by Jeff Reynolds
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!
CONGRATULATIONS, JENNIFER SMITH!
WE HAVE A WINNER!!!
CONGRATULATIONS, JENNIFER SMITH!
After the interview, you can find out how to win a copy of Death By The Book.
Jeff Reynolds: Julianna, welcome back to Sleuths and Suspects. It's hard to believe it's just been six months since you've been here previously! Anything interesting happen in that time?
Julianna Deering: Pretty much business as usual. I've been pretty busy trying to keep up with everything involved with this new release and I've been working on the edits for Murder at the Mikado, the third book in the series.
JR: Death by the Book, the second installment of the Drew Farthering Mysteries, has just hit the shelves. What inspired the series and the main character?
JD: I've always loved the classic mysteries written in the 1920s and '30s, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham and Dorothy L. Sayers especially. And I love the BBC adaptations of them, especially Poirot, Campion and Wimsey. And, being a writer, I couldn't help trying my hand at something in this genre. My main character, Drew Farthering, pretty much popped into my head and said, "Oh, I say, wouldn't it be smashing if you let me solve some cracking good mysteries?" I suppose he's the hero-sleuth I just wanted to read about. He's handsome and wealthy, stylish and very British. He's got just a touch of angst about his past, but not enough to keep him from being great fun.
JR: Please tell us about Death By The Book.
JD: It begins about two months after the end of Rules of Murder. Drew has solved that case and just wants to spend the end of the summer with his sweetheart Madeline. If he has his way about it, he'd like to convince her to marry him, too. Instead, he ends up with a fresh string of murders, a confounding American rival and Madeline's formidable maiden aunt who wants to whisk Madeline back to the States. Poor Drew.
JR: One thing I like is how light hearted this series is. How do you manage to keep it fun when dealing with heavy subjects like murder, infidelity, etc.?
JD: I think a lot of that has to do with the time period of the book. The 1930s saw a lot of social and financial upheaval, worldwide depression, and the events that would eventually lead up to WW II. But the entertainment of the time, movies and music especially, tended to be fast and funny and lighthearted, something people really needed at the time. One of the things that attracts Drew and Madeline to each other is their sense of humor and ability to deal with problems without falling apart.
JR: I'm curious. Are you familiar with an author named DeAnna Julie Dodson? The two of you look like you could be sisters, maybe even twins. Should you know her, how would you contrast your styles?
JD: Actually, yes, she is my evil twin. How would I contrast our styles? I write mysteries with lots of suspects and lots of victims and lots of red herrings. She prefers angsty historical romances with moody heroes, lots of pageantry and tragic family rifts. But she has written some contemporary mysteries that have no murders at all. Where's the fun in that?
JR: What do you have coming up? Anything due out under either of your names?
JD: Yes, Murder at the Mikado, the third Drew Farthering mystery, is due out on July 1st. I just turned in the galleys on it, so it's fairly much done besides final page proofs. It's so exciting to see a manuscript finally become a real book, and Bethany House is just fabulous to work with. In case you haven't noticed, the book covers for this series are fabulous, so perfect for the stories and for the period. The cover for Mikado is my absolute favorite. Drew in white tie? Be still my heart!
JR: It sounds like you're pretty busy. How do you handle the other priorities in your life, like hockey? More importantly, how does your spiritual life survive all the deadlines?
JD: Well, one must always make time for hockey. And, because I like to try to multi-task as much as possible, I always sew while I watch. That way I don't feel I've just frittered away three hours at a stretch, and I end up actually getting some projects finished. The deadlines for any working author can be pretty tough, especially for the things you don't usually consider when scheduling your time. Yes, you can usually count on X-amount of time to finish the book and turn it in, but then there's editing and other questions related to the book itself. Beyond that there are interviews and book signings and blog tours and all those little things that I enjoy doing, but which can add up to a big time investment. The only way I can survive those deadlines is with God. In fact, my favorite verse is Isaiah 41:13 which says: "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear. I will help you.'" And He has.
JR: Thank you for your time. How can we keep in touch with you?
JD: I'm on Facebook at Author Julianna Deering, Twitter @deannajuldodson, and my websites: www.juliannadeering.com, www.drewfarthering.com and www.deannajuliedodson.com. I love to chat with my readers. And Bethany House has printed up some wonderful bookmarks for each of the books and some great bookplates with Drew's hat logo on them, which I autograph for readers to put in their books. So if they would like bookmarks and/or bookplates, they just need to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (at least 7" long for bookmarks) to me at P. O. Box 375, Aubrey, Texas 76223. I'd love to hear from you, readers! And thank you, Jeff, for letting me visit again. It's always a pleasure.
Jeff to reader: It's time to give away a copy of Death By The Book. All you have to do is follow three simple steps:
- Leave a comment on this blog.
- Leave your e-mail address. You can spell it out, like AuntDotKahm(at)Ant(dot)com.
- Finally, a challenge for you: create your own mini-mystery. In a room, there's a sci-fi writer, a TV journalist, a women's basketball coach, a clergyman, a soccer-mom, a used car salesman, and a classical pianist. The lights go out for one minute, and when they come on someone has been murdered. Who died? Who's the killer and why? And who solves the crime?