Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Interview with Susan Page Davis & Megan Elaine Davis

Today I have the honor of introducing the mother/daughter writing team of Megan Elaine Davis and Susan Page Davis. Their new book, Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is the first of their Mainely Murder Series. Let’s meet these two lovely ladies!

THE BIOS

Megan DavisMegan Elaine Davis grew up in rural Maine where she was home-schooled with her five siblings. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing from Bob Jones University, and has published poetry, articles, and humorous anecdotes in various publications. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, travel, theater, cooking, and chatting with friends. Her favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, and C. S. Lewis. Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is her first novel. She lives in Clinton, Maine. She will soon become Mrs. John-Mark Cullen and make her home in England.

Photobucket Susan Page Davis is the author of 13 published novels, with more coming soon. Her historical novel set in colonial Maine, The Prisoner’s Wife, won the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Contest, the ACFW Book of the Year, and was favorite historical of the year in the Heartsong Presents book club. Her suspense novels include Frasier Island (a Faithpoint Book Club selection and Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick), Finding Marie (a Crossings Book Club selection), and a January 2008 release from Love Inspired Suspense, Just Cause. She’s the mother of six and grandmother of five. She and her husband Jim, a newspaper editor, live in rural Maine.

THE INTERVIEW

JA: How long have the two of you been writing together? Who came up with the idea initially?
MED: We've been writing together since early 2006. Mom came up with the initial idea for our first book, though I thought of having an unsolved mystery from years ago that ties into the first murder.

JA: Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is the first of your Mainely Murder series. What's it about?
MED: The first book is about two people, Emily and Nate, who knew each other years ago, and are thrown together as they solve a murder mystery together. Yes, it's a who-done-it, but the book's also about confronting the past and getting on with life.

SPD: We made up a small, lakeside town in Maine for our setting, but it’s a lot like towns and lakes we know. When Emily returns to Blue Heron Lake, she expects her memories to put her through the emotional wringer. She doesn’t expect to meet up with the young man she loved all through childhood or find a neighbor murdered in his cottage.

JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading your books?
SPD: Forgiveness and reconciliation are major themes in our books. People confront the past and must adjust their attitudes and relationships in light of what they learn. That’s something we all have to do in real life.

MED: We put a lot of different conflicts into our books, and many secrets come to light as the stories progress. I find honest and open people very refreshing, even when they are completely different from me, so I hope our books will help people to both think more about others, and to be themselves.

Blue Heron Lake CoverJA: Megan, congratulations on your engagement. How do you manage co-writing a book and planning a wedding at the same time?
MED: I don't manage. I collect "happy mistakes." I am notoriously disorganized, emotional, and not motivated, which I think is the bare essence of a writer. I dislike organizing things, particularly big things like weddings. How do I do it? Every day I have to learn the same lesson, which is to do what I need to do. Sometimes I pass the test God gives me, and sometimes I don't.

SPD: As you may gather, we expect the wedding to be somewhat casual, outdoors at home, with dear friends and family gathered with us. Megan worked hard to help finish our second book before leaving on a visit to her fiancĂ© and his family in England. I find it ironic that our third book’s deadline is the DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING!!! Gulp. We’re going to have that manuscript done LONG before August 15, RIGHT, MEG???? (Did I mention that I, too, am organizationally challenged?)

JA: What's next for you in the writing arena?
MED: I have two projects in mind. I'm hoping to break into syndicated column writing after moving to England, so in the mean time I am researching the markets and writing sample pieces to submit. And my other project? A novel of course. Always a novel, but rarely the same one, which could explain why I don't have any of my own published yet.

SPD: I just finished two historical projects (a Christmas novella and a New Hampshire Heartsong) and am diving into a long suspense novel (book 3 in my Frasier Island series with Harvest House). I’m very excited about that one. These military-themed books are always challenging and a lot of work, but extremely satisfying. I love the characters and the dire situations I put them in. And I have a couple more things lined up for later in the year—another historical novel and my first contemporary Heartsong.

JA: I'm a homeschool mom, too, but only have one child. Susan, I can't even imagine doing it with six children! For both of you, what are your favorite and least favorite things about homeschool?
SPD: My favorite things were having them at home; seeing them learn and grow; getting instant feedback on their education, so I knew when they needed extra help; knowing they weren’t exposed to the drug culture that pervades the public schools here; and knowing they were getting the basics every day. My least favorite things were planning lessons and teaching science. I am a verbal person and love history. Unfortunately, that meant my kids did not have a brilliant science teacher. I did wish I had done better on that score, but I made sure they got the basics down.

MED: I know I'm young, relatively speaking, but homeschool seems like eons ago. I think my favorite thing was being able to sleep later than other kids. I have always loved my sleep. I also really liked taking extra time off if there was a new baby in the family, or to go visit relatives. My least favorite thing at the time was always math, which doesn't have to do with how I was schooled; I just hated it with a passion. However, upon looking back, I wish I had had more interaction with other kids. I had friends in church and in our home school group, but I wish I'd been thrown in with them more often. Maybe I wouldn't be such a recluse now.

JA: Is there something you've always wanted to learn or try, but have yet to tackle?
SPD: I always wanted to be a champion show jumper (on a horse, of course), but I think that ship has sailed. I hope to write a book about show jumping instead. I’d like to travel more, to spend more time with my grandchildren (all of whom live at least 1200 miles from me) and to be a better speaker. I’d also like to learn fencing, visit some old Celtic sites, and appear in a play.

MED: My top three wishes were always to write, travel, and get married. Those wishes came true a lot sooner than I expected--and they challenged and will challenge me more than I expected. A few other dreams and ideas that resurface: write humorous adventure fiction, become adept at interviewing strangers about trivial things, learn Irish Gaelic, learn to dance, be in a movie, be a mother, be a grandmother, visit Egypt, meet some Royals, be quoted by writers, produce amateur theatricals, explore the English countryside, and hobnob with artists and poets in Italian cafes.

JA: Other than each other, who are some of your favorite authors?
SPD: Dick Francis, Dorothy L. Sayers, DiAnn Mills, Janice Holt Giles, whatever is on my nightstand now (waving at Trish Perry, John Olson and Randy Ingermanson)...

MED: Louisa May Alcott, Lloyd Alexander, Jane Austen, Natalie Babbitt, Bill Bryson, Agatha Christie, Gideon Defoe, Elizabeth Enright, Natalie Goldberg, C. S. Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Marilynne Robinson, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Mark Twain.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
MED: Right now I don't have my own Web site, but I am putting together a blog where I hope to post news and reflections about my writing career. The blog is still under construction, but can be found at: ladyliverpool.livejournal.com. For information specifically about the Mainely Murder series, see my mom's Web site: www.susanpagedavis.com .

SPD: Do visit my website, and be sure to enter the monthly drawing there. You can also learn about the Heartsong Mysteries book club at: www.heartsongmysteries.com , and visit me at Keep Me in Suspense, a site for Christian mystery and suspense writers where I’m one of the hosts, at: www.keepmeinsuspense.com.

Thank you, Megan and Susan, and continued blessings on both your writing journeys!

WIN THE BOOK

Homicide at Blue Heron Lake is available now, but you can win a copy here. Just leave a reply to this blog. The winner will be picked at random on February 21st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

25 comments:

stampedwithgrace said...

I'm a homeschool mom of seven and enjoyed reading your likes/dislikes. plus I love mysteries, so please enter me in the drawing, thanks!

ladystorm said...

Hi Jen,

This sounds like my kind of book. I am curious to see what a mother/daughter team can do. :)

Stormi

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hi stampedwithgrace,

Seven kids? Yowza! I've only got one and homeschooling's still a handfull sometimes. I can't even imagine juggling seven! My hat is off to you big time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Susan Page Davis said...

Wow, thanks, ladies! We are getting into the writing mode again for our third book together. Wedding plans still in the early stages, but we've got some great ideas!
Susan

Holly said...

Megan,

I am so excited for you! It's really neat to see all the Things that the Lord is doing for you. Can't wait to see your first novel!

Best Wishes!
Holly D.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm subscribed to the book club so don't enter me in the drawing, but great interview. I'm excited for the first mysteries to start coming!

Nora St. Laurent said...

I would love to read this book written by mother and daughter team. Please put my name in for the drawing.
Thanks

Cherie J said...

I think it is great when mothers and daughters write together as team. Would love to enter for the drawing.

cherierjatyahoo.com

Jeff said...

Fab interview, I look forward to reading the book immensely....

Hannah said...

great interview! please enter me to win a copy of this book! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com thanks!

Susan Stitch said...

The concept of teaming up with your daughter (or mom...) to write a book is fascinating. My second daughter is quite a writer and I hope we can do the same someday. Please enter me in the contest -- I'd really like to read this one.

likes_to_stamp@sbcglobal.net

Carole said...

I enjoy mysteries and I love anything set in Maine, so it would be great to win a copy of "Homicide at Blue Heron Lake." Thank you so much for the opportunity.

cjarvis[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey, Everyone, thanks for stopping by!

When I first found out about this book, I asked Susan "Is Megan your sister?" That's because I can't even imagine writing a book with my mother! No offense, Mom. (She's a knitter, not a writer.)

Now my son, that's another thing. I could definitely write a book with him. But it would end up being an epic fantasy with romantic elements. Hmmm... Have to give that some thought!

Mia said...

I enjoyed the interview! It was great to learn more about both of you and can't wait to read your book!

Cora (under Mia's account ;)

Robyn said...

I really enjoyed reading about Susan and Megan's new book! I can't wait to read it. The interview was great- and I learned things that I didn't know about them, previously.

Robyn

Robyn said...

Oops! I forgot to add my email address to my previous comment- it is rbflenner@comcast.net

Robyn

Patty said...

Sounds like a great book. I would love to win it.

pleblanc_1 at charter dot net

TK said...

Great interview. I think it is so wonderful to write together. This will make for an interesting read. We will get 2 different angles at the same time. I look forward to reading this book. Please enter me in the drawing, thanks. Tammy Kay, vcw1476 at gmail dot com.

pat jeanne said...

Enjoyed the interview with this mother and daughter writing team. Congrats on your upcoming wedding, Meghan. I've spent much time in England with my British born hubby and I treasure all the moments there. I'd love to win this book. Thank you.
patjeannedavis{at}verizon{dot}net

Janna said...

I would love to read this book - please enter me!

Janna
ryanx6[at]msn[dot]com

hvan said...

I loved getting to read this interview of my aunt and cousin. It has been fun to read Aunt Sue's books...she is a great author! Looking forward to reading this new one by the "team". Thanks for interviewing her!

Susan Page Davis said...

Wow, this is a great response. Megan and I will have fun sending out the book to the winner Jenn picks. She is on the phone with her fiance right now! He sent her the most gorgeous flowers on Valentine's Day. Well, enough of that stuff and back to work on the next book! Thanks everyone who stopped by.
Susan

Blissful said...

Congratulations on your book! Super to make it a family thing!

bookwurm70 said...

I'm excited about this new series by heartsong. Please enter me!
bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Jennifer AlLee said...

And the winner is... Stampedwithgrace! Congratulations! Thanks to all of you who left comments. Be blessed!