Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Meet Cara Putnam - Interview & Book Giveaway

Cara PutnamToday I’m thrilled to present Cara Putnam, author of Deadly Exposure (Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense #102) Let’s meet Cara!


Cara describes herself as “an attorney, wife, mom, women's ministry leader, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband, and my kids, that is.” In her "spare" time she serves as publicity officer for American Christian Fiction Writers ( and adviser to the Indiana chapter.


JA: Your latest book is Deadly Exposure from Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Please tell us about it.
CP: I love suspense mixed with a good romance, and that’s what Deadly Exposure is. Here’s the blurb:

How could a killer strike in a crowded theater? That was the question plaguing TV news reporter Dani Richards. She'd been in the box next to the victim -- and hadn't heard or seen a thing. Now the very man who broke Dani's heart years ago is investigating the murder. And when her coverage of the story led the killer to stalk her, police officer and former flame Caleb Jamison insisted on protecting her. Dani was afraid to let Caleb close again. Yet she had no choice. The killer's sinister phone calls left no doubt that he'd come for Dani next.
JA: Your heroine, Dani Richards, is a TV news reporter. Caleb Jamison, the hero, is a police officer. Did you have to do much research to nail down these characters’ professions?
CP: Actually not as much as you’d think. I worked at a small TV station in Nebraska for two years during college, so had an up-close experience with that field. After that I trained aspiring journalists, designed a TV studio, and even served as a panelist on a Gen X Crossfire type show, so kept my fingers firmly in that arena. I’ve always loved broadcast journalism, so it was fun to go back to the field – even if it was only in my mind and write Dani.

For Caleb I did a lot of research on how the Lincoln Police Department is setup, but because of my legal background had a good handle on the investigative side. I also have read several books on the investigative side, so felt pretty comfortable about getting the facts right.

Cara Putnam - Deadly ExposureJA: Was there a certain incident or “ah ha” moment that inspired this story?
CP: Actually, my husband and I were brainstorming in the car. I knew I wanted to start writing and that first book would be a suspense. I picked Lincoln as a setting because I’ve lived in Lincoln and still visit there, so it was an “easy” setting to picture and capture. At the same time, I liked the idea of a feisty journalist for the heroine. And again that was a comfortable role. Then I tried to think about something that would make a unique place for a murder. The rest flowed out of those initial ideas.

JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Deadly Exposure?
CP: That God is a rock and a fortress. Even when we don’t acknowledge Him, He can be that for us if we’ll just turn to Him.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
CP: I’m getting ready to start a new three book World War Two series. I love finding homefront stories that can serve as the backbone of the romances, and can’t wait to dive into the research. I’m also writing a Complete Idiots Guide this summer. Should be a fun twist and return to my legal roots. I’m also working on a couple suspense proposals.

JA: You’ve been writing since you were a teen but put the dream on hold until a fortuitous meeting at book signing event in 2005. This is the kind of story I love to hear! Would you care to tell us about that?
CP: Wow! You’ve done your research LOL. I’ve loved to read since I could pick out words. And out of that grew a desire to write my own books. I tried my hand at it as a teen, and then got busy with life. But the dream would burble back to the surface every few years. I’d hold it in my hands and ask God if it was time to kill it, breathe life into it, or put it back on the shelf. For years, He said wait. So I’d read novels, pick up how to write books at the library, and wait.

Then in April 2005, I went to a booksigning at my local Parables store. I was determined, almost obsessed, with getting to that event – to the point I think my husband wondered what was up. I thought I just wanted to meet Colleen Coble. God knew much more would come out of it. Colleen and I were chatting, when Eric asked her if I’d mentioned I wanted to be a writer. Colleen lit up in her special way, and the next thing I know I have marching orders.

I emailed her a quick thank you, and followed her advice. She truly was the midwife for this book. She encouraged me every step of the way and has become a dear friend in the process.

JA: As well as being a writer, you’re also a lawyer, a wife and a mom. How do you manage it all?
CP: I don’t. :+} I’ve stepped back from the law a bit. I teach business law at Purdue and take on only the cases that interest me right now. I’m trying to pour as many of my daytime hours into my kids as I can…and combining work at the firm and homeschooling had become a challenge. I don’t sleep much, but I know I’m right where God wants me for right now.

JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
CP: I am a HUGE college football fan, especially when the Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing. :+} I also come from a very competitive game playing family. The card game of choice: ten point pitch.

JA: Are there any books in your “to-be-read” pile that you just can’t wait to dig into?
CP: Denise Hunter’s Convenient Groom; I’m reading Diann Hunt’s For Better or For Worse, and I can’t wait to read Colleen’s new book Anathema.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
CP: I blog weekdays at I post reviews of great Christian fiction that I’m reading. Update folks on my books and writing life, and even include snapshots at life in general. I also have a website: I routinely update it as well.
Thanks so much for having me, Jennifer.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Cara. May God continue to bless you in your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Deadly Exposure just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll combine the responses of my Blogger and ShoutLife blogs to pick a winner at random on May 14th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) ShoutLifers will be contacted via ShoutMail. Good luck


stampedwithgrace said...

thanks for sharing! we love playing card games too!
I would love to read your newest book :)

ChristyJan said...

What a busy woman!
Please enter me to wina copy of Deadly Exposure.

Julie Lessman said...

Great interview Jen and Cara!! And, oh my, but this book sounds good!! Please include me in the drawing.

And, Cara, I did not know you were a lawyer ... Look out, John Grisham!!


Carolynn W. said...

Oh, the book sounds exciting and sweet, please enter me, thanks!

kamewh said...

Sounds like a great book! Thank you for the giveaway!

windycindy said...

Hi, I have read many of Cara's interviews. She is one busy lady and due to have her third child any day
now! I really like most of the "Love Inspired" suspense books. Thanks for a super interview. Cindi

Toystory said...

Thank you. Would love to be entered.

Hil'Lesha said...

Sounds interesting. :)

Anonymous said...

What a great interview. The book sounds great and I would love to be entered in drawing.


Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. I've never heard of ten point pitch before.


Karin said...

Sounds like a great read. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.

Cheryl Shryack said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

annie said...

Thanks for this glimpse and for this chance. Interesting and intriguing.

tetewa said...

Sounds like a good read, count me in!

becca dowling said...

What a fascinating life, Cara! Thanks for the interview, Jen! Please enter me in the drawing.


ellie said...

I am captivated with this interview and have learned so much about Cara and her writing and her life. Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

ruth said...

Interesting interview and the book looks amazing. thanks for this chance.

Ausjenny said...

I love the look of this book and thanks for the interview please enter me
ausjenny (at) gmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in the drawing. The interview was great!

ladijo40 (at) aol (dot) com

Patty said...

This book sounds great. You really are busy Cara. Who could ask for better inspiration than Colleen Coble? What a great author! That's awesome that she was able to motivate you toward your calling. I look forward to reading your book.

pleblanc_1 at charter dot net

PC Williams said...

What an interesting story! I look forward to reading your book!


kamewh said...

Great interview! Thank you for the giveaway!

Toystory said...

Sounds really good...put me in please

Charlotte Schofield said...

Please enter me in the contest


anne said...

Enjoyed the interview which gave me a look into your novel which I find appealing, Thanks for this lovely giveaway.

Jennifer AlLee said...

The winner of Cara's book is kamewh.

Congrats to you and thanks to everyone who stopped by!