A Conversation with Becca St.John, Author of THE GATEHOUSE (Lady Eleanor Mysteries #2)

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Becca!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Becky! My favorite holiday.

Thanks for having me and for giving me the opportunity to share my love and my work.

My pleasure 🙂

 

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I would be crippled without yoga. Something happened over a decade ago, when I stepped out of bed I could barely walk. No problem now, as long as I do my yoga. But if I skip it, for too long, there’s a price to pay. Probably should see a doctor but if I can fix a problem myself, that’s what I’ll do.
  2. Imagination shoots me into the clouds, meditation keeps me grounded. Spending so much of my time ‘imagining’ the lives of characters, I have to do something to come back to reality. Mediation does that. It clears my mind and takes me back to the basics. But that doesn’t always mean sitting in silence for hours. Swimming, kayaking, even doing the dishes are great times to meditate.
  3. Travel is my ‘down-time’ ~ In 2015 I went to 12 countries 75 days and will be going to 8 countries in the same amount of time this spring. There’s a very good chance, after this next trip, I’ll retire from travel, at least physically. Mentally, I will go back to remote and so may my characters!
  4. Shhhh, this is a secret. Don’t want to get carted off as a crazy woman but … Whether they are there or not, I leave gifts for elves and faeries and love the whimsy of it all. Sometimes it’s good to step back into childhood, honoring dreams and make-believe.
  5. Before moving to Florida, I lived in the mountains of Wyoming and had a labyrinth in a willow copse on my property. Loved walking that labyrinth. It was special.

But…why wouldn’t the elves and fairies be there? What do you mean by “make believe”? 😉

The labyrinth sounds fantastic!

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The Gatehouse popped into my mind on a drive from San Diego to Los Angeles. I was riding in the car with another author who used to work in a school for the deaf. She talked about some of her teaching experiences and students who made it big. We discussed my next book for the Lady Eleanor Mysteries. The two conversations merged and whoosh, a whole new book emerged. It was a domino toppling moment that wasn’t nearly as random as it would seem. I had always been fascinated by deaf culture, even wrote, and produced, a play in deaf sign. We had to laugh, as I started to tell her my new idea she would say, “but why this?” or “why that?”  I’d scratch my head and answer, “I don’t know yet, the story is only just coming to me, right now, this very moment.” It works like that sometimes.

That is such an interesting story—I love it!

(And a deaf sign play—how cool! I took ASL I and II as my language in college, and loved it!)

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

Reading and writing have always been part of my life. So much so, that I didn’t think much of it. Just did it. Used writing to help earn a bit of cash in college, but never thought of it as a career. My family is full of writers and editors, so my efforts were not worth noting. But then the romance genre found me (really, it found me, I’m certain of it) and I found home.  “This is me,” I thought early in my romance reading career, “this is what I want to do, want to write.” And that was it.

I totally believe that romance finds you—you won’t get an argument there from me!

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

Right now, I’m preparing to travel and research for my next book in the Lady Eleanor Mysteries,.

Fantastic!

 

Here’s a short excerpt from The Gatehouse (book 2 in the series) with a hint to where my travels are taking me, what the next mystery will be, and whose heart will need mending:

Edmund diverted the conversation. “What were you speaking to Lady Eleanor about?”

Bentwood frowned, tilting his drink, coating the sides of his glass. “She’s going to the Far East with us. Spot of bother over there, sister missing, worrisome.”

“Egad! Missing? Who?” exclaimed Sir Michael.

The whole table turned. “My sister, in the Far East. Going to locate her. Taking Lady Eleanor.”

“Never!” Sir Michael gasped.

“Need a woman. Lady Bentwood would go charging off on her own, if I didn’t have a sensible, logical woman to stop her.”

Sir Michael snorted. “Lady Eleanor is just as likely to lead the charge. No, don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“She’s agreed,” Lord Bentwood told him. “We leave in the morning. That’s why I’ve been so keen to get out of here. Just got word.”

“Your sister’s probably just gone off with some fellow, don’t you think?” Sir Michael drummed his fingers on the table. “Probably no more than that.”

“Her husband is there, looking for her,” Bentwood looked down at his drink, wishing his wife adored him the way his sister loved her husband. But his wife loved another man. Always had. “Cece is crazy about him. She’d not run off.” But Lady Bentwood would, given half a chance. He was certain of it.

🙂

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

As   usual, I have three books on my side table:

  1. Lord Scoundrel – which I’ve read multiple times and will, most likely, read many more times
  2. Married to a Bedouin – about a gal who married a Bedouin and lived in Petra back in the 1970’s.
  3. I study theology. The third book is related to that study and something I hold quietly dear.

An interesting mix!

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Devilishly handsome and deaf, a gentleman tries to protect his love from a killer he cannot hear.

Fantastic!

Thanks again for visiting, Becca, and happy Valentine’s Day! <3

 

About the author:

An Accidental Writer ~

Writing was a tool, not a toy, until a stay in an ancient (I swear it was haunted) hotel on a frightfully stormy night straight from a clichéd novel full of howling wind and creaking floors. The night drove me to a bookcase full of dog eared romances. Sleepless turned to fascination. Hooked I read old romances, new romances, both sexy and sweet until my own tales begged to be written.

 

About the book:

He can’t hear the murderer’s step but knows that all he loves is in danger …

Moments before his marriage, Christopher Sterry’s twin brother is murdered. One would expect Christopher to become the next Earl of Longford. No one would be surprised if he married his twin’s almost-bride, Helen Grove. She is, after all, his closest friend and confidante.

Except Christopher is deaf. The world outside Longford Manor believes that a deaf mute must also be a half-wit brute, unfit to be earl and, most certainly, capable of murdering his brother. He is the prime suspect – especially since he found the body.

Helen waits at the altar while her groom lies murdered in the folly. But there is no time to mourn. Christopher is in danger and so, it appears, is she. Ignoring her own risks, Helen crosses into the line of fire to protect the new earl. And in championing his cause, she comes to realize that it was not the dead twin she’d loved, but the deaf one.

Lady Eleanor solves crimes more thoroughly than any male magistrate. So when Christopher, her godson, is condemned without evidence, she sets out to prove both his innocence and his competence as earl. If she fails, Christopher will die… or be returned to an asylum worse than hell.

Book 2 ~ Lady Eleanor Mysteries ~ Regency romantic mystery with a touch of Gothic.