Sunday, August 4, 2013

Julianna Deering's "Rules of Murder"

Title:  Rules of Murder
Publisher:  Bethany House
Cover blurb:
Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this dangerous game.

1) How did this story come to you?
I’ve been a fan of classic mysteries for years and years.  I’ve also been a longtime fan of the movies of the 1930s and ‘40s.  I thought it would be fun to combine the two, so I dreamed up a British hero and an American heroine and gave them both a love for mystery novels and a cheeky sense of humor.  Once I had Drew and Madeline, I decided it would be fun to take Father Knox’s well known 1929 list of what not to do when writing a murder mystery and see if I could break or at least bend all of his rules in my book.  Of course, my characters, being avid mystery readers themselves, are well aware of this list and realize their investigation isn’t following the rules at all.  It was great fun to write.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Goodness, it’s been rather a long trip.  I sent Rules to my agent when I had it all finished, and when ACFW was in Dallas in 2006 we got to meet face to face and talk about it.  She really liked the book and said she was determined to sell it.  But it wasn’t until late in 2011 that her incredible perseverance paid off, and Bethany House told her they were interested in the book.  The catch was, they didn’t want just one book.  They wanted to see at least two before making a decision.  So I scrambled to finish up the sequel, now titled Death by the Book, and sent it off.  When they sent me a contract for the series, I was so happy that the other publishers had turned it down.  I am so blessed to be with Bethany House.  They do everything first class and have been so incredibly nice to work with.  And they have given the book (and me!) an amazing amount of support.  I’m in awe of how God worked this all out . . . in His time.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Okay.  (1)  My favorite sport is ice hockey which people often find unusual for a female who’s a native Texan.  (2)  I’ve had seven books published under my real name, DeAnna Julie Dodson.  (3)  I used to play the oboe and the bassoon.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve been doing a lot of promotional stuff for the release of Rules of Murder, and that has kept me a little busy.  But I’m about to dig into edits on the third book in the series, Murder at the Mikado, a mystery with a Gilbert and Sullivan theme, and that will keep me very busy.  And I need to start figuring out what Drew and Madeline will be up to next.

5) Parting comments?
I love to hear from readers and love hearing what they think of my stories.  They can contact me on Facebook or on my website or write to me at P. O. Box 375, Aubrey, Texas  76227.  (Send me a self-addressed stamped envelope, and I’ll send you an autographed bookplate and/or bookmark.) 

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
I’m at  or or or @deannajuldodson on Twitter.  You can also find out more about me and the book on Bethany House’s site here:  They have an author interview, an excerpt from the book and discussion questions.