Interview // Carrie Stuart Parks, Author of Relative Silence

Relative SIlence Book Cover Relative SIlence
Carrie Stuart Parks
Mystery Thriller & Suspense
Thomas Nelson | 2020
July 14, 2020
Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours

A powerful family with lots of secrets. A forensic artist with his own tragedies. And a hurricane drawing bearing down on their private island.

Fifteen years ago Piper Boone’s only child died in a boating accident, and Piper’s almost perfect life came to an end too. After living through a divorce and losing her job, she retreats to Curlew Island and her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the politically powerful Boone family, who are practically American royalty.

But Piper’s desire to become a recluse is shattered when a mass shooter opens fire and kills three women at a café where Piper is having lunch. The crisis puts her family in the spotlight by dredging up rumors of the so-called Curlew Island Curse, which whispers say has taken the lives of several members of the Boone family, including Piper’s father and sister.

Forensic artist Tucker Landry also survives the shooting and is tasked with the job of sketching a portrait of the shooter with Piper. They forge a bond over their shared love of movies and tragic pasts. But when police discover a connection between the shooting and two more murders on Curlew Island, they face a more terrible lineup of suspects than they could have imagined: Piper’s family.

Unraveling the family’s true history will be the key to Piper’s survival—or her certain death.

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Thank you, Carrie, for taking the time for our #RAPTInterview. Congratulations on your latest release!

Your About Page mentions you found writing later in life. What triggered you to pivot into writing while being a forensic artist?

I had been writing and illustrating how-to art book, which I penned so my fine and forensic art students had correct reference books. The novel idea was more of a “what shall I do for a friend for Christmas when she already has everything?” I wrote a short story and gave it to her. She read it to her husband, the New York Times bestselling author Frank Peretti. Frank decided I had some writing talent and offered to mentor me. It took eight years to learn the ropes—and I’m still learning.

Do you love using your background in forensic art as inspiration for characters within your books?

Absolutely! Because I’ve been in the field since the dinosaurs roamed, and had worked cases across the entire scope of the forensic art field, I had a treasure trove of inspiration. In addition, as the largest instructor of forensic art in the world, I had my forensic art students to both provide me with their experiences, but also help me on police procedures across the nation.

Your latest book, Relative Silence, character Tucker Landry is a forensic artist. Did he fit your original character profile or did Tucker surprise you in how he turned out?

Tucker was as I imagined him. 

What was your most satisfying moment while writing Relative Silence?

I’d set up a time to meet with my dear friend and fellow writer, Lynette Eason, on the Isle of Palms in South Carolina. She became very sick, which broke both our hearts when we couldn’t meet, but that time writing without interruption was lovely. I also look forward to sending a copy of the book to Stan Gragg, assistant chief at Mount Pleasant Police Department—the template for the character in the book.

Could you see yourself writing a book or series outside of the mystery/suspense genre? If so, what other genres could you see yourself writing?

Not really. I love mystery/suspense/thrillers.

What is your biggest writing pet peeve?

“Writers” who don’t want to learn the craft.

How did you celebrate after finishing Relative Silence?

I don’t remember! LOL! I probably took a couple of days off from writing and played mindless computer games.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why this specific character?

Of course, it would have to be Gwen Marcey, my first character. Like me she had breast cancer, was a forensic artist, divorced, and struggling. She also had a sense of humor.

If you only had one sentence to capture a new reader for your books, what would it be?

Boy howdy, that’s a hard one! I could say my tag line: She has a pencil, and she’s not afraid to use it.

What one book do you recommend that every mystery/suspense lover read (not including your books)?

Another toughie. I love books by Dick Frances. He had horses in all his stories, I have dogs, but I wanted my books to have that fee.

Of course, we have to know, what is in-store next – books, events, etc.?

I’m pounding away on Woman in Shadow, the next book. Waiting for life to return to normal. Working on my art. Finding homes for feral kittens born in my kennel building. Preparing for upcoming classes. Daily committing to stop snacking and start dieting. Pretty much my life anyway.


Danger and drama abide in this tale that takes a walk on the perilous side.  With a flare for the macabre, the story will linger in your head long after the last page.

Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks was one of the most engrossing suspense novels I’ve read in a long time. Pitch perfect pacing and characterization along with Parks’ knowledgeable hand with forensics kept me on the edge of my seat. If you enjoy suspense with a light touch of romance, you must read this one!

Colleen Coble, author of One Little Lie and the Lavender Tide series

Carrie Stuart Parks’ Relative Silence has all the bells and whistles. A relatable character in Piper Boone, a plot that keeps moving forward, and a surprising finish. It was hard to put down. A completely satisfying read.

Nancy Mehl, bestselling, award winning author of the Kaely Quinn Profiler series

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Carrie Stuart Parks. There will be 1 winner of one (1) RELATIVE SILENCE by Carrie Stuart Parks (print). The giveaway begins on July 13, 2020, and runs through August 16, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Author Carrie Stuart Parks

Carrie Stuart Parks is Christy, Carol, and Inspy award-winning author, an award-winning fine artist, and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.

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