Thursday, April 28, 2011

OMN Welcomes Mystery Writer Betty Gordon

Omnimystery News: Authors on Tour

Omnimystery News is pleased to welcome Betty Gordon, whose new mystery, Valley of Obsessions (L & L Dreamspell, March 2011 Trade Paperback, 978-1-60318-282-9), is set in Egypt and based in part on her own visit to the country.

Today she gives us a look behind the scenes of her mystery. And she's also providing our readers with an opportunity to win a copy of one of her books. Visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Betty Gordon: Mysteries" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (6107) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 05/12/2011.)

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Valley of Obsessions by Betty Gordon
Photo provided courtesy of Betty Gordon

Egypt, a land of enduring enchantment and intrigue, is the framework for Valley of Obsessions. To enjoy Egypt’s beauty and history, however, it’s necessary to push 2011 happenings in the country into the background and recognize them as troubled signs of the times. Fortunately, Desiree Roberts, a Texas woman and protagonist in this novel, didn’t have to suspend her belief in this magnificent country in the 1980s.

The concept for the story and characters began when I made a trip to Egypt some years ago. The pharaohs, the monuments – everything about the country intrigued me and had done so since childhood when I could only look at pyramids in picture books. I decided during this memorable trip to write about my adventures although the actual words wouldn’t come to life until much later. Many unbelievable things happened during my journey to this impressive country and these happenings are woven into the story. Of course, not ALL occurrences are real and even those that are have been fictionalized to a certain extent. My publisher asked me to sketch certain prominent places in the story and also wanted to use photographs I had taken on my trip. Readers will see the sketches; however, the photos didn’t transfer well and all but one went by the wayside. As one can see, the setting for this novel wrapped itself around me just waiting to see print.

My characters usually evolve from my imagination when I first enter the twilight zone at night. Unfortunately, oftentimes these thoughts keep me from sleep and I end up at the computer describing a character or creating a budding plot. Desiree Roberts, the protagonist in Valley of Obsessions, is a natural for me as I wore a hat as a paralegal/legal assistant for many years. So, I understand this woman who searches for ways to unite with a fascinating country in a special way and find love at the same time.

Most of the time I am what one would call a “pantser.” I develop the story as I write, but this novel evolved in a way that required some outlining. Even though I write down the characters’ traits when I begin the story, their personality quirks develop much later and are capable of changing the direction of the story. My Muse usually takes over at this point and uses the personality quirks to create numerous tantalizing threads in the cast of characters. I think, and hope, that these tantalizing threads lead to a conclusion that is both challenging and surprising for readers.

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Betty is an active member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Writers’ League of Texas, Houston Writers Guild, The Final Twist Writers, and Bay Area Writers’ League. Valley of Obsessions, her third novel, follows Murder in the Third Person and Deceptive Clarity. She is the author of a mini-ebook, The Magic of Christmas, a collection of short stories for every day of the year that embrace discoveries, hopes, and love. Suspense, fantasy, paranormal, and romance themes offer surprising twists and turns. She has also published numerous short stories in L&L Dreamspell anthologies. Betty’s dream to create stories that entertain and challenge readers continues in her new works. Visit her website at BettyGordon.com.

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Valley of Obsessions by Betty Gordon
Print EditionKindle Edition

About Valley of Obsessions: Can a Texas woman, Desiree Roberts, leave her law career and become a 1980s Egyptian? Will the country that has captivated her since childhood embrace her or will it lead her down dangerous paths fraught with deception and betrayal? Join Desiree as she treks through shifting sands, enters portals of pharaohs long since entombed, and explores the mysteries of the Nile. Her obsessions lure her into alien territory filled with suspicious characters. Someone wants to end her fantasies. How far will he go?

Valley of Obsessions is available in Trade Paperback and Kindle formats (see icons below book cover).

For a chance to win a copy of one of Betty's books, courtesy of the author, visit Mystery Book Contests, click on the "Betty Gordon: Mysteries" contest link, enter your name, e-mail address, and this code (6107) for a chance to win! (One entry per person; contest ends 05/12/2011.)

Read the first chapter of Valley of Obsessions below; use the Aa settings button to adjust font size, line spacing, and word density.

17 comments:

  1. I did think the other link looked odd! This looks much prettier! Very much enjoyed the interview! You are a wise and gracious lady! Congrats on the book release!

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  2. I've always enjoyed novels set in exotic places.
    This one sounds like a winner and certainly one I'd enjoy reading. Congrats!

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  3. Thanks for your comment, Pauline. It's not the first time I ever goofed, but my face is red.

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  4. I don't see why! Grabbing a link is NOT a perfect art! i thought it was some new thing. LOL!

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  5. Many thanks, Jacqueline, for your comment. I appreciate it.

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  6. Pauline, you are soooo sweet and I like the way you think!

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  7. This sounds like the type of plot that will draw the reader in. Nothing like an exotic setting with great characters to carry the story along.

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  8. Joe, I hope the plot pulls in the reader and grips them. Thanks for the comment and sorry about the resend.

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  9. Betty, I can relate to your writing style, being a fellow pantser. I'll admit I didn't know there was a name for it! Your book sounds intriguing. Best of luck to you.

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  10. Oh, my, Betty! I'm more familiar with the *other* definition of "pantser" and really wondered how you could possibly think you were one of those! http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pantser. See the explanation at the bottom of the page, which explains the term as I learned it living in London. :) Excellent interview about your writing style!

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  11. Choosing a setting you've visited gives you a real leg up on painting scenes that convince readers they're right there with your main characters--and also giving those of us who haven't explored that part of the world a window on a new experience.

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  12. Congrats, Betty, on an intriguing and interesting storyline. Wishing you the best of luck in sales. I'm also a pantser - I hated outlines in college and vowed to use them rarely, if ever. So far, so good.

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  13. Hi Betty. Great interview. You've successfully combined the best of a great story with an adventure in an exotic land. I'm also a pantser which has led to some interesting surprises for me as well as my characters.

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  14. Cindy, thanks for comment. You're right -- when you create with derriere in chair and fingers on the keyboard, surprises happen.

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  15. J.D. - thanks for comment. I hated outlines too, but sometimes we have to use them.

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  16. Linda, your comment took me through the pages of VALLEY OF OBSESSIONS again. What I saw in Egypt will remain with me all my life -- I hope.

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  17. Cash, "Oh, my..." is right. I looked up the definition in the urban dictionary and I am NOT that. Heaven forbid!

    Thanks for the comment.

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