Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I’ve always loved to read so I think it was natural that I’d transition into writing mysteries. They have been my genre of choice since I was a young girl and loved to read Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon. Cozy mysteries are one of my favorites and Ann George has been a big influence on my writing. As for writing Christian Fiction – Margaret Daley’s books were a big influence.
I loved to read Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon, and Margaret is one of my favorite authors. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Of course there is the birth of my children and other life events that have been happy, but this question brings me back to a time when one Christmas day my grandmother arranged to surprise me with a horse. I’d been wanting one for a long time and thought the closest I’d get to have my own would be in my dreams. I was totally surprised and had lots and lots of fun times with Apache! Aren’t grandmothers wonderful?
How has being published changed your life?
Love this question. I have been thrown into the world of marketing. I’ve gone to book clubs, writers groups, book festivals, etc. So I’ve been very busy and I love it. I like to meet people so this is right up my alley. One of the negatives is that it takes away from my writing time.
What are you reading right now?
A Time For Peace Quilts of
Series by Barbara
Cameron. I read the first one of the series, so I’m excited to be reading the
second one with the same characters. Lancaster
What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the fourth installment in the Trixie Montgomery Cozy Mystery Series. The working title is Chilled in Chattanooga and of course the setting is
. Chattanooga, Tennessee
What would be your dream vacation be?
I’m not sure – but I think
Hawaii would be a beautiful place to visit
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I started with
Dahlonega, Georgia, because I’d written several historical
articles about this picturesque north Georgia town and fell in love with
the area. I noticed that readers loved being able to relate to things that they
recognized. So I decided to write the other ones about places that people would
know. Thus Murder in Marietta was my second book.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Hummm, I’m not sure. Let’s go with Margaret Daley. She is such a wonderful writer and I’d like to get some tips from herJ
She’s a gracious lady, and I know you’d enjoy the time. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
When I had more time I used to enjoy macro photography. I love to take close-ups of flowers and butterflies and other little insects. I took a picture of a bee getting pollen from a flower, and it was so clear you could see his little Mohawk. I started out by shooting pictures for my articles I write for “Georgia Backroads.” I enjoyed it so much I took it up as a hobby. I’ve won several awards in armature photography.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’m really having a time getting a large word count. I haven’t overcome it yetJ
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write, write and write. And don’t give up!
Tell us about the featured book.
Trixie Montgomery’s back on the beat, facing her own spectral fears covering ghost sightings at the
. With sidekick and
best friend, Dee Dee, in tow, the women brave a sleepover inside the haunted
museum to discover what lurks behind closed doors. When their worst fears occur
and a dead body is discovered right under their noses, Trixie’s reputation both
as a journalist and crime solver, are once again put to the test. Marietta History
Please give us the first page of the book.
I flipped over a fresh page in my reporter’s notebook as my best friend, Dee Dee, dug into the most enormous slice of Chocolate Fetish mocha pie I’d ever seen. Dee Dee smacking loudly, I fought to keep a journalist’s objectivity while Doc Pennington, the director of the
recounted the most recent ghost sightings. Marietta History Museum
“Doc, what I really want to know is…” My tummy roiled considering the possibilities. “Have you personally seen the resident phantom?” All at once I hoped he’d say no, but from the excitement that grew in his expression, I knew he was about to confirm my worst fears.
“As a matter of fact, Trixie, may I call you Trixie?”
I nodded and he went on.
“Shortly after I became director of the museum, I heard rumors of ghosts. Until recently
I didn’t give them any real credence. Not until unexplainable occurrences happened.” He waited while a young man refilled our tea glasses.
“Such as?” My voice quavered as I prompted Doc, once the waiter was out of earshot.
“Like when the door on the empty elevator opened and closed.” Doc rubbed the bridge of his nose underneath horn-rimmed bifocals. “Once I saw a lady adorned in period clothes from the Civil War Era. Another time a man dressed in uniform appeared. I thought I’d been around this history stuff too long and my imagination ran wild.”
I glanced at Dee Dee, my memories transporting me to a time when one of the neighborhood kids wore a sheet and jumped out at me in the inky darkness. I’ve never forgotten the feeling of my heart skipping a few beats. It was a long time before the kids stopped laughing about the embarrassing stain that spread across my corduroys. Since that fateful night the mention of ghosts stirs a cauldron of ugly feelings. When Harv, my editor at “
by the Way,” gave me this assignment, I knew I’d have to deal with unresolved
childhood fears. Until Doc began recounting the sightings, I didn’t realize how
close to the surface they would rise.
I’d been at the magazine for less than a year, and trying to prove myself among the younger, more energetic reporters. So when Harv suggested I spend a night at the museum, I said yes. Doc was a good friend of Harv’s and had made the arrangements, so I couldn’t afford to mess things up with my unreasonable fears. I forced my thoughts back to the present as Doc continued.
“I decided to have a little fun and talk up the sightings. Word spread faster than a pat of butter on a hot biscuit. People flocked to the museum to meet the ghosts. PBS, TBS, CBS, TNN and ‘Haunted House’ on the History Channel featured the story. The tale literally took on a life of its own as everyone tried to see a ghost. But when no one showed, they all said I was trying to get publicity.”
“Or that he was crazy,” Penny, his wife, hissed, patting his hand. “We were practically ostracized from the community. For a while they stopped bringing in school children.”
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Thank you, Deborah, for sharing this book with us.
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Murder in Marietta
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