A Conversation with Cheryl Hollon author of Draw and Order

What inspired the idea for your book? 

I read an article about a missing hiker on the Appalachian Trail. The skeletal remains discovered in Maine were of a hiker who had been missing for over two years. She was less than 3000 feet from the trail. 

What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?

 I was surprised by how intensely I felt about protecting the woodlands and meadows of the Natural Bridge State Park. My family has met there nearly every summer for more than seventy-five years. It’s both resilient and fragile. Teaching others about its beauty is a privilege.  

If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together? 

I’m excellent friends with Ranger Austin Morgan. We like to spend our spare time roaming the many thousands of trails through the forest.

What was the defining moment that made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”? 

In my engineering career, I made many long-haul flights – sometimes two or three a month. On the fourteen-hour flight from LAX to SYD, I had a hard-back mystery to read. As soon as I started reading, I was appalled. I couldn’t believe it was so bad. So, I pulled out a pen and paper and began writing. Really, how hard could it be? Of course, it turned out to be extremely hard, but that’s one of the things I love about writing.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters? 

The characters are first when I’m thinking of a new mystery. Because I’m going to spend months and months in their company, I want to know that their personalities are strong enough to last through the many hours of drafting and revision.

What do you look for in a story as a reader? 

I look for a strong, well-defined main character with a believable real life, but not so dark that it makes me uncomfortable.

How do you interact with your readers? 

I blog with other writers and participate in book giveaways. I’ve been posting on The Booklover’s Bench (www.bookloversbench.com) with six other cozy writers for about three years now. We each take a turn on Thursday and also have a book giveaway contest each month. I also blog on Cozy Florida (www.cozyflorida.com ) with two others and post on the second Wednesday each month.  

What is your all-time favorite book or author? 

Do you think this has influenced your writing? My all-time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I admire the exacting attention to the setting and atmosphere that she describes in so few words.

How do you avoid or defeat writers’ block? 

I either take a long walk through a museum, or I write a poem. When I’m done, my creative juices are flowing again.

Appalachian artist and local guide Miranda Trent opens a new murder investigation after her Paint & Shine tour group discovers the remains of a missing hiker along an ancient trail . . .

For her latest excursion, Miranda is thrilled to take a close-knit group of rock climbers, the Risky Business Adventurers, up the challenging Battleship Rock Trail to paint and sample moonshine. But the outing is cut short when they discover a skeleton near the trailhead. Even more startling, the bones belong to Howard Cable, Miranda’s cousin…and a former classmate of the Risky Business group.

The sheriff chalks it up to a hiking accident, but Miranda isn’t convinced that Howard, an experienced woodsman, died within sight of a well-marked trail. So, with the help of Ranger Austin Morgan, Miranda sets out on her own investigation and discovers that the Risky Business group is keeping plenty of secrets. But is one of them hiding the truth about Howard’s death?

Purchase Links: Amazon    B&N    Kobo     Google Play  IndieBound 

Cheryl Hollon now writes full-time after she left an engineering career of designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind her house in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass, and painted glass artworks. Visit her online at http://cherylhollon.com, on Facebook or on Twitter @CherylHollon

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June 28 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 28 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT WITH EXCERPT

June 29 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

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June 30 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST

June 30 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER GUEST POST

July 1 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW

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July 2 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 2 – Novels Alive – REVIEW

July 2 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

July 3 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT

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July 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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July 6 – My Journey Back – RECIPE POST

July 7 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

July 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

July 8 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT

July 8 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

July 8 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the inventive interview. I enjoyed your blog immensely and appreciate the work you put into pulling out graphics that enhance the reading. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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