If you missed my radio interview last night, here's the link. Host, Doug Dahlgren, managed a very professional interview during which I was able to talk in-depth about A RED, RED ROSE and EAGLEBAIT, as well as the sequel to ROSE, publication date TBA: BENEATH THE STONES. I'd love some comments!
When a lost painting by local artist Jerry Berger surfaces
at the Brush & Bevel, a New Hampshire art gallery, the owner, Ginny Brent,
sets out to gather facts about the ten-year old mysterious death of Berger and
his model Abby. As Elsie Kimball and Sue Bradley, employees at the Brush &
Bevel, aid Ginny in her efforts to track the provenance of the Berger painting,
they unearth some surprising and damning evidence about the deaths of the
artist and his appealingly-nude model. The mystery lies not only in the cause
of the deaths, but in the life of the painting itself.
Andrews’ intimate knowledge of the framing and art industry
provides fascinating background information for the mystery.She fleshes out the novel with quirky New
Englanders—from a fishmonger to a local policeman, a jeweler who is deathly
afraid of frogs, a customer with terrible taste in art and several bar (that’s
Framed propels the
reader to the last page with just enough light-touch humor to soften the edges
of a grisly double death. The novel is surely artfully framed.
In a recent blog interview I was asked, “What are the highs
and lows when it comes to writing?” Ironically, for me, the two are
inextricably entwined. I dread the high-tech requirements for marketing and
promoting. On the other hand, meeting other writers through blogs, web-loops,
Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, and other electronic media has widened my writing
world tremendously. I feel I know quite a few writers I will never actually
meet in person—those who have shared interviews and reviews, blogged about and
commiserated with me via chat groups.
NIKKI ANDREWS comes to mind as her Worldwide Release of Framed,
a cozy mystery published by The Wild Rose Press (my publisher) occurs this
week. Nikki graciously interviewed me re my cozy A Red, RedRose
on her blog this January. I reviewed Framed and gave it a 5-star rating
on Amazon. It’s a fun, quick read—full of humor and feminine smarts as
colleagues in a framing shop help solve a decades-old murder.
PETER GREEN is another author friend who gave me a dynamite
review on Amazon when A Red, RedRosefirst came out,
published by L&L Dreamspell. I love
the fact he compared me (favorably!) to an all-time favorite Southern Gothic
writer, Carson McCullers. I had the opportunity to read and review his memoir
about his father’s World War II experience in Ben’s War With the U.S. Marines,which chronicles Ben Green’spatriotic resolve to find ways to serve his
country while enjoying life and practicing his own particular talents involving
radio. It’s a book for everybody—not just war buffs.
NANCY MEANS WRIGHT’S Broken Strings was another fun
read/review I did for a fellow Dreamspell author who reciprocated with a review
Red, Red Rose. And there’s
CINDY SAMPLE who has become as close to real-life friend as is possible
through Facebook, e-mails, and the Dreamloop. I read and reviewed Cindy’s Dying
for a Daiquiri, set in Hawaii, while I was in Hawaii—making it all the
So many other authors have interacted with me through
technology. My very first guest blog via“Romance Bandits” put me in contact with
readers all over the world—the UK and Australia responding to my blog hours
before Eastern Standard wake-up time. Also SUSAN WHITFIELD afforded me a guest
spot on her blog the first day of my free Kindle promo for A Red, Red Rose. And what
a treat to be able to respond to a blog at Wild Women Authors about the creator of the cover of my
book—Tina Lynn Stout.
So, Techno-dunce or not, I’ve certainly “met” a lot of
talented and dedicated folks in the literary world through electronics. Just
call me ambivalent.
Well, folks, my cozy mystery/Southern Gothic A RED, RED ROSE goes absolutely FREE via Kindle from Jan 21 - 25. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enjoy this fun mystery, history, romance with a ghost! Today Susan Whitfield interviews me on her blog. Here it is:
Coryell's Red, Red Rose
A RED, RED ROSE by Susan Coryell – The Wild Rose Press
Sometimes even the most fiercely guarded secrets are destined to be revealed.
A native Virginian, Susan Coryell is a career educator and a lifelong writer. She has taught students from 7th grade through college-level and is listed in several volumes of Who’s Who in Education and Who’s Who in Teaching. A favorite activity is to talk with budding writers at schools, writers’ conferences, and workshops.
Susan has always been interested in Southern culture and society, as
hard-felt, long-held feelings battle with modern ideas. She was able to
explore these concepts in her cozy mystery/Southern gothic A Red,Red Rose, whose fictional setting is based on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. The ghosts slipped in, to her surprise.
When not writing, Susan enjoys boating, kayaking, golf and yoga. She and
her husband love to travel, especially when grandchildren are involved.
Welcome to the blog, Susan. How many books have you written?
My first published novel, Eaglebait, a young adult work involving
school bullies was published over twenty years ago. It won The
International Reading Association’s “Young Adult Choice,” and the NY
Public Library’s “Books for the Teen Age” awards. I have recently
updated Eaglebait to include cyber-bullying and it is available in print and e-book via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. A Red, Red Rose is my second published book.
Give a short synopsis of your most recent book.
When twenty-year old Ashby Overton travels to Overhome Estate for a
summer in Virginia, she hopes to unearth her ancestral roots and the
cause of a mysterious family rift surrounding the death of her
Grandmother Lenore years ago. From the moment she enters her room in the
oldest wing, Ashby feels an invisible enfolding presence. She learns
the room once belonged to a woman named Rosabelle, but no one is willing
to talk about Rosabele—no one except Luke, the stable boy who captures
Ashby’s heart. As Ashby and Luke become closer, she realizes he can be
the confidant she needs to share the terrifying secrets unfolding. Ever
present is a force Ashby never sees, only feels. Candles light
themselves, notes from an old lullaby fall from the ceiling, the radio
tunes itself each day. And roses appear in the unlikeliest places. Are
the roses a symbol of love, or do they represent something dark,
something deeply evil?
Q: What challenges did you face while writing this book?
I started writing A Red, Red Rose while living in Northern
Virginia, the scene of an actual ancestral home reputed to be haunted.
After retiring to Southern Virginia, I decided to switch the setting
there. The problem was I had not lived there long enough to fully
understand the cultural nuances. So, I fictionalized the setting as
Moore Mountain Lake and made up whatever details I wanted. That’s the
great thing about writing fiction!
Q: Do you travel to do research or for inspiration. Share some special places.
Research was key for the history background of A Red, Red Rose.
Fortunately, Virginia is very big on history. I believe seven US
presidents were born in the state and George Washington and Thomas
Jefferson are sacred! I spent hours in the Bedford Museum, which
specializes in local history. There I found my prototype for Overhome
Estate, as well as information on the formation of Smith Mountain Lake. I
talked to the historians at Booker T. Washington’s birthplace in regard
to slave cemeteries and consulted professors about Civil War activity
in Southern Virginia. Lots of work, but lots of fun and I met some
Q: What is your greatest lesson learned about writing so far. What advice do you have for new writers.
Like most writers, I have to edit, edit, edit. I find putting my work
aside for a day or so and re-reading it from a fresh point of view
helpful. For new writers, I suggest joining a critique group. For
writers of all ages, I say read constantly.
Q: Promotion—how do you get the word out both off and online?
Ah, promotion—my most dreaded aspect of being a published author. I work
hard at what I call hands-on promotion. I’m good at holding signings,
workshops, author talks and panel discussions. I enjoy speaking to any
group who invites me—be it schools, book clubs, community organizations
or church. It’s the online promotion I find most challenging. I have a
good website, a pretty decent blog (which I need to write on more
frequently), and I belong to Face Book, Linked In, She Writes,
Goodreads, and my Authors Helping Authors publisher’s group. An English
major through and through, I find technology baffling and frustrating,
but I battle on. Just opened a Twitter account—so we’ll see how that
Q: What are your future writing goals/projects??
I am so glad you asked! I have just finished the sequel to A Red, Red Rose and am editing, editing, editing until I muster the nerve to submit it to my publisher. Called Beneath the Stones,
the cozy mystery/Southern gothic finds Ashby Overton five years later,
mistress of the manor and planning her wedding when a big problem
emerges. Of course, there are spirits involved and these ghosts
originated during the Civil War. Talk about research! I have become
quite the expert on Confederate history—visiting battlefields, museums
and ancient houses—attending lectures, perusing books and scouring the
Internet. It was a learning experience, for sure.
Where can folks learn more about your books and events?
I've just joined a book group at Good Reads. It's for book addicts, so I am a qualified member. I'll be posting some books I've read and hope to read and a review or two as well as my own writings. Join me anyone?