I’ve been getting acquainted with a new writer friend. Not that Susan Page Davis is a new writer, but a new friend. She has written a bunch of books and won awards for her romantic suspense, historical romance and mysteries. This month, she released a 3-in-1 Kindle edition of mysteries set in Maine. We’ll post an excerpt tomorrow, AND Susan is giving away one copy to a lucky reader who leaves a comment! Winner will be announced next Monday.
Welcome Susan! First, tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing and what kinds of writing do you do?
I started seriously writing fiction in 1999. It took five years to get my first book published (Protecting Amy). Before that I had been writing nonfiction, and I broke into fiction with short stories in Woman’s World and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I love historicals, and I love mystery. Most of my book fall into these categories, and some fit both.
I understand you and your daughter wrote these together. What is it like collaborating with another writer? How did you decide who wrote what?
On this series, we alternated chapters on the first two books. While we were creeping up on the deadline for the third book, Megan’s wedding was also approaching. I would give her a chunk to write, and she would do as much as she could, then hand it back to me. I probably wrote slightly more than half of the last one, but by no means all of it. Working with Megan was a joy. I think she benefited from my experience, and I loved the way her more youthful voice livened up the stories.
How did the idea for your mystery series come about?
I grew up in a lakeside community in Maine where mail was delivered to cottage owners by boat in the summertime. An editor asked for novellas having something to do with boats, and I roughed out a short version of the first story, but it was strictly romance, not a mystery, with the hero working a regular mail route on the lake. It didn’t make the cut, so I decided to lengthen it and make the hero a marina owner instead of a postman. Megan and I were talking about it in the car one day, and she came up with a great idea for the mystery, so I said, “Maybe you should write this with me.” It just rolled from there.
Tell us about the setting for Mainely Mysteries. Is Blue Heron Lake a real place? What made you choose the Maine setting?
The lake is fictional, as is the town of Baxter. Blue Heron Lake is a lot like northern Maine’s Moosehead Lake, but it’s smaller. I chose the name of Baxter for the town because that’s a well-known name in Maine. Former governor Percival Baxter was much loved, and he donated a large tract of land to the state. It’s known as Baxter State Park, and contains the northern end of the Appalachian Trail and Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine.
Tell us a little about each of the stories.
In Homicide at Blue Heron Lake, Emily Gray returns to Baxter expecting a peaceful week in her family’ island cottage. Instead, she and her high school crush, Nate Holman, discover the body of Henry Derbin, an elderly island resident. Emily rekindles her old friendship with Nate while they try to make sense of the murder, and Emily shares her faith with an old schoolmate. When a second body turns up, the cottagers on Grand Cat Island are frightened and baffled. Is this why Mr. Derbin forbade everyone from going on his land? Can Emily and Nate overcome past hindrances to their romance long enough to dig up clues that will help solve both murders?
In the second book, Treasure at Blue Heron Lake, Emily has accepted a job working for the Baxter Journal and plans a feature story on Lakeview Lodge. Owner Jeff Lewis tells her and Nate a legend about a hidden treasure and murder. Now the hunting lodge is plagued by an intruder who thumps around in the night. Things turn more sinister over the Christmas holidays, when one of Jeff’s employees is murdered, with Jeff as a suspect. Is the legend of an old lumber baron’s lost treasure behind the crimes? Jeff’s faith is shaky, and his family rejects him. As Nate and Emily try to help him through the crisis, Nate graduates from the Police Academy and proposes to Emily. Their life together begins with unmasking the murderer at Lakeview Lodge.
Impostors at Blue Heron Lake finds Emily and Nate planning their wedding. When Emily goes to interview Stella Lessard in her home, she finds the sweet older woman dead. Stella’s odd will draws claimants to her estate. Nate, on the job as a sheriff’s deputy, stops a young woman for speeding and is stymied. She has the same name as another young woman who is trying to claim Stella’s estate. Who is the legal heir? The police rule Stella’s death a homicide, and attitudes change. Emily lets her emotions get in the way as she tries to befriend the two girls. She winds up in danger that puts her ingenuity and her faith to the test.
What would you like readers to take away from your stories?
These books were mostly written for a fun read. A lot of people like mysteries, but don’t like a lot of gore. Likewise, many readers want a sweet, clean romance. With the faith thread added, I hope readers will have an enjoyable experience and also think about how God sustains us in times of trouble.
I’ve never been to Maine but it’s definitely a place I’d like to visit. What are some things I absolutely shouldn’t miss when I come to Maine?
Of course, you’ll want to see the coast. I personally love the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport. Fort Knox in Prospect, Maine, was always my children’s favorite place. (Not to be confused with the one in Kentucky.) If you can get up to Moosehead Lake, that’s a beautiful area, and hikers will love Baxter State Park.
Where can readers find you?
I’d love to have readers visit my website at: www.susanpagedavis.com
You can sign up for my occasional newsletter at: http://mad.ly/signups/118177/join
And you can find me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor
On the 23rd day of each month, I post a historical blog at www.hhhistory.com
You can find Mainely Mysteries at: http://www.amazon.com/Mainely-Mysteries-Susan-Page-Davis-ebook/dp/B00O71PJ3Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1412692005&sr=1-1&keywords=mainely+mysteries+susan+davis+megan