Thursday, February 21, 2008

Authors Susan Page Davis & Megan Elaine Davis - Free Book

Susan Page Davis and her daughter, Megan Elaine Davis, are authors the Mainely Murder Series, a set of three cozy mysteries from Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. Book 1, Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, released January 18. Book 2, Treasure at Blue Heron Lake, will release in August 2008, and Imposters at Blue Heron Lake will come in spring 2009.

In the northern Maine town of Baxter, marina owner Nate Holman and journalist Emily Gray seem to attract mysteries, as well as each other. In book 1, Emily returns to Baxter to prepare her mother’s island cottage for sale. But when Nate takes her to the island by boat, they find an old man dead in his summer home. Before the police can come up with a likely murder suspect, Emily finds another body.

Susan Page Davis

Megan Elaine Davis

This is a collaboration between mother and daughter. How did this story come about?

MEGAN: My mom heard about the new line of books, and when she told me about it, we decided to write one together. We have both always liked mystery novels, so we thought it would be fun to write one of our own.

SUSAN: I think we were in the car, and I was telling about a plot I wanted to submit to editor Susan Downs at Heartsong Presents: Mysteries. Megan came up with a super idea that would make it work better, and I told her she ought to write it with me.

Did you find it easy to work together on it?

MEGAN: Yes and no. The hard part was finding time when we were both ready to work on it. Most of the time we alternated chapters, but we had to spend time together planning and discussing.

SUSAN: Ironing out the synopsis together was the most intense. Once we agreed on that, it wasn’t too bad. Each of us wrote our chapters individually, then emailed them to the other’s computer. When I would get a chapter from Megan, I would read it and suggest any changes I thought were needed. Once we were agreed on her content, I would write the next chapter and send it to her.

How did collaborating with this team impact you?

MEGAN: Working on a novel from start to finish has helped motivate me for other projects. Every time I succeed in my writing, I am encouraged to keep reaching higher.

SUSAN: I loved helping Megan sell her first book, though she had already published poetry and articles. I think it’s brought us closer, showing us that Mom and daughter can work together well on things other than housework!

What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?

MEGAN: Finding time when both of us were ready to work on our book. It's hard when both people are working multiple writing projects. My mom has also had to spend a lot of time managing her dad's estate, and I am planning my wedding.

SUSAN: Yes, we had a goal of each chapter being written in a week. But sometimes the person who was supposed to do the chapter that week was swamped with other stuff. So it took us a little longer than we’d planned, but we still met our deadline just fine and had time to let critique partners go over it for us. I’d encourage any collaborative writers to “pad in” a little extra time for the unexpected.

What are you reading right now?

MEGAN: Currently I'm reading The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, and recently finished The Pirates! in an Adventure With Scientists by Gideon Defoe.

SUSAN: I’m reading a secular mystery set in Maine: Site Unseen, by Dana Cameron. On my waiting list: Twopence to Cross the Mersey, by Helen Forrester, and The Fifth Man, by John Olson and Randy Ingermanson.

How did you choose your characters' names?

MEGAN: I confess--I have a name fetish. When I write by myself, names are everything. If I don't have a love affair with the names I'm using, out they go. I prefer unusual names--Victorian and literary and flora and fauna names. However, because of the nature of the books my mom and I write together, we chose fairly common names to give the story a more realistic atmosphere. We want readers to feel like this could happen in their own small town.

SUSAN: And we actually did change the name of our heroine slightly to please another person. Me, I’m awful at names. I tend to grab one out of the phone book, but Megan has a much more contemplative approach. We used Nate and Emily for the hero and heroine, and leave the less common names (Pauli, Rocky, Raven, Truly, etc.) to the minor characters.

Would you want to work on another book together?

MEGAN: Yes. But probably not a mystery. I do prefer reading them to writing them. Maybe we could write a fantasy.

SUSAN: Oooo, that sounds like FUN. I wrote one fantasy, Feather, and loved it. I’d like to revisit that genre.

Are you a member of American Christian Fiction Writers? If so, why?


SUSAN: Yes. I joined about two years ago and have found it one of the best investments I ever made. Because most of my work is Christian fiction, it’s ideal for me. The online courses are worth much more than the annual fee. Add to that the fellowship, bank of experts ready to answer questions, publicity opportunities, e-magazine, book club, and the conference and contests ACFW sponsors...It’s one of the best buys out there, in my opinion.

What do you want to tell us about the book?

MEGAN: My favorite part of our first book is that there are two mysteries in one. I've always liked complicated mysteries, ever since I read Nancy Drew as a kid. I also really like the setting. It reminds me of camping at Moose Head Lake with my cousins, and hot summer days when Grammy Page took us down to Messalonskee Lake for a swim.

SUSAN: Yes, our Blue Heron Lake books show interior Maine from our perspective. A tiny town on a big lake, with the island we’ve always wished we could live on. It’s not a real place, but it should be! And Emily has the adventures I wish I’d had at 25. I love writing about Maine and the quirky people who live here. Book 2 will give the reader a taste of Maine in winter, too.

Where can our readers find you on the Internet?

MEGAN: You can email me at I do not have my own Web site at this time. You can also learn more about the books my mom and I write together at her Web site:

SUSAN: Do visit my site and sign up for my monthly free book drawing. Our books are featured on the “Mystery” page there. I’m also a host at Keep Me In Suspense: , a site for mystery and suspense writers. You can learn about Heartsong Presents: Mysteries and sign up for their book club at: .

Wow, Susan and Megan, thanks for spending this time with us.

Readers, want a free copy of their book? Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy.


Janet Spaeth said...

I love that you work together, as mother and daughter. My mom, bless her, shared her love of mysteries with me. We would have had so much fun writing together! I know she would have loved these books. (She's in heaven now.)

And thanks, Lena, for bringing this interview to us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reviews, please enter me in the drawing.
Fmartin816 at comcast dot net

Susan Page Davis said...

Janet, I know what you mean! Both my parents instilled in me a love of reading. My dad especially taught me to love history and value family roots. They've both passed on now, but I can see their legacy in our family. We're a tribe of readers and writers.

Jenny said...

That is so cool that mother and daughter worked together. You do not hear of that much, if ever.

Hannah said...

great interview! thats awesome that susan and megan are writing together! i would love to win a copy of their book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

ForstRose said...

Please enter me for the drawing.


windycindy said...

A writing duo! How wonderful. I have heard great things about this book. Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks,Cindi

Carolynn W. said...

Great must be wonderful to have worked on this book together:) I love mysteries, and this one sounds good!

Tara said...

I'd love to win!

Lesha said...

Sounds interesting. I love a good mystery. :)

Abi B. said...

I love suspense stories. This sounds like one I'd like to read. Count me in please.

Anonymous said...

this sounds so good, what a great interview! please enter me, thanks!

lilac grandma said...

Very interesting interview! Thanks.
I would love to win this book! Blessings, Melody msproule1225@gmaildotcom

Susan Stitch said...

Great interview! I have one daughter who is a fabulous writer and another who comes up with really creative ideas -- I like the idea of collaborating with them on a book! I'm sure over the course of the writing we would love and hate each other even more! Please include me in the drawing.

Karin said...

A mystery in Maine---- sounds good to me! I am crossing my fingers that I win this one! Thank you for the giveaway. Enjoyed the interview.

The Surrendered Scribe said...

What a great feat, to co author, and to do within the family. I love Maine and mysteries. Great interview!

jarduini (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Kim said...

My daughter and I (and my daddy and I!) harbor dreams of co-writing some day, so this was fun. Thanks for sharing, Susan and Megan!

Blessings on you both!

Donna Moore said...

With mother's day right around the corner this was a great interview. I love that it is a mother/daughter team. Please enter me in the drawing.

Blissful said...

Congratulations on your book! At least I was able to get out with my son and hike the Appalachian Trail, but collaborate on a book? - I don't think so. :)

cathikin said...

Two myusteries in one; makes sense when there are two authors! Very interesting interview, sounds like a book that would hold my attention for sure!

Doreen said...

How nice~a Mother-daughter team!! :)

bunny said...

Looks like an interesting read, and it's wonderful that the authors are a mother n daughter team. Keep up the good work. I love reading good books - please enter me in the drawing! Thanks

Carole said...

I was also a Nancy Drew fan, and love mysteries. I definitely plan on reading this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Susan Page Davis said...

Thank you for all your encouraging comments. Megan and I are delighted with the book itself--the cover and general look of it. We can hardly wait to see Book 2 this summer!