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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Hi Deborah, I'm a Deborah too, I just commented at Jungle Red here where our good friend Hank was interviewing you.

I am a HUGE fan of your series, and was very surprised when I first starting reading that you were a Yank, yes you lived in the UK for a while but gosh, your scenes bring me closer to the Thames than some born and bred Brits do.

I've read No Mark Upon Her, I love how your novels always have more than one thing going on, even if they sometimes meet in the middle, I love how Gemma and Duncan's relationship has evolved and even though I'm a true blue romance lover, the sex scenes missing from behind the closed door of their bedroom don't bother me at all, it just wouldn't work with your novels. I also love how we get to catch up on prior characters like, Hannah and Tim, Winnie, Duncan's and Gemma's parents etc..

Becke you are a rock star for getting Deb here, and Deb I know I'll revisit this title to keep me up to speed for when the next one comes out.

Thanks for being here

 

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Becke, Hi!  I answer to Deb (US) or Debs (UK) although lots of my American friends call me Debs, too.

 

So thrilled you liked the book!  But isn't the US edition cool with the maps and the chapter quotes?  Laura Maestro, who does the endpaper maps, has outdone herself this time.  (I especially love her illustrations of the SAR dogs, Tosh and Finn.)

 

I'm working on book #15.  It has a working title, but I don't think it's official enough to mention yet :-(  It's set partly in Crystal Palace in south London, partly in Soho/Covent Garden.  Duncan and Gemma are dealing with the consequences of things that happened in No Mark Upon Her (can't say more without big spoilers!)  There is a rock guitarist (whom we've met in a previous book), a girl singer, and some very perplexing murders.

 

I was introduced to Crystal Palace by a friend who lives there and knew it had to be the setting for a book.

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Hi Debbie--Yes, saw you on Jungle Red!  What a fun interview, and Hank is truly a star.

 

I wish I could get all my favorite characters in every book.  Some of the continuing characters--Hazel and Erika especially, got shorted a bit in NO MARK.  But it was a complicated enough thread of plot lines as it was!

 

And thanks for the positive feedback on the "behind closed doors" sex scenes.  I have a good friend who is also a true-blue romance reader, and she always thinks I should go farther, but it just doesn't work in these books!  And I almost always tend to think that sexual tension and the emotional connection between characters are much more effective than the actual, um, graphic description.  I mean we all pretty much know how that works, right? :-)  Besides, a little writer's confession--good sex scenes are extraordinarily hard to write!

 

All this writing about England is making me homesick for the UK...

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Becke and Fricka, I always intend that the books can be read as standalones, although it's a tricky equation getting it right.  You have to give enough information about the continuing characters that new readers have some background, and in this series--because the characters' personal lives have evolved--there are necessarily some spoilers.  But I try not to give too much detail about the CRIME part of previous novels, and each book has a very distinct story and characters.  What I usually find is the readers who discover a later book in the series then go back and catch up.

 

That's what I do when I discover a series I like, and I'm just as much a reader as a writer.

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Becke, I live and breathe Britain.  I read British books, I watch British TV, read British newspapers.  And then of course I spend as much time there as I can.  I usually go to England two to three times a year for several weeks, researching madly, but it's never, never enough....

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!


debcrombie wrote:

Becke, Hi!  I answer to Deb (US) or Debs (UK) although lots of my American friends call me Debs, too.

 

So thrilled you liked the book!  But isn't the US edition cool with the maps and the chapter quotes?  Laura Maestro, who does the endpaper maps, has outdone herself this time.  (I especially love her illustrations of the SAR dogs, Tosh and Finn.)

 

I'm working on book #15.  It has a working title, but I don't think it's official enough to mention yet :-(  It's set partly in Crystal Palace in south London, partly in Soho/Covent Garden.  Duncan and Gemma are dealing with the consequences of things that happened in No Mark Upon Her (can't say more without big spoilers!)  There is a rock guitarist (whom we've met in a previous book), a girl singer, and some very perplexing murders.

 

I was introduced to Crystal Palace by a friend who lives there and knew it had to be the setting for a book.


How cool - my husband used to live by Crystal Palace Park!

 

I just found an image of one of the maps here:

http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-dark-house-by-deborah-crombie.html

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!


debcrombie wrote:

Becke, I live and breathe Britain.  I read British books, I watch British TV, read British newspapers.  And then of course I spend as much time there as I can.  I usually go to England two to three times a year for several weeks, researching madly, but it's never, never enough....


We used to go up Shooter's Hill and through Blackheath and Greenwich Park on our way to work. Blackheath has always fascinated me because it was a mass burial site for plague victims. It's a very nice area now (or it was the last time I was there).

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Blackheath... Hmmm.  Maybe a new setting.... :smileyhappy:

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!


debcrombie wrote:

Blackheath... Hmmm.  Maybe a new setting.... :smileyhappy:


Here's a picture of Blackheath Common:

 

 

There's an interesting story that's partly set in Blackheath:

 

The Plague Tales  

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ReadingPatti
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

debcrombie, Hi and welcome. I hope your visit here is great. I must check out you books. I really like your titles.

 

How do you come up with them?

 

What do you like about writing mysteries? I think it would be hard so that you don't give away the ending.

 

So again welcome and enjoy your visit.

 

ReadingPatti

Author
debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Lovely!  will look for the book.  I will be in a few bookstores:smileyhappy:

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!


debcrombie wrote:

Lovely!  will look for the book.  I will be in a few bookstores:smileyhappy:


It was published in around 1998 - might be hard to find. I don't think it's still in print, but I could be wrong. It was pretty hot when it first came out.

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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Deborah - Do you go to England a lot, or do you rely on other sources for your research? What are your favorite spots to visit in the UK?

Moderator
becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Just thought of another question - sorry to bombard you!

 

What books and/or authors inspired you to write a series set in England? Do you have relatives there or are you just a natural Anglophile?

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debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Hi Becke-- I usually make two or three trips to England a year, and stay about three weeks at a time.  I'm always madly researching when I'm there.  I take lots of pictures and notes, and often bring home books and research material that I can't get in the States.  But these days I must say the internet makes my job a lot easier!  I love Google Maps! 

 

Favorite spots?  Oh my, that's tough.  I've always loved Henley, but after NO MARK UPON HER, it's become a place I will always want to go back and visit.  I have friends there, I love the town, I love rowing, I love Leander Club.

 

Ludlow, where my writer friend Kate Charles lives.

 

Oxford, always.

 

But London, I think, has my heart.  It's my favorite place in the world, and my heart always lifts when I get off the train at Paddington Station.  (I always take a picture of the Paddington Bear stall at Paddington Station first thing.)

 

Love love love London.:heart:

Author
debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

No relatives there, no family history.  I blame a lot of my Anglophila on public television.:smileyhappy: I grew up on Masterpiece Theatre and Masterpiece Mystery and read all the books I could find that were related.

 

I don't know why I feel so at home there--but it's both a blessing and curse, because except for a brief time years ago, I've never managed to live there.  That's one of the reasons I started writing the books--so that I could be there in my head if not in body.

 

And as that's given me a reason to visit often over the years, I think that was a pretty good plan!

 

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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!


debcrombie wrote:

Hi Becke-- I usually make two or three trips to England a year, and stay about three weeks at a time.  I'm always madly researching when I'm there.  I take lots of pictures and notes, and often bring home books and research material that I can't get in the States.  But these days I must say the internet makes my job a lot easier!  I love Google Maps! 

 

Favorite spots?  Oh my, that's tough.  I've always loved Henley, but after NO MARK UPON HER, it's become a place I will always want to go back and visit.  I have friends there, I love the town, I love rowing, I love Leander Club.

 

Ludlow, where my writer friend Kate Charles lives.

 

Oxford, always.

 

But London, I think, has my heart.  It's my favorite place in the world, and my heart always lifts when I get off the train at Paddington Station.  (I always take a picture of the Paddington Bear stall at Paddington Station first thing.)

 

Love love love London.:heart:


I wasn't familiar with the Leander Club until I read your book, and at first I thought it was fictional. I took a short break from reading to look it up, and was surprised to find it was very real!

 

http://www.leander.co.uk/

 

I'm jealous of your frequent trips to England - what a life!

Author
debcrombie
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Hi Patti!  I work hard at the titles.  I have a well-used Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and a few of my titles are direct quotes.  Most however, are just made up because I like the sound of the words, and to me they convey a mood or theme--or both--that fit the book.

 

I really like telling a story within the structure of a crime novel.  You know there has to be a resolution.  It is a challenge to work in the clues without giving away the ending.  Writers call it misdirection--it's like hiding something in plain sight.  And my books always have lots of threads that need to come together in the end, so that's a challenge, too.

Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Hi, Deb, and welcome!  I have one of your books, In a Dark House, on my TBR pile, but haven't read it yet, so it's interesting to me to read this thread and have some background before getting into it.  If I had been more organized, I would have read it prior to your visit - sorry!

 

After reading about the maps, I just pulled it out to look.  That is a lovely map!  Actually, it's the same one that Becke posted above.  Maps are always a great addition to a mystery (or any book, I suppose), and I often find myself referring to them while reading.

 

I'm also an Anglophile, for some of the same reasons as you - I've been watching Masterpiece Theatre since I was a preteen, and have been loving all the Britcoms, mysteries, and classics since then.  And, of course, the literature - Dickens, Austen, the Brontes, etc.  Since seeing The Six Wives of Henry VIII way back when, I've also been fascinated by some of the royal history, the Tudors and Plantagenets in particular.  I've only been to London once, for two days, when I was 12, though.

 

I was also interested in what you said about right brain/left brain.  When I've taken quizzes about that, it always ends up about equally balanced for me.  In my own life, I can see this in scrapbooking - I love both the creative aspect of creating a page, as well as the organizing part - measuring, cropping, laying it out.  Maybe I should try writing!  LOL!

 

I'm also reassured by what has been said about the 'behind closed doors' of the characters' sex life. I do prefer that.  Some other authors that I think handle this in a skillful manner are Carolyn Hart and Elizabeth Peters.  It's clear that Annie and Max Darling, and Amelia and Radcliffe Emerson have very, very satisfying sex lives, but they are only alluded to, and we don't have to read the details.  Please don't listen to those who are urging you to change this!

 

I'm looking forward to reading your book!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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becke_davis
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Re: Please Welcome Author DEBORAH CROMBIE!

Speaking of those British TV shows, I think Deborah's books would make a wonderful series for PBS's MASTERPIECE MYSTERY.

 

I have no idea how those series come about. Have you had offers to film or televise your books, Deborah?