XOXOAD sat down (well, e-sat down) with New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin recently to talk about her popular “Tracers” series of romantic suspense novels. The Tracers are a group of forensic experts who work for the Delphi Center, a private lab in Texas that handles the coldest of cold cases. Each Tracer expert has a different specialty, allowing Laura to explore a wide range of forensic detail in her books.
There are now seven official Tracers novels, plus they have cameos in a couple of Laura’s earlier books, and starting this week, several of them–SCORCHED, SNAPPED, WHISPER OF WARNING and THREAD OF FEAR–are being re-released in print at select retailers!
And if you happen to be a Griffin fan already, get ready for her first hardcover suspense novel, FAR GONE. It’s coming in April, and while it is a stand alone story, it features the same exciting suspense and romantic thrills that fans have come to love!
XOXO: How did you come up with the idea for your Tracers series?
Laura: I love to interview cops and detectives and one of the things I hear often is how real-life investigations are so different from what you see on TV, mostly because of budgets and time constraints. So I thought it would be interesting to create a setting where detectives are not limited and can really take advantage of the amazing possibilities of forensic science. At the Delphi Center Crime lab, forensic experts known as Tracers use every imaginable kind of trace evidence to help cops and cold-case detectives solve their very toughest cases.
XOXO: Do you have a favorite among the Tracers books you’ve written?
Laura: They are all so different! One of the novels that was the most fun to write was SCORCHED, a love story between a forensic anthropologist, Kelsey Quinn, and a Navy SEAL, Gage Brewer. To understand Kelsey’s job I toured a body farm and interviewed forensic anthropologists, who use their understanding of bones to help solve murder cases. To understand Gage’s character I got to research and interview Navy SEALs.
XOXO: How do you get ideas for your plots?
Laura: I got my writing start as a newspaper reporter, so I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie. I love to skim headlines for inspiration. I’ll read a news story and get the kernel of an idea for a plot. Or maybe I’ll hear about someone who has an interesting job and decide that’s going to be my next hero or heroine. Writing each new Tracers story takes me on a new adventure.
XOXO: What’s the next forensic expertise you’re going to use?
Laura: Readers have asked to hear more about Scott Black, who is a firearms expert at the Delphi Center. Scott has sort of a shadowy background in spec ops, and he knows everything there is to know about guns and ballistics. Also, I’ve got my eye on Ben Lawson, who is the Delphi Center’s top cyber sleuth. Ben has played a role in so many Tracers books, and I’d like to write his story. Readers have been very helpful about letting me know which characters they’d like to see in the next book, so I love getting that feedback!
To celebrate the Tracers reissue, we’re giving away 3 sets of these four titles, which include two RITA Award-winners, to 3 lucky readers! To enter, answer this question in the comments: if you were going to be a Tracer, what would your special expertise be? [For complete contest rules, click here. Sorry, contest is open to U.S. residents only.]