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!