Hi, Rebecca, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Dead Man’s Rules:
Dead Man’s Rules is set in a small northern New Mexico, a region my family visited regularly as a child to see my uncle who worked as a cowboy on one of the biggest ranches in the country. I still go back frequently to see my brother, who lives in Santa Fe. The story takes place in a small town that is still troubled by a long ago mystery, the death of bad boy Marco Gonzales. His death was ruled a suicide, but now there are questions about how he really died. Then murder rocks the town…
A woman on a mission… a lawman hiding secrets. When tabloid reporter Cere Medina decides she wants to investigate into a decades old mystery, she stirs up more than old ghosts in the northern New Mexico town of Rio Rojo. Sheriff Rafe Tafoya doesn’t like the idea of her asking questions. He’s come back to the small town looking for a peaceful place to raise his daughter as a single father. But between Cere’s appearance and that of a mysterious stranger, he’s beginning to question his decision. And it doesn’t help that Cere has him thinking about more than just doing a good job…
What inspired this story?
The idea for Dead Man’s Rules came from a visit I made with college friends to an old company store in the Colorado mountains. We’d heard about a mysterious handprint in an old building that people said was haunted. After finding the faded print, we all invented stories around the mystery. The sad tale of Marco Gonzales was the basis for my story, though it has evolved over the years.
What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?
Currently I am finishing up a sequel to Dead Man’s Rules that I call Dead Man’s Secrets. It is the story of Cere Medina’s cousin, Freeda, who has been searching for her father. I am also finishing up the galleys for my first mystery, Blues at 11, which I’ve set in the world of TV news and then working on a second book in that series.
How do you come up with ideas?
I come up with ideas from just about everywhere. Things that happen to my family are always ending up as the basis for a story. I just take an event and begin asking “what if” and before long I find myself involved in a new story line.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I really like coming up with ideas and turning them into plot lines. What I enjoy is making things come out however I want them to come out or I let my characters lead the way and make their own stories. What I discover is that if I try to really plot something, the story doesn’t work. The characters demand an opportunity to have it their way.
Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, character, or…?
I usually start with the idea or the character. As I said above, coming up with a formal plot often doesn’t work for me. I find myself straying because of a new idea or I find the character wanting to in a new direction. One thing I have discovered over the years is that I must be true to my characters. I have to let them have their say, even if I keep throwing new things at them.
What is the best thing about being an author?
I love the idea of making things up. Every time I hear an idea I think might wwork for a story I start building a story line around it. My story might have one little bit of truth at one end, but they never turn out the same.
What did you learn from writing your first book or what do you wish you’d known before becoming published?
I think what I learned was to keep trying to get published and I also realized I had to consider the reader when I was writing, not just when I was editing. I had to remember that a total stranger was going to be reading the story and I had to make some concessions for them. No one can see into my head so unless I put the information in the book in some form, even if it is only implied, they will not see it or know it.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
That is an easy question for me. Of all the place I have visited my favorite spot has been Vancouver, British Columbia from the first time I visited there with my brother. No matter where I’ve lived I’ve always managed to get back there at least every couple of years. I enjoy walking the sea wall, shopping along Robson Street or wandering through Chinatown. I set the beginning of my first romantic suspense book there (DEADLY MESSAGES) as a result of one of my walks through Stanley Park.
What do you like to read?
I currently love to read mystery and suspense though I go in and out of various genres. For a time I got caught up in horror and paranormal. My very first love when I was a child was reading science fiction, and that later turned to romance.
Who first introduced you to the love of reading?
My mother was the first person to introduce me to books and the love of reading. She began taking me to the library no matter where we lived. She also demonstrated her own love of reading by having books around.
These are few of my favorite things:
- Visiting new places
- Learning new things
Cere caught hold of his arm. “Maybe you should take me to the Palladium, Sheriff. I’d like to see the bloody hand print for myself.”
Damn, she was persistent. Rafe shook his head, again hoping to discourage her. “I chase people out. I don’t give tours. Enjoy your vacation.”
“I didn’t come for vacation.” Her eyes flashed with irritation. “I want to do a story on the handprint. I need to.”
His stomach knotted, as his breakfast churned in his stomach. He didn’t ask why she needed to do the story. He knew. Ego.
Reaching down, Cere pulled a reporter’s notebook from her bag. “If you won’t do an interview, do you know anyone who might talk to me?”
Why had he wondered what she might think about him? Or hope that she might be interested in him? She was only after her damn story. Acid boiled in his stomach. This woman would pry until eventually she might uncover some ugly truths. And she would spill it all out on national television. She could hurt a good many people, people he knew and loved.
Rafe gritted his teeth as he forced an answer, hoping for one final chance at dissuading her. “No one will talk to you. My advice is to let it go. Relax. Take your vacation.”
He might as well have struck her. Her chin snapped up and her body grew rigid. He drew back at the determination he saw grow in her bright eyes.
“Don’t try to tell me what I should do. It’s time someone found out who murdered Marco Gonzales. Yes, I said, murdered, Sheriff. If you don’t want to help me investigate his death, I’ll do it on my own.”
You can buy Dead Man’s Rules at:
Bio: Rebecca Grace is an award winning former broadcast journalist. She has worked in TV newsrooms around the west, from Denver to Las Vegas, from San Diego to Seattle, though she spent most of her time working in Los Angeles. After 30 years in TV she transitioned to public relations and then retired. But she hasn’t stopped working. She currently works at writing romance, romantic suspense and mystery and is published in short stories, novellas and novel forms. She also teaches writing classes as well as coaching and mentoring writers.
You can find Rebecca at: