Nike N. Chillemi’s “Killing” Regrets

Nike N. Chillemi writes contemporary detective novels, sometimes called cozy thrillers with a touch of wry humor and an uplifting message There’s often a national security twist to them. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better.

Why did you start writing romantic suspense novels?
Nike: I love a good puzzle. I don’t have time much anymore, but I used to enjoy putting together boxed puzzles of 500 or 1000 pieces. In fact, there’s a puzzle piece in the top corner of all of my contemporary detective novel covers. I also love trying to solve the puzzle of a good romantic suspense or mystery novel as I read them. What is better than adding a romantic love story to a suspense story? So, I guess it was natural that I’d evolve from reading romantic suspense to writing romantic suspense novels.

What’s the weirdest way someone has died or been killed in your novels?
Nike: It was backstory in Blood Speaks. This character is mourned by many of the townspeople. Edward Blanchard supposedly died in an accidental car crash. Actually, he is the first murder victim of the killer. It was generally known that Edward loved his fully restored 1968 Plymouth Road Runner. Every spring he’d take it out of storage and bring it to the local garage for a tune up. He’d drive it down the steep hill on which he lived that had many curves and a treacherous drop on one side. The murderer snuck into Edward’s garage and smeared peanut butter onto the brake line. During the winter rats, racoons, and other varmint ate the peanut butter and destroyed the brakes. Edward went over the side on his way to the garage.

Have you ever regretted killing off a character? Why?
Nike: I regret killing off a lot of my characters. Aside from hopefully giving readers a good, exciting read, part of my motivation for writing Romantic Suspense is to allow readers to enter the scene and see the evil in cutting short an innocent human life. I think Christian romantic suspense is highly sensitive to the devastation brought into the lives of the victim’s loved ones that senseless murder and crime leaves behind. Hopefully, by the end of my novels, the characters experience spiritual growth and and healing. It’s my desire that my novels leave the reader uplifted.

Current book: Courting DangerPI Veronica Ingels teams up with Deputy Dawson Hughes to find a radio broadcaster’s missing wife and young daughter, who might have been taken by Islamic terrorists.

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