author of Calculated
What is your favorite place to relax?
I’m very fortunate to live by the beach, so I often go there when I need to relax and unwind. Listening to the waves, the birds, or the laughter of other visitors brings me back to a peaceful state of mind.
What is your favorite music?
I have so many different types that I enjoy, it’s hard to pick one! I’m a big fan of music fusion, the blending of different genres. But depending on the mood I’m in, I could be listening to anything like Lindsey Stirling, Imagine Dragons, Jay Z or Eminem, Linkin Park, Lorde, Florence + The Machine, Sublime or Bob Marley, Calvin Harris, Christina Perri or Rihanna, Benny Benassi... the list just goes on and on! I love almost all of it.
Writing runs in your family. Did you feel pressured to follow suit?
I didn't feel any pressure, my family was very open to allowing me to follow any pursuit I chose. However, I did feel a lot of motivation from it. Writing was something that I connected with very early in life, and knowing that others in my family had been published gave me hope that I could have that honor one day.
You wrote as a young child, do you still have some of those stories?
I do! I have a notebook filled with them. Reading them now as an adult is really funny. Oh to have a child’s imagination again!
Did your background in journalism influence your choice of characters and plot in Calculated?
It really did. More so than I think I even realized at first. I had had first hand experiences with media manipulation and censorship, and I think my emotional response to that kind of set the tone for the main plot.
What kind of screenplays do you write?
All kinds! Actually, it seems like I really write the same types of plots in a screenplay that I do in my books, now that I’m thinking about it. I enjoy creating suspenseful thrillers as well as new adult romance. But the medium of a screenplay really gets the creative juices flowing because you can visualize the story in such a different way. I try to pull elements of that into my books when I can.
Communication, theater, music, art – all creative activities. What made you decide to write a book?
That’s been an aspiration of mine since I was twelve. For a long time, I was obsessed with crafting the perfect story, and I think I really hindered myself that way. Then I finally realized that “perfect” was impossible, and “entertaining” was a better goal, so I switched my focus and learned to let go. I think it’s paid off.
Do you find one story turning into several books?
That’s actually exactly what happened with Calculated. It was supposed to be a single book, just telling Ana’s story. But the more I got to know the characters, the more I thought Mara deserved to have her story told. So book two, Driven, came into being. And of course, there had to be a finale between the two women, so book three, Avenged, began to emerge. It’s been a very interesting process.
What kind of research do you do for your books?
Most of what’s in my books focus on the psychological, so I had to really dive deep and learn how different people react to different life events, and where that can lead them. I also had to have a fairly clear understanding of the investigative process, so I spoke with people I knew, read books, reports and browsed websites.
Are your characters based on people you know?
Not really, not any that I know personally anyway. I like to believe that Ana is my alter ego, as far as her strengths and vulnerabilities go, and the way she reacts in certain situations. But the rest are all variations of different personalities I've heard of, but don’t necessarily know personally.
If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which one would you want to talk to?
I’d love to have a drink with Ana. But there’s so much going on in Mara’s head, more that readers will get to explore in Driven, that it would be very interesting to have a deep conversation with her.
Do you have a new book in the works?
Yes! Book two in this series, Driven, will be released shortly. And following that, I’ll have a paranormal novella released – hopefully in time for Halloween!
|Calculated is available at Amazon & Amazon UK|
Synopsis of Calculated:
An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.
Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.
But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?
Renee' Novelle is preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart.
As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems.
Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.
In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love - fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes psychological thrillers, suspense, paranormal fiction, contemporary women's fiction, chick lit, and new adult.
Though she received her Bachelor's of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She's an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes "no" as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life's problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you meant to be.
Excerpt from Calculated:
Impatience took over and Ana couldn’t resist any longer. She turned her head to glance at the alarm clock. 5:03am. Exactly three minutes after the last time she’d checked. Pressing her fingers against her eyes, she released a long, loud sigh.
At that point, it had been over an hour that she’d been lying there, tossing around in her thoughts, urging her body to slip back into sleep. She’d tried to read a book, but hadn’t been able to focus enough to stay in the pages. Watching television hadn’t proven any better of a deterrent either. All that was left was to lay there in her silence – thinking, wondering, planning...willing hers eyes to just get even a little bit sleepy again. But she had no such luck.
It frustrated her to the core that Mara and her insinuation of a good story had affected her like that. It’d been years since she’d become so intrigued she’d actually lost sleep over it. Never mind the threat of reassignment looming in the background as well.
Fuck it, Ana thought as she whipped off the sheets from her silk clad body. Might as well make use of the morning. Landing her feet on the floor, she made quick time of pulling her long hair into a braid and splashing some water on her face. Next she pulled on her sweatpants, then headed to the gym to work out her inner thoughts.
When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.
As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.
As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person - face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.
Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention.
...it appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest...
The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.
“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.
“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”
...It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.
But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.
... The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid....
“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”
“Oh my god...” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”
“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”
“So, what does this mean exactly now?”
“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”
“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.
Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”
Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.