Welcome Darlene to my blog. Thanks for doing an interview for us. Gunfight at Grace Gulch is a wonderful story which if would recomend. Its another Cozy Mystery, you can see how to buy the books on the side bar.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the beautiful state of Colorado, where I share an apartment with my mother. My son lives in Oklahoma with his family. I recently learned that my daughter-in-law will have a baby girl in December, my first biological grandchild. I am thrilled!
My other child, my daughter Jolene, went home to be with the Lord in March of this year. I am struggling with that loss right now.
I love to read (what writer doesn’t?), I do some scrapbooking and cross stitch (right now I’m working on a sampler for that new grandbaby!) We have a lynx point Siamese, Talia, who entertains us constantly.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?
I have always written, and in fact worked for a newspaper briefly. But I count my time as a serious writer from the days following my divorce, when God’s word matched my need and writing exploded through my fingers. By the time I had survived that experience, I was addicted to writing.
3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
I enjoy my day job, as a retail analyst at Dish Network. Working in a secular environment protects me from insular Christianity—something I tend to do. I work with a great group of people from all across the globe (although I’m not sure if we have any Aussies in our group, Jenny).
4. What was you motivation for writing Gunfight At Grace Gulch?
Gunfight at Grace Gulch was my third attempt at a cozy mystery for the new Heartsong Presents: Mysteries! book club. With my third try, I scrapped the familiar territory of city-based stories and developed the coziest setting I could find: small town Oklahoma. I lived in Oklahoma for a decade, both town and city, and my son lives there now. The idea for Gunfight grew out of Oklahoma’s recent statehood centennial.
5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?
I don’t consciously model characters on people I know. I do study people for their “quirks” and incorporate those into my mysteries. Dina Wilde (my heroine’s younger sister), for instance, shares the hair-color-changing habits of a former co-worker.
It’s fairly easy to come up with a list of characters, especially in a mystery. Hero, heroine, murder victim, suspects (including the villain). Add a supporting cast of family and friends. Give them names and add details that make them each unique. What I want to do better is to give them more depth.
6. Do you have an interest in the eras and fashion from the ages like Cici does?
History does fascinate me. No, I don’t have a “passion for fashion” like Cici does, but I agree with her that fashions say a lot about the culture of the time.
7. what would you like readers to take out of reading "Gunfight at Grace Gulch"?
Most of all, I hope they enjoy the story! Cici struggles with self-doubt—the boring, “good” sister who can’t compete with her two flamboyant siblings. I hope my readers can identify with those struggles and maybe learn a little bit along with her.
8. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects, I know there are more in this series and I can't wait?
There are two more books in this series. A String of Murders should be released in December/January. A man is murdered in Cici’s store, and he’s clutching the famous Magda Grace Mallory pearls in his hands. The third book, Paint Me a Puzzle, entangles the citizens of Grace Gulch in a treasure hunt. We also learn the identity of Dina’s (Cici’s adopted sister) father.
This year and next, I will have stories in two Christmas anthologies. In Dressed in Scarlet, coming out in September in Snowbound Colorado Christmas, an heiress and a mechanic fall in love when they are both trapped at the elegant Brown Palace Hotel during the blizzard of 1913. (Look for Lucy Ames, Sharpshooter in Texas Cowgirls Christmas next year.)
Last but not least, next summer Beacon of Love will be released. During on the “Great Gale of 1815,” a Rhode Island lighthouse keeper’s daughter and the town physician battle the elements—and their own fears—to keep the lamps burning during the storm.
9. How can readers find you on the web?
10. Do you have any final thoughts for us?
I have a fondness for all things Australian, starting with my days as a penpal with a Sheila named Jillian. Nowadays I do a Bible study-by-email with an Aussie who has worked in major cities in Asia, Europe and North America.
For a chance to win a copy of this book leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win. you can comment and not enter also. Contest open til Tuesday 19th 6pm Aussie time
My review will be up in a day or so.