Monday, September 28, 2015

A Conversation with Mystery Author Ann Summerville

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Ann Summerville

We are delighted to welcome author Ann Summerville to Omnimystery News today, courtesy of Great Escapes Book Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Ann's third Pecan Valley mystery is Night and Day (May 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we had the opportunity to spend some time with her talking about series.

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Omnimystery News: Into which mystery genre would you place this series?

Ann Summerville
Photo provided courtesy of
Ann Summerville

Ann Summerville: When I first started writing, I wasn't choosing a particular genre, but as I got more into the story and read it to my critique group, one of the members suggested it was a cozy mystery. I hadn't heard the term so looked it up. I realized she was right, my novel was heading in the direction of a cozy mystery and I made sure that it adhered to the rules of that genre: Takes place in a small area (usually village), amateur sleuth, no graphic violence, profanity or explicit sex.

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in your books

AS: Although there aren't any specific events or people I know in Night and Day, I do use quirks or dialogue that I observe. One of the characters, Bea, has a collection of clothing and ornaments with bees on them which her friend Marge feels she should collect because of her name. I have unwittingly started a collection of hedgehogs. My friend bought me one for my birthday, then another for Christmas, now I get them periodically because she insists I collect them!

OMN: Tell us a little more about your writing process.

AS: I keep a list of character descriptions, likes and dislikes etc. As most of my novels are part of a series it helps when I write the next book. Mysteries usually follow a specific formula which I use as an outline, but I start off by writing a few chapters before I analyze where the story is going. Often I find as the story develops the killer might turn out to be as much of a surprise to me as it is to the reader and the mystery goes in a different direction than first planned.

OMN: How do you go about reseaching the plot elements of your stories?

AS: I've always been fascinated with The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas and although closed now, you can still walk around the grounds and imagine what a magnificent place it had been in the Roaring Twenties. I wondered what they might uncover during excavation if the hotel was ever re-opened. After researching the history on the Internet, I consulted with our local medical examiner regarding procedures when finding a skeleton and how they would use DNA to confirm if someone was a relative. At our monthly Crimesolvers meeting (part of Sisters in Crime) a forensic anthropologist was a guest speaker and also explained how finding skeletal remains would be handled by local authorities in the area. Some of the facts were changed to fit the story in The Berton Hotel mystery.

OMN: How did you come up with the setting of Pecan Valley?

AS: It's much easier to write about a place that I already have pictured in my mind.

Pecan Valley, the setting for Night and Day, is a fictional place based on Weatherford, Texas. I came up with the name Pecan Valley because of the historically old Pecan tree that is admired there. I try to keep most descriptions close to landmarks and architecture in Weatherford, but Bea's gatehouse and Grandiflower House doesn't exist.

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Ann Summerville Book Tour

Ann Summerville moved from her native England to California before arriving in the Lone Star State. Her publications can be found in Lutheran Digest, Long Story Short, The Shine Journal, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Associated Content, Trinity Writers' Workshop newsletters and also their collection of Christmas stories.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook.

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Night and Day by Ann Summerville

Night and Day by Ann Summerville

A Pecan Valley Mystery

Publisher: Ann Summerville Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

Not all is what it seems in Pecan Valley and Bea can't quite put her finger on what is wrong. She's hoping Marge won't become a permanent house guest and encourages her to look for a new home, but while they are scouting the neighborhood they end up looking for more than a house for Marge.

What Bea wants to uncover is the unsavory dealings of a ruthless realtor and a murderer that might put Bea on the list of victims.

Night and Day by Ann Summerville

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for inviting me as a guest on your blog. It's always fun to get to know fellow bloggers and let your followers know a little more about me and my cozy mysteries.


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