Thursday, August 27, 2015

Author Interview: DEATH ON PARADISE CREEK by Dianne Smithwick-Braden

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Death on Paradise Creek is a murder mystery seasoned with heartbreak, adventure, a little romance, and a touch of humor. It is the first in a planned three book series.

cover.jpgThe Paradise Creek Inn is open for business in rural Wilbarger County Texas. Business is slow except for the occasional parties for family or friends, until a prestigious actor becomes stranded on the property. Suddenly Lizzie Fletcher and her family are booking parties and events left and right – a dream come true.

Things quickly change when the hired hand makes a gruesome discovery. Sheriff Wade Adams and his team are called to investigate. While evidence is being analyzed, another body is discovered. Long kept secrets revolving around these discoveries begin to unravel.

Death on Paradise Creek is a 60,929 word, 205 page murder mystery set in Wilbarger County Texas.

Paperbacks are $15.95 and ebooks are $6.99

It is available for purchase at: in paperback and for Kindle

Barnes and in paperback and for Nook

Black Rose Writing in paperback



Chapter 6

Lizzie woke Saturday morning to the smell of coffee brewing. She hadn’t realized how much she missed waking up to that smell. She always had coffee after she got to work. She went downstairs to find Ellen and Lois sitting at the kitchen table.

“Good morning, Mama. Good morning, Granny,” she said as she planted a kiss on each woman’s cheek. “Where’s Daddy?”

“He had to get started moving the cattle to the east pasture. He said he’d be missing a lot of work since we’ll be in town for Jan’s festivities later this week,” Ellen explained.

“Lizzie, sit down; I want to talk to you about something,” Lois said.

“Okay. It sounds like something serious Granny.”

“Well, it is in a way. Is your job in Chicago the kind of job you always dreamed about?”

“No, it isn’t. It’s a work my way up the ladder and pay my dues kind of job.”

“Would you still like to run your own inn?”

“That has always been my dream, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.”

“Alright then. I have a proposition for you. I’m getting too old to live in that great big house all alone. You’re parents and I have been talking about this, and we want to see what you think. We’ll turn the house over to you. You can renovate it and make it into the inn you’ve always dreamed of owning.”

“But Granny…”

“Now, let me finish,” Granny interrupted.” I’ll move in here with James and Ellen. You’ll manage the inn. I’ll fund the renovations, within reason mind you. Your parents and I will help when you need it. The old place needs fixing up anyway, and I see no reason to fix it up only for one old lady. It will become a family business.” Granny paused for a moment, and then said, “Well what do you think?”

Lizzie didn’t know what to say. She wanted to jump at the chance to design and run her own inn.


Smithwick-Braden.jpgDianne Smithwick-Braden is a native Texan raised in rural Wilbarger County on the family farm. She is a graduate of Vernon High School and West Texas A & M University. She currently resides in Amarillo, Texas with her husband, Richard. She has been a high school science teacher in Amarillo since August of 1990.

Dianne is an avid reader of fiction but murder mysteries are by far her favorite genre. Death on Paradise Creek is her first novel. She has already begun work on a sequel.

What is your writing process like? Do you have any interesting writing rituals?
Since I work full time most of the year, I carry a notebook around with me. I make notes of ideas and write pieces when I have a few minutes of downtime. I get some of my best ideas while knitting.

What do you consider the most important part of the writing process? What do you consider the most difficult?
The most important part of my writing process is just getting started. I’ve written a lot of things that I later decided not to use. Those things were still useful in helping to get the ideas flowing. The most difficult part for me is finding uninterrupted time to write. I can write for hours without realizing how much time has passed when the story is taking shape. Writing during the school year is very difficult. I’ve spent the entire summer writing this year.

Who or what would you say had the greatest influence on your writing?
I had some amazing teachers that helped me learn the mechanics. My greatest influence outside of school has to be my favorite author Agatha Christie. I’m also a big fan of Clive Cussler and Janet Evanovich.

What do you find most fascinating or addicting about murder mysteries?
It may be the science geek in me but I love trying to solve the mystery before the author reveals it. The best murder mysteries, in my opinion, are the ones I can’t solve beforehand.

If you could time travel, where would you go first?
It’s funny you should ask that. I’ve thought about it many times and would like to see so many things. I believe the place in time that I would like to visit first would be to see Jesus during his ministry. I think it would be amazing to hear him teach and see the miracles he performed. The second place I’d like to go is the old west or maybe the 1920’s, 1930’s, or 1950’s. I could go on and on.

What was the last book that was recommended to you?
A colleague recommended The Rock Hole by Reavis Wortham. I read it and became a fan. I’ve read all of the books in his series and am waiting patiently for the next one.

What would you tell a non-Texan reader about Texas to better help them understand the setting of your story DEATH ON PARADISE CREEK in Wilbarger County?
Wilbarger County is mostly farm and ranch land. The largest town is Vernon with a population of about 12,000 people. It’s situated near the Texas Oklahoma state line. Most families have at least one pickup truck or some sort of 4 wheel drive vehicle. Summers at hot and winters are generally mild. There is only one high school. Kids start school and will go through their entire school life with many of the same people the met in kindergarten. As a result, lifelong friends are made and seem like part of your extended family.

Is there a sequel planned for DEATH ON PARADISE CREEK?
Yes. I finished the first draft of Death under a Full Moon two weeks ago.

What’s next in the writing world of Dianne Smithwick-Braden?
I’ve started making notes for the third book of the series. I don’t have a title for it yet but I do have a few ideas about the plot. I also have ideas for other books with a new cast of characters.






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