Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Deadly Lies description is this:
Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past…
As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather's cruel abuse. Now as an adult, Jill's made it - she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.

The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant - until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview - and suddenly all of it comes rushing back. Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.

Meanwhile, Alex is pulled into a case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe the murderer could be someone close to him… 
“Chris Patchell”s debut novel, Deadly Lies, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.”—Kevin O’Brien, New York Times Bestselling Author of Unspeakable.

When Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books.
Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood.
Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I live every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior."

Where are you from?
I’m a long way from home. Born and raised in Sticksville Ontario, Canada (okay, it’s really not called Sticksville), my husband and I moved as far west as we could without falling into the Pacific Ocean. After spending five years in Vancouver, BC, we moved to the Seattle area. Since then, fifteen years have passed in the blink of an eye. Two kids and a decade and a half later, we’re still here, both working in tech and me writing suspense novels. It’s a good life.
Tell us your latest news.
I’m finishing the last major edit cycle on my latest novel. It’s a story about a woman’s whose daughter goes missing and her desperate search to find her. Also set in the Northwest, it features a couple of flawed heroes as well as a few really awesome bad guys.
I’m super-excited to be almost finished this book. Once I release it into the wild I can fully focus on some of my new projects.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I had the great pleasure of meeting New York Times Bestselling Author, Erica Bauermeister through her husband. Ben was my mentor at work, and when he told Erica I was a writer, she graciously offered to read an earlier draft of DEADLY LIES. I was scared to death when I sent her the manuscript, because by then, I’d read her first book. It’s a gorgeous literary novel called THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS. For days I waited on pins and needles for some feedback. A few days later, it finally came, and Erica liked the book! I think that was the first time I actually felt like a real writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I fell in love with writing early on, and long to escape into the dark corners of my imagination as often as I can. DEADLY LIES was inspired by an idea – a woman logs into her husband’s computer and finds something, an image. Days later, she can’t shake the image from her head. So she goes back and finds out that her husband has a secret life. And now that she knows about it, she can’t look away. But that particular setup felt cliché. Why is it always the husband who is up to no good? What if the wife is out doing bad things? And what if her husband is a cop?  How far would she go to protect her secrets? That was the original idea behind DEADLY LIES.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like casting strong female characters in traditional male roles. This is one of the things I like about Jill Shannon, the antihero protagonist in DEADLY LIES. I tend to write complicated storylines with dual plots that circle around each other and meld together in a searing climax. And really, there is no better setting for gritty thrillers than the Pacific Northwest. The mountains, forests, ocean, and rain provide great atmosphere. My mother would tell you that although she likes my books, she thinks my characters swear too much. Clearly I did not learn those words from her. J
How did you come up with the title?
The book was originally called Mirror Mirror, to reflect the dual nature of the protagonist Jill’s personality. As the story evolved though, I realized that there was far more to Jill’s story, and the major theme of the first book was all about deception. The title DEADLY LIES reflects the true nature of the secrets Jill keeps.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Life is full of shades of grey, not necessarily in the stripped-down-armed-with-a-whip Christian Gray kind of way. The characters are flawed and nuanced with good and bad in each. Personally, I love exploring the darker side of human nature in fiction.
How much of the book is realistic?
Ha! My husband would say that 90% of our lives are represented in the book. That’s totally not true! I just want to say, for the record, I’ve never actually killed anyone. But having said that, there are certainly some similarities between my life and Jill’s. We both work for software companies that are based in San Jose, but have offices in Seattle. We both have good husbands. I’ve been to all of the places in the book, and try to capture the unique essence of each setting. I’m always thrilled when readers tell me that the characters in the book ring true.
Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Can I plead the fifth on this one? Seriously though, this is a story entirely borne of imagination. That said there are little bits of my everyday world sprinkled in there - small things that could be as simple as a character’s gesture, or a phrase. Sometimes I see a situation in real life, and think, hmmm…. What if… Reality sparks ideas that can be fanned into the flames of fiction.
What books have most influenced your life?
THE GREAT SANTINI, by Pat Conroy was the first book I fell in love with. Nobody writes characters like Pat Conroy, and the gorgeous prose that flows from his pen (or word processor), is like music to my ears. I know it’s cliché to say this, but Stephen King is amazing. I read a lot of his early stuff –THE STAND, NEEDFUL THINGS, THE SHINING, but I’m an even bigger fan of his later works (DUMA KEY and UNDER THE DOME), I could go on and on. His characters are layered and conflicted in brilliant ways. When it comes to legal thrillers, Richard North Patterson is my king. EXILE is my favourite. Kevin O’Brien’s thrillers VISCIOUS and TELL ME YOU’RE SORRY are great reads. I also enjoy Lisa Gardner’s suspense novels. I just finished her book TOUCH AND GO, and couldn’t put it down. It kept me reading until one in the morning.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
That’s easy. New York Times Bestselling Author, Kevin O’Brien! Not only is Kevin a great writer (I’m a big fan of his thrillers that keep me frantically turning pages to the end), he’s also been a wonderful mentor. He wrote an endorsement for DEADLY LIES and is always wiling to answer questions or lend a hand. I admire the way he treats every person he meets with kindness and respect. Oh, and did I mention he’s hysterically funny? Going to one of his book readings is like showing up for a stand-up comedy routine. I’m a big fan.
What book are you reading now?
I always have two or three books on the go. Because I have a heinous commute into Seattle every day, I listen to audiobooks and a mountain of books stacked precariously on my bedside table. Right now I’m listening to THE WAYWARD PINES series by Blake Crouch. I’m also reading CLOSE TO HOME, by Lisa Jackson, and have downloaded MY SISTER’S GRAVE, by Seattle’s own Robert Dugoni onto my Kindle.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
As I mentioned above, I’m loving THE WAYWARD PINES series by Blake Crouch. They’re fast-paced books with a great cast of characters and some chilling twists and turns. Oh, and I recently finished reading SIGN OF THE CROSS by Canadian writer, Anne Emery. I’ll be looking for more of her books soon!
What are your current projects?
I’m working on a new mystery set on Whidbey Island. While my other books tend to be dark and gritty, this one has a markedly different tone. Told from a first person point of view, the protagonist is sarcastic, and funny, and totally in denial. So when he’s forced to face a horrible truth about his past, he’s fully ill equipped to dive headlong into his journey of self-discovery. I’m having a blast writing this story. I think my readers will like it too.
What would you like my readers to know?

My books are fast fun reads that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With any luck they’ll keep you up reading well past your bedtime, turning pages into the wee hours of the night. Sorry about that. If you wake up a little grumpy for work the next day, here’s what I’d prescribe: Tylenol, a stiff cup of coffee, and a couple more chapters (because they’re short, and you can read them over breakfast before you hop in your car). 

To learn more about Chris and her debut novel, DEADLY LIES, visit
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting Chris today. Fab interview. x