Friday, April 12, 2013


by Earl Staggs

Alan Cupp loves to create and entertain, whether it’s with a captivating mystery novel or a funny promotional video for his church, he’s always anticipating his next creative endeavor. In addition to writing fiction, Alan enjoys acting, music, travel, and playing sports. His life’s motto is, “It’s better to wear out than rust out.” Alan places a high value on time spent with his beautiful wife and their two sons. He lives his life according to his 4F philosophy: Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun. 

Alan Cupp

I began writing Malicious Masquerade the same way I begin most stories, with a “what if” scenario that pops in my head. I take a particular circumstance and explore its potential to become a great story, asking myself if I’m going to be able to take it from start to finish. Once I’ve determined that I have something to pursue, that’s when I start developing my characters. Usually, by the time I actually begin typing something out I have an idea of how it all begins and ends. Then it becomes a matter of connecting the two points. That’s the fun part for me; creating characters, designing their personalities and deciding the best way to have them interact.

It’s kind of like building a house, going through the process of making selections regarding materials and design, fitting the pieces together to build something that’s functional, comfortable and fits into the overall feel of the home. There may be aspects of other homes that I really admire and look awesome in other homes, but they don’t quite fit into what I’m building.

One of the more difficult things about writing is going back and evaluating the story and realizing that the direction I took three or four chapters ago has lead me off track from where I originally wanted to go. That forces me into making a hard decision. Do I delete these chapters that I so diligently labored over or should I consider changing the way the story ends? It comes down to which way makes for a better story?

Malicious Masquerade took me about a year and a half to complete, give or take a month. I really don’t keep track too closely. And that doesn’t count the edits I made after signing with Henery Press. Their guidance and input greatly improved the quality of the story.

Originally, I had a different title for Malicious Masquerade. However, between the time I completed the story and when I signed with my publisher, another author came out with a book with the same title. So I elected to change it to avoid potential confusion.

It’s very gratifying to see something that I worked on so long, come to life and be well received. One of the best things I can hear from a reader is that they lost sleep because they couldn’t put my book down the night before. I love robbing my readers of their sleep!

Chicago PI Carter Mays is thrust into a perilous masquerade when local rich girl Cindy Bedford hires him. Turns out her fiancé failed to show up on their wedding day, the same day millions of dollars are stolen from her father’s company. While Carter takes the case, Cindy’s father tries to find him his own way. With nasty secrets, hidden finances, and a trail of revenge, it’s soon apparent no one is who they say they are.

Carter searches for the truth, but the situation grows more volatile as panic collides with vulnerability. Broken relationships and blurred loyalties turn deadly, fueled by past offenses and present vendettas in a quest to reveal the truth behind the masks before no one, including Carter, gets out alive.
$15.95 (msrp) Trade Paperback — ISBN-13: 9781938383281
$2.99 (msrp) ebook — ISBN-13: 9781938383298
Amazon Kindle     B&N Nook     Kobo

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