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An Interview with Sue Coletta, Author of Merciless Mayhem

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Sue Coletta is an award-winning crime writer and an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. Feedspot and named her Murder Blog as “Best 100 Crime Novel Blogs on the Net.” She also blogs at the Kill Zone (Writer’s Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers”) and Writers Helping Writers. Sue lives with her husband in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Her backlist includes psychological thrillers, the Mayhem Series (books 1-4), the Grafton County Series, and true crime/narrative nonfiction. Now, she exclusively writes eco-thrillers, Mayhem Series books 5-8 and continuing. Sue’s appeared on the Emmy award-winning true crime series, Storm of Suspicion, and three episodes of A Time to Kill on Investigation Discovery.

You can buy Merciless Mayhem here.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked as a paralegal and owned two hair salons. Neither or which ever made it into my books.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title came to me during the research stage when I read how Orca and dolphins are captured. It’s Merciless Mayhem, with bombs and nets and shouting and chaos. It’s total devastation and destruction.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

Merciless Mayhem is my 21st book. Holding that first copy in your hands never gets old.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“Monsters” by Shinedown. The line “My monsters are real” nails the plot. Also 45 by the same band. And I’ve used both in marketing videos. 😉

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

That cetaceans — Orca, dolphin, whales — deserve our love and respect. They are sentient beings who’ve endured torturous treatment from mankind, yet continue to help stranded surfers, divers, and boaters. They portray the best part of us — our ability to love and empathize. Don’t they deserve the same in return? If readers learn anything from Merciless Mayhem, I hope it’s to not buy a ticket to Orca or dolphin shows. Without an audience, wildlife parks won’t have a reason to hold them captive. It’s time we #EmptyTheTanks.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Once I transitioned my Mayhem Series to eco-thrillers, the most rewarding part is bringing awareness to the Natural World, to Native American culture, spirituality, and tradition, and demonstrating how we’re all links in the same chain of life. When we drive a species to extinction, we’re harming ourselves. All life is sacred. Except poachers and trophy hunters, who I am all too willing to kill in unspeakable ways. Fictionally speaking, of course. 😉

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently working on the next Mayhem book. This time, my eco-warriors are in Yellowstone to stop the slaughter of wolves, grizzlies, and lynxes by unscrupulous trophy hunters.

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