Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adventures of an Evil Genius

Bestselling author and fourth-time RITA nominee (for the book we discussed in July, The Wicked Wyckerly) Patricia Rice joins us today with something that's new for her, a direct-to-electronic release, Evil Genius.

To keep the FTC happy, I'll disclose that Patricia sent me a free copy of the book. I finished it yesterday and loved it.

Welcome, Patricia! What made you decide to release this book independently?


This book has been sitting in a desk drawer for years. I love the characters, but even I have to admit that it does not neatly fit any market niche. I never even tried to circulate it in NY. I did spend those years removing it from hiding and paring it down so the mystery threads became stronger, but it's not a cozy and not a thriller. It's a mystery about people. And since NY knows me as a romance writer, I just decided not to fight the system but experiment with e-publishing.

Who is the Evil Genius?

That's completely a matter of opinion! There are several characters who could be tagged with that moniker although none of them are actually evil except the bad guys, and they're no geniuses. But nine-year-old Elizabeth Georgiana, who cynically predicts all the family disasters, is the one everyone calls EG.

Tell us about some of the people in EG’s world.

Ana Devlin is the central character, a self-confessed doormat for her family, an introvert by nature—which means she prefers being alone but is quite capable of emerging from her computer cave to punch the crap out of anyone harming her family. Although, being a genius in her own right, she usually does so creatively and without malice. Then there's Nick, Ana and EG's half brother who ought to be a movie star except he remembers numbers, not words. And then, let us not forget the spy in the attic…

What’s the big problem for the characters in this book?

EG's senator father is accused of killing his aide. That's the inciting incident anyway. After that, one thing leads to another and pretty soon they're not only tracking a killer but an international conspiracy and the man who stole their inheritance. See, I told you it doesn't fit any niches!

Is there a romantic arc?

I would hesitate to call it romantic at this stage, although if I have the opportunity to write future books, it will become so. Ana and the spy begin at a hostility level too high to turn it into romance by the end. Let's just say they learn to respect and appreciate each other.

Can we read an excerpt?

There's a link for downloading a .pdf of the first chapter on my website.

Were there challenges in independently publishing this book that you didn’t expect?

Working with bookviewcafe.com, which produced EVIL GENIUS for me, is pure pleasure, so the only real challenge is figuring out how one does promotion without a bookstore. Until I see a large enough demand for the book, I don't see a good reason to go to print yet, but I'm having a hard time adjusting to a "virtual" book. I can't even autograph it!

What’s next for you?

I'm always up to no good. DEVILISH MONTAGUE, the next of my regency rebellious sons, will be out in July. I believe the next reissue of MUST BE MAGIC will be out in spring 2012, probably about the same time as my first contemporary Malcolm/Ives, THE LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC. And just because I'm having too much fun with weird stuff, I've sold two urban fantasies, but they'll be published under a pseudonym so as not to distract from the romances.

And thank you, Bandits, for letting me stop by and say hi again. It's always a pleasure to be here!

It's always a pleasure to have you!

For more about Patricia Rice and her books, check out her website.

One commenter today will receive a .pdf version of Evil Genius, so tell us--what's your favorite book or that's "offbeat" or didn't strike you as fitting a niche? Or what's your favorite mystery or series featuring a quirky family?

54 comments:

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Patrcia! Welcome back to the LAIR!!!

Did I nab the bird?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Aha! I did! C'mon, Chookie! Let's get you settled for the night, we've got a LONG day tomorrow. Bwaha-ha-ha-ha!

Patricia, I really loved the concept of this book. It sounds like a heck of a read, and Nancy and I have very similar taste. Grins. I'm bound to enjoy it!

As to quirky or offbeat, I'm always up for that. In fact I tend to gravitate to that. I think Lorna Landvik's women's fiction books are quite that way and I thoroughly enjoyed those. :> Otherwise, I'm drawing a blank. Probably because it's really late. Grins.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Patricia - This sounds great! Why is it that quirky characters seem to work so well in mystery? It's one of the traits I like about the genre. Like Jeanne, can't think of a quirky family right now, and I'll be on the road tomorrow (oops - guess that's today).

Helen said...

Well done Jeanne what are your plans for the GR today

Hi Patricia and Nancy
Great interview Ladies I have read about this book Patricia over at Word Wenches and I gotta say it sounds really good.

As for a mystery series with a quirky family that I am loving it would have to be Kate's Bibliophile series Brooklyn's family are wonderful.

Have Fun
Helen

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Pat! Loved seeing you at RT ... we had so much fun with Cathy Maxwell's elephant nose and Christina Skye's scarf design!

Hawaii has so many quirky families that entertain us without having to read a book. Grandmas are called Tutus and everyone's a cousin. Even my son is speaking pidgin (local dialect). As long as you are willing to say Aloha and Mahalo, you are Ohana (family) even if you are Haole (non Hawaiian).

Patricia Rice said...

I do love the Bandits! They're the only people I know who are up as early as I am. Yes, Landvik is totally cool. Dixie Cash has some great characters, too, but I'm really really bad at names, so I'd have to go to my bookshelves to find more. Oh, Terry Pratchett, goes without saying! Except I just said it.

Hi, Kim, waving from St Louis! We did have good fun at RT, didn't we? And I'm loving that shawl!

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Patricia & Nancy! Evil Genius sounds wonderful! I'm off to read your excerpt right after this!

But I wanted to say, when it comes to off-beat, break-the-mold stuff, I don't have much but I do love the way Jenny Crusie heroines never want kids of their own. They like other people's but have no desire to finish off their HEA with a screaming infant. As the mother of two of children (who I love and adore but are extremely loud) this gives me a warm fuzzy even if the romance community tends to be off put.

Mel Haffners Book Club said...

Hi Patricia,

I have already received your Ebook for Evil Genius and I am loving it. I am off to read more, no time to chat. I have to know what happens.

Love Mel Haffner

Nancy said...

Jeanne, congrats on the bird! Y'know, the Lair is populated with its share of quirky characters, isn't it?

Nancy said...

Donna, have a great trip and drive safely!

Nancy said...

Helen, Brooklyn does have a great, slightly kooky family, doesn't she? I think her next adventure is due in a week or two.

Nancy said...

Hi, Kim--

Thanks for the inside info on Hawaiian customs. Someday, I'm going to get there and check them out for myself. The closest I've gotten so far is buying the theme from Magnum, P.I., for my iPad.

Nancy said...

Hi, Patricia--I have a friend who loves Terry Pratchett, and Piers Anthony.

Eva Ibbotsen had quirky characters, though they weren't ofren families.

Nancy said...

Hi, Susan--I hadn't thought about Crusie and kids, but you've got a point. I loved Welcome to Temptation.

Nancy said...

Mel, thanks for stopping by.

Patricia Rice said...

Hey, Mel, happy to see you here! Glad you're enjoying the book, and I'm equally thrilled that e-books can go around the world so easily! (For anyone who doesn't know Mel, she's in Australia and has a great bookclub blog)

Love, adore, and admire Crusie. She's my idol.

I don't think the romance world is entirely against heroines who don't want children. Mine are grown so it's easy for me to love them again, but I've occasionally done a heroine or two who isn't too certain about brats. "G"

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

Congrats on your new release, Patricia. And welcome to the Lair today.

It's such an interesting new world where there actually is something we can do with those difficult-to-slot books. Hope you find much success with Evil Genius. It sounds like a fun story, particularly the EG girl. :)

jo robertson said...

Hi, Patricia, thanks for joing us today! "Evil Genius" sounds great and kudos to you for venturing into the direct-to-electronic world.

One of my favorite quirky families is the Stephanie Plum characters. They're hilarious, especially in the earlier books.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Helen!

You said: Well done Jeanne what are your plans for the GR today

Bwah-ha-ha! I'm going to put him to WORK!! He can use that fine,feathered tail for some dusting. I have company coming for Easter. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Oops, hit SEND too fast. Helen, I'm loving our own Kate Carlisle's Brooklyn Wainwright series too. And Nancy, you're right, I think Murder Under Cover will be out May 3. CAN'T WAIT!!!

Grins.

And that whole "commune family" of Brooklyn's is a bit off kilter from the rest of the world, but SO much fun in their quirkiness.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Nancy, the Lair is indeed laden with quirky characters...and some of them are US! Hahaha!

I adore Iva Ibbotsen's quirky folk. In Countess Below Stairs, the hero's family is quite eccentric, and many of the staff are too, so that made for very entertaining and memorable reading. Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo said: One of my favorite quirky families is the Stephanie Plum characters. They're hilarious, especially in the earlier books.

Oh, yes, Jo! I love the Gramma. She cracks me up. :>

Nancy said...

Jo, Stephanie's Grandma Mazur is a fabulous character, isn't she?

Nancy said...

Jeanne, good strategy with the bird! Keeping him busy will leave him little time to meddle. And of course you have dogs to keep an eye on him.

And ditto on Grandma Mazur as well as quirky us. :-)

Patricia Rice said...

Adore the Evanovich characters! And SEP has some truly strong ones as well.

Can I borrow the bird for the dusting? I'm sure there's food under all the furniture...

Janga said...

The more I hear about Evil Genius, the more I know I want to read it. And, of course, I'm counting the days until the releae of The Devilish Mantagu, 75 days now, I believe.

I'm reading A Red Herring Without Mustard today. I live the series! I definitely think Flavia de Luce counts as a quirky character. Who would have dreamed that a pre-teen with penchants for chemistry and mysteries would be so successful?

Nancy said...

Patricia, if the food under the furniture has chocolate in it, the bird will not onky dust it but eat it!

Nancy said...

Janga, I'm not familiar with Flavia de Luce. I'll have to check those out.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Janga said: I'm reading A Red Herring Without Mustard today. I live the series! I definitely think Flavia de Luce counts as a quirky character. Who would have dreamed that a pre-teen with penchants for chemistry and mysteries would be so successful?


Janga, I'm glad to hear about this book from someone who's reading it. I saw someone with it on the plane a couple of weeks ago when I was traveling, and I looked at the back cover copy in the airport bookstore, but just couldn't decide if I'd like it or not. :> Glad to know you'd recommend it!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Pat!

We so enjoy having you visit, whether as a guest blogger or a commenter! BIG THANX to Nancy for hosting you today.

Evil Genius sounds like a really FUN read! I don't own an ereader yet, but may have to download it to my laptop to read.

As for quirky families, I LOVE Stephanie Plum's crazy friends and family members. Jenny Crusie's family of art forgers, the Goodnights are great too. One I haven't seen mentioned yet are Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey and her quirky siblings. The fact that they are all named for Shakespeare characters just adds to the fun.

AC

Nancy said...

Cindy, I love Lady Julia and company! While I enjoyed the last adventure with Lady Julia and Brisbane, I missed the rest of the clan.

Beth Andrews said...

Welcome back, Patricia! Evil Genius sounds great *g* And congrats on all that's upcoming for you. Do you work on more than one book at a time?

My favorite quirky family is probably the Weasley family from Harry Potter. Even for a wizard family they seem out there a bit - but in the best way :-)

Patricia Rice said...

I enjoyed Flavia in the first of the series but don't have a lot of time for reading and have missed the rest. Definitely a great character!

I'm feeling the quirky character love here.

Beth, my right brain is pretty ADD. I'm usually working on and reading several books at a time. I'm quite certain I'd be declared officially insane in some circles!

Maureen said...

Ha! Well, aside from my own book... *toot! *toot! for The Kraken's Mirror...

My favorite offbeat family is the Addams Family. Honestly. And they are so romantic.

Pat, you're an inspirationg for those of us who write outside the genre box.

Nancy said...

Beth, don't the Weasleys have a great house?

Nancy said...

Maureen, how could I forget the Addams Family?! Or the Munsters . . .

Caren Crane said...

Patricia, so great to have you with us again! (And Jeanne, I am going to start a rumor about you and the GR!)

Patricia, I love offbeat and quirky books. One of my favorite quirky authors (and probably the quirkiest of all) is Tom Robbins. I absolutely adored 'Jitterbug Perfume'. Tom always gets lumped in 'literature' because I don't think they know what to do with him. He's funny, quirky, incredibly off-beat and like no one else.

His books often have characters with controversial or off-putting qualities. I find that delightful! Some find that not quite as charming as I do. :) I haven't loved all his books, but I have really enjoyed most of them. 'Still Life With Woodpecker' is a great one, but I didn't love 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues'.

Thank you so much for being with us and BEST LUCK with this marvelous-sounding book!!

Caren Crane said...

Oh, and I meant to say that my favorite quirky family in a mystery series (that sounds like an Academy Award!) is the March family in in Deanna Raybourn's Lady Jane Grey series. I love the Marches. They really are mad as the March hares on their family crest!

Barbara E. said...

I've always enjoyed books that don't quite fit into a niche, and Evil Genius sounds wonderful. My favorite mystery series with a quirky family is Shirley Damsgaard's Ophelia & Abby series.

Nancy said...

Caren, there are other March fans here, too!

The movue Cold Comfort Farm features a family so eccentric as to seem whacked. I have the nook but haven't read it yet.

Nancy said...

Hi, Barbara--

I haven't read Ophelia &Abby, but a friend loves that series.

Tawny said...

Hi Patricia and welcome to the Lair :-) Congratulations on your newest release - it sounds like you have a lot of fun stuff going on. Your book sounds fascinating.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Maureen said: My favorite offbeat family is the Addams Family. Honestly. And they are so romantic.

Why thank you, Maureen!

Duh-duh-da-da, *snap, snap*

Maureen said...

Hee, hee. Is your DH called Gomez and do you drive him wild speaking French? Do you have fond memories of time on the rack? Do you waltz every day?

I'm sure you have a wonderful family, too! ;-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Patricia!! Wow, this book sounds so intriguing! I really like your description of the family and I hope more books in the series will follow this one! I'd love to see that romantic arc grow. :-)

Congratulations on your RITA nomination and lots of good luck with your venture into e-pubbing. I hope you'll report back soon and let us know how it's going.

Whoa, Jeanne, congrats on nabbing the Roostah!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

I like that Kate, the Roooostah! Grins.

Maureen said: Hee, hee. Is your DH called Gomez and do you drive him wild speaking French? Do you have fond memories of time on the rack? Do you waltz every day?

I'm sure you have a wonderful family, too! ;-)


We do! We do! And I frequently drive my DH wild by speaking...but not always in French. Snork. We haven't discussed that time on the rack, but I think I still have a splinter. And we tend to either rhumba or boogie-woogie in the kitchen, rather than waltz in the foyer. Our foyer's not QUITE as big as Morticia and Gomez's. We're their poorer cuzins dontcha know.

Nancy said...

Maureen, I've been in Jeanne's house, and I _think_ I saw a hand coming out of a box in the bookcase . . .

Maureen said...

Ah, Thing...

I have this nearly overwhelming urge to break out my Addams Family DVDs...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Maureen said:
I have this nearly overwhelming urge to break out my Addams Family DVDs...



"Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?"

"Are they made with real Girl Scouts?"

Grins.

Maureen said...

"No one's dead."

"Wait."

Nancy said...

Jeanne and Maureen, you know a LOT about that show! *g*

Maureen said...

For some people, it's The Princess Bride...for me, it's the Addams Family.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Maureen said: For some people, it's The Princess Bride...for me, it's the Addams Family.

Heehee. I'm in love with both of them.

"Be nice to him, he's been mostly dead all day!" (PB)

"Why won't you just have the decency to die?"
"Is that an invitation?" (AF)

Sheree said...

Sending more Terry Pratchett and Piers Anthony love!

Of course, sometimes when the quirky family in a book sounds too much like my own, my reaction is one of horror and putting the book down. Yikes!