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Gwen Bishop, wife, mother, and struggling real estate agent, has two big fears: claustrophobia and being buried in suburban obscurity. When she signs her dream listing, a multi-million dollar beachfront property in Laguna Beach, California, she’s sure her problems are behind her. And they would be, if it wasn’t for the secret in the basement and the body in an upstairs bedroom.
When the crime scene tape comes down, Gwen enlists the aid of a handsome co-worker with a background in construction to help her ready the house for sale and bolster her flagging courage. But every time they’re ready to put it back on the market, something goes horribly wrong. She must face old fears and new ones, temptations and buried truths. Gwen is determined to sell the dream house—or die trying.
Greta, welcome to Island Confidential and congratulations on A Margin of Lust. Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist?
Gwen Bishop is the mother of three school aged kids, the wife of a Lutheran School Principal and a real estate agent. She was a stay-at-home mother until her youngest started full days at the Lutheran school and has only been back in the work force for about three years when the book opens.
Gwen’s a type A personality. The lust she struggles with is primarily for prestige and financial success. Although she is attracted to one of her co-workers, that’s not the kind of lust that defines her. Her greatest fears are claustrophobia and being buried in suburban obscurity.
Hmm…Greta and “Gwen” are not dissimilar names. Coincidence? How much are you like Gwen?
Gwen’s degree was in Performing Arts, and she’d planned to be an actor. She gave up that dream when she married Art. My second major was also Drama and that was my plan. She has a conversation with her husband, then fiance, in which he tells her he just couldn’t stand watching her do love scenes with other men. That scene was pretty true to my life. My husband, then fiance, told me he didn’t think he could be married to an actor for the same reason.
Other than that, Gwen and I aren’t much alike. She’s much more driven than I am, has a much hotter temper, and she’s more impulsive. I would love to hang out with her. Despite her flaws, she has a big heart, good sense of humor, and I think she’s interesting.
Will your characters change and evolve throughout the series?
Each of the stories in my series has (will have) a different protagonist. The main character’s story will have the strongest arc. However, many characters make appearances in several, if not all, the books. Olivia, who is the mother of one of Art’s students in book one, is the main character in the second book in the series, The Scent of Wrath, out this December. Art plays a small role in that book as well.
I do try to add some hints about what’s happened in character’s lives between stories if it fits. For instance, I left some of the marriage issues between Gwen and Art a bit open-ended at the end of A Margin of Lust, but fill in some of those details in The Scent of Wrath.
Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean?
I’ve joked about it frequently, but no, not really. I don’t like readers to get too attached to my victims, so the victims are either very minor characters, or the crimes happen off set. I don’t like to read stories that are too horrifying or too sad, so I don’t write them. However, there are personality traits that annoy me and I do build characters with those traits into the stories. Maybe I’ll kill one someday, you never know.
How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?
By and large the settings are real. A Margin of Lust is set primarily in Laguna Beach, California. The street names are real and I try to give a sense of the place. The house where many of the crimes happen is completely fictional. There are no homes in Laguna that have basements created from a warren of caves tunneling into the cliffs. But how cool would it be if there was!
When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?
A: Oh, that’s hard. I know a lot of writers have actors in their heads as they write, but I see my characters as unique people. I guess I’d cast Connie Britton, the actor who plays the mother in Friday Night Lights, as Gwen, Liam Neeson as Art, and Ryan Gosling as Lance.
What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author?
The worst advice I’ve gotten is all the “rule” stuff, like never use adverbs, or don’t spend time on settings or descriptions, or never use any dialogue tag but “said.” While too much of a good thing is like too much icing on a cake, it’s still nice to have some icing. I find when I focus on what you’re not supposed to do, it inhibits my writing. I’d rather go back and cut if I’ve overdone things than get myself all tied in knots afraid to put a word on the page.
The best advice I’ve gotten is to be persistent. Every author you’ve ever read received tons of rejection before they got a publishing contract. Every New York Times bestselling author has hundreds of one star reviews. You just have to put your head down, write the next story and hope each is better than the last.
About the Author
Greta Boris is the author of the 2017 releases, A Margin of Lust and The Scent of Wrath, the first two books in her 7 Deadly Sins domestic suspense series. She’s also the Director of O.C. Writers, a community of over 800 published and aspiring authors in Orange County, California.
She’s published articles on culture, health, and entertainment for a variety of national magazines including Victorian Homes, Zombies, 50 Scariest Movies, Exodus, and Women of the Bible. She’s also the author of the Amazon Kindle Bestseller The Wine and Chocolate Workout – Sip, Savor, and Strengthen for a Healthier Life.
You can visit her at http://gretaboris.com. She describes her work (and her life) as an O.C. housewife meets Dante’s Inferno