Debut author Deborah Malone riles up the rangers in Dahlonega

Deborah Malone has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, since 2001, for the historical magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published during this time. Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson. She has also had a showing of her photographs at Floyd Medical Center Art Gallery as well as winning several awards. She is a current member of the Georgia Writers Association, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She has an established blog, Butterfly Journey, where she reviews Christian Fiction.

NR: Leave a comment for Deborah and be placed in the drawing for a copy of her book. U.S. residents only, please.
The winner of the book was Aggie Villanueva.

Tell us about your new release:
“Death in Dahlonega” is about Trixie Montgomery, a magazine writer, and her friend Dee Dee Lamont. Trixie goes on assignment to Dahlonega, Ga. and takes her friend Dee Dee with her. Dee Dee stumbles across the dead body of a prominent citizen who she exchanged angry words with earlier in the day. She then becomes the number one person of interest. Trixie then sets out to keep Dee Dee from the slammer. And don’t forget Trixie’s Aunt Nana who pays Trixie a surprise visit to help her solve the crime. During the journey they both have to deal with some personal issues that they have been facing in their personal life.
How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific ‘what if’ moment?
I love to write and I love mysteries. I just put the two together. I love cozies and Anne George was one of my favorite authors. She had a wonderful sense of humor and could make me laugh out loud. I wanted to make others laugh and forget about their troubles for a little while. I couldn’t wait to write a Christian cozy.
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
Yes. When I went to the Gold Museum in Dahlonega where the murder takes place, I asked the ranger to show me around. When she found out I was writing a book she called her superior and they got all riled up, afraid I was going to write about their “security” system, etc. I told them not to worry. I didn’t even know about their security system. LOL
Every novelist has a journey. How long was your road to publication? How did you find out and what went through your mind?  
I lost count, but I think it is around six years. I was expecting an answer and our power had gone out. I kept going to the library to check my email. I finally received an email from the editor at Lamp Post Publishing and I was ecstatic. I thought about all the hard work I had put into my novel and how it had finally paid off.
Do you ever bang your head against the wall from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Sure do. I just write what I can. If I can write only a page at a time, then that is what I do. I tell myself if I write one page a day for a year then I have a book.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I like to take pictures of the area I’m writing about and go through them from time to time. I have used picture boards, too.
Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What’s the most difficult part of writing for you?
All of it!
How do you overcome it?
I keep on keeping on. I try to read, study, take courses, etc. I have so much more to learn. I feel like I’m only beginning.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
I’d love to say I write in my cozy attic nook, but I don’t have a cozy attic nook. Most of the time, I write with my laptop sitting in my lap while I sit on the couch. Pepe, our little dog usually keeps me company.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have a daughter, Niki, who is disabled and I have caregivers who come in every day to help. We don’t really have a typical day. LOL I also have fibromyalgia, which affects how much I can write at a time. I can’t do much during the morning hours so I wait until evening to do my writing.
Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins or do you have to tweeze each word out?
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those writers. I have to tweeze out each word. I just do what I can and try not to get caught up in numbers. I think the most I’ve written at a time is 3,000 words. Physically I can’t do much more than that.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
Don’t give up! We’ve all heard the advice to read, go to conferences, take courses, etc. But in the end what helped me was hearing stories about how other authors took years to be published, but they never gave up and it paid off.
Do you have any parting words of advice?
I wish I had some flowery words of wisdom, but I really don’t. One thing that helped me was getting a professional editor to do a final edit. I used an editor that was familiar with cozy mysteries. I think it is important they be familiar with the genre you are writing. A couple of books that really helped are: “Goal, Motivation, and Conflict” by Debra Dixon and “Write in Style” by Bobbie Christmas. And remember, don’t give up!
Death in Dahlonega
A friendly adventure turns to murder and mayhem in the north Georgia mountains. Historical writer Trixie Montgomery is asked to cover Gold Rush Days in the picturesque Georgia mountain town, Dahlonega. 
Trixie seizes the chance to mix business with pleasure and asks her best friend, Dee Dee to tag along. Their well laid plans go awry when Dee Dee is discovered standing over the lifeless body of prominent citizen, John Tatum – the very man she’d had a run in with earlier that day – holding a bloody pickax in her hands. 
Can Trixie find a way to finish her assignment and keep Dee Dee out of the slammer?