Digital Publication Date: November 2, 2008
Cover art by Renee Rocco
Around the Center Ring by Sutton Fox
Center Ring, Traveling Circus – Book Two, is my first attempt at a romantic suspense. This story was a joy and a challenge to write, and it made me realize that not only do I have a knack for killing people, I actually enjoy it. On the page of course. Anything else would be not only illegal, but far too messy.
There are lots of venues where murder takes place, but I chose the auto racing arena for a couple of reasons. First, because it’s not something you hear about on the news, those folks seem to make an effort to stay squeaky clean. At least as far as murder is concerned. Or perhaps they’re just better at sweeping the dirt under the rug, at least until lately. Second, I followed the adage of write what you know. It made the research a breeze. Last, but not least, because these people live a fast-lane kind of life, which is well suited to an action/suspense/love story. I wondered how people could manage relationships always being on the move. And would they have time to notice if someone weren’t who they seemed to be, or would they just pass by in a blur?
The more I thought about it, the more this book developed, as did the series as a whole. Too many characters came at me with stories. There were simply too many people and situations to fit them all neatly into one book.
I’m often asked if anything in my stories is from real life. Sure. Sort of. Not the characters. They are totally figments of my imagination. The way they behave sometimes, and the problems and pasts they have, do come from an amalgamation of my own life and experiences. And from other things I read and hear about. Sometimes it’s fun to let my imagination wander a bit though. For instance, take Julia Cameron. What would you do if you inherited an empire worth billions of dollars? How would you spend the money? The gifts she bought for her brothers were actually something I would have loved to have given to my own son on his birthday. If there were billions, or even millions at my disposal. Unfortunately, my son got a bowling ball instead. And he loves me anyway. I’m the lucky one.
Since I’m involved in the racing industry, the settings are based in part on race shops I’ve actually visited or done work for. They are not carbon copies for obvious reasons, but I do know what types of tools go where, and how things should be done, and arranged by true professionals. The racing action I describe in my books is all too real. The situations which arise are things I’ve seen, or been a part of over the years. So not only could the action scenes happen, more than likely, they’ve already happened. Maybe at a track near you.
As I mentioned in the beginning, writing this story was pure pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.