Wednesday, November 30, 2011

M.M Gornell: my MYSTERY WE WRITE blog tour guest of the day

BOOK GIVEAWAY! Madeline will be giving away three copies of Reticence of Ravens to selected commenters at the conclusion of this blog tour (December 9.) The winners will be selected by her pooch, Buster.

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has three published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008), Death of a Perfect Man (2009), and her latest release, Reticence of Ravens (2010)—her first Route 66 mystery. Reticence of Ravens is a 2011 Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and a Montaigne Medalist finalist.

Thank you, Jinx, for hosting me on your blog. And since you’ve given me free rein, I thought I’d talk about a question that came up in a recent interview. This particular one intrigued me—I think because it was about an aspect of my writing I’d never really thought about. It was interesting figuring out my answer!

Interviewer Colleen Walsh Fong noted she saw some themes connecting my books, and asked how much in my stories came from real life. I believe I’m writing fiction, yep, making it all up!

But as I answered then (and have subsequently thought more about), there is more from my life in my novels than I might want to admit. To start, my dedications are to loved ones—now moved on—but who left their marks on my psyche, and bits and pieces of our shared experiences are in my writing. On a happier note, dogs have to be in my story. Not as key characters, but dogs are so much a part of my life I can’t imagine a novel without them. And all my canine characters are ones I know, or have known.

Then there’s gardening. I love healthy, growing, plants—trees, flowers, fruit, roses… you name it. Unfortunately, the Mojave Desert is challenging when it comes to growing anything, and I’m lazy when it come to gardening work. Fortunately, I can have successful gardening characters like Hubert Champion (Reticence of Ravens), Marie Shipley (Death of a Perfect Man), and Martha Milton (Uncle Si’s Secret). Characters with “green thumbs” have been my gardening panacea.

I’m also a potter, and have managed to put together a small studio, and when I can, love doing pottery. The primeval feel of throwing a pot is a wonderful tactile experience. I do what’s called high-fire reduction firing, and have a propane kiln for that. I never know what the fire-gods are going to deliver up, but sometimes I get a piece that touches me in the same way a perfect phrase of prose does. It’s a marvelous experience, akin to holding that first copy of your latest book! The protagonist and first murder victim in Death of a Perfect Man, are potters. I wonder why?

Thanks so much, Jinx, for letting me ramble-on about myself. It’s been a fun visit with you today, and a fun Blog Tour!

Madeline’s books are available at, Barnes &, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her online at her website, or her BLOG, or email her directly at

Buy link for Reticence of Ravens:


M.M. Gornell said...

Thanks, Jinx, for having me here today. Love talking about puppies, gardening, and pottery! This was a fun and relaxing visit.


Jean Henry Mead said...

I enjoyed your post, Madeline. I share your love of dogs and gardening and have a retired police dog, Bert, in one of my novels. Gardening in Wyoming is also a challenge, especially when a 70-mph wind blows your greenhouse to smitereens. :)

Alice Duncan said...

Very interesting, Madeline! It's interesting how we, as people, creep into the books we write, isn't it? And I hear you about not being able to grow much in a desert. I used to have a lovely garden in Pasadena. Now that I'm in Roswell...well, the weeds and thistles thrive.

WS Gager said...

Interesting post Madeline. I enjoy doing things with my hands like scrapbooking and photography when not writing but it seems harder and harder to find the time. Promoting consumes too much of the day!
W.S. Gager on Writing

Mike Orenduff said...

Great post, Madeline, as always.

M.M. Gornell said...

I guess, Jean, some places are better than others to garden. Wyoming and the Mojave don't sound like the greatest!

Oh, Alice, I bet Pasadena was wonderful for gardening--I would love to have fruit trees, but don't have the climate like around where you used to live. Sounds like you may have some of the same challenges I do in Roswell.

Wendy, you're so right about the promoting--it can eat up a whole day if I let it. But it's important--well at least necessary. But then, where's the time to read?

Mike, thanks for stopping by. I know it's tough to visit everyone, and sure is nice when your friends stop by!


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