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Deanna Raybourn | 20 Questions: A MURDEROUS RELATION
Author Guest / March 11, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  A MURDEROUS RELATION, the fifth Veronica Speedwell mystery. 2–What is it about?  My Victorian butterfly hunting sleuth, Veronica Speedwell, joins with her detecting partner, Stoker, to investigate a potential royal scandal during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in London. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Intrepid. Veronica has a zero-tolerance policy for other people’s nonsense and she is never afraid to seize an opportunity or take on a foe. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  Stoker is a walking contradiction; he’s big and fit and dangerous, but he’s also the guy who needs a constant supply of candy and who reads French romance novels and cuddles stray dogs. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  My characters are always adding to their found family. They have a mentor–an elderly noblewoman who is the power behind the English throne–as well as a resourceful female reporter, a Black master pastry chef from Martinique, and a police detective who is just as likely to arrest them as take a bullet for them. But, always and above all, they turn to each other. 6–What do you love about the setting of…

Deanna Raybourn | Keeping a Book With You
Author Guest / October 2, 2010

Recently I had a chance to chat with a charming book club in Ohio about my last novel, The Dead Travel Fast. They mentioned that they love to extend their reading experiences by taking field trips that somehow relate to their book club selections. They talked about visiting Washington DC after reading Night, and I jokingly asked them if they were planning a trip to Transylvania after reading my book. (I would not have been at all surprised if they said yes. They were one of the most dynamic groups I’ve chatted with, and if any club organizes a trek to the Carpathians, it will be them!) I also had a lovely tweet this week from a reader who is planning an entire dinner party around the release of my newest book, Dark Road to Darjeeling. She’s inspired by the Himalayan setting, and I made her promise to send details of every course—I only wish I could be there too. (It is always a good idea to feed a writer. We sometimes forget to forage for ourselves.) But my intrepid book group and my gourmet reader got me pondering all the different ways you might celebrate a book. I usually…

Deanna Raybourn | How A Book Gets Titled
Uncategorized / February 11, 2010

One of the questions I am most often asked by readers is how I come up with titles for my books. The short answer is that I don’t! Sometimes the book seems to title itself. A single phrase, usually a snippet of a quote from a poem or play, will settle down on the title page and I cannot bring myself to think of it as anything else. My March 2010 release, The Dead Travel Fast, was one such book. I had the idea for the novel some five years ago, and started researching it and compiling notes. It is the story of a Victorian novelist who leaves the security of her Edinburgh home for the grim castles of Transylvania and meets up with an aristocrat who may or may not be a vampire, and as part of my research, I read Dracula. I knew as soon as I came across this passage what the title of my book had to be: As he spoke, he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of my companions whispered to the other…‘Denn die Todten relten schnell.’ (‘For the…

Deanna Raybourn | Writer’s Passion
Uncategorized / September 19, 2008

As a writer of historical fiction, I am frequently asked about research. Specifically, readers—and aspiring writers—want to know if it is necessary for me to visit the sites I write about. On this point I always give a firm and unequivocal yes. And no. Contradictory, I know, but hear me out. Developing a historical novel means creating a dual setting; it means creating a specific time and place for your reader to inhabit. They are a tourist in your world, and you must give them a guidebook of essential details to help them get around. In order to do that, you have to know the neighborhood at least as well as they do—and preferably better! In preparation for writing Silent in the Grave, I traveled to England. (Technically, I tagged along on a school trip as a chaperone—a maneuver I only recommend to the truly desperate or masochistic.) I had planned that Grave would be a Regency effort, light and sparkling and frothy as a syllabub with just a spot of murder to spice the pot. But once I began writing, I realized the book needed Victorian London, a city of foggy streets, shadowed by industry and populated by Jack…