author: Marjorie Owen
other titles by this author: Ladies of Class–A Richard Hayward Mystery
formats: ebook, paperback, and eventually audio
price paperback: 8.99
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Hayward had just started his vacation
with his pregnant wife when the call comes. Another murder has interrupted
the town’s peaceful existence, and the murderer won’t stop at just one
Richard will need all of his expertise if he’s going to find the killer
lurking among the town’s only department store. But when the Chief
Inspector gets too close to the truth, his ongoing search places his wife
and the life of his unborn child in jeopardy. It’s a killer’s warning. Back
off or pay the consequences.
Never one to back down, Richard must find the murderer before more lives
are taken, but most importantly, he will do whatever it takes to protect
Welcome Dee! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
As an avid reader I became fascinated with Mum’s stories and books. All her writings were hand written on legal size paper or note books, on both sides of the paper. I began reading some of the 50 plus short stories and four books. After reading a few I was hooked. Mum’s writing was not the clearest; however, I had set myself the challenge and was going to follow through. At times I was frustrated with Mum’s hand writing. The first book is now published “Ladies of Class” at http://www.vinspirepublishing.com/
There are so many talented authors that I decided to make my blog a place for readers, authors, writers, and anyone interested to meet, share, and discuss. http://bookread-mumswritings.blogspot.com
Marjorie Grace Patricia Bridget Owen is my mother-in-law (deceased).
Mum was born on September 11th 1911 in England and endured the bombardment of World War II. She was born out-of-wedlock with an Irish Lord for a father and a Russian princess as her mother. Although her life before working is somewhat sketchy, her career, as a major London department store clothing buyer, was long and interesting. Members of the Royal family were amongst some of her more famous clients. Marjorie found time to write many short stories and four novels ranging from romance to mystery. She did not attempt to publish any of her writings. We can only surmise that she wrote for the joy and did not wish to seek out any recognition or fame.
Marjorie passed away on March 28th 2004, after a very full life, at the age of ninety-three.
Mum had told Mike, her son, that she had written a couple of stories and let him read them some years ago. She expressed no interest in having them published at that time. He was never aware of the amount that she had written until she passed away. Mike, being an only child and having no living Aunts or Uncles, is the sole heir to Marjorie’s estate. He discovered the box full of Mum’s writings on clearing her flat in England and took them back to the USA. As an avid reader Dee (daughter-in-law) became fascinated with Mum’s stories and books. All her writings were hand written on legal size paper or note books and on both sides of the paper. Dee began reading some of the short stories (there are fifty plus). After reading a few, she was hooked and decided to attempt, the monumental task of transcribing them to computer. Mum’s writing was not the easiest to read, however, Dee had set herself the challenge and was going to follow through. At first, her husband, Mike assisted her with the ‘translation’ of Mum’s hand writing. At times they became frustrated with each other and Mum. After a couple of stories, Dee became the expert, reading Mum’s writing and even improving her own typing skills and speed. As yet, Dee has not completed the task, with a few more stories to go and two novels, after three years of work. Dee decided to see if her opinion about Mum’s writing skills were correct and began submitting several of the short stories for publishing. Several of Mum’s stories were accepted for publishing by online magazines and were published without pay. But exposure is important. A small success spurred Dee to try for bigger things. The first book of Mum’s was published in March 2008. “Ladies of Class” at Vinspire Publishing. Both Dee and Mike are really happy and hope that the book will be a success and lead to further books and stories being published.
Dee finally completed transcribing the sequel to “Ladies of Class” a few years ago. Dawn Carrington, the most wonderful publisher of Vinspire Publishing, read and agreed to publish “The Poison Pen”. Dee and Mike are indebted and grateful to Dawn and her associates for all their hard work editing and preparing Mum’s second book. “The Poison Pen” is to be published April 30th 2014.
Their blog for Mum’s writings is http://bookread-mumswritings.blogspot.com/
Is The Poison Pen a single title, or part of a series?
‘The Poison Pen’ follows ‘Ladies of Class’ with Detective Chief Inspector Richard Hayward solving more crimes, in particular, murders in the town of Burshill, England.
What were your inspirations for the story?
Mum was an avid reader, never without a book in her hand. She loved murder mystery stories. We do not know which of her four books was written first. But the first book we presented for
publication and had accepted, is a murder mystery ‘Ladies of Class’. Her second book ‘The Poison Pen’, to be published April 30th 2014, is also a murder mystery and sequel to the first.
As far as I can tell from all of Mum’s writings, she wrote the murder mystery books from her love of mystery, who done it, and the challenge of solving the mystery. The romance books might have been inspired from her own, somewhat tragic romantic life. This I understand from little snippets of information she would impart when alive, her only diary, and possible reference in some of her short stories.
Please share your setting for The Poison Pen. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
The setting is a rural town in Southern England. The town ‘Burshill’ (fictitious name), was Mum’s home for the quite a few years. Yes, we have visitedmany times and liked the proximity to London and the South Coast. Mum lived opposite a lovely park that was featured in ‘Ladies of Class’.
When did the writing bug first bite?
We really do not know when Mum began to write her stories and novels. I believe Mum just loved to write and it was a diversion from her busy work life. Mum was the head buyer of maternity clothes at a major department store in central London.
Did your mother-in-law come up with her title (s) before or after she wrote the
Some of Mum’s works have titles, others do not. “Ladies of Class” was not her original title for the book. Our publisher advised us to choose a new title, as Mum’s original title, although appropriate for her story, was more suggestive of a children’s book. Her second book ‘The Poison Pen’ was untitled, so we chose that also.
What special projects are you working on in behalf of your mother-in-law and what
books do we have to look forward to in the future?
There are two Romance Novels and several of Mum’s short stories that I plan to transcribe. I may even attempt to create a book from some of Mum’s short stories.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
Mum loved Agatha Christie, Lilian Jackson Braun, and ‘whodunit’ books.