Friday

An Interview with Lee Ann Ward, Author of DEVIL'S BAY

Lee Ann Ward
The Writer's Edge will periodically interview writers looking for a new novel breakout opportunity. Our first author in this series, Lee Ann Ward, is an award winning author in the romance genre and now hopes to be a rising star on the women's suspense and thriller novel scene. She is also a former editor for Champagne Books.

Log line for Devil's Bay: Known in years past as a courageous whistleblower who exposed billions in corporate corruption during the Iraq War, a high school teacher living a new life in small town USA finds her reputation smeared and her loved ones threatened after the corporate CEO she sent to prison begins to enact her merciless revenge.

WE: So what made you decide to take a break from romance and move into thriller fiction with Devil's Bay?

LAW: I was looking to write something different for a change, plus I'd heard the genre was a hot one for writers, but most importantly, the concept of a female version of Cape Fear was too good to pass up. The idea actually came up in a conversation at hotel bar in Seattle during the PNWA Conference... Matter of fact, the idea was so good I was astonished it had never been done. I jumped on Amazon that night and fished around for it, or something like it, but came up empty handed.

WE: What better time for a novel like this, especially now that women have far more presence in the corporate world?

LAW: Precisely, and IMO, the novel has more depth than the original because the story and theme involve a large infrastructure of corporate villains who have their talons in the government--a bit House of Cards in that way. There is more than one antagonist, but the primary one, Macallister Stone, is a super bitch worthy of challenging the Robert Di Nero or Mitchum character in Cape Fear. Being an ex-CEO of a defense company, she's shrewder and inspires more psychological terror.

WE: Well, we've read Devil's Bay, and it is fantastic. At the risk of sounding boilerplate, the story does seize you by the throat and squeeze tighter as each page turns. We adore the heroine Lexi and despise the corporate bastards out to destroy her and all she loves.

LAW: But we never leave the Cape Fear setting behind. She's living in a small town in Rhode Island, trying to reinvent herself and escape her past.

WE: Why did you choose a small town?

LAW: I like the original Cape Fear setting. She could get a job as a high school teacher there, reinvent herself and start over, plus it was cheap to live. As you know, her husband is ill and can't be a bread winner.

WE: By the way, we understand you'll be looking for an agent soon?

LAW: That's correct.

WE: Btw, does the novel have series potential?

LAW: Absolutely!