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Episode Info: Debbi Mack interviews crime writer V.S. Kemanis on the Crime Cafe podcast. Read along with the podcast or, if you’re in a rush, download a copy of the show notes here. Debbi:   Hi everyone. This is the Crime Cafe, your podcasting source of great crime, suspense and thriller writing. I’m your host Debbi Mack. Before I bring on my guest, I’ll just remind you that the Crime Cafe has two ebooks for sale: the nine book box set and the short story anthology. You can find the buy links for both on my website,, under the Crime Cafe link. You can also get a free copy of either book, if you become a Patreon supporter. You’ll get that and much more if you support the podcast on Patreon, along with our eternal gratitude for doing so. Debbi: Hi everyone. I’m so pleased to have with me today another lawyer who’s written about what she knows. Her legal career is in criminal prosecution, but her creative pursuits include writing novels and short stories, as well as being a dancer and choreographer. Our guest today is V. S. Kemanis. VSK: Hi Debbi. Debbi: Hi. Hi Vija. VSK: How are you? Thanks so much for inviting me. Debbi: I am so glad you are here, and thank you for being here. I just finished your first novel and really enjoyed it. I assume it’s safe to say that your protagonist, Dana Hargrove, was inspired or informed by your work as a district attorney? VSK: Yes, indeed she was. I wrote that novel, the first draft of it, shortly after I had finished the first 10 years of my legal career. The first five years were as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, and the second five years of that was with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force. And I kind of included both of those experiences and put them together to develop my character and also to develop the case that she was investigating in that novel. I had just finished doing a big investigation and a case against the Colombian narcotics cartel operating in New York and mostly their money laundering activities, which were really fascinating and a lot of work. I worked on that for a good four years and so a lot of that went into the novel. Debbi: That’s really something. In your first book, Dana is a neophyte dealing with all these ethical issues and divided loyalties. I was impressed with the way you wove all the different levels of conflict into the story. Do you plot that out all ahead of time or do you plot some and improvise some? VSK: I do some of both. Yes, I start out writing a novel with a general plan, a general plot idea, and I also write a very detailed outline before I actually launch into writing something, but invariably it ends up changing a little bit along the way as I write, and I realize that some things don’t fit other things. I go back and review what I’ve written earlier on and have to change some things, but that’s what really makes it exciting for me, I think. Because it really becomes its own work and the characters will lead you cert...
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