Saturday, March 18, 2017

Interview with Sue Owens Wright, author of The Secret of Bramble Hill

Author: Sue Owens Wright
Publisher:Black Opal Books
Date of publication: January 2017

In April 1946, Tessa Field returns to Bramble Hill in the quaint Cornish seaside town of Covington Haven, England, after learning of her aunt Emily Maxwell’s drowning in a boating accident. The moment Tessa sets foot on the grounds of Bramble Hill, long-dormant psychic powers are stirred in her. Through a series of eerie manifestations and unexplained mishaps, she senses an entity in the house is trying to make contact and reveal dark secrets. Tessa narrowly escapes being trampled by a horse ridden by the handsome aristocrat and writer Peter Tremayne, a childhood friend. Upon their unexpected reunion, Tessa is immediately attracted to him, and he to her. Yet, despite their budding romance, she soon becomes distrustful of his true motives. Convinced that her aunt did not die in an accident but was murdered, Tessa investigates and soon becomes entangled in a web of deception, betrayal, and treachery that threatens her very life.

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Sue: The desire to write was in my DNA, and I was drawn very early to the written word. Displayed on a bookshelf in my office is my first childhood toy, a vintage red Cressco Educational Board.  It had letters on one side and numbers on the other.  Guess which I played with the most?  When I was eight years old, I enjoyed reading Judy Bolton mysteries, and I even tried writing a mystery of my own back then.  I wish I’d kept that notebook because I’d love to see what I wrote. I majored in English at college, but being a late bloomer, decades would pass before I began writing for publication. Better late than never.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Sue: For the Beanie and Cruiser Mysteries, I have gotten ideas from visiting Lake Tahoe with my dogs and from the mysterious folklore surrounding Da Ow (the lake of the sky), as the indigenous Native American Washoe tribe called it.  That series, first published in 2001, also arose from having lived with eight beloved Basset Hounds over the years.  Since there’s nothing I know better than those hound dogs, and the basset’s scenting ability is second only to the Bloodhound’s, I decided that the breed would make a wonderful canine sleuth in a mystery series.

My latest standalone book, a historical thriller titled THE SECRET OF BRAMBLE HILL, was inspired by my travels in England over the years, particularly in Cornwall, where the novel is set. There’s a dog in that book, too, but it’s an English spaniel. 

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Sue: The fifth book in the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, titled EARS FOR MURDER, will be released later this year from Black Opal Books, and I’m working on the sixth installment in the series.  I’m also nearly finished writing a memoir.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Sue: It’s hard to choose just one, but Jane Eyre is one of my favorite characters in literature.  I admire her strength and ability to overcome adversity, speak her mind, follow her instincts, and persevere in her pursuit of happiness.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Sue: I’d definitely be a dog, but one that is spoiled and adored like my own dogs and the canine characters in my books.  Dogs have the purest souls and possess all the qualities I wish humans did, especially the ability to give unconditional love. 

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About the author:

Sue Owens Wright is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. She is an eleven-time finalist for the Maxwell, awarded annually by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) to the best writer on the subject of dogs.

She has twice won the Maxwell Award and earned special recognition from the Humane Society of the United States for her writing. She writes the acclaimed Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, including Howling Bloody Murder, Sirius About Murder, Embarking On Murder and Braced For Murder, which is recommended on the American Kennel Club’s list of Best Dog Books.

Her nonfiction books include What’s Your Dog’s IQ?, 150 Activities for Bored Dogs, and People’s Guide to Pets. She has been published in numerous magazines, including Dog Fancy, Mystery Scene, AKC GAZETTE, Fido Friendly, The Bark, and Animal Fair. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including PEN Oakland’s “Fightin’ Words,” along with Norman Mailer and other literary notables.

Sue graduated from California State University and has taught elementary school, college English and adult writing courses. She did MFA studies in fiction writing at the Universities of Dublin and Galway in Ireland and University College London in England. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, DWAA, Sisters in Crime, PEO International, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Sierra Pastel Society, SSPCA, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Her newest novel is The Secret of Bramble Hill.

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