Today we sit down with women’s fiction and mystery author Belinda Buchanan. She stopped by to tell us about her work, inspiration, and a bit about herself. Please enjoy.
DM: What is the title and genre of the book you want to tell us about?
BB: My latest book is a mystery titled Tragedy at Silver Creek.
DM: Can you summarize your book in one sentence?
BB: Guilt is a very powerful thing, and former deputy Jack Collins is mired in it.
DM: Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
BB: I think anyone who likes a good mystery with a side of drama will enjoy Tragedy at Silver Creek. It’s a story about unmitigated grief, dark secrets…and the search for redemption.
DM: How did you come up with the title?
BB: The title is based upon the premise of the story which is about a small town trying to cope with the aftermath of a serial killer’s reign of terror.
DM: Tell me about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
BB: For this book and the one before it, I used dreamstime.com for the cover. I was searching for a picture that promoted a sense of loss as well as a hint of foreboding and the artist, Jarek78, provided just that with his photo.
DM: What are your biggest writing influences (another author, another book, a movie, etc.)
BB: The biggest influence in my life is my husband. He is the first to read my novels and the only one I trust to do so when they are in their infancy stages. He is my confidante, my biggest fan, and my cheerleader all rolled into one. I have a terrible tendency to babble on about my characters as if they were a part of our family—a habit that he painfully endures without so much as an eye roll. I would never be what, or who, I am today, if not for his encouragement and belief that I could do it.
DM: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
BB: That would be Jack Collins. Kind, tenderhearted, and deeply troubled, Jack struggles with impending fatherhood, as well as his new-and unwanted-job as chief of police.
DM: How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
BB: I would have to say that would be Mac Hodges, a reporter for the local newspaper. Besides being cunning and conniving, he is an instigator of all things, and in recent weeks, has become a major thorn in Jack’s side.
DM: If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
BB: My only regret is that I wish I could have published it sooner. I am so obsessive about my writing (wanting the prose in it to be perfect) that I can sometimes get hung up on a chapter-or even a paragraph-for days. Tragedy at Silver Creek took nearly two years to write, but now that it’s out there for the world to see, I’m glad I took my time, for every breath a character takes, every subtle movement in their faces, and every inflection in their voices…is there because I want it to be.
DM: Can you give us a fun fact about your book?
BB: Although Tragedy at Silver Creek was written as a standalone novel, it is actually a sequel to The Monster of Silver Creek: a novel that came to be during a trip to Mammoth Cave, Ky., which involved a twenty minute bus ride to the entrance and a rather creepy bus driver. From there, a serial killer terrorizing a small town in Montana was born.
DM: Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?
BB: I have a photographic memory which comes in handy when winning disagreements with my husband. J I am also a connoisseur of all things chocolate. I can be bought with a KitKat.
DM: How can we find out more about you and your books?
BB: I have a spiffy new website at belindagbuchanan.com where you can find excerpts of all my books, character galleries and much, much more. I also like to talk almost as much as I like to write, so come chat with me on Facebook or Twitter, and if you’re a pinner, come find me on Pinterest.
DM: What can we expect from you in the future?
BB: I’ve currently begun working on a new mystery about a woman who was forced to marry, but soon discovers that her safe choice wasn’t all that she thought he would be.
DM: What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
BB: I’m sure readers have heard it all before, but writing a review-even if it’s only a couple of sentences-really does make a difference. Besides that, word of mouth can go a very long way. (i.e. tell a friend, mention the book on facebook, Instagram, or twitter – or post a pic of it on pinterest). If you don’t feel comfortable doing any of that, what about messaging me to tell me what you thought of it? Hearing back from readers is a tremendous moral booster, and when it happens, it absolutely makes my day. So whatever you choose to do is fine with me. In the end, it’s all good.
DM: Do you have any advice for other writers trying to get published?
- Never give up. If you like writing, keep doing it.
- Join author support groups and learn all you can about the craft of self-publishing, marketing, promoting and, of course, writing.
- Write for yourself and not what you think others want you to write.
DM: Can you give us an excerpt from your book?
The tires on Jack’s truck pulled to the right as they plowed through the standing water that had accumulated in the dip on Blair Road. He continued to follow the narrow, winding lane as it curved around the west side of the lake before slowing down to make a hard left onto Pritchard. He then drove for another quarter mile or so until he came upon the flashing lights of Hoskins’s truck.
The insides of Jack’s boots were still damp, making for an unpleasant walk as he started down the hillside. The branches on the surrounding trees hung low, their leaves heavy from last night’s rain, and by the time he reached the bottom of the incline, the back of his shirt was soaked.
A distinct stench hovered thick in the air around him as he made his way towards the edge of the trail. “What do we have?” he asked Hoskins in a rigid voice while ducking underneath the tape.
“A young female,” he answered, handing him a pair of gloves.
After taking a liberal amount of time to slip them on, Jack knelt in front of the shallow grave, but before his eyes had a chance to focus, the smell emanating from it triggered a gag reflex. Turning his head, he pressed the back of his wrist against his nose and lips.
Jack gave a slight nod and took a moment to swallow whatever it was that had gathered in his throat before forcing himself to look back. The victim’s eyes were open, her body streaked with mud and silt as it lay half-buried in the soft ground. “Who called it in?
“A man walkin’ his dog found her about an hour ago. Yesterday’s downpour must have uncovered her.”
Leaning forward, Jack carefully began clearing away some of the dirt surrounding her, but stopped when he came across a familiar set of marks. Two small puncture wounds, spaced a few inches apart, sat just below her left collarbone. His gaze slowly moved upwards to her face, and although it was badly decomposed, he knew deep down that this was Amanda. Having seen all that he wanted to see, he stood up and walked away.
About Belinda Buchanan
Belinda G. Buchanan is an author of edgy, women’s fiction & mystery. Her works include, After All Is Said And Done: A Novel of Infidelity, Healing, & Forgiveness, The Monster of Silver Creek, Seasons of Darkness, and Tragedy at Silver Creek. When not writing, Belinda enjoys spending time with her family that includes her husband and soulmate of twenty-five years, two sons (one who loves her unconditionally and one who loves her only when not in public), and a menagerie of animals.