Saturday, June 17, 2017

Please Welcome Suspense Novelist Darden North

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Darden North

We are delighted to welcome back author Darden North to Omnimystery News today.

Earlier this week we featured an conversation with the author and an excerpt from his new book, The 5 Manners of Death (WordCrafts Press; June 2017 trade paperback and ebook formats). Today we have a special treat for you, the book's protagonist Diana Bratton interviewing the author.

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Darden North
Photo provided courtesy of
Darden North

Diana Bratton: Darden, I’m really rushed today, but I would like to discuss your new novel, or should I say our new novel, The 5 Manners of Death. I want an explanation for all the turmoil you put me through.

Darden North: Everybody knows you’re busy, Diana. You’re a doctor and a single mom, for gosh sakes. I wrote you as the most outstanding surgeon in your practice, so I won’t stop you from reminding us about your challenging schedule. And don’t sell yourself short as a good mother.

Diana: Thanks. I can blame the mother of one of Kelsey’s school friends for the screw-up on time this afternoon. She stood me up and did not pick up Kelsey from soccer practice, even though I paid her in advance for the week. That’s another reason I wish you hadn’t complicated my life as a single mom. At least you could’ve written Alex as a better person. He sucks as an ex-husband.

Darden: That’s correct. That’s why he’s your “ex-” husband. And I didn’t create your character to use words like sucks.

Diana: Get over it. Sometimes we characters have minds of our own. We add more than surprise to your novels; we add wit and lightheartedness. Book reviewers and readers praise the clever mix of human interest and humor in your thrillers. But then I’m too busy with my surgical practice and raising a daughter to read much. And then there’s all my worry with Aunt Phoebe … what a handful.

Darden: But you’re not too busy to drive downtown and bother the chief of police?

Diana: Chief Martin bugged me plenty in your last novel, so I was happy to return the favor. Besides, he has a crush on me. That’s obvious even to someone who’s skimming through The 5 Manners of Death.

Darden: We authors frown on reference to “skimming” of our work. A “rapid page turner” is a much better description, considering the engaging plot and engrossing suspense of the novel.

Diana: Please, please don’t get offended. I’m afraid of what you might do to me in your next murder mystery or thriller.

Darden: No worries. Both male and female readers will enjoy your trip through the five ways to die: natural cause, suicide, accident, undetermined, and finally homicide. They will admire your perseverance and loyalty to family. And as far as the guys, it doesn’t hurt that you’re attractive. However, maybe you shouldn’t get too confident. In the thriller-writing business, anything can happen to a novel’s players.

Diana: This is your first novel in which the lead character is female. A tough one at that, I’m proud to say … at least most of the time. And I’m not one to fix up, particularly while at work in the hospital. Let’s talk a little more about why guys would read this book, particularly when the protagonist is female.

Darden: I wrote The 5 Manners of Death to both sexes. I think both women and men will be intrigued about the five ways to die, and the unique plot centered around your search for the truth. As people die around you and the list is satisfied, you will be admired for your tenacity.

Diana: Be careful with the big words. Some readers may not carry around a dictionary or thesaurus when reading for pleasure or entertainment.

Darden: OK, what about stubborn? Your ex-husband, Alex, would certainly call you that, and I think he partly married you for your drive and ambition.

Diana: I think Alex Bratton married me for the money he thought I’d make as a doctor, and I guess for the sex. I was awfully attracted to him, couldn’t get enough of him, until he became so abusive. And now that we’re talking about sex, one of your readers told me she wanted to see more of it in your books.

Darden: Occasionally, you’ve got to leave something to the imagination, Diana. Besides, I used up most of my good ideas in my last novel, Wiggle Room.

Diana: And you had to spend most of your research time with other topics: beekeeping, anaphylactic shock, police procedure, decay of human tissue over a 50-year period …

Darden: Now, who’s being clever or witty.

Diana: I’m learning from a master.

Darden: Skip the accolades. I promise I won’t kill off your character or send you to a deserted island … at least not for one more novel. But let’s change the subject. It’s time I asked you a question or two, Diana. When you first met Winston Ivy at your Aunt Phoebe’s house, what did you really think of him?

Diana: I didn’t trust him and for good reason. What man would be over at a woman’s house having tea a few days after his wife was shot?

Darden: We better stop there, or we’ll give too much away. Thank you for being such a great protagonist … a great lead character. In my new thriller, The 5 Manners of Death, you proved yourself strong, determined, and beautiful, yet let me twist your life into knots over worry about your Aunt Phoebe’s possible involvement in murder. With the discovery of that 50-year-old skeleton buried at Ole Miss, you succumbed to my plot and stole into Phoebe’s house, survived the neighbor’s attack dog along the way, and convinced your partner in surgical practice, Brad Cummins, that you were not insane. You were rigid but vulnerable. Of course, it’s a given that you survived The 5 Manners of Death as bodies collected around you in the first few chapters.

Diana: But the great ride for your readers in this new novel is finding out who does not survive for that potential sequel, and why. Thanks, for the interview, Darden. I’ve got to run home and find something to feed Kelsey for supper. Now, you get to work on that next thriller!

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Few authors write murder mysteries and thrillers and also deliver babies. A native of the Mississippi Delta and a board-certified physician in ob/gyn, Darden North is the nationally awarded author of five novels in the mystery/thriller genre, including Points of Origin, which was awarded an IPPY. North practices medicine at Jackson Healthcare for Women, where he is a certified daVinci robotic surgeon. North also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and on the Editorial Advisory Board of his state medical journal.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi, he begin his writing and publishing career as Editor-in-Chief of the 1978 Ole Miss yearbook and continued for the 1982 Medic while in medical school. North has presented at the Southern Expressions Conference on the construction of mysteries and thrillers and participated as an author panelist at “Murder in the Magic City,” “Killer Nashville,” and “Murder on the Menu.” Darden North lives with his wife Sally in Jackson, Mississippi. In his spare time, he gardens, enjoys family, walks for exercise, and travels. Sally and Darden have two young adult children who work in the medical field.

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

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The 5 Manners of Death by Darden North

The 5 Manners of Death by Darden North

A Novel of Suspense

Publisher: WordCrafts Press Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

After a construction worker unearths a human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi dating to the 1960s, an older woman’s desperate attempt to erase history counts down the 5 Manners of death.

Dr. Diana Bratton is a surgeon surrounded by bodies after the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the manners of death. Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed off this list—leaving Diana to believe that only murder remains. When Diana spots photographs in a 1966 university yearbook, Phoebe is linked not only to that death, but to the recent deaths of two local men. Diana is torn between pursuing Phoebe’s innocence and accepting police theory that her aunt is involved in the murder of several men she knew in college.

Diana steals precious time from her young daughter, her surgical practice, and her hopes for renewed romance to clear Aunt Phoebe’s name of multiple murder and uncover the significance of the list. Even as Diana searches Phoebe’s home basement for evidence, she works to trump the police and outrun the conspiracy between her ex-husband and Phoebe’s long-time lover—her quest to expose the truth overshadowed by a need to rebury the past. Even though she realizes there is a chance to save her shrinking family, Diana understands that of the five ways to die, murder is her family secret.

The 5 Manners of Death by Darden North

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for letting me guest on!
    ---Darden North


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