Thursday, February 6, 2014
The Silver Crescent by Debby Grahl with Interview
Thanks, Dalene, for having me here today.
First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I grew up in Michigan. Now I live on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with my husband David and our cat Tigger. When I go home to Michigan, there are three things I like to do: listen to a Tiger Baseball game, drink a milk shake called a Boston cooler, and eat a Lafayette Coney Island chili dog.
I was born with a deteriorating eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. This has limited my vision to the point that I use screen-reading software to research and write my books. Even though my vision loss has prevented me from doing everything I’d like to do, I’ve never allowed it to stop me from trying new things. Life is too short not to experience all you can.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first book, a mystery cozy, titled Decorated for Death, ten years ago. I now have four completed manuscripts. After submitting Decorated For Death in a contest and receiving a low score, but helpful advice on all my beginner writer’s mistakes, I began to take online writing classes. These were extremely helpful and I highly recommend them. The Silver Crescent is the second book I wrote, and this December my third, Rue Toulouse, is to be released.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I’m going to answer this in two parts. If possible, I’d like to be able to write at the location in which the book takes place. I love absorbing the atmosphere around me. In The Silver Crescent, the town Cedar Bend is fictional, but Ann Arbor and Brighton are real places. I have family nearby and did a lot of the writing for this book at my uncle’s house on Sand Lake.
As for where I sit to write. I used to do all my writing at my desk, but last year I had back surgery and my desk chair wasn’t comfortable. So I began writing seated on our love seat with my feet propped up and the key board on my lap. I decided this was a lot more comfortable than my desk, so I’m still here.
Why did you decide to write The Silver Crescent?
This is kind of an unusual story. We had friends visiting and they told us about going on a garden tour of historic homes. One couple had taken old tombstones and made their patio out of them. I thought this rather creepy. Kiddingly, I wondered if they’d brought any ghosts along with the tombstones? This question led to more speculation and the idea for the book was born.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Oliver Chandler has to be my favorite. His character is a combination of two dear friends of mine. When I did the outline for my characters, I had no idea Oliver would become so prominent.
How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
Well, I have to say I like them all, LOL, but if I had to choose, I’d say Garrison. I find it a lot easier to create nasty personalities for women than I do for men.
Do you proofread/edit your own books, or do you get someone to do that for you?
My husband David proofreads my manuscripts before I send them to the editor. He’s been doing this for me for so long, he says he can’t read a book without proofreading it as he goes along.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
We have a tandem bike and there are wonderful bike paths here on Hilton Head so we do a lot of biking. I enjoy traveling, especially going to places I’ve read about. The three main things on my bucket list are swimming with dolphins, going on a horse- driven slay ride and visiting the castle where the television series Downton Abby is filmed, which I’m going to get to do this October.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I love to read, although I actually listen to books. The National Library for the Blind has a fantastic selection. They also now have books available as digital downloads. I love anything from regency romances to mystery cozies, along with time travel, paranormal, and contemporary romance.
A few of my favorite authors are, Heather Graham, Jayne Ann Krentz / Amanda Quick, Nora Roberts, Stephanie Laurens, Janet Evanovich, Carola Dunn, Martha Grimes, and the mystery classics: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L. Sayers.
Where did you come up with the idea for the ghosts?
I think ghosts are fun to use in books because you can write about them in so many different ways. You can have them talk and move around like normal people, or they can be there but never seen. They can be friendly or mean, mischievous or serious. They can be any gender and from any time period.
Betrayal, murder and a stolen fortune bring Elise Baxter to Cedar Bend, Michigan, on a quest to solve a family mystery—and recover the missing treasure.
Max Holt impulsively buys a crumbling Victorian mansion and fulfills his dream of restoring it as a restaurant and inn. Aware of its reputation for being haunted, he adds to the mystique by building a garden path of old tombstones, one of which belongs to the original owner of the house, Cyrus Mosby—the man whose legacy Elise has traced, and who allegedly stole her ancestral share of a Colorado silver mine over a century ago.
Following clues gleaned from old diaries and a visit from the spirit of her great-great-grandmother, Elise seeks out Max and his inn. Not knowing if she can trust Max with her family secret, Elise pretends her interest is in researching Cyrus, whose own violent death remains a mystery.
An intense attraction between Max and Elise leads him to believe she may be the girl of his dreams. But when he discovers her true interest in him and his inn, memories of a past betrayal threaten to end their passionate relationship. Elise, finding herself falling in love with Max, fears her deception may cost her more than she is willing to lose.
Once persuaded the stolen silver is hidden somewhere in the inn, and captivated by the idea of a treasure hunt, Max and Elise begin the search together, aided by the resident ghosts, Cyrus and Virginia.
The treasure hunt seems like a harmless adventure until someone tries to steal the diaries. Unknown to Max and Elise, there are others—including an evil presence—who are driven by greed and will stop at nothing to unlock the mystery of the Silver Crescent.
Introducing Debby Grahl:
Debby Grahl lives on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, with her husband, David, and their cat, Tigger. When she’s not writing, she enjoys biking, walking on the beach, and having a glass of wine at sunset. Her favorite places to visit are the Cotswolds of England, Captiva Island in Florida, New Orleans, New York City, and her home state of Michigan. She is a history buff who also enjoys reading murder mysteries, time travel, and of course, romance. Visually impaired since childhood by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), she uses screen-reading software to research and write her books. Debby belongs to RWA, Florida Romance Writers, Hearts Across History, and Lowcountry Romance Writers.
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