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Monday, 7 November 2016

ℚ♫ The Devil's Flood: Emory Crawford Mysteries [3] - Pearl R. Meaker

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Devil's Flood (, Promontory Press, 320 pages), a Cosy Mystery, book three of the Emory Crawford Mysteries series.

Synopsis | Teaser: KCR Preview | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A very warm welcome back to Pearl Meaker; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Do you have a music playlist that you used in The Devil's Flood, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"The play list will probably be a bit boring for most people. For The Devil’s Flood I mostly listened to rain sounds and water sounds. The one exception is the song “Flood” by Jars of Clay."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating The Devil's Flood?
"I learned that you can legally make and sell moonshine in Illinois. The license is fairly expensive, and there’s a lot of rules and regulations to follow, but you can do it."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Devil's Flood - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The fantastically talented Marla Thompson of Edge of Water Designs did the covers for all of the Emory Crawford Mysteries books. Marla wants to know what the authors want for their covers. She wants to produce a cover that is not only visually appealing but also relates to what’s inside the book it surrounds, and she does an amazing job.

The Devil’s Flood opens with a brief glimpse into the past then moves to current time and an archeological dig that is trying to find a house that is part of local legend; a house that disappeared in 1844, leaving no debris, after a flood surge in the middle of the night that was so large it ended up creating a lake.

I wanted the cover to feature the flooded lake and the house with a storm cloudy sky. I also wanted the title and my name to be in the same sort of greyish blues that the image would be in and not white or black. I wanted the text to suit the mood as well.

Marla and I both hunted around until we found an image of a house that, with some minor adjustments, looked like the one in the story and then she worked her magic. The cover is exactly what I wanted."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Devil's Flood, its story and characters?
"Good question. :-)

The whole premise of a house that disappears without a trace is stretching things a bit and it took me some time to get it all worked out so it would be believable. None of my advance readers said a thing about it being unbelievable, so I guess I pulled it off. Several characters are named after particular people.

The man who had lived in the vanishing house is named Melvin Sutton. Melvin after my hubby’s father, and Sutton after a man in our town who is very cool artist, builder, handyman and all ‘round good person.

One of the main characters in The Devil’s Flood story is named Melva. That is the female version of Melvin and it is my sister-in-law’s name. The character’s personality is similar to her’s as well.

And continuing character Madison Twombly’s new cat is named after, and is just like, one of our cats – Flaming Chi To."
Who would you recommend The Devil's Flood to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Nothing needing a warning or disclaimer.

Seeing as my books are cozy mysteries they are basically PG. I would say that anyone from teens through senior adults would enjoy them and not find anything shocking in them.

The Devil’s Flood does have a little more swearing in it because it’s the first book with some rougher sorts of characters in it, and I don’t think rough characters are as believable if their speech isn’t a little rough too. That said it is the sort of swearing you hear and read pretty much everywhere – very light level. No “f. . .” word, although “f’ing” (written that way) gets used a few times because a rebellious teen should sound like a rebellious teen."
What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
"Coming up with ideas has been one of them, but not the biggest.

Dealing with all of the marketing and promotion work that authors are expected to do for themselves nowadays is the biggie. For many of us these aren’t areas we’re gifted in, not things we have the skill set for. And unless you’re a high-energy person who can take on intensive study at the same time you’re doing your writing – and perhaps working a regular job as well – you’re not going to be able to learn enough, well enough, to do a really good job of marketing your book. I do okay, but not what needs to be done to have a bestseller. And yes, marketing and promotion has a lot to do with which books become bestsellers on Amazon or anywhere else.

I knew it was coming, all the marketing and such, after I took my writing courses but I still had no idea it was going to be the challenge it is."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you and an author? What has been the best compliment?
"I honestly don’t remember the toughest criticism I’ve received. I think my brain just chose to spare me dredging it up and beating myself with it, so it tucked it away where I won’t find it.

The best compliment was from my instructor for my novel writing class. After she read my synopses of what would become my first two novels she said. “You are all set up, my dear, for a series of cozy mysteries featuring Emory Crawford who will become the slightly pudgy homemaker version of Miss Marple with her scarves and wispy hair.”

To have my writing and my main character compared to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple was, and still is, a thrill."
What is in store next?
"There will be a fourth Emory Crawford Mystery. It isn’t very developed yet but it will be set at a music festival and will involve a southern style rock band that is led by Emory’s older brother. I had started writing it, but have had some new ideas for it and will probably need to start over after I’m done with all the fun things I have going for launching The Devil’s Flood.

I will share that there’s a chance it will happen away from Twombly, just for a change of scenery. ;-)"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Below are two photos of Flaming Chi To and me.

Flaming Chi To is in The Devil’s Flood as Madison Twombly’s new kitten. In real life he is four years old. His story as told in the book is his real story. He’s an adorable, happy little guy and my hubby’s special buddy.

It took about twenty photos to get a good shot of him, he’s quite squirmy, so one of these is the good shot and the other is of him yawning because he was getting bored."

Thank you for sharing those two lovely pics!

Hello Flaming Chi To! Lots of cuddles to you from all of us at BooksChatter!

"You’re welcome, Flora, and thank you so much for hosting my book and I. :-)"

The Devil's Flood
Available NOW!

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