Sunday, January 13, 2013

Showcase/Review: Blue Suede Shoes by Deborah Reardon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah's curiosity about life and passion for storytelling took root during her youth. She enjoyed the mystery of the world around her and found inspiration from her daily discoveries. Like many novelists, Deborah’s winding path through a successful banking career, exciting travels and family life enriched her understanding of the world around her and provided plenty of material for her stories.
Deborah began to develop her writing skills while in her 20s and wrote her first manuscripts in the mid-90’s. Since that time she has not stopped working diligently on her writing. Throughout her life, Deborah has enjoyed meeting interesting people and seeing colorful places, and continues to seek out experiences that will feed her imagination. Deborah’s journeys have included everything from childhood cross-country visits to her parent’s native New York, trips to nearly every state in the US, and an international class in Europe that traversed many countries across the continent.
Deborah credits her collaborations with the Wisconsin writing community as having a huge impact on her confidence as a writer. It was during her time living on the outskirts of Milwaukee, in particular, that she thrust herself into an influential confluence of critiques, writing conferences and focused workshops. Persistence and a beautiful landscape sparked the beginning of Blue Suede Shoes. Today, living in Texas, Deborah is working on the sequel to Blue Suede Shoes.
When she’s not she not writing, you can find her focused on her family and fitness, enjoying her most precious hideaway in Angel Fire, New Mexico, sipping wine with friends or pining for a retreat in Maine.

Blue Suede Shoes

Thirty-one year old Clare Paxton opens the door to her childhood friend Derek and his discovery. Little 4-year-old Mary Martin had been missing and all that was left were her articles of clothing and a large pool of blood. Having interrupted her Criminology Degree for her mother's feigned illness, Clare's unending questioning her own life's choices is heightened by this tragedy. Clare embroils herself in the investigation because of her personal mistrust of Mary's parents while romantically conflicted with the Chief of Police. Adult readers will be both captivated and exasperated by Clare's debut novel.

I could not put this book down from the moment I read the first page.  The story holds you captive from page one to the very last page.  The authors attention to detail is amazing and makes you feel as if you are living in small town Danfield.  The main character Clare is a very strong independent women who has a mind of her own and yet is vulnerable. This book is a real page turner that builds to a suspenseful climax and a very surprising ending. I absolutely loved it and rate it 5 stars!

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  A little internal voice has been inspiring me since my youth… nagging at me… I should say.  It’s my love of storytelling, of character creation that keeps my subconscious churning and gobbling life’s realities, however humorous or harsh.  Once I began the process of writing novel-length fiction I found there is nothing more exhilarating than breathing life into characters & weaving lives into the written word.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  It’s invigorating when the words flow freely and the characters and the scenes bounce off my fingertips.  There’s an uncontrollable energy when the story takes shape in the moment; it’s as if I have no control.  When the story and the characters naturally evolve, I simply take a back seat to the story’s unfolding.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  There are those days when it’s more difficult to get into the character flow, when the words don’t come freely.  My scenes and characters must flow naturally and so I cannot force them to do things.  It is what keeps my characters true to form throughout. Like any profession, I’ve got to tackle those periods and stay vigilant during the time I’ve allotted for writing and not get distracted because it is hard.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. I love horses so maybe something in the horse field (another expensive hobby aside) but I am an entrepreneur at heart and have worked with so many different types of businesses and non-profit organizations. Having spent much of my “day” career in the banking world, I am buoyed by the little guy who puts it all on the line and takes risks day in and day out.  There are so many everyday people who inspire me, so consulting with small companies to help them achieve their dreams or my taking a small product to market is “naturally” inviting to me.
It’s these leanings and my appreciation for the simpler moments in life that make me a good writer. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.  “Perseverance.”
Not the smartest or the prettiest or the most popular.  But like The Law of Process by Dan Millman, I steadily plug away one small step after another and dare to make my dreams or the things I am willing to try a reality.
The tune “Born to Run” recorded by EmmyLou Harris, says it best.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  Snow Falling on Cedars seems to have stuck with me - if that is a barometer for one of my favorites.

There have many fun reads especially in the mystery realm that have come and gone without a residual impact though they were fun in the moment. 

But this story’s combination of mystery, intrigue, vivid imagery, character conflict and historical significance all woven together has lingered.

Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love
Not that I have an overriding need to ditch my life.  But I live in constant state of tweaking. I grew up examining the significance of life around me - juggling the lines between the spiritual and worldly enjoyment. It’s not about balance for me but about finding one’s true center and using that as a guidepost for life’s decisions.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. So if I must align myself with a character from Blue Suede Shoes, I’d be left with the main character Clare Paxton (my husband is nodding his head).  And though the story is not autobiographical, I can identify with her feistiness to not accept the status quo . . . to want to experience things outside her comfort zone.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. Fall is the most captivating.  I love the colors, the leaves changing and everything about the crispness and even the clothing that time of year.  But it is seasons’ changing is general that makes my heart sing.  Whether it is Fall to Winter or Spring to Summer, I am all about each season’s revival.  When you love to garden as I do, there are particular aspects of each time of year that must be cultivated.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book
cover and why?

A.     My publisher did a wonderful job of working with me to develop a cover for Blue Suede Shoes.  Of melding together our potpourri of feelings - what with a missing child, a woman frustrated by her life and small town dynamics.  The cover’s dark and mysterious lure exposed the books’ feeling of despair & struggle and yet it is lit by that single white steeple of hope . . . in all of us.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. While there was not one singular hysterical happening, our Blue Suede Shoes book launch in November was fraught with laughter and moments.  From my teenage son’s check-in team chasing down guests for their autograph in my guest book to an autograph seeker’s specific request that my autograph accompany something witty. Many friends wondered/hoped that a little bit of them had been woven into one of the characters.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  The sequel to Blue Suede Shoes is in the works.  The main character Clare Paxton is projected to survive a 3-book series if the mystery/thriller reader doesn’t seek to toss her out on her ear after the second book.  Certainly after the 3rd, we’ll all need to be in rehab.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are
just stopping by?

A.  Come visit me @  It’s an honor and pleasure to get a chance to share a peak about me in this interview and to share my Novel – Blue Suede shoes.  I am looking forward to a fun-filled journey with Clare Paxton’s next venture and to dusting off my unsung pile of manuscripts.

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