.

Amy Atwell said...

Edie, I suppose we all fall prey to lying TO ourselves even more than ABOUT ourselves. Thanks for sharing.

I just ate one of my Valentine Ferraro Roche chocolates. yeah, all sorts of denial going on around here today...

Jillian said...

Love this post- love danger!!! (in books, that is) - Yes, I have lied to myself- many, many times and maybe even once today!

Anne said...

I'll have to put Lying Eyes on my TBR list, it sounds really fun.

Absolutely I've lied ABOUT myself. Can't remember when was the last time, but I know I have. I'm not sure if I've ever lied TO myself though. I probably started to, but I probably wouldn't have allowed myself to go with it.

Katie Reus said...

Thanks so much for joining me today, Amy! Great post and I'm sure I've told a lie about myself. Probably more than once ;)

Stephanie said...

Yes. There is no way you can tell everyone everything about yourself.

smccar1 at hotmail dot com

Cathy M said...

Great post, Amy, and another book goes on my wish list. As for your question, that would be a big yep.

Amy Atwell said...

Thanks for stopping by, and I appreciate the supportive comments on Lying Eyes. It was so much fun to write, and I'm working my way through the sequel now. You know, for years I used to feel like I was lying when I told people I was a writer. Now when people ask what I do, I tell them "I make stuff up."

Diane said...

Interesting subject and I'm sure we all have lied to ourselves and to others; so yes!

donnas said...

Yes. And thats as far as I want to go with that.

Love the sound of your book. Looking forward to reading it.