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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

ℚ♫ The Devil's Hook: Emory Crawford Mysteries [2] - Pearl R. Meaker

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Devil's Hook (, Promontory Press, 170 pages), a Cozy Mystery, book two of the Emory Crawford Mysteries series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Trailer | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Pearl Meaker, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.
"Hi Flora,
Thank you for hosting my book, The Devil’s Hook, and me."
First things first, below is the playlist for The Devil's Hook that Pearl has shared with us - enjoy!

What was the inspiration for The Devil's Hook?

"My inspiration for The Devil’s Hook came from a song, “Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby.” It was partly taken from old Appalachian folk songs and partly written by Gillian Welsh, for the movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”  In the soundtrack version it is a wonderfully eerie song with a musical saw as part of the background instrumentation.  Specifically the initial inspiration came from the line “She’s long gone with her red shoes on, Gonna need another lovin’ baby.”"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Well, my main character, Emory Crawford, is somewhat like me.  We both do arts and crafts, both play fiddle (though she is much better than I am), and both like reading and watching mysteries.  But she is also different from me, so I’m in there and not in there.  It’s the kind of book I enjoy reading.  It’s not very gory, not full of cussing, not everyone in it is angry and arguing.  There are people in it who are friends and really care about each other.  Emory and Jebbin are happily married like my husband and I are.  And they have pets like we do.  Ya gotta have pets. :-)"
Pets are a given!  ... and all the more reason to read the book! ;-)

The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Devil's Hook - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.

"The artist is the fantastic Marla Thompson of Edge of Water Designs, who also did the cover for my first book, The Devil’s Music.

For The Devil’s Hook I wanted to introduce the crochet hook to viewers.  It is a very special type of crochet hook and is the murder weapon.  This model hook is handmade out of Bloodwood, to their specifications, for the Furls Fiberarts Company.  These hooks are gorgeous to look at and a joy to work with, which was exactly what I wanted for the hook in the story.  It is a bit unique to have a crochet hook, as opposed to a knitting needle, used as a weapon.  The photo used is one I took of my own Furls hook.  I also asked to have some crochet work in the background.

Marla brought in the red ribbon, which is a clue in the story.  She also pierced the second “O” in the word Hook with the crochet hook – which I think adds a feeling of motion and impact to the cover.

Marla and Judith Sanvicente also did a fantastic trailer for The Devil’s Hook, you can see it here"
Readers can also view the trailer on our spotlight page for The Devils Hook.

Why should we read The Devil's Hook and what sets it apart from the rest?  

"I asked my hubby about this.  I almost always go blank when asked questions like this.  He said.
“Emory.  Emory is a wife, mom and homemaker and has been happy in all those roles.   She’s not an “ass kicking” super woman who is fashion model skinny.  She’s a very average person in many ways.  But she’s smart, creative, caring and insightful and that all helps her with solving the crimes that have come her way.  She’s a person you’d like to have for a mom, a favourite aunt or a best friend.  She and Jebbin are deeply in love and . . . who wouldn’t want to live in Twombly?”"
Can you tell us something quirky about The Devil's Hook, its story and characters?
"Lets see . . .

Aine McAllister, owner of the “MysteriousWays: Plants, Herbs & Irish Blessings” shop in Twombly is as mysterious as her shop.  She’s modeled on a good friend of mine who is mysterious, Irish and very proud of both.

Twombly is named after a road that has an overpass over Interstate 39 in Illinois.  The Quaint Cuisine restaurant is modeled after two restaurants in Logan County, Illinois that I put together into one cool eatery.  One of them really is in a former bank that still has the vault in it.

AnnaMay Langstock’s last name is modeled after the name of a good friend of mine who is a librarian.  AnnaMay’s former career, Staff Sargent in the Air National Guard, is similar to another good friend’s early life career.

I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal but didn’t want an entirely paranormal type book – hence Twombly and so many of its residents having slightly unusual aspects to them.  I do think there are things in this world that science will never be able to pin down.

“Not all ghosts are the spirits or the dead” just popped into my mind one day while tidying the kitchen.  It became the theme of the story. "
I like that!  And I had to try and find the eatery you were referring to; I am not sure if it is the correct one, but the one pictured above is in Logan County, and they fit the bill with two vaults!  I wish I was local :-)

Who would you recommend The Devil's Hook and the Emory Crawford Series to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I think I could recommend The Emory Crawford Mysteries Series books to anyone – except those who like a lot of heavy swearing and explicit sex.  There is virtually no swearing and what little is there is mild.  Sex is all private and behind closed doors.  There is no detailed, gory, descriptions of the murders either.  These books truly are cozy mysteries."
If you could / wished to turn The Devil's Hook and the Emory Crawford Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"There are more actors that I’ve seen in things and thought “ He/she could play ________!” but I can’t remember the actor’s names now. Here’s some I could think of.

Emory Crawford = Tiffani Thiessen.  She’s the right height and has the right colour hair.  She’s thinner than I picture Emory, but is still curvy like Emory.

Dr. Jebbin Crawford = Jake Johnson.  He’s close to Jebbin’s height and has dark wavy/curly hair.  I wish David Krumholtz was taller, I think he’d fit the part better. ;-)

AnnaMay Langstock = Emma Thompson - she is so versatile, and I see bits of both my friends who inspired AnnaMay in Emma.

Dr. Nibodh Chatterjee (Chatty) = Kunal Nayyar – He just fits. :-)"
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I like some fantasy.  I like some science fiction.  But my favourite genre has always been mysteries.  My first two favourite authors were Agatha Christie and Edgar Allen Poe.  But strangely, when asked what is my favourite book, I usually answer “The Lord of the Rings.”  It had a huge impact on my life and I still love it – books and movies.

When I wrote fanfiction I wrote stories in a variety of genres, which was a lot of fun.  I did romance, paranormal, mysteries, and even speculative fiction – all with the hobbits of LOTR!

I’m an avid cozy mystery, detective mystery, police mystery – well, yeah – I like mysteries both to read and watch in movies and TV shows.  I also enjoy some science fiction, mostly older stuff and more in movies than reading.

I can write romances, along the lines of “You’ve Got Mail” and “While You Were Sleeping” but I don’t like reading them.  When it comes to romance I prefer movies. "
What is your writing process?
"I will quote Agatha Christie’s character, author Ariadne Oliver: “I get an idea and then I force myself to sit down and write it.”

Well, I don’t always have to force myself, but other than that it is much that way.  An idea will pop into my head, sometimes from a song or something I’ve read or heard, and then I sit down and start working on it.

I will do thought-bubble diagrams and a timeline – no formal outline.  I don’t write without knowing the beginning and the end of the story, but I don’t usually know much of the middle.  I like to let the story grow as I write.

Also, I write using Word on my laptop so I can vary where I work."
What is in store next?
"Book #3 in the Emory Crawford Mysteries Series will be The Devil’s Flood.

I was having trouble coming up with a plot idea that stabilized into a good story and, since our area had a lot of problems with flooding this spring, my husband suggested something with a flood in it.  I liked the idea and it turned out to be a story, not just a plot idea.

Flooding plays a pivotal role in the story – as does moonshine liquor and archaeology.

Also, a character that I introduce in The Devil’s Hook, teenager Madison Twombly, returns as a Nancy Drew to Emory’s Miss Marple in The Devil’s Flood."
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?
"I’ll give you two.  I had a horse when I was a teenager, which was kind of strange being a city kid.  He was an Appaloosa (even though he looks like a dapple grey).  He still holds a special place in my heart, so first is a picture of a teenaged me riding Salty Dog.

And now, my hubby and I have a very special cat named Flaming Chi To.  He is named after a chemistry demonstration.  We adopted him at a shelter.  He had been rescued from a roadside where he had been dumped.  He was seven weeks old when he got dumped.  We adopted him two weeks later.  He is a Colour Point (Flame Point) Siamese.  He is also deaf and has a mild case of a neurological condition - cerebellar hypoplasia - sometimes called “wobbly cat syndrome”."

That's fantastic! I love both pictures - thank you for sharing so much with us, and big cuddles to Flaming Chi To!

The Devil's Hook - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Kobo UK US: purchase from purchase from Kobo find on Goodreads

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good morning, Flora and friends! Well, morning where I live.

Thank you so much for the lovely posting of my interview with all the neat photos. Wild Hare Cafe & Horsefeathers in Elkhart, IL was indeed one of the restaurants that inspired Quaint Cuisine! In fact it seems it could have been the entire inspiration as I didn't realize that it too is in a former bank building. The other one I used is actually in the town of Lincoln, IL. I need to go to Wild Hare again and check it out more thoroughly! :-)