today the spotlight is on the first book in the Adult, Mystery, Thriller Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City Serie: First Case Scenario by Annemarie DeClark, and I have her here for few questions.
Hi Annemarie, and thank you for coming by! So, who is the main character in FIRST CASE SCENARIO?
Harlee O’Conner. Detroit Police Officer Harlee O’Conner is nothing shy of a smart, bold, quick-witted gal who likes to show the boys how a girl gets the job done. As strange as this may sound, my inspiration for her character came from a Victoria’s Secret Supermodel strutting her stuff on a fashion show runway. I took that boldness—that fierce confidence that each of those women exhibits on the runway—and I put it inside a Detroit cop. I wrote the book in the first-person point of view, through the eyes of Harlee, because I wanted my readers to be able to put themselves in her shoes and see the world through her eyes. FIRST CASE SCENARIO is essentially the day-to-day adventure story of a Detroit Police Officer turned undercover homicide detective.
Which character was your favorite to write?
Even though the book is written through the eyes of Harlee O’Conner and I love her character, my favorite character to write is Liam Garrison. Liam is Detroit’s Premier Detective and he is the head of the Homicide Division. He’s the one who recruits Harlee at the beginning of the story to go undercover to help him solve the case. My inspiration for his character came a little bit from Bruce Wayne and a little bit from Clark Kent, but it came primarily from my love for James Bond. More specifically, it came from my favorite James Bond of all time… Sir Sean Connery. I wanted a sexy, confident male and I felt Sean Connery did sexy and confidence like no other James Bond.
What changes were made from the first draft of the novel to what was published?
In FIRST CASE SCENARIO, Harlee’s best friend is a fellow police officer named Eddie Kavanaugh. Although he’s a bit of a klutz, he’s a genuinely nice guy. Readers empathize with Eddie and one of the most common things I hear from them is how much they love his character. And then they gasp in disbelief when I tell them Eddie Kavanaugh didn’t even exist in the first draft of the book. Adding him was the best change I made to the manuscript.
In addition to adding Eddie, I also changed Liam Garrison’s character. Initially, he was a flirtatious womanizer. But, I over did it and my beta readers hated his character. As my leading male, I knew I had to change his personality. I had to create a character that my female readers would love. I had to create a confident male who didn’t come off as an arrogant playboy. So, I scrapped the old Liam and instead created a conservative character who was a sexy, yet polite gentleman.
One of the other important changes I made was to the ending. It was anti-climactic. My beta readers encouraged me to write something that would put readers on the edge of their seats wondering what was going to happen next. So, I took their advice and rewrote it.
Thank you Annemarie! And here’s the story!
Most cops walk a beat. She dances to one.
Undercover and using moves she didn’t learn at the Detroit Police Academy, Harlee races to identify the cold case murderer who has struck again. While juggling a charming ex-fiancé, a friend with benefits, and a partner who is too darn handsome for his own good, Harlee begins socializing with the potential suspects outside of work… until the killer learns of her double identity.
This mystery has a perfect blend of humor, sexiness and suspense. It is the first novel in the Harlee’s Whodunit in the Motor City Series.
(Although this conversation does not appear in the book, it sets up what the story is about)
I stared at Liam wide-eyed and open-mouthed. We were sitting across from each other at Rosita’s Mexican Grill enjoying our drinks. Rather, he was enjoying his Corona while I sat in stunned silence, too shocked to continue sipping my raspberry margarita.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” he asked casually, after scooping salsa with a tortilla chip.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “Could you please run that by me one more time?”
He finished his chip then licked salsa from his thumb. “I’m at a complete standstill with my latest homicide investigation. I need you to go undercover as a stripper to help me solve this case.”
“I’m a police officer, Liam. I don’t strip… anymore. Besides, there’s no such thing as an undercover homicide detective. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Come on, O’Conner. I know you can handle this. Without your help, a cold-blooded killer may get away with murder.”
I sighed heavily and considered the oath I took eight years ago, when I was sworn into the Detroit Police Department. Probably it didn’t include anything about having to work as an undercover stripper. Then again, I did swear to protect and serve the community to the best of my ability. Was this situation included in that promise? Was I morally obligated to return to my Stripper Sabrina roots for the betterment of society?
“You’re my only hope for getting inside that club,” Liam pleaded.
“You know, Detective, if you wanted to see my tits and ass that badly, probably you could have found an easier way.”
He froze with a tortilla chip halfway to his mouth. “This is not about me seeing your… goods. This is about you investigating a homicide.”
“I don’t want to investigate a homicide. I’d rather show you my goods.”
“You’re a real handful, Harlee O’Conner, a real handful indeed.”
“Say I’m a real handful with great tits and a smoking hot ass and I’ll agree to this undercover gig.”
Liam folded his arms across his chest and stared at me with his stone cold, pissed off cop face.
“Okay, okay,” I finally caved. “I’ll do it. When do I start?”
- $20 Amazon gift card