Monday, November 4, 2013

Interview with Author Shirley Raye Redmond

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond has 27 books and over 400 magazine and newspaper articles. Most of her children’s books are nonfiction on American history topics. Even her novels, including Rosemary’s Glove and Stone of the Sun, have a strong emphasis on history. She’s been married for 38 years and has two grown children, an adorable 9-year-old grandson and a “silly” Scottish terrier named Duncan McPiddle.

Welcome back to my blog, Shirley. Please tell us about this sweet romance.

I love my opening sentence: “She’d witnessed a murder—or so she’d been told—and nothing would ever be the same again.” It sets a tone of intrigue, don’t you think? Finding out that she witnessed her own father's murder is a shock, but when April Cortes receives a letter from the grandmother she hasn't seen since she was five, she knows she must make peace with her past. The mysterious summons to her grandmother's sprawling Arizona ranch is irresistible. Collie Cortes relates the family's ancestral history, including the legend of the Stone of the Sun, an ancient Aztec heirloom that was stolen at the time of April's father's death.

Collie also confides that someone—maybe someone on the ranch—is trying to kill her. April hates to believe it's anyone she's growing close to, but she has already lost too much at this ranch and has no intention of letting anything end her new relationship with her grandmother. She will not drop her guard—not even for the handsome Del Spurgeon. If she does, she might not be around to ensure her grandmother's safety.

Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

When visiting my parents in Arizona some years ago, they took me to see a reenactment of the shootout at the O.K. corral in Tombstone. The gunfire was loud and the injuries appeared realistic. One gunman was stretched out on the roof of a building across from where I stood. He aimed his rifle and shot one of the re-enactors in the street. I thought to myself at the time what a clever way to actually murder someone—during a reenactment when the spectators would be expecting to see people “die.” No one would realize until the killer had escaped, that the “dead person” was not acting!

You’re right. No one would even know. What kind of research did you do for this book?

I did some research on the conquistador Hernando Cortes and his Aztec mistress so that I could come up with a believable back-story for the heirloom, the Stone of the Sun, and I’ve spent considerable time in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where the novel takes place.

I think it’s interesting when authors add real life situations to their stories. Did you put real experiences in this book?

Oh, yes. Everything April does in Tombstone—touring the Wells Fargo
Museum, drinking a sarsaparilla and riding a stagecoach—I did when I was there. And the scene that takes place in Ramsey Canyon while April and her grandmother are watching the hummingbirds actually happened when my mother took me there.

I hope your readers will read the novel and enjoy it. If your readers have any questions or comments, they may contact me at my website at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com. I’d love to hear from them.

Thank you, Shirley, for this great interview. This book sounds very intriguing.

19 comments:

Velda Brotherton said...

Shirley, Yes, shooting someone during a recreation is a clever way to commit a murder. Your book sounds intriguing too. I'll be checking it out. I read mostly e books these days. This is my first time to read Linda's blog, but I'll be back. Check out my blog at http://www.veldabrotherton.wordpress.com

Alice Trego said...

This interview is great! I loved knowing more about your latest book, Shirley Raye, and it sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing how you did the research, too. I've seen those shootouts at the O K Corral and I'm familiar with the Sierra Vista, AZ, area. So when I begin reading your book, I'll be able to fit in with the comfortable surroundings!

shirleyrayeredmond.com said...

Thanks, Velda and Alice, fellow Women Writing the West members!

Beth said...

This sounds like my kind of book. I'm going to be spending some time in Arizona next year, and I'll have to get to Tombstone and see the whole show while I'm there.

Norma Gail Thurston Holtman said...

Good interview! Sounds like an interesting book!

Jossy said...

Great interview! I really want to read this book,the history sounds amazing. I <3 Romance.

jossyd4iann@gmail.com

My Hyer Space said...

Enjoyed reading your interview and finding out how you came up with your ideas. Sounds like a really good book.
Agent354 at aol dot com

Becky said...

Great interview! I agree that shooting someone during a reenactment is a clever way to commit a murder. Its been a while since I read anything dealing with the Stone of the Sun. This sounds like a very interesting story, so I'm planning on getting it.

beckyqward@gmail.com

LAWonder said...

I love romantic suspense! Thank you. I have been very interested in reading/reviewing one of your books. You seem to be the type of author I would like to promote as well.

Jane Maritz said...

Tombstone sounds like it'd be a fun place to visit!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Mutti said...

I love reading your books with your family history in them, Linda, so I know I will enjoy this one in which so much actual research helps move the plot along. My kids think it is so funny that Mom/Grandma reads murder mysteries, so I keep looking for more good, clean fun! Can a murder mystery fit that description? Fortunately, yes... sometimes!

traveler said...

This captivating novel is so fascinating and special. I enjoyed the interview and learning about the author and the background. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Heidiwriter said...

What a great idea! This books sounds like a good read--another one for my TBR list. Congratulations!

Shirley Raye Redmond.com said...

Thank you all for your comments about my romantic suspense, Stone of the Sun. Even if you don't win the free book, I'd love to send you all some coasters with the book cover displayed on the front--for FREE!
Simply email me via my website at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com and request the STONE OF THE SUN coasters.
You'll need to provide your snail mail address, of course, but there's no need to send stamps or envelopes or anything. My treat!

Library Lady said...

I would love to add this book to our church library collection.
Thanks for the opportunity to do so.
Janet E.
von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

JannetteSpann said...

I also write sweet romance and this sounds like my kind of book. It has 3 elements that I love; Romance, Mystery, and the West. I'm adding it to my To Read list.

jannettespann@yahoo.com

Shirley Raye Redmond said...

Thanks so much, Linda, for having me again.
All the best!

Shirley Raye Redmond

Lisa And Randy said...

I enjoyed reading your interview, Shirley Raye. I'm looking forward to reading your book, and will have to one day visit Tombstone, AZ. I love hearing about the settings and research authors put into their books. Thanks.
leeben1990 at gmail dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Velda Brotherton. You are the winner of this intriguing book. I know you'll enjoy it.