Monster Mash Book Blitz Countdown Event Day 8 – The Blue Virgin

October 11, 2016

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day-8-authorMarni Graff had a successful career as a registered nurse who wrote on the side before writing full time. She has a degree in English Lit and studied Gothic Mystery at Oxford University in England. She also wrote articles for Mystery Review magazine, where she interviewed many of the authors whose work she admired.

Marni is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. The Blue Virgin introduces Nora, an American writer living in Oxford. The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench trace Nora’s move to the Lake District where murder follows her.  In process is The Golden Hour, set in Bath, England. Premiering in the next few months will be Graff’s new Manhattan series, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio. This new series is based on Marni’s favorite nursing job in real life.

Marni is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. She writes crime book reviews at Auntie M Writes and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press, an author’s cooperative. A member of Sisters in Crime, Marni runs the NC Writers Read program in Belhaven which allows writers experience reading their work out loud and getting immediate feedback.

Q&A With the Author

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Persevering to get that first book into print. I wrote for years on the side, then finally was able to write full time. Once I had been signed by an agent I thought I’d made it, but three years later he hadn’t been able to sell either of my first two books. Then I met a group of women and one started her own indie press and I decided to take the plunge and bring out the books with her. I’ve never looked back.

Please, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

My first trip to England happened in my early 20’s. I stepped off the plane with my (then) husband for a week of rugby games and despite never having traveled outside the US before, felt like I was coming home. Despite the streets and names and towns all being new to me, there was a sense of recognition that happened and has happened each time I travel back to anywhere in the UK. I’ve been fleetingly in Scotland and Wales and want to explore those more. I know England the best and have spent several trips doing research for the English mystery series by taking long train rides to new areas, all set up to explore potential settings for the books. Each area has its own feel and customs; each area feels ‘right’ to me, as if I’ve been there before. Whether I visit Cornwall, Devon, the beaches of Brighton, the lights of London, the glorious Lake District–it’s all in my memory banks with a sense of familiarity and rightness. Maybe I have lived there in another life?

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The Blue Virgin (A Nora Tierney Mystery, #1)

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Despite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn’s murder. Or has she?

Nora quickly becomes embroiled in the murder investigation, much to the dismay of two men: Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, the senior on the case; and Simon Ramsey, the illustrator of Nora’s children’s book. Simon’s efforts to save Nora from herself become increasingly frantic as Nora is forced to push her way into Declan’s case, using her wits and her wiles to prove Val’s innocence.

The first in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries based in the UK, The Blue Virgin is a compelling story of love and intrigue. Nothing, Nora learns, is what it seems, and even the most innocent of choices can lead to murder and revenge. Set in the ancient city of golden spires, the setting lends itself to mystery, as any Inspector Morse fan will agree. The novel is written in classic English style, complete with a cast of characters and chapter epigraphs that add to its literary feel.

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Top Ten List

  1. I always have a jigsaw puzzle in progress.
  2. I was a nurse for 30 years.
  3. I was on TV twice playing a nurse on the soap opera “One Life to Live” as part of my medical consulting.
  4. I took German in high school and have a wicked accent but have no idea any longer what I’m saying!
  5. I have a collection of vintage platters and creamers.
  6. I have seven grandchildren.
  7. My dog is an Italian Spinone, a rare breed of hunting hound, named Radar.
  8. A copy of my third Nora Tierney Mystery, The Scarlet Wench, is in the archives of Noel Coward’s estate.
  9. I took German in high school and have a wicked accent but have no idea any longer what I’m saying!
  10. I named Nora’s son, Sean, after my own son, who’ll turn 40 this spring!

 

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