Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Nichole Severn, to Alternative-Read.com
The Witness by
The Witness by Nichole Severn brings to life its hero and heroine. Readers get a very suspenseful mystery coupled with a little romance.
Camille Goodman is under the protection of US Marshal Finn Reed after fighting off a serial killer known as The Carver, who was also her fiancé. He would strangle, bind, and carve “Mine” into his victim’s chest. But she was the only lucky one, when on Valentine’s Day she was able to fight him and escape. The mystery ratches up as another woman is killed even though the supposed Carver is in jail. Questions arise as new information is discovered.
To compound problems, both the rescuer and the victim form a bond. The banter between them is excellent. Severn is able to show how the heroine is strong and vulnerable, while the hero is stubborn about getting close because of his traumatic past.
There is a lot of action, and danger, with the constant fear of death. Along with additional killings, the mystery is amped up.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Nichole Severn: I started writing the bad guy, The Carver, what is his MO and where is he coming from. I had to come up with a unique way to kill somebody. I found in my research that serial killers like to sign their own work and create their own MO. From there I decided to have my heroine in a major city. Regarding my hero, I wanted him to have a traumatic backstory. I like to play off the emotional trauma my characters go through.
EC: How would you describe the heroine, Camille?
NS: She relies on her work to get her through the hardest of times of her life. She is the most autobiographical of my characters. I think Camille questions her self-worth. Her whole story is about finding herself, finding her significance, and proving that she does not need her work for her to achieve this. Overall, she is brave, a fighter, and creative. The hero, Finn, helps her to see she is stronger than her fears.
EC: How would you describe Finn?
NS: He looks like Chris Evans, Captain America. Finn is an alpha male and very protective. He is broken inside and needs to learn to forgive himself. He is guilt-ridden, determined, and reliable.
EC: What about the relationship?
NS: Guarded. They try to do everything they can to not get involved. Because of his past, the hero is determined to keep it professional and not let it get personal. It became dramatic, with lots of ups and downs. They both start out as private people, but they end up opening up to each other. I think Camille is much more emotional, while Finn tries to be intellectual about his feelings.
EC: Camille was a photographer. Is that something you enjoy?
NS: I am not a photographer. I decided to give her that profession after looking at these beautiful pictures coming up on National Geographic. I studied a lot of those pictures for two months.
EC: What about the serial killer?
NS: He bonds, strangles, and carves the word “MINE” above his victims’ breasts. He does this to inflict trauma, terror, and a loss of identity. The Carver is a sociopath, a manipulator, who feeds on fear and isolation. He is possessive as he works his way into the victims’ lives, getting to know them.
EC: What about the chocolate angle?
NS: It was written to break up the tension. In the first book of this series, The Fugitive, the Marshal put chocolate in the mattress. He did that to help him with his stress. In this book, after finding it, the hero and heroine use it as a running inside joke. For me, I would live off chocolate if I could.
EC: Can you explain this great quote about the past?
NS: You are referring to this one, “Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It just means the past doesn’t control your life anymore.” I wanted to show how everyone goes through some diversity in their life. Finn gave Camille perspective. I thought about this quote in my own life when I had to get over my own trauma over the years including betrayal and abuse. Healing does not mean that everything which happened never happened, but to accept the past and create a better future.
EC: What about your next book?
NS: Book three comes out in March and book 4 in April. Book three is titled The Prosecutor. It has Marshal Jonah Watson reuniting with a former lover. This woman carried his baby and wanted nothing to do with him. As she is prosecuting a serial bomber, she becomes a target. He is assigned to protect her.
If you liked this interview
The Witness by
She’s not out of danger
…even with his 24/7 protection.
Checking in on his witness in protective custody, marshal Finn Reed finds Camille Goodman fighting an attacker. Has the Carver come back to finish what he started? Finn is determined to keep the strong-willed redhead alive…and keep his professional distance. But as barriers between them fall, a serial killer’s twisted game plays out—one that the deputy and his fearless witness may not win.
From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.
A Marshal Law Novel
Book 1: The Fugitive
Book 2: The Witness
The Witness by
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!