Friday, March 21, 2008

Interview with CJ Lyons

I’d like to welcome our guest today, CJ Lyons. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called LIFELINES. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

LIFELINES starts on the most dangerous day of the year, July 1st. That's the day the new interns, fresh out of medical school, start working in hospitals.

Not the best day to start a new job in a new city and a new hospital. But that's what Dr. Lydia Fiore must do. She grew up on the mean streets of LA and is certain she can handle anything Pittsburgh's Angels of Mercy's ER has to offer her.

That was before she loses a patient. The wrong patient; the Chief of Surgery's son. And Lydia has no idea why he died.

As she investigates, she befriends three other women at Angels of Mercy who will become more than her friends, they will become her lifelines. Because Lydia's quest for the truth quickly turns deadly…..

LIFELINES is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Actually my agent, editor and I went through 71 titles without coming up with the right one! Since this was the start of a new series, something fresh and different, we wanted the perfect title to reflect the entire concept, not just one book.

Thank goodness the head copy editor read LIFELINES as she was preparing to assign it and she came up with the title.

Needless to say, not only did I thank her in the acknowledgments, I also sent her a box of home-made pralines!

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

I've practiced pediatrics for seventeen years, spending several years in some of the country's busiest trauma centers, so the hospital atmosphere came pretty natural for me.

And I lived in Pittsburgh during my pediatric training and have visited the city often over the years, so other than asking my relatives who still live there to double check a few facts for me and snap some pictures to keep me in the mood (you can see them on my website under Photos), I was pretty comfortable writing about the city.

I did have a friend who is a ACLS and paramedic instructor go over the manuscript looking for technical accuracy since I knew the American Heart Association had just changed a lot of protocols and I didn't have time to wade through the 600 page manual.

What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Wow, that's so hard to answer! I enjoy writing Lydia, the main character in LIFELINES, because she's who I want to be when I grow up.

But I also love writing Gina, the emergency medicine resident, because I share so many of her insecurities and I love working through her issues and watching her grow and change. She's going to go through hell before she gets her happy-ever-after, but it will be well deserved!

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

The entire time I was writing LIFELINES, I envisioned Gary Dourdan (from CSI). He has the most gorgeous hazel eyes. And he has that smooth, mellow voice. Of course, if George Clooney wanted to play Trey, I wouldn't say no, either.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Too many to count! The amount of support and encouragement I have received from published authors has been overwhelming. A few stand out: David Morrell, Heather Graham, Lisa Gardner, Susan Wiggs, Tess Gerritsen, and Allison Brennan, among others.

What do we have to look forward next?

The second book in the series, CATALYST, tentatively scheduled for Jan, 2009. In it, Amanda, a medical student, investigates a mysterious illness that is killing patients. Then she begins to suffer the same deadly symptoms….

Thanks, CJ!

To celebrate her book release, CJ is offering a LIFELINES t-shirt to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


CJ Lyons has lived most of her life on the edge. Trained in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, she has assisted police and prosecutors with cases involving child abuse, rape, homicide and Munchausen by Proxy. She has worked in numerous trauma centers, on the Navajo reservation, as a crisis counselor, victim advocate, as well as a flight physician for Life Flight and Stat Medevac.

A Golden Heart Finalist in Romantic Suspense and winner of the Golden Gateway, CJ is a member of RWA, MWA, ITW, and Sisters in Crime. Her work has appeared in CrimeSpree, Romantic Times Book Review Magazine, and Spinetingler. She has presented keynote speeches and workshops at numerous national conventions including MWA's Sleuthfest, Romantic Times, Colorado Gold and RWA. She was the Chair of ITW's inaugural and highly successful ThrillerFest.

Her medical suspense novel, LIFELINES, will debut from Berkley March, 2008. Publishers Weekly called LIFELINES a "spot-on debut…a breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" and Romantic Times gave it 4 1/2 stars and made it a Top Pick.

For more information go to

Buy LIFELINES March 4 in stores everywhere.


Kathleen Grieve said...

Oh, goody! I get to comment first! CJ, I admire your work and can't wait to meet you at the conference. George C. is one of my all time favorites....

CJ Lyons said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen!!!

It's funny, but I first "fell" for George when I heard his voice on a commercial (way before he made it big)...then a short time later he was on ER and I was like, wow! This guy has all the makings of an old-fashioned, Cary Grant, moviestar!

I love movies but don't tend to go ga-ga much, not until George, lol!

Barrie said...

What an interesting interview. Kudos to both the interviewer and the interviewee! I'm looking forward to hearing you speak, CJ, at the Desert Dreams conference in Phoenx. And, after this interview, I'm looking forward to your book!

CJ Lyons said...

Thanks for the kind words! I hope you enjoy LIFELINES!

Anonymous said...

I understand about wanting to be your heroine when you grow up! Congratulations, CJ, and I look forward to reading LIFELINES.

Liana Laverentz
Thin Ice (NJRW Golden Leaf and EPPIE Award Winner)
Jake's Return
Available in e-book, print, and on Kindle
Ashton's Secret (coming in 2008)

CJ Lyons said...

Thanks, Liana! Hope you enjoy LIFELINES!

Shelley Mosley said...

CJ, what a fantastic background, and now you're tapping into it to write your novels!

I look forward to meeting you at the Desert Dreams conference!

Kim Watters said...

Thanks for joining us today CJ. I can't wait to meet you at Desert Dreams. George C. is also one of my favorites. Sigh.

CJ Lyons said...

Hi Kim! Thanks for stopping by--be sure to give a shout at me in Phoenix!

Carol Webb said...

Your book sounds facinating! Can't wait to meet you at the Desert Dreams Conference.

Now you've got me completely curious--I'm going to have to watch CSI to find out what Gary looks like.

CJ Lyons said...

See you in Phoenix, Carol!

Carol Webb said...
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