Remember My Name Remember My Name Series Book 1 by Laurencia Hoffman Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Dark and twisted secrets mar Shane Coulter’s skin, and darken his fragile heart. Yet he keeps his nightmarish truth hidden from all those he holds dear with a smart mouth and abrasive attitude.
His first love, Callan Reid, refuses to accept Shane’s tough exterior. Convinced something truly horrific lurks beneath Shane’s defenses, Callan vows to uncover the truth.
But some things are better left buried. As darkness from the past threatens to be brought to light, there are those who would kill to prevent it. Can Callan break down Shane’s walls? Or will digging into the past come with deadly consequences?
Born an Empath, the intrusive feelings of others force themselves into the forefront of Wren Stafford’s mind and haunt his dreams.
For a time, he thought he put the pain of his past behind him when he met the love of his life.
But fate had far more cruel plans.
He tried to warn his husband, Henry; begged him not to ignore his predictions of the terrible atrocities to come. Then Henry was found murdered, and Wren was named as the prime suspect.
Harassed by the police and condemned by the public, Wren hunts for his husband’s killer amid being plagued by nightmares of his own grisly death. Time is running out. Can he unravel the clues within his visions in time to stop the killer? Or is he destined to become the next victim?
Sniffling, I wipe my eyes on my sleeve. “I found him in the kitchen. I tried to help him. He tried to speak, but I told him to save his breath. When I got up, someone grabbed me and threw me into the wall. All I remember after that is…screaming. And darkness.”
“You didn’t have a cell phone on you, Mister Stafford?”
“N-no. I’m not attached to the thing. Technology can be a hindrance.”
For the first time, the other detective speaks. “You don’t think it’s strange that you fight with your husband and he’s murdered the very same night?”
“It wasn’t a fight. Our marriage was over. We both knew it was c-coming.”
“So you’re saying this was premeditated.”
Furrowing my brow, I wipe my eyes again. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“Isn't it true that your husband was afraid of you?”
“He told his family you were losing your mind, that you were hallucinating.”
My mouth is ajar as I look back and forth between the detectives. “They're visions, they're not– I don't expect you to understand.”
“You told Henry he was going to die.”
“Jesus, I wasn't threatening him. I was trying to warn him.”
“About what?” Detective Whitmore folds his arms. That cold stare is unforgiving. “How could you know he was going to die unless you were involved?”
My bottom lip trembles as I struggle to catch my breath. “I know how this is going to sound, but I have visions. I'm psychic, intuitive, whatever you want to call it.”
“That sounds like premeditation to me.”
“No, no, that's not–I love my husband.” My voice squeaks. “I would never...”
“A lot of people claim to love their spouses, but they still kill them.”
“You don't understand. He's everything to me.” They won’t understand what it means to be an empath. How I value all life, that I would rather die than kill anything or anyone. They won’t understand I’d waited my whole life to be loved and accepted. And even though Henry didn’t love me anymore, my heart would have belonged to him for the rest of our lives. If I could trade places with Henry, I would. I don’t want to be here anymore. “He's all I have.”
“Your story isn't adding up. You were the last person to see him alive and you were with him at the scene. That cut on your head could easily be self-inflicted. You've admitted your marriage was falling apart.”
“I know you don't believe me. And I know how this looks. My answer will not change.” Straightening my posture, I shake my head. “I didn't kill him.”
The door to the room opens but I can’t hear what’s being said. Detective Whitmore turns to me with a scrunched nose.
“We don’t have any further questions tonight, but don’t get too comfortable. It will be better for you if you don’t leave town.”
I shakily get to my feet, feeling so lightheaded that I almost topple over. The world is spinning. My grief is too heavy for my weak shoulders. “I understand you have to look at me first. But promise me you'll explore other possibilities. There's a murderer out there.”
Laurencia Hoffman specializes in various sub-genres of romance. Her stories often focus on the darker side of fiction, but love and survival remain the central themes throughout her work.
When she's not writing, she also enjoys playing video games with her family, listening to music, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
A big hello to everyone who doesn’t know me! Which is probably most of you. I must have been somewhere around sixteen or seventeen when I decided that I wanted to get my stories published. I did my research and learned the difference between finding an agent to bring your story to big publishers, self-publishing, and independent publishing companies. I didn’t want to self-publish because that seemed too large a task. I’ve tried to find an agent a few times and was unsuccessful. Finally, I decided that putting my stories out into the world was more important to me than getting in with the big publishing houses. It’s hard to remember everything exactly, but I think I was twenty years old when I had my first novella published.
What are you passionate about these days?
I think I’m passionate about the same things I always have been: movies, writing, and my family.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I watch TV and order take-out! For me, there’s nothing more relaxing than that.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a pen, or so I’ve been told. I considered myself a writer when I was somewhere around twelve or thirteen, and I started to take writing seriously when I was sixteen.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Honestly, I love movies too much to have a favorite. I’ll say that right now it’s a tie between The King (2019) and Little Women (2019).
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I picture all of them as movies when I’m writing them, but the book that I think would the best fit for a movie is Remember My Name.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A Unicorn! I have always loved Unicorns. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was a child. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle fueled my love for them.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m working on a Fantasy novella series called a True Knight. Watch out for that one later this year! It’s a project I’ve wanted to work on since I was a teenager, but it never came together. Until now!
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I do have a few stories/scenes that didn’t make it into the book. I didn’t think they were important to the overall story, but it’s an expansion of Shane’s childhood and memories.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
For every story, I do a Google search for names until I find ones that I like, first and last names included. They have to “feel” right to me.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I enjoyed the challenge. I had never written a character like Shane before, someone who, let’s face it, can be quite prickly! That, combined with his secrets, his stubbornness to keep them, and his inability to open up to anyone…I really had my hands full!
Who designed your book cover?
Melissa Stevens at The Illustrated Author Design Services. Her work is beautiful!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, that’s such a tough question. There are always things I want to go back and change, but I have to accept that I did the best I could at the time!
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’ve always pictured Timothée Chalamet as Shane Coulter. In fact, the book is dedicated to him for that very reason!
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading my work. Your support means more to me than you will ever know.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They are all from my imagination. I do try to bring a sense of realism into my stories. Some elements may have been inspired by real life events or several different films, but what originally inspires me or sparks an idea tends to become unrecognizable when it’s implemented into my work.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They absolutely hijack the story. I couldn’t get Shane to listen to me if I tried! The characters have full control, I’m just the vessel.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yes, I have several unpublished works. I’m not sure if I will ever get them published. There are some stories that simply take priority over others. And, truthfully, sometimes I forget that I have finished stories sitting in my documents!
What did you edit out of this book?
I specifically remember removing a scene between Shane and his father. There are flashbacks in the book that are in chronological order being from Shane’s childhood to his adulthood, but at the end of the book, I had a flashback where Shane was back to being a child. It just didn’t fit. I didn’t want to mess up the nice, neat, chronological order I’d worked so hard on!
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
Shane was originally a character I created within a roleplaying community of writers. The more his story was revealed to me, the more he intrigued me, and I just had to write a book about him…which has now turned into a series!
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
My main character always comes to me before I write a single word. There are supporting characters and relationships that I learn about as I go along.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book. Sometimes I have to research symptoms and outlooks for medical conditions. For Shane, I had to figure out his specific heart condition, find the best and worst cases, how long someone with his diagnosis is expected to live, etc. It’s difficult to keep track of everything, so I try to take notes and bookmark my sources to go back to when I need a refresher!
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to write as a career. Writing is my passion and I can’t imagine not doing it, so I’d be happy to write for the rest of my life.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I think it depends on what scene I’m writing. If it’s an emotional or dramatic scene, I have to play music to set the mood and get into the zone. If nothing particularly complicated is happening, sometimes I write in silence.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I usually have multiple. They don’t all get finished, mind you. On average, I write two books at a time and go back and forth depending on which story I feel most inspired for.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer for speed and efficiency. Pen for emergencies, such as when I’m out and about without a computer.
What are you currently reading?
Bones and All by Camille DeAngelis.
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I absolutely have to write an outline at least a few chapters in advance. I usually flesh it out as I go, but if I don’t have something to follow and a plan for what to do next, I get lost.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My inability to focus! If I was able to focus for more than one or two hours at a time, I think I would get so much more work done. Even during those one to two hours, I take breaks in between. Finding quiet time to match up with my ability to concentrate is so challenging!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Oh, heck if I know what readers want. I go wherever the story takes me, whether I like it or not! As long as the story feels “right” and I’m staying true to the characters and their story, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Including myself.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depending on the length of the story and the complications of the plot, it could take me anywhere from 3 months to 5 years to complete a story. There’s been a story or two where I have taken years away from writing it, and then come back and finish it.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Oh, yes. Seems like I have it constantly. Recently, I’ve heard it referred to as writer’s doubt. And because I constantly struggle with writing, and whether or not I can convince myself that it’s any good, I would say I have a mix of both.
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