Cozy Mystery author, Deborah Malone is visiting the Scribes today. Debbie has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, since 2001, for the historical magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published during this time. Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson. She has also had a showing of her photographs at Floyd Medical Center Art Gallery as well as winning several awards. Her debut cozy mystery “Death in Dahlonega”, was a winner in the ACFW Category Five Writer’s Contest. Today she is here to tell us about her next in the Trixie Montgomery series, “Murder in Marietta.”
Murder in Marietta follows historical magazine writer Trixie Montgomery on her latest assignment that can make or break her new career. The Marietta History Museum’s resident ghosts are stirring up trouble in historic downtown Marietta, Georgia. Trixie begs her best friend to come along. Their plans to research the spooky sightings vanish into thin air when a dead body is discovered in the museum. The director of the museum and her boss’ friend, Doc Pennington, shoots to the top of the suspect list when his fingerprints are the only ones found on the murder weapon, a civil war rifle. Unwilling to risk losing her boss’s faith in her journalistic abilities, Trixie and Dee Dee offer to help sniff out the real culprit only to wind up in hot water when they are kidnapped by the real killers. Will they be rescued in time?
Welcome, Debbie, can you give us a sneak peek at your new release “Murder in Marietta?”
Thank you for having me today, and I sure can! Trixie and Dee Dee head off to Marietta, Georgia for another assignment. They visit the Marietta History Museum where they spend the night to see if they can sight the resident ghosts. Sometime during the night a murder takes place in the museum and the director, Doc Pennington, is put on the suspect list. He asks Trixie and Dee Dee to help him find the real killer. Nana takes a larger role in this book and she won’t disappoint you with her antics. All of this together makes a recipe for murder and mayhem.
Sounds like fun! What inspired this book?
I’ve always loved to read so I think it was natural that I’d transition into writing. Mysteries have been my genre of choice since I was a young girl and loved to read Nancy Drew. 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.
How did you know you were called to write?
I’ve always wanted to write, but while I was writing my manuscript I wrote it as a secular book. While I was writing it I was thinking I’d like to write it in a manner that wouldn’t be offensive to Christians. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as “Christian fiction.” I had finished the manuscript when I read one of Margaret Daley’s books and went to her website where I ‘discovered’ Christian fiction. I couldn’t get enough. I joined ACFW and began to study how other writers wrote their books. I went back and rewrote my manuscript as Christian fiction.
Are you a panster or do you outline?
I’m definitely a panster. I have a general outline on how I want the manuscript to progress, but that’s it. Then I might do a general outline for each chapter, but none of it is done in detail. Now after I’ve written a chapter I will go in Microsoft One Note and detail the chapter so I can keep up with my characters, timeline, setting, etc.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing seriously in 2001 when I started writing for “Georgia Backroads” a historical magazine. I am still writing for them. I started on my book in 2002, but life got in the way and so I came back to it around 2009/10.
Tell us something silly about you.
My friends and family could probably answer this better than me. The one thing I can think about is that I love to sing – but I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. So I sing in the car with the windows rolled up and the radio/CD’s going to cover up my singing.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
There aren’t any deep messages in “Murder in Marietta, but there is a theme of forgiveness and faith. For the most part I hope I make someone laugh and take them away from the stresses of real life for just a while. I want them to have some laugh out loud moments.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on the third book in the Trixie Montgomery series. Trixie and Dee Dee along with Nana and Trixie’s mama Betty Jo have gone to Savannah/Tybee Island, Georgia for a vacation. Of course they are going to have to help someone find a killer.
What has been your most challenging experience writing a book?
I don’t think I can list just one. Learning the craft/rules of writing was a big curve for me. Then there is the editing. Then there is submitting to publishers. And then when you are finally published you think you are home free – not! Then there is the marketing. It seems there are always new challenges to learn in writing and publishing a book.
Tell us a fond childhood memory?
I have many fond memories, but one that stands out is when my grandmother bought me a horse. My parents weren’t able to afford one so she chipped in to help and one Christmas they surprised me. Boy was I surprised.
Awwww! That is a sweet surprise! Debbie, I have enjoyed getting to know you a little better. Thank you for visiting, and I have to tell you, your covers are beautiful and entriguing.
Readers, keep in touch with Debbie at: