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Darla caught up with Anne Frasier in April to chat about her current release, SLEEP TIGHT. Be sure to join Anne this week (April 28) for the discussion of SLEEP TIGHT on the NAL Authors bulliten board.

Visit Anne at the NAL Authors website at www.NALAuthors.com.

April 2003
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Writerspace: Could you please tell us about your current release, SLEEP TIGHT?

Anne Frasier: SLEEP TIGHT features Mary Cantrell and Anthony Spence, two FBI agents who made a brief appearance in HUSH. Set in Minneapolis and St. Paul, it's about a guy who is looking for the perfect woman. His victims always end up disappointing him, which leaves him no recourse but to kill them.

Writerspace: SLEEP TIGHT has three stories going on at once--a serial killer mystery, the family problems between Mary and her sister Gillian, and the years-old murder that drove the wedge between Mary and Gillian. Was it difficult combining the three stories?

Anne Frasier: Sometimes it was a little hard keeping everything straight, and I almost had to think of them as three individual stories.

Writerspace: Your heroine, Mary Cantrell, is an FBI agent. Can you tell us a little about what kind of research you did to make her so realistic? How difficult is it to research something as secretive as the FBI?

Anne Frasier: The FBI isn't as secretive as it used to be, plus the local Minneapolis FBI is always recruiting, so they have to keep their doors open. I was given a tour of the downtown FBI building. Well, not just me. I was allowed to join a group of junior high boys who couldn't wait to see where the guns were kept. Their salivating interest in the weapon vault was disturbing. I also took night classes at the University of Minnesota taught by people in the homicide field such as FBI agents, coroners, and crime scene investigators.

Writerspace: The serial killings were seriously creepy. Did you have to leave all the lights on when you were writing it the way I did when I was reading it? Do you enjoy reading keep-all-the-lights-on stories like SLEEP TIGHT yourself, or do you relax by reading something different?

Anne Frasier: In October, college students in my area began disappearing. This spring, one of the bodies was found at St. Anthony Falls, exactly where a body in SLEEP TIGHT is found. That is seriously creepy.

When I was writing romance, I always read horror novels. And I've always been a big fan of horror movies. Now, when I get a chance to read, it's usually something my son or daughter recommends. The last book was David Eggers', A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS. I loved it.

Writerspace: Mary and Gillian's mother, Blythe, was a welcome, whimsical touch. What inspired you to make her an artist and use the pottery competition to ease tensions between the main characters? Personal experience, research, the movie GHOST...?

Anne Frasier: Mary is pretty, well, stuffy, so I wanted to create a character who was the total opposite. I wanted Blythe to be kind of a modern day hippie/feminist, and hippies and pottery just seem to go together. I have to admit I never thought of the movie GHOST. I don't know why, because it's so obvious now!

Writerspace: SLEEP TIGHT is your second suspense novel writing as Anne Frasier, but you've published other books before as Theresa Weir. What is different about your Anne Frasier books, and what prompted the change of names?

Anne Frasier: The first thing romance readers might notice is the lack of sex. Even though there is an undercurrent of attraction between the main characters, it simply doesn't work for them to lose focus. Anne Frasier books can also be graphic, and may not be for the squeamish. With romances, I always kept my eyes open when describing things; I do the same with suspense. As far as the name change -- it was completely dictated by the marketing department.

Writerspace: You've written romance and suspense. What attracts you to these two genres, and which is your favorite? Do you see yourself continuing with suspense, or are you interested in any other genres?

Anne Frasier: I've wanted to write straight suspense for over ten years. When I was writing for Bantam in the early nineties, I remember sending my editor a proposal for a straight suspense. She told me they already had ONE person writing suspense; they didn't need another. Which goes to prove it's all in the timing. A year later, she may have accepted the proposal. Right now I'm enjoying writing suspense, but I'm always open to fresh ideas -- and romance is still appealing. I'd love to be able to add a supernatural or element of the unexplained to the Anne Frasier books, but that idea never gets very far in the publishing house. I have a friend who is a ghosthunter, and I've joined her on several hunts. I can tell you there is nothing scarier than the unseen and unexplainable!

Writerspace: There's a short but very tantalizing excerpt in the back of SLEEP TIGHT. Is this from your next novel? What can you tell us about your next book and when can we expect it?

Anne Frasier: As yet untitled, it takes place in Savannah, and is about as close to supernatural as I'm going to get right now. I loved writing this book because I was able to build it around local superstition, Gullah culture, belief in white and black magic, zombies, and root work -- which is a form of regional herbalism, spiritualism and magic. The book, scheduled for a May 2004 release, is dark, but at the same time has more humor than my last two.


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