Tag: interview

Interview with Olivia deBelle Byrd

Cooley,Olivia-215-06-02-14Final2croppedTell us a little about yourself.

I was born and bred in Panama City, Florida, on the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida Panhandle. My grandfather, Wyatt Oates Byrd, moved to Panama City in 1930 to open a Nehi Bottling Company. I graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, am a former elementary school teacher and was a stay-at-home mom for my children, Tommy Jr and Elizabeth. My husband, Tommy, and I still reside in Panama City.

What was your favorite part of the writing process?

Being raised by a Southern father and grandmother of uncommon wit, humor flowed as freely as water from a faucet in our household. When I finally put pen to paper, the stories poured forth as though an age-old tap had been discovered and turned on. I loved the gush of warm and euphoric remembrances and seeing these memories transposed into the written word.

What are you currently reading?

The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan. It is a wonderful love story of two Harvard students who fall in love on the eve of World War I and face a world at war on opposing sides. At a recent trade show, I was on a war panel with Allegra. She is a delight and the book is brilliant. Now, why a Southern humorist and self-proclaimed Southern belle like myself was on a WAR panel is another story!

How many books do you normally read at a time?

I only read one book at a time from beginning to end and I read for details. I want it all! Once I start a good book, I am lost to the world. When my children were young, I did not dare start a book until they went to bed or they might end up playing in traffic!

51jZ10-qpfL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Your new book, SAVE MY PLACE, is so very different from your first book, MISS HILDRETH WORE BROWN. How did this story begin to germinate?

My first book was what I like to call ‘real life’ fiction—things that really happened—but I embellished them with anecdotes. With this first novel, Save My Place, I started with the main character, who actually began talking to me and telling me about her life. Eventually, I had to get her story on paper, and that’s when I got up in the middle of the night and wrote about her first, with a lot of character development.

I don’t believe writers are ever sure as to how things actually come about in a story. The college and teaching experiences contain some true stories, but with the introduction of Kincaid, it definitely becomes completely fiction.

In SAVE MY PLACE you wrote, very convincingly, about “Old Panama City Beach”, which is where you are from, and the Vietnam era. Did you write from personal experience?

Panama City Beach is definitely part of my history. We used to have house parties here, and my descriptions of the motels were spot on, because those experiences were really true.

Vietnam was very pivotal for me when I was in college. The draft was unsettling for everyone, but men were able to get deferments in some cases. Even though I lived through the war, I did a great deal of research, because the timeline was very important. I researched battles and interviewed someone who served, twice, in Vietnam. I also talked to a West Point graduate, because it’s the little details that made the story more true to life.

Along those same lines, in SAVE MY PLACE the experience of losing a child to leukemia was very sad, but eventually brought your characters to a deeper faith. What was your motivation with this part of the story line?

A friend had a portrait of her daughter, who had died, and she talked so beautifully, and handled it with such grace, I never forget her, her story, and how she handled it. Before I included this part in the book, I found my friend on the Internet; we renewed our friendship; and, she gave me permission to use her experience. I also interviewed a physician from M.D. Anderson who was able to share the appropriate protocols, and walked me through what would have been done in the 70s.

And, yes, the experience was what turned Kincaid to God. I wanted to impart that it was a child who brought him to seek God and an understanding of faith.

There was also an extremely poignant chapter about a teacher. Is that part of your history as well, or did you pick it out of the headlines?

Having the character shave her head was complete fiction. However, I did teach school for seven years, and actually made the dress I mentioned and had the kids decorate it. We did make the newspaper!

51n8lqXs6jL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_Why the nom de plume?

I didn’t make it up, because it’s my actual maiden name, and was too good to waste! I really liked what Melinda Rainey Thompson, author of SWAG: SOUTHERN WOMEN AGING GRACEFULLY said about the name: ‘The first thing I liked about SAVE MY PLACE was the author’s name: Olivia deBelle Byrd. If you can’t make it as a writer in the South with a name like that, well, you’re not really trying, are you?’

Learn more about Olivia at www.oliviadebellebyrd.com 

Interview with romance author Shirley Martin

shirley2-207x300Born near Pittsburgh, Shirley Martin attended the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating from “Pitt”, she taught school for one year, then obtained a position as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines. Based in Miami, she met her future husband there. After raising three sons, she devoted her time to writing, something she had always wanted to do.

With a vivid imagination and a love of storytelling, Shirley has always enjoyed writing. Her first published novel, “Destined to Love” reflects her familiarity with western Pennsylvania, where she hails from, and her love of romance writing. From this historical romance, she blossomed out to other romance genres. “One More Tomorrow” is a vampire romance, one her publisher dubbed “a sizzling seller”. With several fantasy novels and novellas, her writing should appeal to just about every reader of romance. Her books have been sold at Amazon and most major book stores and have garnered great reviews. A widow, Shirley lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her two cats.

Tell us about your new release.

ic MountainFirst, thank you for having me. I have a new book is Magic Mountain. It’s about a hidden treasure of gold that both the hero and heroine search for, in a land of magic, far away.

What led you to write this book?

I read a book, “Lost Treasures” that tells about treasures that have been lost throughout the centuries.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read, mostly fantasy and paranormal. I also read a lot of non-fiction.

Which book impacted you as a teenager?

“Captain from Castile” by Shellabarger, a historical novel. At 16, I stayed up to 3 a.m. to finish it.

What is #1 on your bucket list?

I’d love to see Paris.

Book Excerpt:

“Now, madam, please tell me your real name.” Dawn was breaking over the meadow, sunlight glimmering on the lake, its waters sparkling like diamonds. Bird song trilled from the trees, a sound that had awakened her. She stood before Garth, ready to continue her journey.

Olwen’s face heated. “Wh-what do you mean?” Just how much had he seen last night? She’d thought he was asleep when she went swimming.

“I mean this.” Garth reached over and grabbed her cap off, and spiked hair jutted out from her head. “So I’ll ask you again, what is your real name?”

Her heart sank, her stomach churning. Smoothing her fingers over her tousled locks, she turned away for a moment, then faced him again. “Olwen,” she murmured. What would he do now? Leave her to travel the rest of the journey alone? But that had been her original plan, so why should she care?

He nodded. “Now we’re getting somewhere. So tell me the reason for your journey. And I must say it’s surprising indeed to see such a well-bred lady as you traveling by herself.”

“Which is why I posed as a man.”

“And not doing a very convincing job of it.”

Despite his apparent displeasure with her, she saw how his gaze roamed over her, his eyes alight with interest; dare she call it passion? She looked up at his blond hair, tousled in the breeze, his straight nose and firm mouth. He stood tall and well-built, as if no man could ever get the best of him. What would it be like to be enclosed in his arms, his lips on hers? A rush of warmth captured her body.

But it was not to be. He fixed a stern look on her. “And your reason for traveling to Misty Mountain?”

‘None of your business. If you recall,” she said, her voice laced with sarcasm, “I started on this sojourn alone. It was you who asked to accompany me.” She shook her head. “I’m not beholden to you. And I’m perfectly capable of continuing this trip by myself.”

Interview: Lawna Mackie

Lawna 2010Lawna Mackie was born in Jasper, Alberta. After finishing high school and post secondary she moved to Calgary, Alberta, married her husband and settled in the small town of Didsbury, Alberta. She worked briefly as a legal assistant, but quickly realized this wasn’t the career for her. Fates intervened saving her from the legal profession and she ended up working for Olds College in a marketing position. Over twenty years later she is still employed at the post-secondary college.

Lawna would tell you that a lot of her creativity comes from her mother, who could design and build, just about anything. Her mother never lacked the talent for hand-making toys. “She always amazed me. My brother and I were never bored because she made us flutes, toy cars, and even parallel bars in the trees,” Lawna explains.

Her other creative inspiration comes from her husband Jeff, and the many adventures they have had. It was on one particular trip to British Columbia, when she stopped at the Enchanted Forrest that the fairy tale world called to her to write a story. Her first paranormal romance, MAGIC AND FLAMES book one in the ENCHANTING LOVE series was born. Along with the love she has for her husband and family, is the deep admiration and compassion she has for animals. “They bring so much joy and inspiration to my life I don’t know how I would ever live without them,” she says. Alaskan Malamutes are near and dear to her heart. With one Malamute, one Bichon Shih Tzu, one farm cat and a Bengal, her house is never quiet.

Lawna writes many genres from paranormal and fantasy, to romantic suspense and erotica. One fan writes, “Lawna’s books are well-written and are impossibly good! The scenes are unexpected and very creative. I highly recommend her books!”

A new chapter begins quite literally for Ms. Mackie as she joins the fantastic team of Books We Love. Look for her there and be sure to drop her a note to say hello.

Mackie-StormGodYour latest release is STORM GOD, Book 1 in the Aliens and Gods series. Tell us about the story and an intro to all the intriguing characters in this book.

My hero, Nevar is very unique and very intriguing. He is a Storm God so he has no physical form other than the elements of nature. He takes the form of rain, snow, mist…hopefully you you get the idea. Eventually, he ends up in human form, it’s really interesting and I think quite different from anything else I’ve ever read. Oh, he also has no emotions. Of course as time goes on he falls in love with my heroine but there are other gods and an alien species who seem to have different plans for the couple.

My heroine, Raven is a young researcher who has always believed that a giant cat jumped from the clouds in the Sahara Desert and saved her from death as a young child. Raven knows there is an invisible force that seems to follow her in the form of weather, be it a thick mist that swirls around her ankles, the raindrops that slide over her body during a thunderstorm, or the snowflakes that tickle her nose on a winter day. Raven is different. Her father confirms that fact. The mystery seems linked to the disappearance of her mother and Raven is determined to find out how and why.

Stormcat is another great character in this book. He is a companion to the Storm God, but the cat has an interesting fascination with Raven. Although the giant tank-size critter is forbidden from interfering with humans, he does jump down from the clouds to save Raven from a desert storm…just before Nevar finds out what he has done.

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?

I was born in the beautiful town of Jasper, Alberta. I feel very privileged to have had so many experiences in such an incredible place. One of my all time favorite places is the Tonquin Valley and Mount Edith Cavell and my story does reflect on those two locations. Everyone should visit there if they have not had a chance to.

Mackie-StoneAndIce-3Do you people watch for character inspiration?

Yes, I suppose I do watch people for character inspiration, but I also watch animals for the same thing. I get a lot of inspiration from the critters I have or have had. I love wild animals and really enjoy watching them when the chance presents itself. We really aren’t so different.

What’s more important: characters or plot?

I think the characters and the plot have to fit together or you wouldn’t have a story. You have to have the right characters to drive the plot.

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

I really can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad job, but I would say that you can certainly decided from a young age what you do and don’t like. I know that I was not meant to be an accountant. Numbers are not my thing. My husband would tell you balancing the bank account is not my forte <laughing>. I have always liked to write, draw and when time permits, do crafts. I love animals and at one time thought I could be a veterinarian, but quickly realized that at the site of blood I’d be the one laying on the floor and not much help at all.

Mackie-MagicAndFlames-2What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Maybe this is more of a story, but I like to share this with people. I did struggle academically in high school, for a number of reasons, but I always had the intent of going to university or college, which I did eventually do. Now, I actually work at a college and have done so for over twenty years.

I had to jump streams in high school in order to get the diploma I needed, and while this was difficult it wasn’t as difficult as one teacher that made things so hard for me during that time. Unfortunately, this was a high school English teacher who would not allow me into his class so I could hopefully graduate with the proper classes. I had high enough marks to take his class from the lower class. In the end he got into BIG TROUBLE and then after the class had already started (by three weeks) he told me I could attend but that my chances of success would be very slim. I decided to take the grade twelve English by correspondence. He actually laughed at me and said I would fail for certain.

Well I can say that I didn’t fail…I passed! Not with great success but I did pass. I guess the moral of my story is that I didn’t give up but it really scarred me. I didn’t write for many years because I thought I wasn’t good enough. Of course now I know I should have been writing.

I also had many wonderful teachers who were invaluable. In my heart I knew I should write…so FOLLOW YOUR HEART is what I say and DREAM BIG has always been my favorite saying.

What’s next for you?

I love to write pretty much anything. Right now I’m writing a romantic suspense that I’m very excited about. The book is called WINTER KILL and is the first in a series called Snow Lake. Of course the story and places are somewhat fictional but I did get my inspiration from the very really small town of Snow Lake in Manitoba. I hope my readers will enjoy it. Watch for it this fall!

For more about Lawna and her books visit her at: Facebook   Twitter   Website

Interview: Contemporary romance author Peggy Jaeger

Untitled (1)Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance author who writes about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Her current titles, available now, include SKATER’S WALTZ and THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, books 1 and 2 in her 6-book The MacQuire Women Series, published by The Wild Rose Press. Tying into her love of families, her children’s book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.

Peggy holds a master’s degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer’s Disease during her time running an Alzheimer’s in-patient care unit during the 1990s. In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance. A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

FirstImpressions_w9816_2_85FIRST IMPRESSIONS is your latest release and the third book in the MacQuire Women series. Tell us about it. Family Practice doc Clarissa Rogers is new to the town of Carvan. She’s purchased the retiring GP’s practice and is getting quite a good reputation among her patients and the community. Clarissa is a prodigy – she graduated from Medical school at 17. She’s now 23 and realizing she missed so much of her youth because she was in school. The death of her only relative – her grandmother – the year before has prompted her to take her life in a new direction. Socially shy and awkward with men, she is determined to break out of her shell and start having a life that doesn’t revolve around simply learning.

Padric Cleary (Pat) is a local veterinarian and is considered by everyone who knows him as a “player.” He is also the brother of Clarissa’s new best friend, Moira Cleary, who we all met in There’s No Place Like Home, book 2. Pat is drawn to Clarissa. She’s like no other woman he’s ever known and the fact that she wants to be just friends and nothing more, intrigues him. He’s never been friends with a woman he’s been attracted to before and agrees to keep their relationship platonic, simply so he can get to know her better.

Their relationship begins to change, though, when a tragic event unfolds in Clarissa’s life, and Pat is the one to help her through it. She begins to wonder if everything she’s heard about the kind of man he is, is true.

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book? Yes, although whether or not it is interesting or just emotional is up to the reader. I took an event that happened to me personally and used it for Clarissa’s storyline. During the writing of this book, my 18 year old cat passed away. Parts of First Impressions were extremely difficult to write and even when I read them today I still cry, because I relive this sad time in my life when I do. Death strikes Clarissa’s life and how Pat responds to her situation is the motivation required for Clarissa to change her opinion of him.

51RfVPsoN6L._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work? That the old adage of not trusting a book by its cover is true. You shouldn’t let what people say about someone else color your opinion of them. I believe every single person shows you who and what they are if you let them. Let that form your opinion, not the prejudices of others. As a quick insight, First Impressions was the original title of Pride and Prejudice. When I came up with the plot line, I realized for it to work, Pat had to show Clarissa the man he truly was, not the one she’d been led to believe, just as Darcy showed Elizabeth the man he was when he helped with the Lydia/Wickham scandal. As an homage to the Austen work, I titled this book First Impressions.

So, from your blog I see that The Little Engine That Could is your favorite book. Why? Best book about self-actualization and motivation ever written. That little engine believed in himself. He knew he could get over that mountain if he believed it, and he did. I take that lesson with me everyday. In it’s purest form, the message is believe in yourself.

What book do you wish you’d written? The original Naked in Death by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts.) It was supposed to be the first of a trilogy and 40 books later…well. I’d love to have a series endure like that.

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you? What a great question! I write about very strong and confident women. I wish an interviewer would ask my why it’s so important that my heroine’s be strong and determined women. And since you asked (heeheehee), it’s because I’ve read too many books in my life where the heroine allowed herself to either be manipulated or made to feel inferior. She was either coerced into making unwise decisions, or through poor choices wound up in a sad situation. I like being surrounded by strong, opinionated, and successful women and I’ve raised my daughter to be one. There’s nothing more stimulating to me to read about than a strong woman and an equally strong man who love, respect and encourage one another. They can still go through all the toils and tribulations that a true romance story dictates they go through, but in the end they will be together, stronger, and equals in every way.

What social media do you participate in? I hate to admit this but I have to: I’ve become a social media junkie. I have a Facebook author page, an Amazon author page, I lovelovelove Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ Instagram. I search any and all blogs that relate to contemporary romance books, too. I write the pieces for my website blog, peggyjaeger.com, myself 2-3 times per week and then use the various media links to promote them.

perf5.000x8.000.inddWhat’s next? Currently I’m editing book4 in the MacQuire Women, titled The Voices of Angels. It’s a prequel to Skater’s Waltz, my first book, where you learn how Cole and Tiffany meet and you see the romance between Tiffany’s widowed mother, fiction writer Carly MacQuire Lennox, and news broadcaster Mike Woodard. It was the very first romance novel I ever wrote, but I never promoted it because I felt it wasn’t good enough. Now, with all the editing and updating I’ve done to it, I believe it’s a great way to introduce the readers to the original MacQuire women, Carly and her sister Serena who, by the way, is Pat and Moira Cleary’s mom.

Interview: Babette James, author of LOVE BURNS

BabetteJames2033 450Your latest release is LOVE BURNS. Tell us about it. Love Burns is the third book in my River Series from The Wild Rose Press which is based around a circle of good friends who vacation together every summer at Lake Mohave on the Colorado River.

The tagline for Love Burns— Sometimes fanning the flames is better than running—proved very true in the writing of the novel. I first fell for my hero Dave Knight while LoveBurns_w9403_750writing Nate and Kay’s story in Clear As Day (The River #2). Dave is a smokejumper and a daredevil who has no plans to take life slow or fall in love. He was fun, charming, and edgy enough to intrigue, but I swore up and down to my critique group that I absolutely, positively wasn’t going to write a sequel. They just laughed and my sexy, headstrong bad-boy had other plans. He wanted his happily-ever-after too and nagged, nudged, and charmed his way onto the page and finally won his story–and his lady.

My heroine Olivia definitely deserved a happy ending. She’d always done the right thing—she was a good daughter, a dutiful student, a dedicated nurse, and a faithful wife. When she first appeared in Clear As Day, her heart and marriage were broken by her emotionally abusive, adulterous husband, and she finally filed for divorce. Dave and she were attracted to one another from the start but, despite the accidental kiss that rocks them both at the beginning of Love Burns, they run from acting on that attraction. When an accident ends his career, Dave must face the ashes of his past and the woman he can’t forget. As Olivia rebuilds her life and begins a new career in Florida, she’s certain Dave’s a sizzling temptation she can’t afford, but when life brings them together again, she discovers breaking the rules with the wrong man might be the best mistake this good girl’s ever made for love.  Fanning the flames between Dave and Olivia was so rewarding and I’m so glad none of us ran from the challenge.

Do you ever cast your characters? I don’t cast my characters using actors or actresses, although I do like to find stock photo models that fit my ideas of how my characters look. They couple on the cover of Love Burns are very close in looks to how I imagined Dave and Olivia and catches some of their playfulness. I usually have a very firm vision of my characters’ appearance as I’m writing and matching them to real life actors and actresses hasn’t worked for me.

KissingKatie_800x533Please tell us about your other series. The His Girl Next Door series is set in some of my favorite towns along the New Jersey shore. The first two books in the series are out and available in ebook and print. In the first book, Kissing Katie, when Matt Powell reconnects with his childhood best friend, Katie Vanburen, after twenty years apart, it’s decision time: his high-profile career–or the love he never dreamed possible. However, Katie’s twice-broken heart leaves her unready to trust again. Can her cracking defenses hold when Matt argues his case for love, in bed and out? In Convincing Cami a hot, spontaneous kiss surprises good friend friends Jack O’Malley and Cami Alexander. Jack knows his bachelor days are over and he’s done hiding the feelings he’s always had for Cami. Passion proves irresistible and one explosive night ups the ante. More than their hearts are at stake now and convincing Cami they’re meant to be together is going to get complicated. The next two books, Tempting Tessa and Loving Lexi, will be coming up for preorder this summer.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals? I’m lucky to have a room at home for my office, with a Continued from page 5 big window with a view of a maple tree and the sky letting me pretend I’m in a tree house. I like to listen to music while I’m writing and usually have one of my Pandora channels playing, mostly New Age and instrumental movie music. I like to write early in the morning and I’m up at five, starting my day with a big mug of coffee and cuddling my cat Pookie. I usually write while in an online chat with my critique group and other writing friends.

ClearAsDay_6688_750What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? That I could achieve my dream of being a published author. Turning that dream and my love of writing stories into reality was a long struggle to overcome too much self-doubt and step out in faith with the stories of the heart I love. Seeing my stories bloom and come to life in print and now being able to share them with readers has been an awesome experience. If you could go on a romantic date with a fictional character by any author, whom would you choose? Lately I’ve been on a contemporary cowboy romance reading kick, so at the moment I’m in the mood to go with any of Carolyn Brown’s sexy Texan heroes. You can’t go wrong with a picnic supper at a lake, a little fishing, a little music, a little dancing, and kissing a charming cowboy under the wide-open starry summer sky. ☺

What social media do you participate in? You can find me at:

Twitter / Facebook Profile Facebook Page / Google+ / Goodreads / Pinterest / Tsu

Hebby Tempt Half Page_Layout 1

Review, interview, excerpt of DUKE CITY DESPERADO

I am very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Max Austin’s DUKE CITY DESPERADO.

REVIEW: Duke City Desperado

DUKE CITY DESPERADO By Max Austin Random House Publishing Group-Alibi (June 9, 2015) Mystery/Thriller

Max Austin has done it again! This is the third in the series and I’ve enjoyed every book. Each book stands alone with Albuquerque and crime as the common element.

DUKE CITY DESPERADO starts out with Doc, on a three-day high, and Dylan driving around until Doc decides he’s going to rob a bank through the drive-thru. As you can imagine, it didn’t go well. Doc is captured and Dylan in on the run.

Austin is a master at storytelling. His pacing is flawless as he takes the reader down alleys and over rooftops with  Dylan as he desperately tries to stay ahead of two FBI Agents and one crazed Mafia prince. In the midst of the mayhem is a Goth girl who becomes Dylan’s fan girl and his ex-girlfriend’s sister who rally’s her girlfriends to deliver a message to the guy who hit her sister. One of Austin’s strengths are his characters. Dylan is no mastermind, he’s more of a master at bad decisions but the kind-hearted kid has dumb luck on his side and you can’t help but root for him. Doc is self-serving but still you like him just a bit. The Chicano ladies justice league is a hoot.

This is a fun, fast read with plenty of surprises. Don’t just read the book – read the series.

Interview with Max Austin:

Continue reading “Review, interview, excerpt of DUKE CITY DESPERADO”

Interview: RM Cartmel author of Wine and Crime Fiction

RMCARTMEL_GARDENBorn into a military family, R.M. Cartmel was educated at Sherborne School in the South West of England and at Oxford. Cartmel served as a practicing doctor for over three and a half decades. As a novelist Cartmel combines two of his lifelong loves—writing and traveling throughout France’s exquisite Burgundy region.

Tell us about your new release and why you chose this genre. The Charlemagne Connection is the second in a series of mystery crime fiction books, featuring a rumpled, quietly spoken French detective called Truchaud. The first three books of the series take place over one wine-making year, and are all set in the vineyards of Burgundy.

Charlemagne_cover_webWhat led you to write this book? Quite simply I was looking for a crime fiction book set in the vineyards of Burgundy, and I couldn’t find one, either in English or in French – so I set about writing it, and one book led to another…

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book? Any number of interesting experiences, but I guess if I had to single one out it would be becoming part of the wine-making community in this tiny but fabulously special corner of France. Everyone I spoke to in the course of researching the book has been amazingly helpful and welcoming, to the extent that last October found me working at the Domaine de la Vougeraie, being generously inducted into the secrets of making really top-quality wine. A real privilege.

Do you have a favorite writing place? Sitting under a sunshade outside the Café du Centre in Nuits Saint Georges, ideally with a glass of xxxxx within easy reach.

Is it a series? Yes – after the three set in France, I am taking my detective overseas. Undoubtedly to Oregon. Probably to Australia. Where else? We’ll see.

Tell us about your characters. Commander Truchaud is the central character, and is a figure who arrived fully formed in my mind one day, creased crumpled raincoat included. He is the younger son of a wine-making dynasty, and, as with many younger sons the world around, found that the family business couldn’t quite support him as well as his older brother, so went off to Paris to join the police. He has had a profoundly affecting love affair with a woman whom he failed to marry, and a marriage with a woman with whom he failed to make things work. He is an extremely good policeman, an honourable man, and not entirely happy.

Why is the setting important? All this series of books are wine & crime mysteries, linking the pleasures and processes of wine-making with the puzzles and plots of crime fiction – without the vineyards in which the books are set, the crimes would not have happened, and their stories could not have been told.

What makes the book uniquely yours? They combine three things which I am deeply passionate about – the subtleties of wine-making, the subterfuges of a good mystery novel, and writing. As well as being a doctor for all of my adult life, I have also been a writer whenever I had the chance. Now I have tucked my stethoscope away, and let my writer’s imagination have full rein.

This interview also appeared in the June 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.