Busted is a new romantic crime caper by my dear friend, Diane Kelly. With a .38 on her hip and 38DD’s on her chest, motorcycle cop Marnie Muckleroy is fully equipped and ready for action. Having recently divorced and relocated from Dallas to the small Texas town where she was born and raised, Marnie is also ready for romance. The story line is a fun and romantic, but also deals with serious issues such as alcoholism, Police Officer PTSD after killing someone, and identity theft.
Diane Kelly is one of the funniest and most creative people I know. Here is my interview with her about Busted.
1. What book category does Busted fall in? This story straddles three genres in my opinion – romance, mystery, and women’s fiction. While the romance is a major plot line along with the crime caper, Marnie’s need to repay her karmic debt is central to the story, too. The depth is typical of women’s fiction, but I’ve tossed in a lot of humor that makes it not fall neatly into that category. I broke a lot of rules with this one! Haha.
2. Will Busted become a series? While Marnie’s story is complete (at least for now!), I plan to release another female motorcycle cop book in the spring called “Another Big Bust.” I’ve had fun with this concept, so there will likely be more to follow after that, too. So it will be a series of female biker cops, but with a different heroine in each one.
3. Have you ever lived in a small town like Jacksboro? When I was very young (preschool through 2nd grade), I lived in Papillion, Nebraska, which is near Omaha. It was very much like Jacksboro. People were friendly, the community was close knit, and the pace was slow. A very nice place to call home. I also recently lived in a small town called Thompson’s Station, Tennessee that was very charming and slow-paced. I live in the quaint town of Hillsborough, North Carolina now. Hillsborough has a lot of interesting early-American history and easy access to the Raleigh-Durham metro area, so I get the best of both worlds.
4. What did you enjoy the most about the characters in Busted? I liked how Marnie has been through some very difficult things herself, but has the heart to reach out and help others even while she is still trying to heal. I liked writing characters who feel like real people rather than idealized versions of people. Marnie is no wispy waif. Rather, she’s a full-figured woman who jokes about her “badonkydonk” butt. The characters are flawed and, while attractive in their own ways, are not the type who would normally be depicted on the cover of a romance novel. This cast definitely bent the mold.
5. Were you inspired by any real-life people when writing this? My inspiration for a female motorcycle cop came when driving to my day job years ago. I passed a car that was pulled over by a motorcycle cop and did a double take when I realized the cop was a woman. I’d never seen a female motorcycle cop before and found the idea to be very intriguing. My book ideas always start with the main character, and it’s usually a woman in a non-traditional role. No glass ceilings in my books!
6. Your novels are often about strong, independent women. Which of your characters is the most like you? I’d have to say my Tara Holloway character is probably the most like me. She has my same sassy sense of humor and people tend to underestimate her because she looks benign. We both have an accounting background and fascination with white-collar crime. Unlike Tara, though, I have no idea how to handle a gun.