Julianna Deering: The Writer & her Book (with a giveaway)

JD - Murder on the Moor

Today it’s a privilege to be chatting with Julianna Deering (aka DeAnna Dodson) about fall, Marjory Allingham, and a character’s unexpected daughter! Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win Murder on the Moor!

The Writer

Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

One of my friends says, “kind, imaginative and fun.” (She’s being generous.) My dad says, “talented, brilliant and determined.” (He might just be a little biased.) I’d say, “tenacious, dramatic and blessed.” (I’m leaving out the bad stuff.)

What’s your favourite season, and why?

I absolutely love fall. Summer in Texas is brutal most years and lasts pretty much from April through September. When we get that first cool fall day, it’s absolutely delicious. And our falls and winters are generally so mild, they’re a delight. Spring lasts only two or three weeks it seems, and then we’re back to a blistering summer. So, yeah, fall is my favorite.

What is the best part of your day?

It would have to be when I wake up with my three cats snuggled with me in bed and realize I don’t have to fight rush hour traffic to go to a nine-to-five job. I love working at home, even if it does mean I work all night and weekends sometimes. Totally worth it.

What do you miss most about your childhood?

I miss feeling like the world made sense. It seemed a lot less scary then. Probably because I was too young to know what was going on, and because I had parents who always took care of me.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

I don’t know how many people will recognize the name Steve Allen anymore. He was definitely before my time, but watching a little bit of what his show was like (he was the original host of The Tonight Show), I think it would be fun to be interviewed by him and be around all the eventually famous comedians who got their start on his show and managed to be funny without being obscene.

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

Green grapes!! I love most kinds of fruits, especially if they’re chilled, but not melons. No, no, no.

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

I don’t think it was called Christian fiction at the time, and this book is decades older than I am, but someone gave me a copy of Grace Livingston Hill’s April Gold when I was about fifteen. I remember being a little bit amazed to read a romance book that was not only clean but that mentioned God in a positive way. Not a profound book by any means, but I’ve always remembered it and been grateful to her for writing books that upheld Christian values rather than attacking them. It is my goal to always do the same.

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

I think it’s a tossup between Marjory Allingham, who writes the most amazing mystery plots, and Georgette Heyer, who writes absolutely delightful and well-researched Regency romances. I’d hate to do without either.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

I hate to admit it, but I’ve been so busy since the first of the year with book deadlines and edits and proposals for new books, that I haven’t had much time to read. I’ve just started Carolyn Miller’s second book, The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If it’s anything like her first, The Elusive Miss Ellison, it will be a delight.

The Book

Murder on the Moor

At the urgent request of an old school friend, Drew and Madeline Farthering come to Bloodworth Park Lodge in the midst of the Yorkshire moors, a place as moody and mysterious as a BrontE hero. There have been several worrisome incidents out on the moor–property destroyed, fires started, sheep and cattle scattered–and worst of all, the vicar has been found dead on the steps of the church.

Drew’s friend is obviously smitten with his bride of eight months, though it’s hard to imagine what she sees in the awkward man. Drew can’t help wondering if her affections lie more with the man’s money and estate, while her romantic interests focus on their fiery Welsh gamekeeper. As the danger grows ever closer, it’s up to Drew to look past his own prejudices, determine what is really going on, and find the killer before it’s too late.  

What was the working title?

It was always Murder on the Moor. Bethany House usually asks for some alternate title suggestions for all of my books, but I don’t remember that they did for this one. They’ve been really nice about keeping my original titles, although they declined Civil as an Orange. They didn’t think readers would find it appealing, even if it is a Shakespeare quote. I’m sure they were right.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives.

Oooh, that’s kind of hard. Okay, I’d say “mysterious, amusing, authentic, touching and exciting.”

Which character took you by surprise?

Iris Midgely, the poacher’s daughter, was quite unexpected. When I started out, I didn’t even know he had a daughter. I certainly didn’t know she had a particular problem to overcome. Even though she’s had some very difficult things to deal with in her life, she still manages to be strong and self-sufficient.

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

I know I had a few nights that ended at five or six in the morning. I’m a night owl, but those were definitely a challenge. Still, I never want to miss a deadline if I can possibly help it.

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

I think it took me a while to settle on a name for the mysterious Mr. Selden. He needed something that would harken back to the book’s literary inspiration. Once I settled on the name Selden, having a Mr. Stapleton was a natural.

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

There really weren’t any scenes or characters that were cut on this one. Bethany House usually doesn’t ask for really major changes, though they did cut out a conversation in one of the earlier books where Drew was telling Madeline that, if they were to open their own private detective agency, she would have to be his secretary and take typewriting classes in the evenings and carry on a torrid affair with the boss. I thought it was cute, but I suppose it didn’t actually further the story. I might figure out a way to slip it into a later book.

Thanks Julianna!

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted from Bethany House with Rules of Murder (2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (2014), Dressed for Death (2016), Murder on the Moor (2017) and Death at Thorburn Hall (coming Fall 2017). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and six contemporary mysteries for Annie’s Fiction. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Deering @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Julianna’s website and blog
Buy from Amazon: Murder on the Moor or Koorong


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53 Responses to Julianna Deering: The Writer & her Book (with a giveaway)

  1. I love Regency romance stories.

  2. Great interview. And I can so hear Drew telling Madeline what her secretarial role would include! 😄

  3. I do enjoy regency Romance.

    And why the aversion to melons?

    • They’re so . . . melony.

      I don’t exactly know why. They look beautiful and are generally so fresh and cool and delicious looking. But they just have a certain taste to them that just doesn’t work for me.

      Watermelon looks especially tasty when it’s hot outside, but even hot weather doesn’t make it taste good. :(

  4. I do enjoy regency romance, but I’m more of a fan of certain authors who write regency romance than a fan of the sub-genre itself.

  5. The Drew Farthering series has been amazing! And I love Regency Romance. I love that these wonderful writers share great stories and also great faith. Makes it nice to know I don’t have to worry about the book I’m picking up! Thank you for being so amazing!

  6. Love Regency romance! There are some great authors that I love to read including Julianna. It’s fun to see how people used to live and the lovely clothes, although I’m glad I can just wear jeans and a t-shirt. lol I can’t wait to read Murder on the Moor! Loved all this series. Thanks for the give-away.

  7. I am a fan of historical fiction in general and I do really enjoy Regency romance. Despite the fact that this time period lacked our modern conveniences, most regency stories seems clean and pleasant. There is a sense of honor in the characters and they are generally well mannered. It makes me feel quite nostalgic!

  8. I do enjoy regency romance. I love the Drew Farthering mysteries, looking forward to reading Drew and Madeline’s latest adventure. :)

  9. I do like regency romance novels. I really like that time period because it seems more genteel than today.

  10. Hello,
    I am thoroughly enjoying the Drew Farthering Mysteries! I love historicals and mysteries, so it is a special treat when they are combined. Please tell me that more volumes (past six) are planned for this wonderful series. If not, please tell me you will be writing a similar series somewhere down the pipeline…

    • Thank you, Aaron, I’m so happy to hear that. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any information yet about what will be coming up for Drew after Death at Thorburn Hall releases this fall. Whether there are more books will probably depend on the success of the first six. So tell your friends and tell their friends and so on . . . 😉

      I will certainly be writing more of something sometime in the future. 😀

  11. I love this series. I have always enjoyed historical mysteries even when I was a child. Wish you the best on the book launch. I would love to win a copy!

  12. I did not know what Regency romance was, so I googled it! I have not read any yet but I have added Julia Deering to my TBR list. Thanks for the chance at a free copy.

  13. I’m definitely a fan of Regency Romance. I love learning about the social standards during that time and it is wonderful to read about the chivalry of the main male characters. I’m looking forward to reading Carolyn Miller’s debut.

    I’m also looking forward to reading book four in Julianna’s series in addition to her latest. It’s such a fun series! Thanks for the chance to win.

  14. I love Julianna Deering and her Drew Farthering series.

  15. I don’t know that Regency is a genre I seek out, but love historicals in general.

    I grew up on GLH but haven’t read one in probably 20 years. My aunt had the entire collection.

    • Oh, I always enjoy GLH! What’s interesting to me as a writer is reading what was contemporary for her over the very long period of time in which she wrote. Just seeing how everyday people lived in the 1900s and 1910s and ’20s and ’30s and so on always fascinates me.

      BTW, my book isn’t Regency. It’s 1930s English cozy mystery. 😉

  16. Fan of all types of romance.

  17. I love regency romance. Probably because it was one of my first romance reads as a teenager. They were clean, romantic, and fun to read. I have fond memories of the Signet and Zebra regency lines that my library would keep in stock. :) Thanks for the interview and the giveaway. I’m looking forward to reading Julianna’s books.

  18. I like reading Regency romances, I like the time period and the glamour of the era.

  19. OH MY, ever since I’ve read the very first Julie Klassen book, I fell in LOVE with Regency romance! I must have devoured every one of those and I have “The Innkeeper on Ivy Hill” on my soon-to-read list on my bookshelf. I’ve discovered many Christian regency authors since then. I think I love the time period, the customs, mannerisms, the courtship behavior between men & women, the elegant balls (especially for Debutantes), just everything about it!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of “Murder on the Moor”. Though I’ve not yet read anything by Julianna, I’ve heard nothing but great things about her books!

  20. I love regency romance! It is one of my favorites to read. :)

  21. Pride and Prejudice was the very first romance book I ever read. If anything, I enjoy regency for nostalgia’s sake. :)

  22. YES! I LOVE Regency romance. It is so charming.

  23. I have never read any Regency romances so don’t know if I would like them or not! But I always love a mystery!!

  24. I love Regency romances because they give you a chance to explore another time and place while reading a love story as well. :)

  25. I love Regency romance. I enjoy traveling to a different time and place and meeting such interesting characters!

  26. I can’t say that I’ve read regency romance, but I was surprised to see Georgette Heyer as a romance author, I thought she only wrote mysteries.

  27. Andrea Stephens

    I have always loved Regency romance. I remember reading something by Jane Austin at the library when I was about 7. The librarian told me it was and “Adult” book and took it away from me. I’ve been hooked ever since!

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