I’m excited to celebrate the launch of Becky Flade’s steamy new thriller, Before the Fall. I had the opportunity to work with Becky through Dot and Dash, my editing services company, and got the inside look as she was preparing for the release.
Becky has published several books in romance genres. In this Q & A, she talks about her new book and her experiences with the writing life.
Where does Before the Fall lay in the Covert Passions series? Can you give us a synopsis of the series thus far?
Before the Fall is the third book in a (planned) series of five featuring the missions and lovers of CIA clandestine agent, Paige Fleming.
Goddess of the Hunt introduces us to Paige. Called back early from a vacation she’d been forced to take, Paige must recover secret US military information from a terrorist cell in Dublin, Ireland. Her contact and partner on this mission is Eoin Fitzpatrick, an MI6 officer deeply embedded within the group.
In The Czech Deception, a dangerous Russian mobster has contracted a hit on one of Paige’s assets, Gregor Kovic. She has to convince her former lover to defect if he wants protection from the United States. Only the situation is more complicated than she’s initially aware: Grey refuses to leave without his latest paramour—the mistress of the gangster who wants him dead.
Before the Fall opens with Paige on suspension following disciplinary review for her actions in Dublin and in Prague. Her immediate supervisor uses the suspension to put Paige on a hunt for a traitor within the United States information community.
What was your inspiration for Paige Fleming, your main character?
I have a huge crush on Daniel Craig and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE James Bond. After seeing Casino Royale in the theater, I began daydreaming about a female version of Daniel Craig—just as deadly, just as sexual, just as complex. And Paige was born. Note: Her last name is a nod to Bond author Ian Fleming.
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your books? Why?
Oh the first, definitely. I go through dozens of revisions on the first paragraph just trying to find the perfect first sentence. The one that will compel the reader to need to know more. “It was a dark and stormy night” falls somewhat short of expectations. Haha.
How long have you been writing?
Pretty much forever. Well, technically, since I was six. I wrote my first book in kindergarten. It was a nail biter by 1982 standards: my best friend and I got lost in the big city. My mother (and biggest fan) has it pressed between the pages of her family Bible.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your writing journey?
Criticism is more than necessary. I can’t see sometimes the forest for the trees and have such an emotional connection to the story I wrote I can’t chop down the trees that are blocking the view . . . and I’m beating this analogy to death aren’t I? Having a professional set of objective eyes review, trim, and polish makes every story better.
Do have your next book planned?
I’ve already a start on book 4 in the Covert Passions series and created a sketchy outline of book 5, the last in this series, as well as a skeleton for a spin-off series featuring a private military company introduced in Covert Passions book 4.
As for my mainstream romances, I’ve got a release coming soon, another book still in rough draft, and I just signed a contract on yet another with Tirgearr Publishing. It’s going to be a busy year.
You can purchase Before the Fall and the first two books of her Covert Passions series on Amazon.
If you are interested in learning more about having your book edited through Dot and Dash, please check out the website and sign up for your free sample edit.
Erin Servais is a freelance book editor with Dot and Dash LLC. She is too much of a scaredy cat to make it in the spy business, but she is happy to read books about it.